Hydraulic FAQs (Cont.)

I’ve just installed a SeaStar steering system and am ready to water test the boat.
What should I look for?
Before operating your boat, ensure that the following checklist is carried out:
a. Perform system pressure test by turning helm all the way to hard over and then forcing the helm
another 1/4 to 1/2 turn. This should be done in both directions. This will pressurize the system. Any
weakness in the system should show up at this time.
b. Confirm that extruded nylon tubing has NOT been substituted for SeaStar Hydraulic
Steering Hose.
c. Confirm that there is no interference between the steering cylinder and the transom, splashwell or
jackplate or any combination of these parts by performing these steps:
With engine fully tilted, turn steering from hard over to hard over and conFrm that no
interference occurs. If you are using a hydraulic jack plate this also must be
performed at the top and bottom position of the jack plate. (If interference is present,
it must be eliminated with trim limiting switches and/or jack plate lift restrictors.
Contact jack plate maker for advice if required.)
ConFrm that the steering cylinder can be stroked fully in both directions as well as full
tilt and trim without stretching and/or kinking the hydraulic hoses.
Make sure hoses are not subjected to chaFng or rubbing. Stretched, kinked or
chafed hose will fail over time.
Failure to comply with this checklist may result in loss of steering, causing property damage and/or
personal injury.
Use only the self-locking fasteners provided; using non-locking fasteners can result in loosening or
separation of equipment and loss of steering.
Please read the manuals packed with the product and keep them handy.
How do I “check my oil?”
Unscrew the vent cap in your helm (upper station on dual station boats).
NOTE: Side mount cylinders are unbalanced. If you have a side mount cylinder, the oil level in the helm
must be set with the cylinder rod fully retracted. Failing to do so will result in an oil spill at the helm.
Turning the wheel to port (left) will retract the cylinder rod.
Helms mounted with wheel shaft completely horizontal must be filled to bottom of filler hole at all times.
Do not allow oil level to drop more than 1/4" (6.3mm). For helms mounted on a 20° angle or with wheel
shaft vertical, oil level should be within 1/2" (12.7mm) of hole.
Check oil level periodically. At this time the steering system must be checked for proper connections of
hose, tube and fittings, possible leaks and air removal. To do so, turn steering wheel (any on a multi-
station) and pressurize very hard to port. Apply enough force to the wheel to overcome pressure relief
valve. You will not harm the helm. While pressure is maintained on steering wheel, check all port (left)
fittings and line connections for leaks.
If no leaks are present, the system is ready for use. If leaks are found, correct before using. Failure to
correct leaks will lower system oil level and could result in loss of steering.
Repeat procedure by turning wheel to starboard. Watch the oil level in the helm pump when the steering
wheel reaches either hard over position. If there is no obvious drop in oil level, air was removed. If there is
an obvious drop in oil level, you are compressing air — further filling/purging is required.
(See fill and purge procedure on the following pages.)
STEERING - FAQ (Hydraulic)