Hydraulic FAQs

Why are equidistant wheels suggested for hydraulic steering?
Due to a small amount of internal hydraulic slip, a “master spoke” or “centered” steering wheel can’t be
maintained with hydraulic steering. For best results, use an equal distance spoke steering wheel.
Do not use a wire coil type trim switch with hydraulic steering. Wire coil can wind up tight around the
steering wheel shaft and prevent further steering! SeaStar Solutions offers fingertip control with Pro Trim,
a column-mounted switch, without the problem of wires wrapping around the steering column. Pro Trim
PT1000P controls trim or jackplate only. Pro Trim Dual PT2000-1P controls both functions.
STEERING - FAQ (Hydraulic)
Are there any “tricks” to installing a steering system? Is there anything I should
definitely avoid doing?
If you have an outboard or sterndrive with non-power-assisted steering, we recommend you use either
a No FeedBack (NFB) mechanical or hydraulic (SeaStar/BayStar/Hynautic) system. For boats with power-
assisted steering, use HPS (mechanical) or SeaStar. If you have or plan to install an autopilot, use SeaStar.
Be sure you have the correct cable for the helm on the boat (or vice versa). There are several kinds of
cables and helms that are not interchangeable; this is true whether the system is rotary or rack & pinion.
See the steering identification guides in the front of the Mechanical Steering section of the catalog and
the Steering Options Based on Engine Type charts, pages 7-8.
Be sure you have measured properly and ordered the correct length of cable. (The #1 reason for cable
returns is “wrong length ordered”.) See How to Measure, earlier in these FAQs.
Follow the installation instructions for steering products completely. This will ensure the maximum
performance and reliability of the product. If the instructions are missing, contact the manufacturer.
Handle the products with care and do not expose them to impact or external stress.
Allow for generous (large) cable bends, notably where the cable exits from the helm (or rack housing) and
where the cable makes the bend to connect to the engine/drive/rudder. The tighter the bends, the stiffer
the cable will tend to be in operation. Also, tight bends reduce cable life. Note; 8" is the minimum bend
radius generally recommended for SeaStar Solutions steering cables.
When using tie wraps to affix the cable along the gunwale area, allow some slack (do not cinch tight).
Slack in the tie wraps allows for cable flex as it is actuated. This leads to smoother operation and longer
Replace all worn steering connection/mounting components with correct replacement parts that are
designed for the application. Do not substitute parts. If you think parts are missing from a kit, contact your
distributor or the kit manufacturer for replacements.
When installing the cable at the engine end, be sure to lubricate the telescopic ram (output end that slides
in and out) with liberal amounts of a good, waterproof Lithium-based grease. This is ESPECIALLY critical if
the steering cable is connected through the engine tilt tube as this area tends to get very rusty.
Avoid the use of add-on grease fitting products designed to lubricate cables. These units can in fact force
old grease, dirt and rust onto the moving internal parts of a steering cable, shortening its life.
There is no substitute for proper cable maintenance procedures, as noted earlier in these FAQs.
NOTE: The information in this section is a general guide. If you have questions about our mechanical
steering, please contact SeaStar Solutions Technical Support.

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