1988 OUTRAGE 18 Hydraulic Steering

Repair or modification of Boston Whaler boats, their engines, trailers, and gear
roffers
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2017 5:08 pm

1988 OUTRAGE 18 Hydraulic Steering

Postby roffers » Sun Apr 16, 2017 5:17 pm

[I plan] to add hydraulic steering to our 1988 Outage and would like recommendations. The previous owner re-powered with a Honda BF150, and it's a beast to turn. The boat is in its original state and I hope to minimize any cosmetic changes.

Rags
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:22 am

Re: Hydraulic Steering - 1988 18 Outrage

Postby Rags » Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:52 am

SeaStar Hydralics
Instructions: https://www.youtube.com/embed/TYFAUIMzkgs

Takt = Stroke
Art Nr = SeaStar Sylinder product number
Attachments
seastar.jpg
Sylinder size
seastar.jpg (113.05 KiB) Viewed 3130 times

jimh
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Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
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Re: Hydraulic Steering - 1988 18 Outrage

Postby jimh » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:30 am

I don't think there are too many cosmetic aspects of a change to hydraulic steering from mechanical cable steering which must be considered in making a choice of components.

In c.1988 and in boats from Boston Whaler rigged with hydraulic steering, the helm pump was typically a Teleflex helm without any sort of tilt mechanism. The engine actuator could have been a side-mount actuator. It is probably preferred these days to use a center-mount actuator.

Teleflex has two tiers of hydraulic steering components. The BayStar line is for engines up to 150-HP. The SeaStar line is for engines up to 600-HP. I recommend you use a Teleflex SeaStar helm pump and center-mount engine actuator. Follow the guidelines from Teleflex regarding what helm pump and what actuator to use. Alternately you could use components from UltraFlex. Work with a knowledgeable vendor to select the proper components. Buying the components in a bundle or kit may save money.

The steering wheel on a c.1988 Boston Whaler with mechanical cable steering can probably be re-used with hydraulic steering, if the steering wheel has the common tapered shaft and keyway mount. The usual steering wheel was a six-spoke stainless steel wheel with a 16-inch diameter and a 25-degree tilt for the spokes. The wheel was made by Grant. Today there are more popular styles for the wheel. I would not be constrained in the choice of the steering wheel to conform to the c.1988 style.

The choice of side-mount or center-mount actuator has lately been heavily tilted in favor of the center-mount type. The side-mount actuator has one particular advantage: the hydraulic cables do not move around; only the ram moves. This actually makes the rigging a bit cleaner and simpler, but the disadvantage is the side-mount just won't work with an auto-pilot. The center-mount actuator is more complicated to rig, and the hydraulic cables have to slew around and follow the movement of the actuator in the engine splash well. But it will work with an auto-pilot, and, for some reason, it seems to be just about universal these days to use the center-mount actuator. On my c.1990 Boston Whaler boat, the hydraulic steering used a side-mount actuator, and I continue to use that system today.

Jefecinco
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Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 6:35 pm
Location: Gulf Shores, AL

Re: 1988 OUTRAGE 18 Hydraulic Steering

Postby Jefecinco » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:20 am

I believe Uflex (previously Ultraflex) is now the OEM hydraulic steering system sold with Mercury and by extension Boston Whaler. Mine is branded as a Mercury cylinder.
Butch

cfelle2
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:26 am

Re: 1988 OUTRAGE 18 Hydraulic Steering

Postby cfelle2 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:55 am

I have a Baystar installed on my BW 17 with a 50hp Mercury. I have been satisfied with it's performance however with larger engines I would highly recommend the Seastar. My friends Grady White 180 has a Yamaha 150 with Seastar and it works significantly more smoothly than my Baystar.

Don SSDD
Posts: 164
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2015 6:58 am
Location: Nova Scotia

Re: 1988 OUTRAGE 18 Hydraulic Steering

Postby Don SSDD » Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:23 am

Did the original poster install hydraulic steering? If so, what did you install and what were the results?

I'd like to change to hydraulic on my 1986 Outrage from the mechanical cable system it has now.

Thanks,

Don
1986 Outrage 18 with 2001 Honda 130 HP
Former Owner 1991 Guardian 19 with 1994 Evinrude V4 140HP
Former owner 1987 Montauk with 1998 Mercury 90HP
Nova Scotia

Jefecinco
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Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 6:35 pm
Location: Gulf Shores, AL

Re: 1988 OUTRAGE 18 Hydraulic Steering

Postby Jefecinco » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:15 am

Don--I recommend you consider the Uflex system. We have a 190 Montauk with a Mercury 135 Verado. The Boston Whaler OEM steering system delivered with the boat is a Uflex system with tilt steering. It performs very well.

Something to consider with switching to hydraulic steering is that the wheel seldom returns to exactly the same center orientation after turning the wheel more than a full revolution. Our previous cable steering boats wheels always had a "king post" which I marked with wrapped cord so I could center the wheel after turns without looking at either the wheel or the engine. Now, it's necessary to glance rearward to determine if the engine is oriented to drive the boat straight ahead. This is generally not necessary when steering while in open water but can be a distraction when maneuvering in tight quarters such as around a crowed launch ramp.
Butch

jimh
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Re: 1988 OUTRAGE 18 Hydraulic Steering

Postby jimh » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:38 am

Don--I would not be bound by the choice made by the OP. Consider the same advice he was offered and make your own decision. You may be influenced by which manufacturer's products are most easily found in your area.

Installation of hydraulic steering is mostly straightforward, with the exception of the process of filling the system with fluid and bleeding out the air. It is common today for dealers who are installing hydraulic steering or working on customer's boats with hydraulic steering to have a power-bleeder system to facilitate removing air. Several years ago when my boat was re-powered, the dealer used his power-bleeder mechanism to purge all the air from the boat's hydraulic steering; it has never worked better. I think there must have been some air in the lines despite my many attempts to bleed the system using the recommended manual procedure from the manufacturer.

Don SSDD
Posts: 164
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2015 6:58 am
Location: Nova Scotia

Re: 1988 OUTRAGE 18 Hydraulic Steering

Postby Don SSDD » Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:05 pm

Thanks for the replies, I'll look at Uflex too.

I was hoping someone else who had done this recently would have some insight.

Don
1986 Outrage 18 with 2001 Honda 130 HP
Former Owner 1991 Guardian 19 with 1994 Evinrude V4 140HP
Former owner 1987 Montauk with 1998 Mercury 90HP
Nova Scotia

Jefecinco
Posts: 1004
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 6:35 pm
Location: Gulf Shores, AL

Re: 1988 OUTRAGE 18 Hydraulic Steering

Postby Jefecinco » Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:03 pm

That's an excellent tip on using the hydraulic system power bleeder. When I replaced the steering cylinder seals on our Montauk I used the old time method used before before power bleeders were widely available. I'd used the old method dozens of times on vehicle brake systems. For anyone without ready access to a power bleeder the method is shown in U-Tube videos. It requires the use of a few feet of plastic tubing and a pair of clear bottles (plastic recommended). Useful accessories are duct tape and a funnel. As with any job like this a helper is valuable but it not essential.
Butch