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hydraulic steering problem

I have a Dutch Barge narrowboat with hydraulic steering. trouble is, it takes 2.5 turns of the wheel to move the rudder from centre to left or right. Is there a way to sort this so that it moves in real time? e.g as you would move the tiller (1:1)

Asked by: Lee  | 11.02pm, Tuesday 20 July

WW says:

Hi Lee
Without sight of the installation its not easy to be certain but the slave ram is normally attached to the tiller by an arm at right angles to the rudder stock, it may be possible to move the attachment point nearer to the stock so that movement of the ram has a greater effect in movement of the rudder. It may be as simple as drilling a new attachment hole in the arm! if this fails to do the trick no costs are involved and you can revert to the original setting if required.

Mike Jordan  | 7.48AM, Thursday 22 July

There is always the alternative of power assistance- as used by various offshore power (and sail) boat manufacturers... then you can select a like-for-like response- however, it is quite expensive, and also if the power unit fails, the steering can, as Keith suggested, become very hard.
A quick flick through the Vetus catalogue would be a good starting point, to see what is involved- though there are plenty of manufacturers out there- Volvo Penta/Mercruiser, etc.

Mark Langley  | 12.32PM, Thursday 22 July

Readers say:

I had a narrow duch barge (sunflower)which had the same steering as you describe. The problem is either air in the hydraulic oil or the ratio between the transmitter and receaver is such that it gives you huge mechanical advantage therefore low gearing. To enable the same response from the wheel would involve huge effort.
Hope this helps.

keith poulton  | 12.51PM, Wednesday 21 July

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