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Seastar - How it works...

How it Works


The SeaStar Hydraulic System

High-horsepower/high-speed boating is here and steering systems must perform at maximum capacity. The SeaStar Hydraulic Steering System is designed to provide that extra margin of muscle when needed and easily handles Outboard, Sterndrive and Inboard engines in boats up to 50 feet.

System selection, installation and service is substantially simplified with just three major components – helm, cylinder and tube or hose. SeaStar has a comprehensive range of available cylinders to handle a variety of Outboard, Sterndrive and Inboard steering applications. These are suitable for both pleasure and commercial applications. Extra steering stations and/or autopilots are easily added.

SeaStar hydraulic steering is a total commitment to quality, performance and simplicity.

SeaStar, the hydraulic steering system that is:

Easy to install…
Only three components: helm, cylinder & tube or hose
Compact and attractive helm design
Variety of helm mounting configurations
Simple tube/hose fitting connections
Clear, complete installation instructions

Easy to fill and purge…
Engineered bleed fittings on the cylinders
A helm and lock valve design that enhances air removal
A no-mess filler device
A filling and purging time of normally less than 30 minutes
Easy to check for proper installation
Easy purging check via filler device
No searching for difficult-to-find air leaks

Easy to turn…
Anti-friction piston points

Designed to provide many years of service…
Precision built
Heavy-duty bearings instead of bushings
All metal construction
No corrosive materials exposed to marine environment
Field replaceable helm and cylinder shaft seals
A no-hassle warranty – 2 years for pleasure use – 1 year for commercial use

SeaStar! Simply the best!

System Components

SeaStar manual hydraulic steering systems are simple and efficient. The basic system consists of three main components:
1. the helm pump,
2. the cylinder, and
3. the hose or tubing required to connect the cylinder to the helm pump.

These basic components are necessary in all applications. However as the system variables increase (e.g.: multiple engines, rudders, steering stations and autopilots), additional components may be required.

1. The Helm Unit
The SeaStar helm pump is an axial piston pump specifically designed for manual steering. It has a built-in lock valve to prevent the steering load from feeding back to the driver. The lock valve will not allow the rudder or drive unit to move until you move it with the steering wheel. The lock valve section of the helm also includes a relief valve. This relief valve provides over-pressure protection for mechanical components and hydraulic hoses and fittings.

2. The Cylinder
The most important differences between the variety of SeaStar steering systems available is the cylinder selection. The SeaStar system has a cylinder for most steering applications.

3. Hoses and Tubes
Required to provide a path for the fluid to flow under pressure from the helm pump to the cylinder.

How it Works

The SeaStar system is a two-line system. This makes operation very simple

1. The steering wheel, which is attached to the helm pump, is rotated in the desired direction (i.e.: a turn to starboard or clockwise rotation).
2. Oil is pumped out the corresponding port from the rear of the helm into the starboard line and then into the cylinder.
3. This causes the cylinder rod, which is attached to the vessels rudder or drive unit, to move (i.e.: rod moves to port) thus causing the vessel to alter course.
4. Oil displaced from the opposite end (i.e.: the port end) of the cylinder flows (i.e.: into the port line) back to the helm pump.
5. For steering in the opposite direction, simply turn the helm the other way.
6. When no course corrections are required, the integral lock valve holds the rudder or drive unit stationary.


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