Fairline takes industry lead

with Hypro Marine’s latest steering system

Fairline takes industry lead by installing Hypro Marine’s latest steering system

Feb 24, 2009

Unveiled at the 2008 Southampton Boat Show, the Squadron 55 is the first new launch to take advantage of Hypro Marine’s latest steering advance; their electronic command steering system, devised in order to significantly reduce commissioning and installation times for boat manufacturers.

The innovation is expected to revolutionise steering technology by mimicking the trademark precision performance and characteristics of a premium hydraulic power assisted steering system whilst significantly simplifying the installation for manufacturers, resulting in significant labour reduction, particularly relevant in the current economic climate.

Designed and manufactured exclusively by Hypro Marine, supplier to some of the world’s most prestigious luxury motor yacht builders as well as coastguard agencies and rescue organisations such as the RNLI, the ECS system has already been successfully installed in the Pearl 60. It replaces the traditional hydraulic helmed system with an electronic helm unit which is connected to an electronic power unit via a single pre-made wiring harness with “Deutsch” multi pin connectors.

Not only does it operate without the need to run multiple hoses and hydraulic oil throughout the boat, thereby removing potential concerns surrounding air removal and oil leakage, but installation is extremely quick and clean; there is no set up procedure or calibration required for installation and no rudder feedback device needed.
The only hydraulics in the system link the electronic power unit to the steering cylinder and, being very simple to bleed, enhance the appeal of the steering to a boat builder.

The result is 4 turns lock to lock fingertip effort steering at 1 rev per second, with a positive lock at end of stroke which is replicated at the other control stations in the system. As well as being multi station capable, options include front or rear mount fixed helm, tilt helm and emergency back-up.

The system has been designed for boats of 40ft and upwards in length but can be scaled up indefinitely to well in excess of 100ft.

Gary Smith, Chief Engineer at Fairline, said. “The partnership of Fairline and Hypro Marine has produced a steering system for the Squadron 55 that is both quick to install and a pleasure to use. Time savings in installation are a direct result of hydraulic lines being replaced by electrical looms, resulting in quicker routing and vastly reduced bleeding requirements.

Recent testing has shown that the system provides the helmsman with a smooth feel at the helm, coupled with an accurate response from the boat. The boat owner can be happy in the knowledge that there are no hydraulic lines running through the cabin areas and that an engine failure will not affect their steering system.”

Already recognised as a ‘World Class Supplier’ by Fairline at their 2007 and 2008 supplier conferences due to the company’s 100% record of ‘on time-in full’ deliveries, Hypro Marine Technical Director Mike Clarke said. “We are hugely excited about the impact ECS could have on the marketplace and delighted that Fairline and Pearl have taken the first steps forward. Now the boat builder really can have it all; both responsive steering and dramatically reduced lead times.”

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