Hydraulic Steering for 65′ Steel Motorsailor

Hi, My wife and I are looking at buying a 65′ steel hull motorsailor that is not finished. By that I mean all that’s there is a complete hull with two engine rooms. If we buy we will most likely put in Perkins 135 hp engines as that is the design called for. My question today is about steering. The boat weighs at full load 96000 lbs. The rudder is a big one – 16’x14’x6′ and weighs 500 lbs. I know very little about hydraulic steering but that seems to be what most of the shipyard managers whom I’ve talked to suggest. Which make would you recommend as being able to add to it, if and when the situation arises? And which has a back-up in case of power loss? Or which could work on batteries vs engine power? And where can I find this information written down (on the page or the web)? Thanks, Rod and Lucy

This is a tricky question. We’ve used both hydraulic and cable steering. In your case, with such a heavy boat and huge rudder, which I assume is keel attacked and therefore not counter-balanced, hydraulic with power assist is probably the way to go.

We very much like the pilots that Will Hamm builds–extremely powerful gear and reliable, fairly priced. We’re just working with his gear on our latest project. My suggestion would be to contact Will at 206 780 2175 and see what he suggests. He can supply a complete system. Regards – Steve

Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)

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