Smooth like butter... that's the way one should think when driving their boat right? Why wouldn't you? Think of your car with no power steering and that it keeps ... read more pulling to the right. You shouldn't have to deal with that driving your boat. However, that's what is happening with your cable steering. More and more boat owners are abandoning the cable steering in favor of hydraulic. Prop torque defines the steering you get and rudder torque is the tendency of the boat to pull. More and more outboards are going to the 4-stroke engine that typically means you need hydraulic steering. Four-stroke engines have high prop torque that means high steering loads. What about a 2-stroke? Well, typically 150 HP and above you should go with hydraulic. Also, be aware that the hull affects the steering in your boat. Bass boats are typically performance type boats that go faster, so they are typically hydraulic steering. Pontoons are much easier to steer with hydraulic steering systems as well as boats that have twin engines. So now it's time to upgrade, and we'll discuss the things you need to know when upgrading to hydraulic steering.
The nice thing when converting is its a fairly easy, do-it-yourself, process. First thing to be aware is pulling out your old cable set up. You will want to take caution that you're not disrupting any control cables or any other wiring along the side of your boat. So be careful pulling out your old cable. Next, start replacing that old equipment and pull out the helm and pulling apart your steering wheel and such. You now will carefully pull in your hydraulic hoses and a quick tip is to put tape on the ends, so debris doesn't get inside. Remember the port will be labeled with red and starboard is labeled with green. Then you install the cylinder, spacer kits may be required, but then you put on the hoses to the cylinder, and you can cut tube to the length you need.
Some final notes: you will also need your fluid, and you will put that in your helm up by the steering wheel. We offer hydraulic steering from Uflex and Seastar. They both have systems for 150 HP and under, and up to 300 HP. They also have some for twin engines and other applications, too. If you want your boat to feel like you're steering a car then get the Power Assist or Masterdrive models. Hydraulic is where the industry is going and for good reason - it helps you handle the boat better. No more having to drive your boat all day and come back and feel like you've had the best arm workout you've ever had. Make life easier convert to hydraulic.