Hydraulic Steering Systems FAQ’s
Hydraulic Steering Cylinders
the new -3 cylinders all about?
The -3 cylinders mount the exact same as the older ones, have the same volume
and output. We have gone to a fully anodized aluminum parts, and to ORB hose
fittings in the cylinder body.
continue to wear out seals, or the seals that I have previously installed?
There are several reasons why seals will leak, even after a repair has been made
previously. The most common fault is a damaged steering cylinder shaft, or, an
installation that is not done properly, leading to more stress on a seal. To
ensure that your cylinder is re-sealed correctly we recommend contacting one of
our Authorized Repair Centers to assist with the repair. Authorized
re-rigged with new engine(s), can I re-use my old cylinder? If so, what is the
part number for the extension plates?
SeaStar Solutions does NOT make engine extension plates for any engine newer
than a 2004. If your current cylinder is an HC5340, HC5340-42 or an HC5342, you
will need to update the steering cylinder and tiebar with current models. Please
see “Outboard Section”
should I use the Outboard Tournament Cylinders?
If your boat is driven in an aggressive manor, used in tournaments, then you
should be using the tournament cylinders. Please go to the SeaStar Outboard
section for further information
to convert my outboard pivot cylinder into a different model, how do I do this?
This type of conversion is to be completed by one of our repair centers only.
causes the outboard front mount cylinder seals to leak?
I find that almost all the time, the support rod is ready to seize up in the
tilt tube, because someone has failed to clean and grease it. Please do this at
least ONCE a year, it WILL save you money.
that there is a PRO cylinder being offered by SeaStar? What is this?
You are right. SeaStar PRO cylinder has better seals and bushings to reduce wear
caused by the higher horsepower engines. No worries, the old cylinder is still
I have a
brand new HC5345 but I need a different cylinder for my engine, what do I do?
Please contact us via e-mail to find out your options. Do not try to make the
use power purge jr. with dual cylinders?
Yes. you will need to purchase kit #HA5461. It comes complete with instructions.
Hydraulic Steering Power Assist
“OUTBOARD” boat, with triple engines is very hard to steer, what can I do?
Power Assist is your best option. Engines have become much heavier, have a much
higher output and much more torque than previous, SeaStar Power Assist will make
your steering very easy to turn, regardless of the horse power.
“INBOARD” boat is very hard to turn at higher speeds, will the SeaStar Power
Assist cure this?
In short “Maybe”. Your steering system may be undersized, this requires much
more effort to turn the wheel. SeaStar Power Assist will “help”, however if the
cylinder is undersized your best option may be to increase the size of the
cylinder providing more “force” to move the rudder(s) over.
saw a product called DC Power…what is that?
This DC Power will replace the conventional, engine driven power steering that
you see on large boats. Contact SeaStar Solutions for more information.
blowing fuses in my SeaStar Power Assist System, what can I do to cure this?
Part # HA1206 can be ordered to cure this. This is a 50A, MAXI fuse. NOTE: All
current Power Assist Units utilize this same, MAXI fuse
Hydraulic Steering General
autopilot pumps work within your steering systems?
We have no preference of a/p makes. Mostly, ALL will work without issue in our
When and How do I perform maintenance on my steering system?
BEFORE EVERY TRIP
* Check fluid level in helm pump
* Check hoses to ensure that they are in good condition.
* Turn steering wheel hard over to hard over.
BayStar system is really hard to turn, almost harder than cable steering…?
BayStar is rated to 150HP MAX (transom rating). Pontoon boats and Bass boats
will likely be hard when using BayStar, as this is the taking the BayStar system
to its maximum. SeaStar will make the system easier to turn, and, you have the
option to add SeaStar Power Assist.
do your items cost?
You must contact your local Distributor for this information, we only sell
through our Distributors.
been trying to bleed my Catamaran for serveral days now, I can’t get the air
out, what gives?
These are tricky. Please go to the download section of this site and download
book No. 9.1. This is the only way to bleed the system.
kind of maintenance should be performed on my steering system?
Not too much really. Check the fluid level, just as often as you check you cars.
Most important, GREASE THE TILT TUBE on your outboard engines.
to leave a voice mail, but the message said that you will call back in 24 hours,
I don’t have that much time?
The 24 hour message is just to let customers know that during busy season, it
may take that long. We try our hardest to get back within a couple hours, sit
tight, we will call.
ordered a seal kit and tried to get a spanner wrench, the part you call for is
not a real part #.
Any Spanner Pin wrench from any mfg will work, be sure that the wrench has the
following specs. Adjustable from .75″ to 3″ Has a 1/8″ Pin.
keeps coming out of my vent cap, what is going on?
Could be the o’ring is broken, or the plug has been over tightened and damaged.
Send an email to us and we will send you a new one.
Hynautic or Capilano system is starting to get really hard to turn, what shall I
We find that many of the times the steering cylinder is frozen in the cylinder
body, to check this, remove the steering lines and try to push the cylinder, if
you can’t move it, replace it.
adjusting the torque tab on an outboard really make it steer easier to Port?
Actually YES. I have felt it myself. Of course if your prop is out of the water,
so will the tab. Stiff steering will happen if the prop is not totally submerged
add a second steering station to my BayStar steering system?
No. BayStar is a single engine single station steering system.
rebuild my Hydraulic Steering parts (SeaStar Solutions, Haynutic or Capilano)?
We only recommend that one of our Authorized Repair Centers perform any repair
work on our products.
Authorized Repair Centers
to repair my Hydraulic Steering product, does the factory do repairs?
In most cases YES. We are the factory so a turn around time cannot be guarenteed.
Please see next question for other repair partners.
use my master spoke or centered steering wheel with a SeaStar system?
Due to a small amount of internal hydraulic slip these style steering wheels
should not be used. For best results use an equal distance wheel.
hose is too long, can I cut it down?
NO! You CANNOT cut SeaStar outboard hoses. Take up the slack under the dash, or
anywhere else, once that hose is cut, it is garbage.
work on my Hydraulic Steering?
For service work, any “qualified” marine technician should be well trained in
the service of your system. For repairs of hydraulic components we only
recommend that you contact one of our Authorized Repair Centers. Authorized
that clear tube that goes from bleeder to bleeder on my steering cylinder?
That is a tool for bleeding. Simply put one end on the bleeder that you are
working on, and the other end in a clean container.
mix and Match Hynautic with SeaStar steering systems?
In most cases you can, please contact us via e-mail with what you are looking to
do, and we can assist you with all the details.
installed the new BayStar steering system and it seems heavier to steer than a
SeaStar, is this normal?
If you know that it has been bled good, and there is no other restriction then
this is normal. BayStar is a smaller version of the SeaStar and will feel
slightly heavier to steer.
How do I
know I have all the air out of my system?
Refer to your owners manual. Having the correct amount of wheel turns hard over
to hard over is a good sign the system is free of air.
the part number?
Good question! If you need to contact us and see no numbers of any kind, please
have as many measurments ready for when we ask. Any number in the system will
help us help you.
often should I check my fluid?
I like to say ALWAYS, it is simple to check, and it is your steering. The best
time is as soon as you step on board BEFORE touching the steering wheel. Fill if
leaking fluid out of my shaft seal on my helm pump, can I change this myself?
It is fairly easy to replace. Confirm the year of your pump, and go to the
Replacement parts page, there you will find the proper seal kit. This can be
changed in minutes.
SeaStar taking care of Hynautic Hydraulic Engine Controls?
SeaStar Solutions (us) have assumed support of the Hynautic Hydraulic Controls.
Please direct your questions to us.
get a Tilt helm in my outboard steering kit?
At this time, no. We only offer the Outboard Pro and Standard kits with the
Standard front mounting helm, front mount pivot cylinder, two lengths of hose
and two bottles of SeaStar Steering fluid.
BayStar Steering system tubing says rated for 140HP, but my engine is 150HP, can
I use this hose?
Yes. The hose will work with the BayStar 150HP (total) system.
the best way for you to help me?
The best way is via e-mail from this site, we ask that if you are plannning on
e-mailing us through this site, please provide all(if any) part numbers off of
your system, this saves time.
that SeaStar Solutions is now taking care of Hynautic Hydraulic Steering, is
Yes. We here at SeaStar Solutions are doing our best to give ALL of the Hynautic
customers the same support we give SeaStar customers, this web site will be
updated with Hynautic information shortly.
can I find an owners manual for my Hydraulic Steering System?
You can locate and print off you owners manual on this site by going to the site
map and locating the DOWNLOADABLE PDF files.
outboard steering is fine at the dock but becomes hard underway. Is this normal?
Adjust Torque Tab on motor to offset prop torque. Adjust trim tabs so that boat
runs level. Trim out your engine. Eliminate air by purging the system.
I have a
boat fitted with Sytten Steering. Can I get a seal kit for the Helm Pump and a
mounting foot/seal kit for the BA135-7BJ cylinder.
The Sytten System was obsoleted in 1984. We no longer have “any” parts
available. Your Helm Pump can be replaced with HH5271 & HA5418. The cylinder
should be replaced with HC5313 & HA5425.
substitute Transmission Fluid (ATF) for the recommended SeaStar Fluid?
In Emergencies only. ATF will void the warranty and decrease the efficiency of
the steering system. SeaStar Steering Fluid can be replaced by any Hydraulic
fluid with Mil Spec H5606.
can I purchase SeaStar Product and parts?
SeaStar Solutions sells through an established distributor network. Consult your
local Marine retailer, dealer or check your yellow pages.
I have a
front mount hydraulic outboard cylinder, part # HC5340-42 that has developed a
leak. Should I replace the entire cylinder or will a seal kit work?
A seal kit will NOT work if there is any damage to the steering cylinder shaft
that will not allow a new seal to seal. To ensure that the cylinder is repaired
properly we recommend contacting one of our Authorized Repair Centers to assist
with the repair. Authorized
Hydraulic Steering Helms
an older Traditional Style Tilt helm, I see that this has been replaced?
This is correct. We have recently launched the new “Classic Tilt”, and this helm
will replace ALL Traditional Tilt helms. Your hoses and cylinder will work just
fine. The new Classic Tilts have a different style (in regards to cosmetics),
and also comes with the newly designed Tilt Mechanism (much better than the
the replacement part number for the Tilt Mechanism only?
We offer two models, as follows;
* HA6123 for sport tilt helms (soft rubber boot)
* HA6523 for Traditional and Classic Tilt (hard plastic covers).
noticed that the SeaStar helm cover looks different than the old helms..?
This is the new cover for the SeaStar helm pump. Only the cover has changed, you
will still enjoy the easy, most reliable steering on the market today. YES – it
will work with older helms as well.
that the BayStar helm that I just purchase is metal and not a composite like my
older one…..why did you do that?
When it came time to re-tool for this product, SeaStar Solutions made several
updates and improvements to the BayStar helm, one of which was the metal cover.
This will work with all older parts on board your boat. NOTE: You will need to
drill out 4 mounting holes for the new helm (the older one had 3).
an older model pump and want to install a new SeaStar Tilt helm, what adapters
will I need?
Unfortunately you cannot retrofit a tilt helm into the old cut out without
filling in the hole in your dash and re drilling.
weather is sunny and hot Oil leaks out of my fill and vent cap. What is the
Boating Safety is Everyone's Responsibility
As a boater, you are responsible for having all required safety equipment,
for operating your boat safety and for ensuring the safety of those on board
your vessel as well as those sharing the waterways. Boaters exercising
courtesy and common sense will not create a hazard, threat, stress or an
irritant to themselves, to others, to the environment, or to wildlife.
an approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
your owner's manual.
Attach engine stop switch securely to your body or PFD.
Respect the speed limits and other boating restrictions.
cautious and courteous.
Navigate with care.
Understand the behaviour characteristics of your vessel that might result
from unexpected manoeuvres, such as sudden deceleration, high-speed
obstacle avoidance, and other speed related issues.
Become informed and stay informed!
"Take an accredited boating safety course"
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. The SeaStar system 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
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...
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!
SeaStar manual hydraulic steering systems are simple and efficient. The
basic system consists of three main components:
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
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.
steering wheel, which is attached to the helm pump, is rotated in the
desired direction (i.e.: a turn to starboard or clockwise rotation).
pumped out the corresponding port from the rear of the helm into the
starboard line and then into the cylinder.
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.
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.
steering in the opposite direction, simply turn the helm the other way.
course corrections are required, the integral lock valve holds the rudder
or drive unit stationary.
SELECTING A SYSTEM
The objective is to match the steering system to the requirements of the
vessel. This depends on four things:
vessel (i.e.: planing or displacement),
propulsion system in the vessel (i.e.: Outboard, Sterndrive, Inboard,
of engines or rudders,
power of the engines (i.e.: Horsepower).
Next choose a cylinder that best meets these requirements. Once the cylinder
has been selected, the size of the helm pump is predetermined. The options
left to specify are:
of steering stations,
configuration (i.e.: standard or tilt helm),
features such as autopilots.
Proceed to the appropriate section of the web site for to make your
Notes on Steering Response versus Steering effort
Steering wheel effort is directly proportional to the number of wheel turns
lock to lock. The number of wheel turns lock to lock is dependent on three
volume of the cylinder,
displacement of the helm pump,
allowable movement of the rudder or drive unit.
Less wheel turns lock to lock results in more steering effort. More wheel
turns lock to lock results in less steering effort. However, additional
factors that can influence steering effort are:
unusual propellor selections,
type (i.e.: displacement, planing, etc.), and
steering wheel size.
Recommendations made on this web site are guidelines based on average
acceptance of steering effort.