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Old 02-15-2009, 06:56 PM   #1
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Hello

This is David Pyo ,new member from Melbourne Australia.

I have Catana 474 catamaran with hydraulic steering system.

I had desynchronize problem badly. I did change two piston(ram) port and starboard, and breath air myself many times.

But the problem was still there,

So I added cable system to tie the rudders together on the top of hydraulic system.

This time it works !!!!!! Now I only synchronize once a week.

some how I still believe that hydraulic rudder steering system should work by itself.

Anyone who have same experience, or Know how to improve hydraulic steering system in catamaran

please write some advice

Cheers

David Pyo

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Old 02-16-2009, 06:30 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpyo View Post
I have Catana 474 catamaran with hydraulic steering system.

I had desynchronize problem badly. I did change two piston(ram) port and starboard, and breath air myself many times.

But the problem was still there,
Hello David,

A few questions :-

How many steering stations ?

What make of pump/s?

what make of rams?

What diameter of piping from station to rams ?

What distance between pump/s and rams?

How did you bleed off air in the system ?

How old is the system?

How often has the hydraulic oil been changed?

Have you spoken to Catana for advice ??

Richard
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:31 AM   #3
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Hi Richard

Thanks for asking me some question, it may lead to find solution !!

1) two station ---port and starboard.

2) LS (LECOMBLE & SCHMITT)

3) LS

4) rubber hose about 20 mm dia

5) about 4 meter

6)first time done by panama hydraulic company people, second time after change new ram i did myself

i attached bottle to nozzle at port side ram turn both wheel one after another until only hydraulic fluid keep coming to the bottle and i closed the

nozzle, and i did same way to starboard again. i used car brake fluid.

7)9 years

8)twice in two years

9) I did send e-mail, no reply. so I did contact LS dealer in Brisbane, they gave me an idea to change rams.
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:43 AM   #4
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Is there any sign of fluid leakage ANYWHERE (no matter how small)? Check for leaking seals on the rams and pump.

Rubber hose. Ordinary rubber hose or proper reinforced hydraulic hose?
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:16 AM   #5
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There is no leakage at all, I even check any oil leakage in the ram. no leakage.

The hydraulic hose is original from Catana factory,

There are two things that I'm not sure .

1) Am I use right Hydraulic fluid because I bought this oil from car spear part place from Fiji.

2) I did best I could to breath air from system, but I'm not a hydraulic repairman.

but I was not competent when I engaged hydraulic guy from Fiji, So I did it myself.

David Pyo
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:33 AM   #6
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Sounds like there is some leakage back past the seals. If you turn the wheel hard over can you move it a little further after a few seconds. With the wheel locked, will continuous pressure on either rudder cause it to gradually move.

If the answer to any of these is 'Yes', then fluid is getting back past the the seals somewhere causing the rudders to lose alignment.
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:55 PM   #7
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Hi Ed

You mean turn the wheel all the way to one end until lock and continuously pressure wheel same way then the wheel move little bit by bit gradually'

YES---- The wheel move bit by bit gradually

Is there any other seals except in the pistons?---- The pistons (ram) are new one !!!!!
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Old 02-16-2009, 10:41 PM   #8
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Hello David,

It may be useful to contact the makers of your system for further advice :- here is their website

CLICK

Richard
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Old 02-17-2009, 07:47 AM   #9
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I go with Richard's advice - contact the makers. Without knowing the detail of the system I could not tell you where other seals may be.
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Old 02-17-2009, 08:30 PM   #10
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I did send e-mail to LS waiting their reply,

Meantime I searched Catana owner club in Yahoo site.

I read an article in general topic from their forum.

They mention about desynchronize problem hydraulic steering system, most mention that mechanical system much better.

Also they think that Catana knew this problem

Catana no longer install hydraulic system any more. I try to improve the hydraulic system as much as I can but the cable system that I added works fine.

Happy sailing

David Pyo
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Old 02-21-2009, 08:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
i used car brake fluid.
I'm not so sure that this is a good idea anyway. The supplier would recommend which hydraulic fluid to use - it would be more important to the pump than the ram.

IMHO.
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Old 02-21-2009, 10:33 AM   #12
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I'm not so sure that this is a good idea anyway. The supplier would recommend which hydraulic fluid to use - it would be more important to the pump than the ram.

IMHO.
Agree with Lighthouse - Different types of fluid will have different viscosity and thinner fluids may be able to get past seals in various components - manufacturer or a good boat mechanic should be able to advise on the correct fluid to use.
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Old 02-21-2009, 10:09 PM   #13
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Agreed regarding the use of vehicle BRAKE fluid - Most marine steering manufacturers specifically warn against using it.

The usual specification for recommended fluid is 'MIL SPEC H-5606 C'

However, at this point "the milk has been spill t!!!" A hydraulic system is worth maintaining in good condition - most modern multihulls have them in preference to cable systems. Suggest that the whole system be drained of its brake fluid - the seals also replaced and then add a recommended hydraulic fluid at the same time bleeding all the air out.

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