Re: Hydraulic 2nd Backup for linear Auto pilot drive



I have never put a hydraulic drive in a SM2K, but have installed and used them on other boats.  

They are easy to install, relatively.  The key being they need to have someplace VERY strong to push and pull against that works with the geometry of the ram.  They really should have their own tiller arm, and not attach to the existing quadrant, although many installations cheat on this.

Some of the pumps can be quite noisy compared to the linear drive, but they can be mounted somewhere other than under the berth. If you want to go with a remote mount, installing the pump in the engine room and then routing the hoses without compromising the engine room bulkhead integrity might take away the "easy to install" benefit! 

If you are interfacing to a Raymarine autopilot, check the voltage for the clutch.  Many (most? all?) of the 24V Raymarine AP units use 12 Volts to drive the clutch and 24V to drive the motor.

Another benefit of hydraulics is repairability.  On the ram side, parts are pretty standard all over the world in all kinds of industries, so seals and even whole rams are easy to get anywhere there is an industrial economy.  For long range cruising it would be easy to carry a spare pump for a drop in replacement.  So no matter what fails you don't need to find a Raymarine technician or parts depot to fix it. 

Bill Kinney
SM#160 Harmonie
Punta Montalva, Puerto Rico

---In amelyachtowners@..., <jvenegas@...> wrote :

I have two sets of questions:  

1) My rotary drive has failed.  I makes sounds as if it is receiving the signal but the wheel does not turn.  Is it a failing clutch? If that is the problem  can it be repaired without sending it to Raymarine?

2)  I am preparing the boat for the Marion Bermuda Cruising race taking place this year and would like to add a 2nd backup linear drive, preferably hydraulic.  I would prefer the hydraulic because it is more robust, it has less parts to fail and can handle stronger forces with less energy spent.  Has anybody added a hydraulic linear back up drive to a SM2K?

Any pros and cons arguments welcome.



SM2K 278

Currently shrink rapped at Constitution Marina, Boston.


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