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hydraulic steering


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 After a complete rebuild of my boat, the one item I never changed out, was the old SeaStar Hydraulic steering, which at a guess I would say would be about 17/18 years old.

Yep, you guessed it,  I soon noticed weeping at the back of the head unit, I cleaned and re tightened everything, re bleed the system, but after 3-4 trips out, I can feel that everything isn't as it should be, the steering is quite jerky, not as smooth as it should be and although I haven't noticed any more fluid leaks, the fluid level is dropping,, Maybe it's leaking into the helm casing inside, Dunno.

I looked at getting a complete seal kit for the system, including the back bull horn set up, but in all honesty, for the prices they want for them, starts to make you wonder whether it's better to just replace the whole unit and have another 17-18 years without worry.

Now, I'm always one for buying " Quality made " local products, but a mate popped over on the weekend and said he replaced his Hydraulic steering 4-5 years back, and recommended the brand he used,, turns out that it was one of the " overseas " brands, of which he had no idea at the time.  There seems to be a lot of Baystar-SeaStar knock off brands on the market at the minute, Exact copies and near half the price of the main stream brands. 

Has anyone ventured over to these "products" and installed them in there boats ?

With something as important as quality hydraulic steering, especially when used in a boat regularly crossing bars and heading out wide, I certainly won't be experimenting with sub standard equipment, but from what I have been reading or researching so far, mainly from state side, where some of these units have been stripped down and inspected, they seem to be reporting that there of a par with what there copying. interested if anyone one else has gone down this path..

Other than that, what other brands have been used, with good results on more main stream brands could anyone recommend.


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As Zoran said HyDrive OBKI1 is made in South Australia and in my opinion superior to Sea Star. The cylinder in the old units was made from brass unlike the ally in the Sea Star. Depending on the outboard you have you mat need a different model. The above model is suitable for Mercs.

I have Sea Star in my boat because she was fitted with it new, almost 10 years old without any problems and I have auto pilot too.

About 20 years ago I replaced a cable steering and I used the Hy Drive just because it was Aus made, no issues in the 10 years I owned the boat . 

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Hydrive it is...

Being only a 140 Suk, the comkit-1 works for my set up, ( for up to 200hp engines)..

Amazing the different deals available at the minute, will let the suppliers come back to me with there best deal, while I strip the old steering out...

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Progress has been slow, to say the least fitting up the new Hydraulic steering, the rain is now playing it's part..

The Hydrive kit, certainly looks the goods, can't wait to finish off the fitting up and get it tested..


Guys, the old steering I removed was a Baystar, it would be, 15-18 years old at a guess. It needs a full seal kit, it was leaking fluid. Once removed, the helm assembly, has a large hex nut on the back that most of the leak was coming from, which is a simple O ring, BUT, I would recommend a full seal kit replacement.

The up shot is, if anyone wants it, for parts or repair, she's free to a good home ( I hate chucking anything). If no-one is interested, I may get a seal kit and do it myself, but time is my issue.. The bullhorn unit itself, is in good condition, but again, I would be swapping out all the connections and throwing a full seal kit right through the system.

Shout out if anyone is interested...


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