Power-Assist Hydraulic Steering

SandyG

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Building a 2020 23RSR SPS with a 200HP Yamaha. The Seastar Hydraulic Steering comes with the SPS. Is it necessary to add the Power-Assist Hydraulic Steering ?
 

basshawk84

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Building a 2020 23RSR SPS with a 200HP Yamaha. The Seastar Hydraulic Steering comes with the SPS. Is it necessary to add the Power-Assist Hydraulic Steering ?
Probably not necessary but you will be glad you got it. It's recommended for 150 HP and up. With a 200, it will be hard to turn under power without it.
 

goldnrod24

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Alicedream

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Add the power steering you will never regret it! Worth the price.....
 

lakeliving

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Add it. I originally had just the hydraulic with my 24' S with sps and a yamaha 200. I have the electric assist now and it is night and day difference.
 

ktowntn

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I concur. We have both on our 2019 GSB ESP with a 250 Yamaha & wouldn't have it any other way. Makes turning, docking, or pulling into the slip a breeze. Worth the extra money. Depending on how much you loaded-up your S with options you should take a look at the G series with the ESP. The ESP is the bomb! Makes the tri-toon corner like a V-Hull boat & glides over waves.
 

MarkG

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Add it. I originally had just the hydraulic with my 24' S with sps and a yamaha 200. I have the electric assist now and it is night and day difference.
I’m very new at boating, in fact I recently purchased my first boat. I purchased a 21SX with a 115hp Merc (have not had it on the Lake yet) , it did not come with Hydraulic steering. The boat is in storage at the Marina until spring (2020) when we will officially take it home then.
Initially, I thought I would not need to have hydraulic steering because it did not come with it. But now I’m having second thoughts and trying to determine if I should add this on now, the Marina staff said it would be about $1,500 to add it on.
Leaning towards adding it, and the question is will it really make that much of a difference?
Thoughts?
 

lakeliving

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The biggest difference i saw was going from hydraulic to electric assist. Not sure you’ll see much from cable to hydraulic but then you can add the power assist fairly easily if wanted
 

Vikingstaff

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MarkG, what type of hull do you have? Dual toons, or EPP, SPS, ESP? That might impact any ”need or want” with steering/handling. Additionally, the more HP you go up, the more helpful Hydraulic or power assist actually help. A 115HP would “need” it less than a higher HP motor, so you might be good to go as it is now.

Since you are talking about adding it on post-purchase, I wonder if it would be best to try your first summer ”as is”. Perhaps you will find its current steering set up is just fine for you, and you could save the money. However, if after your first summer using the boat you find it difficult, or just too stiff for your total enjoyment, just add hydraulic, or power assist-hydraulic in the first off season...?
 

MarkG

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Thanks for the information. I have a basic 21ft SX Bennington with a 115 HP Mercury ELPT 4 Stroke command Thrust, 25 inch dual toons. My thought process was that I feel as far as handling the pontoon I will be fine. My concern was when my wife or daughter may be driving the pontoon I may “need” to add the hydraulic steering to make it easier for them. We plan to have the pontoon delivered directly to our lake property without purchasing a trailer. Hence, adding it before it would be delivered would make it easier.I assume from what your saying is even after adding the hydraulic system, there is also a electric power assist too ? Appears , I still have much more to learn. But I appreciate any information your willing to share.
 

kaydano

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I only regret not getting power steering when pulling teenage boys on the tube and I'm trying to knock them off. Other than that, cable steering works fine with our 150.

People mention power steering working great for docking... That's when plain cable steering is the easiest! One finger. There's almost no resistance since the motor is at idle. The heavier the load on the motor, the more power steering shines.

IMHO, it depends how you will use the boat more than anything. If you anticipate doing a lot of sharp turns at high speeds, you will get the most from power steering. Slow speeds the difference is negligible.
 

BigKahuna

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Never had an outboard. Our I/O has built in power steering. How much more is power assist steering???
 

kaydano

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Even as a DIY project it's around $1200 for a Seastar kit with a tilting helm, a hydraulic cylinder, and enough hydraulic lines to get to the motor and back.

The power assist pump adds another $2k new, just by itself.

If I ever decide to install this, my plan was to add the hydraulic steering as a new kit, then hope to stumble across a used power assist pump someday like Carl did for cheap.

I stay away from Bennington's build a boat, so I haven't looked this up in a couple years, but I recall having this added at the factory is a reasonably priced upgrade compared to adding it later. But it can easily be added later.
 
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BigKahuna

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Even as a DIY project it's around $1200 for a Seastar kit with a tilting helm, a hydraulic cylinder, and enough hydraulic lines to get to the motor and back.

The power assist pump adds another $2k new, just by itself.

If I ever decide to install this, my plan was to add the hydraulic steering as a new kit, then hope to stumble across a used power assist pump someday like Carl did for cheap.

I stay away from Bennington's build a boat, so I haven't looked this up in a couple years, but I recall having this added at the factory is a reasonably priced upgrade compared to adding it later. But it can easily be added later.
We have test driven a bunch of boats with outboards in the last couple months. All with at least hydraulic steering. Some were pretty easy to turn the wheel some were harder. Kind of hit or miss. We have found that the Uflex hydraulic steering was easier than the Seastar. Still searching......
 

Tomc

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I have hydrolic (not power assisted), and I don’t think there is much difference in ease of steering between that and cables. I also have 115 on 21’...It is easy enough to handle without the power assist.
 

MarkG

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I have hydrolic (not power assisted), and I don’t think there is much difference in ease of steering between that and cables. I also have 115 on 21’...It is easy enough to handle without the power assist.
Tomc, Thanks for the info, My biggest concern was , like you I have a 115HP on 21ft pontoon. Most feedback I’ve seen has been anything with 150Hp and up it would help. But on the 115 HP was kinda iffy. My thoughts now are leaning not to add it seeing we only have a 115HP. I believe most of the time we will be “cruising” on the lake anyway.
 
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