As I get older I was wondering if the hydraulic steering now available on new pontoons look nice.
After many health issues was wondering how much approx to buy and switch my steering to a power hydraulic one.
Any help or ideas please. Thank you
I bought a 2022 tri toon with seastar hydraulic assist and was totally underwhelmed by it. So much so that I called Bennington and Seastar before the purchase. Bennington and Seastar both were positive about it but that it was not power steering, just an evolutionary improvement over cable systems. Bennington said the cost of powersteering made it an option at
the level of my boat. Seastar was surprised what they were charging for Power upgrade but said its a world of difference over the hydraulic assist.
I had the pump installed and the difference was amazing.
Twenty years ago we had a boat with a 115 hp four-stroke with cable steering. At the time the effort required to drive this boat was high but acceptable. With this boat to stay on course we had to keep a constant firm grip on the wheel. Additionally the force to turn the wheel varied do to combinations of throttle, trim and turn direction. Recently I mounted a 115 hp motor with cable steering on our boat up north. My wife now considers this same combination of motor and steering unacceptable. I can see her point. We both got weaker over the years. Just a year and a half ago we bought a new boat for our home in the twin cities. This new boat had a 115 hp motor but with hydraulic steering. We no longer had to grip the wheel to keep a steady course. This was do to the anti-feedback valve in this type of steering. The steering was still a bit heavy at times but maybe not as much as cable steering. This combination was acceptable to my wife. When I doubled the power on this boat the occasional heavy handed high force to turn the wheel increased to the point that it became unacceptable to my wife. I do not like it myself. I will have to add a hydraulic assist pump to this boat. As to the boat up north I will most likely replace the cable steering with hydraulic steering without assist. The anti-feedback built into this steering eliminates the need for a firm grip. Do to modest power the force required to turn is just low enough to meet our requirements without assist. Hope this helps
Docking is the game changer for power steering. After adding it this year, I can steer with one hand and use the other on the throttle. Docking in Canada is challenging. I used to have to have both hands on the wheel to turn it quickly and stop to stop then grab the throttle. I wish I had done it 5 years ago.