widespread use of hydraulic steering, its maintenance is often overlooked until
a problem develops. Boat owners may not always take the time to visually
inspect their system or to periodically flush the system and fill it with fresh
And when a problem
is noticed, often in the form of a leak, replacing the outer seals may be all
that gets done. Other problems may lurk within, and if not addressed, may
result in expensive replacement with new systems, or more importantly, the loss
of steering control when underway.
“In many cases, a
leak can be a symptom of a more serious problem,” said Butch Castleberry, owner
of Boat Steering Rebuilders LLC. “A rebuild, professionally done, can not only
return a system to original spec, but also extend the life of the system, oftentimes
providing an extra five to seven years of use.” With more than 30 years of experience
in the design, operation, repair and remanufacture of hydraulic systems, including
recent training at Teleflex Marine’s Hydraulic Steering facility
in Richmond, BC, Castleberry knows what he’s
Rebuilders will offer their rebuild service through marine dealers. Steering ram
assemblies and helm pumps will be removed by a dealer’s technician and sent
Rebuilders shop located in Adkins,
Texas. Original parts are
disassembled and each component is cleaned, analyzed and tested. Worn, bent or
damaged components are replaced with new, factory-fresh parts, all internal
fluid reservoirs are thoroughly cleaned and new seals and seats are inserted.
Rebuilt systems are charged with fresh oil, and bench tested to rated pressure
levels to assure satisfactory performance and sent back to the dealer who can
then reinstall the parts and deliver the boat
The cost of a
rebuilt ram or helm is usually about half the cost of buying a new unit and
turnaround time for Boat Steering Rebuilders is typically five to seven days.
Rebuilt steering rams and helms carry a one-year limited warranty.
More and more
boaters are on the water these days with bigger boats and even bigger horsepower.
deck boat or one of the new triple pontoon boats, all vessels powered by high-performance
inboard, stern-drive or outboard engines rely upon hydraulic steering for
control and safe operation. Even boaters with smaller crafts and more modest
power prefer the ease and control of hydraulic steering.
“You never know how
important your steering system is until it blows out when you’re
traveling at 50 miles an hour,” adds Castleberry. With Boat Steering
Rebuilders, the performance of a problem system can be restored at a fraction
of the cost of replacement.
For more information
on Boat Steering Rebuilders, contact them at 210-317-7035 or visit their
website at www.boatsteeringrebuilders.com.