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Seastar Service Near Palm Beach / Jupiter

Old 05-16-2016, 09:34 AM
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Default Seastar Service Near Palm Beach / Jupiter

Anyone know a good shop that can repair/service a seastar hydraulic steering system?

I never have been able to get it to operate smoothly since I bought the boat. Seems to take a lot more strength to turn the wheel than it should. I figure I'm to the point of having an expert look at it. A well reputable marine shop in town looked at it and just bled the system, which didnt fix anything. Any recommendations are appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 05-16-2016, 12:48 PM
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It may be the helm setup and not the tie bar you know.
Mark Lottes or "Chebacco marine" are good choices.
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Old 05-17-2016, 01:40 AM
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Old 05-17-2016, 04:03 AM
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We can take a look at it for you. The helm pump itself may not be matched up properly for the boat / motor thus not providing the proper mechanical advantage. Basically if it is not a malfunction in the system then you can get it to be easier to turn but it will take more turns to get from lock to lock. That will require a different helm pump.
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Old 05-17-2016, 04:29 AM
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is it just me or do Sea star products constantly have problems, I see post after post about leaky helm and cylinder seals and other problems. Is there a better product out there?
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Old 05-17-2016, 04:48 AM
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Last edited by bradv; 06-25-2016 at 05:59 PM.
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Old 05-17-2016, 05:04 AM
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Florida Rigging and Hydraulics out of WPB serviced our Seastar helm. Dockside service, one day turnaround, it was pricy but was done quickly and most importantly done right.
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Old 05-17-2016, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by pas View Post
is it just me or do Sea star products constantly have problems, I see post after post about leaky helm and cylinder seals and other problems. Is there a better product out there?
Yes but in all honesty they're the #1 brand so they'll get the most love/hate. Also it's easy to neglect in favor of other parts of the boat and the result is self-created problems.

My current boat had an old Ultraflex cylinder that began to leak after 15 years, so I went back to them for the refit and I'm extremely satisfied. The helm is still smooth and direct.
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Old 05-18-2016, 05:19 AM
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The idiot who built my boat installed the wrong helm cylinder, that according to Sea Star should have locked up immediately. Well I drove the boat without issues for 4 years. Once in a while when docking it would give me a hard time, that was it. So I replaced it with the correct one, and now I get this grunt noise when coming off of full lock in either direction that the "wrong" helm never made. And when in rough seas the wheel would constantly rotate to keep the boat heading in the same direction. So they said the cylinder must have bad seals letting just enough fluid by to cause that issue. So I just replaced that and will see how it does on a trip to Bimini tomorrow. Just seems like the quality and durability of these products is very poor. The system is bled perfectly did it myself with a power purge unit.

Others mentioned neglect, not sure what kind of maintenance a 100% sealed hydraulic system is supposed to get. My fluid was spotless when I changed the helm. which is the first time the system had been opened up in 5 years since it was new.
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Old 05-18-2016, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by pas View Post
The idiot who built my boat installed the wrong helm cylinder, that according to Sea Star should have locked up immediately. Well I drove the boat without issues for 4 years. Once in a while when docking it would give me a hard time, that was it. So I replaced it with the correct one, and now I get this grunt noise when coming off of full lock in either direction that the "wrong" helm never made. And when in rough seas the wheel would constantly rotate to keep the boat heading in the same direction. So they said the cylinder must have bad seals letting just enough fluid by to cause that issue. So I just replaced that and will see how it does on a trip to Bimini tomorrow. Just seems like the quality and durability of these products is very poor. The system is bled perfectly did it myself with a power purge unit. Others mentioned neglect, not sure what kind of maintenance a 100% sealed hydraulic system is supposed to get. My fluid was spotless when I changed the helm. which is the first time the system had been opened up in 5 years since it was new.
Can you bring it by the shop today. We will purge it for you no charge so you can go on the trip. If it is not on a trailer let me know and I MAY be able to get a guy over to you if we have someone close.
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Old 05-18-2016, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by pas View Post
Others mentioned neglect, not sure what kind of maintenance a 100% sealed hydraulic system is supposed to get. My fluid was spotless when I changed the helm. which is the first time the system had been opened up in 5 years since it was new.
Mostly keeping the cylinder ram clean and greased. Once they get pitted, fouled with debris (salt, dirt, etc.) or dry-rotted the seals can tear. Then you can get leaks and/or debris in the cylinder/fluid. They're "100% sealed hydraulic systems" only until a seal gets damaged. I learned to keep a close eye on anything with seals from maintaining motorcycles. The front fork seals are notorious for leaking if you don't keep them clean. Hope everything works out for you and have a safe trip.
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Old 05-18-2016, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by InternationalMarineMike View Post
We can take a look at it for you. The helm pump itself may not be matched up properly for the boat / motor thus not providing the proper mechanical advantage. Basically if it is not a malfunction in the system then you can get it to be easier to turn but it will take more turns to get from lock to lock. That will require a different helm pump.
Thanks for the reply. When do you think you could get me in the shop? I think the issue is the helm. Thanks.
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Old 05-18-2016, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Miss Conduct View Post
Thanks for the reply. When do you think you could get me in the shop? I think the issue is the helm. Thanks.
Just show up and I will break one of the guys to look at it for you.

Mike
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Old 05-18-2016, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by InternationalMarineMike View Post
Can you bring it by the shop today. We will purge it for you no charge so you can go on the trip. If it is not on a trailer let me know and I MAY be able to get a guy over to you if we have someone close.
Hi Mike thanks very much for the generous offer but everything is working as Sea Star says it should, boat drives fine, steering is tight, I think there must be a better system out there. I didn't have any issues installing the new cylinder and bleeding the system, I have access to a Power purge Jr which makes bleeding it super easy. Also no trailer it's rack stored in Coconut Grove.

Originally Posted by yamaham View Post
Mostly keeping the cylinder ram clean and greased. Once they get pitted, fouled with debris (salt, dirt, etc.) or dry-rotted the seals can tear. Then you can get leaks and/or debris in the cylinder/fluid. They're "100% sealed hydraulic systems" only until a seal gets damaged. I learned to keep a close eye on anything with seals from maintaining motorcycles. The front fork seals are notorious for leaking if you don't keep them clean. Hope everything works out for you and have a safe trip.
Mine is in the engine room and it has a nice layer of CorrosionX on it, so since it isn't exposed to the salt I guess that's why I didn't understand the maintenance part, but yes for outboards I see your point.

I guess my post was confusing, I replaced the original helm with the correct one last year when I got the new autopilot and couldn't get it to pass the lock to lock test, that's when i found out I had the wrong helm after talking with Sea Star tech support. Over the next 12 months I noticed the issue of the steering wheel needing constant adjustment to stay on course (mostly when rough, and when I say constant every 30 seconds or so) for some reason hardly did it when calm. So based on that, new helm, I re bled it myself with the power purge, no visible leaks anywhere, only other part that could be bad was the cylinder. Which I finally got around to changing two weeks ago. The problem should be solved but i have zero faith in the shitty Sea Star products. I guess I will find out the next time I am out in rough seas. And i think my autopilot pump is no good because it still won't complete the lock to lock test successfully.

And Miss Conduct sorry for hijacking your thread.
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Old 05-19-2016, 03:43 AM
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Awesome I am glad you are taken care of.

Mike
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Old 05-20-2016, 06:30 PM
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Mike I have one more thing to check with the autopilot pump and then i think Gamin is going to have to replace it. When that happens I would like to bring you the boat and let you guys sort out the steering and autopilot I am fed up with it! Steering wheel still spins clockwise to keep same straight heading, sea star sucks!
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Old 05-21-2016, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by pas View Post
Mike I have one more thing to check with the autopilot pump and then i think Gamin is going to have to replace it. When that happens I would like to bring you the boat and let you guys sort out the steering and autopilot I am fed up with it! Steering wheel still spins clockwise to keep same straight heading, sea star sucks!
No worries keep me posted.

Mike
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