Power & Motoryacht

Keep the Pressure On

Source: New steering hydraulics improve an old boat.

Hydraulics, or, more accurately, oil-filled hydraulic power systems, are a boater’s dream. After all, they demand almost no attention yet do lots for any skipper lucky enough to have them as shipmates. A hydraulic windlass, for example, will usually crank from now until doomsday without overheating; ditto a hydraulic thruster—although if you need to run one until the end of time, you should work on your docking skills. Davits and hydraulics go together like Boston and Whaler, and will snatch a beefy tender out of the water fast. And need I mention the value of hydraulic stabilizers when a beam sea rises and passengers start turning green?

Hydraulic power systems aren’t new. Fluid under pressure has been used for productive purposes since at least 6,000 B.C., at first simply for turning water wheels, with gravity as the driving force. With enough belts, gears, pulleys, and engineering imagination, the turning axle of a water wheel can do

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