Hydraulic steering for Gibson Houseboat

A typical houseboat hydraulic steering unit.

A typical houseboat hydraulic steering unit.

Need some info on Hydraulic Steering for a 1980 Gibson Houseboat? The steering on both helm stations is very difficult. What can be done to make it easier to steer?

We have already tried adding steering fluid and bleeding the steering.

Are there any pumps that may need to be replaced in the steering mechanism, if so what do I need and where can I get it?

Where can we obtain two hydraulic steering wheels for a 1980 Gibson Houseboat?

Thank you very much.

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Reply - Answer
Well I can understand your frustration since nothing worse than hard or difficult hydraulic steering on a houseboat.

Here are some areas that you should look at:

1) You should have a look at all the hydraulic lines to make sure none of them are kinked?

2) Disconnect the piston rod from the "tiller arm or rudder post" and see if it becomes easier to move back and forth without the rudder or outdrive connected?

3) Verify that you're putting in the proper hydraulic fluid, and not just topping it up with "steering fluid" since I had a Wagner Hydraulic Steering System that had the same symptoms, and they recommended Grade 10 Hydraulic Fluid, and not to use "power steering fluid".

If you're in the need for some hydraulic steering systems, or parts,
these will be of interest to you.

Other than that, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their houseboat hydraulic steering experiences.

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Comments for Hydraulic steering for Gibson Houseboat

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Steering hosed?
by: Neal

Sometimes when rubber hydraulic or fuel hoses are fabricated, the metal skims a piece of rubber when inserted into the hose. This piece of rubber can end up acting as a check valve, blocking flow.

This can be really annoying when it happens in an airplane or in a car brake line! If you don't find any other problems, remove the lines to visually inspect AND run some fluid through in BOTH directions.

If you have all metal lines, then this will not be a problem and it will be less likely to have a blockage, unless there is a kink.

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