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Replacing copper steering lines

Discussion in 'Post Yacht' started by Rob Usnick, Apr 24, 2018.

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  1. Rob Usnick

    Rob Usnick New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2018
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    Location:
    NC
    Hello everyone,

    I am the new owner of a 1981 46’ Post and in the last 34 days sailed her over 1400 miles. She has been well kept and updated throughout her life, but some random weaknesses are starting to show.

    For instance, I had a hydraulic copper steering line fail (corrosion) in the rear starboard corner where the lines turn and go forward. The lines are in great shape forward and aft, but in the corner both the 3/8” lines are in terrible shape. When I lost steering, I was able to splice a 2’ piece of 3/8” steel line in place with compression fittings, and that is when I noticed the other 3/8” line is corroded bad as well.


    1st question.,..has anyone else has this problem?

    2nd, if so, what did you do?

    I want to replace all the 3/8” copper lines with plastic line, but the -6 an futting is my only issue. Not sure how I will do that.

    If anyone has any ideas, I’m all ears!

    Rob
  2. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Messages:
    8,969
    Location:
    Satsuma, FL
    Nix the plastic lines, Break down and purchase new hoses for full length runs.
    Measure well, over order several feet, order the field screw in H P fittings.
    Run the hose and install the fittings when the hoses are secured. Don't skimp on securing the new hoses.
    Nice lil, short droop at the steering cylinder.
    Water dips before any connect (like wires).
    Neat and secured, will out live us all.

    3 years ago, all my copper and original hoses were failing at the last minute before our last big trip. 3 evenings later, all pumped up and left on schedule.
    Ole Bert is now 40. She will out live us for sure.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
  3. Splash38

    Splash38 New Member

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    Apr 28, 2014
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    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Didn't like how the hose from cylinder to bridge felt so took it to local hose supplier to make up new. Man at counter was shocked to see how old it was. Turns out like car tires and washing machine lines, they have a rated service life. I think it was about 8 years for the HP hose.
  4. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I usually use the Sea Star steering tubing. I've never had any issues with it, provided it's run properly and not chaffing anywhere.
  5. baltimore bob

    baltimore bob Member

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    Sep 22, 2013
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    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Mine did he same thing (1975). I just cut it back to where it was good and added the Sea Star tubing with a compression fitting. No fuss at all.
  6. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    After so many installs (most factory), I have found the plastic tubing drawn tight and kinked. It has an ugly set and firm coil when installed. It's ridged plastic.
    It's ID is usually thin and restrictive. Since it's tubing, the OD is the selling spec.
    Oh, It's ridged plastic. Duh??

    Nothing beats proper hose and H P fittings.
    Yes, it cost more, but I sleep well knowing it will out live the owner and I with no problems.
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  7. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    BTW, Currently looking for Freon compatible hoses to replace old copper lines (Less than gold plated prices).
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Stick with copper for that.
  9. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    8,969
    Location:
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    We have always used insulated copper but what a sweet trick to run HP hose for Freon thru an old boat, if it was available.
  10. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    If you put copper tubing inside of the next size larger cheap clear vinyl tubing (like what you run to an ice maker for water), you can bend it every which way and the copper tubing won't snap.