If you are an avid deep sea sports fisherman, be on the lookout for the latest and greatest. RG Group has just helped launch an innovative new sport fishing yacht with an enhanced hydraulic steering system… designed to give every big tuna and marlin a serious run for their money.

One of our customers was looking to enhance the operation and steering response of their new vessel and give the captain the ultimate in maneuverability. To do this, they wanted to provide a fully-independent rudder control with complete electronic control of the steering system. RG Group was ready to share their expertise and, together with the customer’s engineering team, developed an entirely new steering system.

Asking the right questions – “So, just what do you need this system to do?” What the customer was looking for did not exist in an out-of-the-box system, so this collaboration really began in the design phase. RG Group’s application engineering team worked closely with their engineers to develop a prototype that was extensively tried and tested on a vessel at sea. The prototype went through an exhaustive series of evaluations and modifications utilizing a variety of scenarios so that potential problems and bugs could be researched and worked through.

The Challenges:

  • Looking for an out-of-the-box system, but none existed
  • The need for modular components that could be utilized on various vessels with different configurations

The RG Group Solutions:

  • Engine-driven pumps for some and on others an existing central hydraulic configuration that the steering system tapped into for hydraulic power
  • A manifold that could adapt to either system with modular kits keeping a number of inventory items down to a minimum and simplifying the overall system
  • Win independent rudder control tied to the engine’s CAN Bus communications

The CAN Bus integration benefits at a glance:

  • Allowing the push of one station to take over the button connection to the engine control station, telling the steering system the vessel’s captain or pilot’s location
  • Collection of engine performance data for R & D and commission purposes, completely outside of the steering system
  • Integration with multiple autopilot manufacturers
  • Enhanced Trim Tab systems – the position of the three trim tabs are viewable on the display module. Additionally, when the transmission is put in reverse all trim tabs automatically retract and the reverse signal is part of the CAN Bus message system.
  • Simplified and modular wiring harness

Setting the standard
Working in a controlled test environment, the two engineering teams established a repeatable procedure that ultimately became the steering system for larger vessels. The first system was installed on a yacht and delivered to the ecstatic new owner. The new hydraulic steering system has now been established as the standard for every yacht 70 ft. and larger that customer builds and is receiving rave reviews. Engineers and designers will admire the technology. Sport fishermen will drool over the hot rod status. Fish will fear it. The only thing left is to release the kraken

Contributors:
Steve Liljestrand
Dennis Ohme

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