4. Create the Holes for the Helm
When mounted on top of the helm panel, the BayStar helm pump’s 4 5⁄8-inch-diameter base should cover the holes left by the mechanical helm. Use the supplied template to drill new holes for the mounting bolts and to enlarge the central hole to 3 inches using a jigsaw (though the existing hole might be big enough). Trial-fit the helm to ensure it does not protrude too much (see sidebar on adapters).
5. Connect Tubing to the Helm
Remove the helm and pull the tubing out through the central hole. Cut the tubing to length using a pipe-cutter and slide a tube nut over each end. Connect the “P” tube to the port side of the helm, “S” to starboard. Apply sealant to the threads. Hand-tighten the nuts, giving each 1 1/2 extra turns with a 5⁄8-inch wrench. Feed the tubing back through the central hole and mount the helm using the supplied hardware.
6. Fill and Bleed the System
With the helm and wheel installed, make sure the tubing is properly supported throughout its run. Then remove the cap on top of the helm pump, and use the supplied hydraulic fluid and filler kit to fill the system. Next, with the help of a friend, bleed the system of air. For detailed instructions on how to bleed a BayStar hydraulic steering system, visit boatingmag.com/how-to-bleed-hydraulic-steering.
Quick Tip: Securely tape two 1/4-inch pull-cords to the cable before you remove it; you can use these “messengers” (as old school riggers call them) to pull the hydraulic tubing back through the rigging channel.
You can recess the helm using the Teleflex Helm Mounting Adapter (part number HA-5418, $34.99, westmarine.com). It will reduce the helm’s protrusion by the thickness of the dash panel; use a block behind the panel for a greater recess. It requires a larger central cutout and four bolt holes around the helm.