• Replacing a 70's era Wagner 700 Series Helm Pump with a new Seastar Helm Pump

    This is a shot of the flybridge helm with the original Wagner 700 Series helm pump removed. The existing hole does not work for the new Seastar pump. I chose the Seastar adapter kit and I need to make a 4 1/2" hole to mount the new pump in. I must admit that the prospect of damaging the fibreglass made me a wee bit nervous.


    First I skinned the area with masking tape to protect it from chips or scratches. I also taped the hole on the backside to minimise sawdust falling behind the dash. I also taped up the hydraulic line ends. The new hole is larger than the existing one so I first used my hole saw to cut a plywood blank that I placed in the cut out spot to use as a guide. I determined where I could drive screws through the blank into the dash that would hold it secure and not interfere with the cut that I had to make.


    I cut slowly and it went smoother than expected. This is the fresh hole cut in the dash. The wet looking wood you see is actually oil from the last pump and not water.


    This is the remaining piece in the saw.


    I used the trim ring to mark out the boltholes and drilled them out. To avoid chipping the glass i drilled in reverse first until I was past the gelcoat then forward to drill through the mat and plywood. You might notice that I forgot this step on the first hole in the bottom left and it chipped out a bit. Fortunately the trim ring will cover it. At this point I sealed all of the exposed plywood edges with polyester resin but with oil still wicked into some of the wood I'm not sure how well it will penetrate. I suppose the oil will serve the same purpose anyway.


    I bolted in the new pump and viola...


    One of the things that drew me to this boat in the first place was the classic style lower helm. I didn't snap a before picture but this is a shot from December 2009 when we first looked at the boat. This helm was a little trickier than the upper. There is not a lot of space between the wheel and the seat so the new pump will need to be set back into the dash a wee bit. The moulded dash also made the Seastar mounting kit unusable.


    This shot shows the old Wagner helm pump removed. I was concerned about fitting the new Seastar pump in this space because there would be little margin for error. At this point I was not exactly sure how I would finish this but onward I went!


    I did the same procedure as the upper with the masking, and plywood guide and such.


    I drilled nice and slow. I am surprised how this picture looks like an action shot but it really isn't!


    What I ended up with was a hole that the new pump would fit into but not enough surface left over to mount the adapter ring cleanly.


    I chose to custom fabricate a mounting plate that would support the pump as well as set it back into the dash. I have no aluminium welding skills so I had to build something with what I could cut, screw, or thread. I fashioned a backing plate from 1/4" aluminium plate. I mounted the pump directly to it. I attached the mounting plate to the boat at the bottom with two 5/16" machine screws, washers and nylock nuts that I bolted through the plate and the 3/4" plywood helm case. The crossbar at the top is attached to backing plate with 5/16? bolts and to the 1/2" plywood dash section with six #12 screws. I used all of the existing hydraulic fittings and plumbed it up. I'm thinking this should be secure but I welcome any thoughts on whether the upper crossbar should be bolted right through the dash as well.


    This is the almost finished product. I still need to make a trim ring out of acrylic or something to clean up the mounting hole. The wheel is actually an inch or so further back, which feels nicer.

    You can see where I through bolted the bottom of the mounting plate on the wood below the black fibreglass dash. I ask about through bolting the upper brace because the screws would show on the fibreglass dash and I was hoping to avoid this.


    Everything is bled out, leak and by-pass free and I couldn?t be happier!


    This article was originally published in forum thread: Steering Trouble started by Roger,
    To Join The Discussion and View the Original post Click Here.


    Comments 6 Comments
    1. TimG's Avatar
      TimG -
      Wow really nice job Roger! That lower helm is truly a classic and you did an awesome job with the installation to not disturb the look. To help you seal that area around that helm you may consider a product called Plastaid. I have used this to repair an acrylic hot tub and it's strength is phenomenal. It sets up very fast and can be colored to match. Great description of the installation, promoted to an article.
    1. Cap'n Ray's Avatar
      Cap'n Ray -
      Beautiful work. I love your attention to the details, and not hacking up that lower helm was excellent! Your pride in the boat certainly shows in your work!!
    1. Terry007's Avatar
      Terry007 -
      Roger, again I would like to add, very nice work! I have a question about the nice behind the helm photography. I just acquired a Tollycraft a few months ago (1983) and am just about ready to do some instrument panal upgrading. How do you get behind that monster without taking it all apart? I love the boat!
      Thanks Terry
    1. Roger's Avatar
      Roger -
      Thanks for the nice comment Terry. Your 1983 30 Sedan is just the same as ours. We love ours as well.

      Access to behind the helm is quite easy. If you remove all the screws at the top of the dash (seven or so) the whole assembly tilts back on a hinge at the bottom.

      Attachment 2494
    1. Terry007's Avatar
      Terry007 -
      Thanks Roger for the info about the helm. This boat is new to me and as I was looking at this dash I was thinking I would need to sharpen my chain saw.
    1. Roger's Avatar
      Roger -
      Chainsaw!!? Yikes!! I'm glad you asked. All the best to you and your Tollycraft.
  • Recent Forum Posts


    Another note on the temp outrigger. Treat it like...

    Another note on the temp outrigger. Treat it like training wheels on a bicycle. After a while you wont need it very much as you will get accustomed to the way the boat rocks around and will start to...

    lotus January 31st, 2019, 05:24 Go to last post

    Hi Myrien and welcome to the forum. When you...

    Hi Myrien and welcome to the forum.

    When you are not under power, either anchored or just drifting, and will be standing up or moving around a lot. If you want to use the boat as a swimming...

    lotus January 30th, 2019, 04:42 Go to last post

    At what point do you think it's just better to...

    At what point do you think it's just better to rig up a temporary outrigger, Lotus?

    Myrien January 28th, 2019, 10:12 Go to last post
  • Twitter