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By Steve Loutrel System safety checks Hydraulic system pose certain hazards. Don't attempt to inspect a system that is under high pressure, and never use your finger to check for leaks. Leaks can be dangerous; even minute jets of hydraulic fluid can puncture the skin, causing serious...

By Steve Loutrel Control systems The functions of a control system include choosing which cylinder to adjust, reading the pressure in the selected cylinder, and increasing or reducing the pressure. Cylinder control systems come in various packages. The simplest is the integral cylinder, which has the cylinder, pump,...

By Steve Loutrel Manual pump systems The pump that supplies pressure to the hydraulic system may be manually or electrically powered. (For racing yachts, the rules require that the pump be manual.) The important characteristics for a manual pump are: Pressure capability must match the cylinders. For most...

By Steve Loutrel How hydraulics work Hydraulics operate on the principle that fluid under pressure generates a force that is the product of the pressure and the area of the cylinder. Hydraulic cylinders can produce very high forces in a compact space. For example, a cylinder that...

By Steve Loutrel Say you're going to windward and you need to tension the backstay to 9,000 pounds (4 Tons) to minimize headstay sag and flatten the genoa -and then once you're around the mark, you need to ease the load with full control. Can you...

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