You will require the CRA series of pumps please contact Octopus Technical
Support for your particular application. The CRA series is designed for
continuous use. The Autopilot Electronics will have to be purchased separately
through a Marine Electronics Distributor.
My cylinder leaks around the shaft. Can I repair this?
Yes there are seal kits with instructions available to reseal the cylinder using
basic tools. Before you purchase the seal kit make sure there is no scoring of
the piston rod or the bore of the cylinder. If the scoring on the piston rod is
very slight then you can polish it out with crocus cloth or very fine emery
cloth. See here for
a complete list of available Accessories & Service Parts.
I lose steering on my sailboat during a following sea what is wrong?
Your sailboat may have a large "barn door rudder" which will be affected by the
waves rushing against the rudder. Your drive unit is probably too small for your
boat and you will need to upgrade to a larger drive. Please confirm your
existing Autopilot Electronics are compatible with larger drive units.
Are there service parts available for the Octopus linear drives?
There are cylinder seal kits, reversing pump seal kits, rubber motor mounts,
motor brush kits (2007) and older with the stamped metal end frames, 7&12"
piston rods, by-pass valve seal kits and hose assemblies. Please contact
I have a 40ft sailboat that does 8-10 knots and would like to install an
Autopilot, what drive do I use?
You can use a Hydraulic Linear Drive made by Octopus (Part #: OCTAF1212LAR12 or
OCTAF1212LAM12). The LAR is a remote mounted pump and the LAM has the pump
mounted on the cylinder. The Autopilot Electronics will have to be purchased
separately through a Marine Electronics Distributor.
I have limited space in the transom of my sail boat and I wish to install an
Autopilot. What do I require?
You will require either a Type-RS Mechanical Drive Unit or, a Hydraulic Linear
Actuator (depending on the size of your application). The Hydraulic actuator
comes in two versions; the LAM has the pump mounted on the cylinder, which is
very compact or, the LAR which has the pump mounted remotely mounted. The
Autopilot Electronics will have to be purchased separately through a Marine
What are the pipe thread sizes in the pump manifold where the hoses attach?
The thread sizes are 1/4" NPT (national pipe thread) or 1/4"SAE 45d flare
My Octopus 1212-pump leaks fluid between the pump and the motor. What should I
There is a lip seal between the pump and the motor which needs to be replaced.
We have special tools for replacing that seal so it is recommended that you ship
the unit to us for repair. Please contact Octopus Technical Support for details.
My rudder is slow to respond. How can I correct this?
The output of the Octopus pumps is adjustable by loosening the 2 allen screws
that attach the pump to the motor. There are graduations on the end frame of the
motor (+ or -) so you can rotate the motor for more fluid or less fluid. The
norm for an inboard cylinder is 15sec. HO-HO. This is the advantage of Octopus
reversing pumps you can customize your steering system.
My boat has SeaStar steering and will not stay on course. What should I do?
Check the system for air by turning the wheel one way then the other. It should
come to a solid stop,if it wants to keep slipping then there is air in the
system. Try to push the cylinder by hand one way then the other, there should be
0 movement at the piston rod. The type H has a Octopus reversing pump and the
bleeding procedures are in the instructions supplied with the system or, see the
Manual Download section for a new copy.
I have a Mechanical Drive. When I go from Auto to Manual steering, the motor or
solenoid seems to be locked and I need to push the steering wheel back and forth
to release the wheel. Why is this?
This is actually a built-in Safety Feature of the drive. This feature is
included in case the Autopilot is switched to manual mode by mistake creating a
dangerous manoeuvre while under sail on a sailboat or violent movement of the
steering wheel on a Power Boat due to propeller action or a trim issue.
The drive unit while under consistent load from the boats steering system in one
direction or no movement, will maintain the clutched engaged when the Autopilot
is switched to manual mode. This helps to stop uncontrolled boat swing, violent
steering wheel movement and potentially dangerous manoeuvres.
Manual release procedure.
The wheel or tiller is required to be moved slightly to disengage the drive. A
small joggle action (turning the wheel from side to side) will release the
clutch and allow manual control.
IMPORTANT: Under normal use the helmsperson should always be ready to
take manual control of the yacht when the Autopilot is returned to manual mode.
I have an I/O (Sterndrive) engine with power-assist steering on the engine. I
want to add an Autopilot system. What do I need?
You will require an Octopus MDR drive unit, a cable as required, and an Octopus
connection kit# OC15SUK12B for Mercruiser and Volvo 1994 and newer or an
OC15SUK12C for 1993 and older. If you have cable steering to the power steering
cylinder and it is NFB rack steering then you will need to change it to a Type-S
or Type-T rotary system. The Autopilot Electronics will have to be purchased
separately through a Marine Electronics Distributor.
I have a dash mounted wheel steering system in my boat and I want to install an
Auto pilot, what do I need?
You will require an Octopus Type-S or Type-T system, depending on whether your
steering wheel has tilt capability or not.If your present cable is a Teleflex 62
series or a 72 series we have cable adapters to adapt your cable to the Octopus
drive. The Autopilot Electronics will have to be purchased separately through a
Marine Electronics Distributor.