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Choosing Hydraulic Systems

1. Cylinders

Load and Pin Sizes: Cylinder size is determined by cylinder load and pin size. Stroke length is based on cylinder function. See single-acting cylinders to select cylinder. Double-pull, locking, and single-acting and double-acting boom vang cylinders are also available. See charts for loads, pin sizes, and stroke lengths.

Alternate End Fittings: Choosing the correct end fittings for your cylinders is critical. See Ordering for end-fitting options.

2. Control Valves

Select valves based on sailing style and valve style, type, and functions. Choose between multifunction panel and individual valves, Standard or Grand Prix styles. Single or double-acting valves are based on cylinder type.

Individual Valve Assemblies: Individual valve assemblies are dependent on how the boat is sailed. Multiple control locations? Single control locations? Choose valve, manifold configurations, and panel types. See valves and manifolds.

Multifunction Valve Panels and Single-function Panels: Choose plate materials. Single and multifunction panels come with a 2-speed pump, pump handle, and reservoir. See MVP-1 & MVP-4 control panels.

Remote Dump Valves: Are remote dump valves required? Example: vang cylinders.

3. Pumps & Handles

Individual valves require a separate pump. How many? 2-speed or 3-speed? Choice depends on oil volume, how fast oil must move, and pressure required. Select adequate handle. See pumps and handles. 

4. Reservoirs

Reservoir Type: Reservoir type is determined by the amount of oil needed and pump height relative to the reservoir. Use a pressurized reservoir if it is mounted more than 1.5 m (5 ft) vertically below the pump. Vented reservoirs are adequate under 1.5 m (5 ft). 

Reservoir Size: As a general rule, select reservoir size by adding up cylinder volumes and multiplying by 2.

5. Accessories

Filters: Harken highly recommends a high-pressure filter between the pump and valves to keep valves working at peak performance. Also recommended: a suction filter for the pump to prevent debris from entering the system.

Gauges: Remote analog gauges and digital transducers available.

Fittings: Plumbing fittings, additional spares, blanking plates, and spare parts available.