HyPro PR+ Pump Retrofitted to Home-Built 44’ Yacht

Written by Andrew (Aussie) Bray

We’ve been communicating recently with a customer in Australia about his PR+ pump with a reservoir, and wanted to share how he has used our equipment in his home-built yacht.

This is a new autopilot installation, retrofitted to Starship, a 30-year-old 44’ aluminium cutter, which the owner (Andrew Aussie Bray, a name that may be familiar to older readers of Yachting World magazine) self-built in his front garden in Sydney. Subsequently, he circumnavigated with wife and children, visiting Scotland and then London and Southern UK in the early 1990’s.

Starship (a Max Riseley design) is unusual in having water ballast plus a fully retractable lead-ballasted keel, and a transom hung, un-balanced retracting rudder.

The rudder quadrant is cable steered but can be declutched from the rudder, keeping the wheel stationary when the rudder is being moved by a large servo-pendulum wind vane system.

In more recent years the pendulum has often been controlled by a tillerpilot allowing the yacht to follow a compass course. But, after wearing two of these out,  in 2018 Aussie decided to retrofit a hydraulic autopilot to control the rudder directly.


The installation comprises a compact Hydrive “bulls horn” hydraulic ram (primarily designed to steer large outboard motors) controlled by a Coursemaster 950 autopilot, and powered by a HyPro PR+1012RUM  pump.

This pump unit incorporates the reservoir and solenoid valve, so required just two hoses to complete the hydraulic circuit. This allowed for a simple installation in the relatively confined space available inside the yacht’s transom. The pump sits on rubber mounts on a bracket suspended from a shelf under the aft coaming of the cockpit.

You can find out more about the pump Aussie used for his yacht here.

© Andrew (Aussie) Bray