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Frequently Asked Questions

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The compatibility requirements for Ridesteady or Ridesteady Classic are:

  • Your boat / engine config must be an inboard (direct-drive), V-drive, or I/O (stern-drive).
  • Your instrument panel must use the standard 3.5" gauges for the Ridesteady Classic control panel to fit.
  • Your instrument panel may use either the 3.5" or 5" gauges for Ridesteady (GPS) control panel to fit.
  • The throttle must be mechanically-actuated. This means that a physical cable connects the driver throttle lever to the throttle arm on the engine. Most boats prior to 2006 had mechanically-actuated throttles. Some high-end boats from 2006-on have "throttle-by-wire"; Ridesteady is not compatible with this type of throttle.
  • The throttle should be "pull-to-accelerate" to follow the standard installation instructions. That is, when the driver throttle lever is pushed down, the throttle cable should pull-in on the engine side. Note that although some older OMC engines are "push-to-accelerate", we have had successful customer installation on these types of throttles--contact us for more information.
  • The majority of our customers have 8 or 6 -cylinder engines, however, we have also had successful customer installs on 4-cylinder engines.

We suggest you take a look at the installation and operation guides to understand the installation requirements. We're here to help with any questions or concerns you may have.

Both are excellent choices.

GPS allows for incredibly tight control performance due to its inherently clean signal, and provides information that makes for useful features. Perhaps best of all, it does not require drilling a hole in your hull.

GPS provides speed-over-ground, which is not necessarily the same as speed-over-water. When you're on a non-flowing body-of-water, such as most lakes, the speed-over-water is approximately equal to the speed-over-land. However, if you ride on a flowing river, your speed-over-water will be different than your speed-over-land, as the water is moving relative to the ground beneath it. How much of an issue this is depends on how fast the water is flowing, and your sensitivity to it.

This is where the paddlewheel has its advantages. The paddlewheel only measures speed-over-water, so no set speed adjustments need to be made on flowing rivers - the system will always be maintaining the boat speed relative to the water. Additionally, the paddlewheel has a built-in temperature sensor, so the water temperature can be known without adding the optional water temperature sensor.

A hole must be drilled in the hull in order to install the paddlewheel, as it must touch the water to measure it. The paddlewheel can be affected by variations in the water speed beneath the boat, which can be caused both by waves and turbulence from the hull. More aggressive filtering is required to help reduce these variations, which lowers the control performance from that of the GPS (though it is still quite good).

The Ridesteady Classic system is exclusively paddlewheel-based. The Ridesteady system is GPS (and RPM) -based, and an optional paddlewheel can be added which adds speed-over-water functionality to the system. The Ridesteady system also has a feature that allows the paddlewheel speed to be displayed while using the GPS for control. This hybrid system can allow the driver to estimate how fast the river is flowing, and make adjustments to the set speed, while using the GPS for control. Or, the Ridesteady system can run in pure paddlewheel mode as well.

Overall, if you typically ride on a lake or slow-moving river, or are worried about installing the paddlewheel, we suggest our Ridesteady speed control, which includes both GPS and RPM control. If you typically ride on a relatively fast flowing river, and don't want to have to adjust the set speed, we suggest the Ridesteady Classic speed control, or adding a paddlewheel to the Ridesteady speed control.

GPS vs. Paddlewheel
Paddlewheel GPS
Systems Ridesteady Classic (included)
Ridesteady (optional)
Ridesteady (included)
Technology Speed-over-water Speed-over-ground
Control Performance Good Excellent
Mounting Through-Hull Dash Mount
Other Features Water Temperature Sensor Compass (Heading)
Time / Date (Ridestats™)
Double-Up Turn Performance Fair Good

We have had successful 4, 6, and 8 -cylinder installs. Contact us if you have any questions regarding your boat - we may have install pics that will help you determine its compatibility.

No; as long as you have a mechanical throttle (not throttle-by-wire), it does not matter whether your engine is carbureted or fuel-injected.

We would suggest you take a look at our GPS-based Ridesteady speed control. It does not require a paddlewheel, so no holes need to be drilled in the hull.

However, if you ride on a moderately flowing river, and don't want to adjust the set speed in each direction, a paddlewheel will be necessary to give you speed-over-water functionality. Ridesteady Classic comes with a paddlewheel standard, and one can be added on to the Ridesteady speed control.

Apprehension to drilling into your hull is normal, of course.

Consider, though, that people have been doing this for literally decades. The Ridesteady and Airmar instruction manuals guide you through all the steps and considerations needed to complete a successful paddlewheel install. If it still bothers you, we suggest you take your boat to a dealer where they likely have experience installing paddlewheels.

No problem. Just contact your dealer or other professional installer and have them get in touch with Hydrophase. We'll work with them to get the Ridesteady speed control system in your boat ASAP!

The Ridesteady Classic system will only have the smaller 3.5" gauges. The GPS-based Ridesteady system has both the 3.5" and 5" gauges and can be selected in checkout.

Being 'smart' about controlling the throttle motor allows us to:

  • Use smaller, lighter, more efficient throttle motors.
  • Eliminate power-wasting, super-hot, unnecessary resistors.
  • Keep the power consumption of the system low. The Ridesteady speed control system uses less than half the power of similar systems, saving your battery and alternator to power other things (like your tunes, for example).

Most likely you can replace your old speed control with the Ridesteady speed control system. The paddlewheel connection (if so equipped) may even be compatible. Contact us for more information.

No; the Ridesteady throttle nodes were built to integrate into the existing throttle system, so no large electrical motors are needed to mechanically move the throttle. Because the high power draw of these motors is avoided, there are no issues with No Wake Mode or Cruise Assist.

We ship internationally as long as there are no signs of fraud. If your country is not listed in checkout, simply email us and we'll add it to the list.

We use the US Postal Service's "Priority Mail" service. We've found this to be the most economical and reasonably fast method of shipping internationally. On average, it takes 1-2 weeks for an international shipment to arrive, with the longest delay typically being in customs. A tracking number is provided. Shipments to Western Australia may take up to 4 weeks to arrive.

Note: some countries may charge duty / tax on imported items.

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