View Full Version : difficult steering

07-27-2007, 10:04 PM
I have a 1989 Maristar240 and have just replaced the steering cable becasue it was very hard to turn in, but still really hard to turn. The part the steering cable goes into at the steering wheel is $400. Not sure that's the issue or how to troubleshoot. Anyone have any suggestions?

07-27-2007, 10:06 PM
Does the rudder move freely when the cable is disconnected?

07-27-2007, 11:05 PM
yes and easy to steer on land, just under power it is difficult

07-27-2007, 11:47 PM
is the boat weighted?

07-28-2007, 12:23 AM
If it's only under power, I've got to imagine it's a rudder problem. The steering box isn't under any additional load when the boat is under power, but the rudder is. Is there any play in the rudder (forward/backward movement) with the cables disconnected? Perhaps one of the more knowledgeable here can suggest how much play there should be; but my guess is it should be essentially zero.

Have you been able to grease the rudder shaft? Maybe pull the rudder and check it out?

07-28-2007, 09:43 AM
There should be zero play in the rudder when you wiggle it. If there's too much, the rudder post will bind in the rudder box when under way from the force of the water pushing against it, but with no load on the rudder it will turn easily.

Greasing the rudder port might help (use a lever-action grease gun, not a squeezer - it takes some real force to get any grease in that space if the clearances are correct), and replacing the O-rings might help too. If those things don't help, it's gonna need new hardware - either a new rudder, new rudder box, or both. I believe that the rudder post in the rudder is stainless steel, while the rudder box is nibral. My guess would be that the rudder port is gonna wear before the rudder does. I'm sure a new rudder box is cheaper than a new rudder, but also harder to replace. If you replace it, make sure you use a good quality marine-grade silicone sealant like the 3M stuff.

07-30-2007, 02:32 PM
Great advice, thanks all. Grease made it significantly better. Mostly in the rear rudder fitting is where it helped I believe. I noticed my loose steering wheel is not helping the issue. It has maybe an 1/8" play, which is significant, and binds when turning aggresive. I tried to see if I could adjust or tighten, but could not get into it without taking entire assembly off. Any suggestions here? even if I do get it all apart, does anyone know if there is a way to adjust or tighten that play out or would I have to replace the whole thing? It is tilt wheel too.