View Full Version : Help Cant Steer !!!!!!

04-28-2012, 09:41 AM
I have a 1997 Maristar 225 and a Chariot Warbird 3 tube (I always run my tube fully inflated).

Some times while pulling the tube I can’t make the boat turn right! I am constantly flinging the tube from left to right. Sometimes while turning right the boat just continues straight!! Even with the wheel fully turned. When this happens the boat changes pitch (like the prop is cavitating) and doesn’t seem to lean like it is supposed to. If I kick one or two people off the tube the problem disappears. It seem like the tube is dictating where the boat is going.

I called Davids Sports Center(Mastercraft dealer) in OKC. The service manager had never heard of this problem, had no idea how to repair it and offered no further advice. So I called Mastercraft directly and they had no idea either. They suggested taking the boat to a repair facility that was situated on a lake. Our lake has no repair facility. The boat is in great shape otherwise and has never had repair work done to the hull. So I am hoping someone hear can give me a heads up.

04-28-2012, 10:17 AM
I think what you are experiencing is what I have heard described on TT as 'chine lock' possibly. I have had my prostar do a similar thing turning left. Does it seem to throw out a rooster tail? Can you overcome it by straightening your steering and backing off then reapplying the throttle? I am out of my depth here and others would know more than me.

04-28-2012, 10:19 AM
where are you pulling it from, the tow eye at the back or centre pole?

04-28-2012, 10:25 AM
Yes it does seem to throw a little rooster tail, and re applying the steering does help. I am towing from the center tow hook at the back of the boat, not the pole. I realize I am not supposed to pull a tube from the pole (although I tested the propblem with the pole and pulling from the pole works great).

04-28-2012, 11:17 AM
+1 on backing off the throttle when it happens... you can test by putting setting up the same situation. Then when it happens,,,back off the throttle and see shed starts to turn...

04-28-2012, 11:33 AM
I would only pull from the pylon. I have seen a MC with the transom ripped off from pulling a tube. The tube flipped over and when it landed upside down and nose dove the back of the boat where the toe eye is through bolted ripped out.

Do you have the problems when pulling from the pylon?

How old is your steering cable?

Are your steering components in good shape and lubed well?

04-28-2012, 12:28 PM
I have a similar problem when pulling a tube from the tower. (Personally I hate pulling a tube behind a MC at all, but kids are kids). If I pull from the pylon, I have no problem. The trouble with pulling from the pylon in a prostar is seating.

04-28-2012, 01:14 PM
I would only pull from the pylon. I have seen a MC with the transom ripped off from pulling a tube. The tube flipped over and when it landed upside down and nose dove the back of the boat where the toe eye is through bolted ripped out.

Do you have the problems when pulling from the pylon?

How old is your steering cable?

Are your steering components in good shape and lubed well?

Whoa, I intended to pull the kids from the transom this summer but after reading this I think it will be pylon for all towed sports....

04-28-2012, 02:03 PM
Wouldn't want to tow a tube or aggressive slalom skier from anything but the pylon. That's why they pt fins under it.

04-28-2012, 03:23 PM
One possibility is a damaged prop. I think you're right about the cavitation, based on the engine RPM changing. With tip damage, the prop can start cavitating at times that it wouldn't have with a good prop. If the prop cavitates, the water flowing past the rudder will be foamy rather than a smooth liquid, and it won't give you much turning ability. This could also happen if you have debris in front of the prop that disturbs the water before it gets to the prop.

If you don't want to pull the boat out of the water and inspect for debris/inspect the prop, then try as petermegan and mgorczak1 recommend - when you get into the situation, try reducing throttle for a second or two so the boat doesn't slow down much. The prop should stop cavitating, and the rudder should hook up and start turning the boat.

04-28-2012, 07:49 PM
Apart from what has already been mentioned. Something I find when pulling a tube (shhh, don't tell anybody) is if the tube especially a larger one has just come across the wake with some speed and you turn to whip it back you will end up with loose rope and the tube sinking slightly. You are then trying to pull it back up on the plane at the same time as turn, which is asking a bit much of any boat. Not familier with your boat does it have tracking fins? Does it do this at any other time other than the tube?

04-29-2012, 01:55 AM

Thanks for the input, My dealer should spend a little time reading some of these posts, maybe they would be better equipped to help their customers.

*When pulling from the pylon I have absolutely no problem and the steering is physically easier.

*My steering cable and all steering components are in good shape and lubed well.

*My boat does not have any fins

*This happens while the tube is completely on plane, I “hardly ever” let my tube settle back in.

*I have owned cheaper standard I/O boats and never had this happen.

*I am going to buy a prop, Any suggestions on prop manufacturer and where to buy.

*David’s sport center (dealer in OKC) told me 100% not to pull from the pylon. When I asked if they could reinforce it for me they suggested the old style “fly high” strap to the front of the boat!!!

*Called Mastercraft and they basically agreed

*The last thing I want is to have the Pylon rip loose while towing and hurt someone, I bought this boat to pull and it is frustrating to have these problems. Maybe I just got a hold of the wrong people and they gave me bad info? I WOULD LOVE TO PULL MY TUBE FROM THE PYLON!

04-29-2012, 03:31 AM
I would have a good look at your prop first, maybe see if you can borrow one? Could be a lot of expense for no or little improvement. I would pull from the centre pole. I pull tubes from the centre pole all the time.

05-01-2012, 02:33 PM
It is a physics problem not a boat or equipment problem.

When you pull from the pylon the load from the tube is placed directly over the center of force or pivot point of the boat. This is why the pylon is located directly over the skegs. The result is the back end of the boat is able to rotate more freely as needed through input from the rudder. When you pull anything from the transom (back of the boat) especially tubes the rudder has to redirect the prop thrust not only steering the boat but counteracting the load from the tube. This also places much more strain on the rudder.

Now the interesting part. Why does it turn right and not left? If you look at the bottom of your boat you will notice the rudder is not centered behind the prop but offset to the left. When you turn right the rudder directs more water than when it turns left.
All this is intentional. If you center the rudder it would be located in wash from the strut and prop shaft which can cause poor tracking while traveling straight. Off set it and the rudder is in a cleaner water flow and the boat tracks better

You can’t beat physics. Use the boat how it was intended and pull from the pylon.

05-04-2012, 12:52 AM
Thanks for the input, I think your right, I will pull from the pylon from now on. Are there any signs of fatigue I should be on the look out for.In the past my pylon flexes noticeably when pulling big tube. Is that ok?

05-04-2012, 10:22 AM
The pylon will flex a bit but it should not be loose. Ive seen pylons deflect about a quarter inch when pulling short line skiers especially the one that "pull hard". Do yourself a favor and check to make sure all the bolts holding the pylon in are tight. This should be an annual inspection item.