View Full Version : Speaking of rudders...

Jeff N.
09-07-2004, 02:17 PM
First time poster here...great resource this forum.

I have an 82 Mastercraft powerslot. Absolutely beautiful boat and she's been treated well over years. 1200 hours thereabouts. Been on the trailer mostly for the last two years but now starting to hit the water again.

Noticed this weekend that I have a lot of play in the rudder. Side to side almost like the bushing or bearing (?) might be worn. Or, maybe a pre-load nut is loose. Obviously, I need to get in there and see what might be the problem. Boat is hard to drive - tends to snap turn a bit when coming off a corner from a left turn.

Here's the question:

Is anyone familiar with the rudder system on these early models and are there typical issues that I might expect?

I read the other rudder thread with interest and was wondering if someone might have some pointers for me before I take everything apart.


Seattle WA

east tx skier
09-07-2004, 02:19 PM
Welcome, Jeff. I'm interested in the responses you get. My father-in-law's boat has play in the steering as well. I figured the cable must be loose.

09-07-2004, 02:44 PM
I have an 82 also.
My steering is starting to feel a little loose, but I think mine is coming from the gearing behind the dash. I hope to replace it in a year or 2 or maybe up grade to rack and pinion.

Jeff N.
09-07-2004, 03:54 PM
How about yours?

09-07-2004, 04:53 PM
When you say side to side play, do you mean the physical rudder itself, or the steering wheel? My 84 had play in both when I bought it 5 years ago. Dealer did the actual rudder replacement so I can't tell you what's involved there. But I also had issues with the steering and what you describe as 'snap' I might have described as a jerk. What I found is that where the end of the cable is clamped to the boat in the rear (via a ball and socket type assembly) was worn. So the end would pivot with the rudder movement, but then get 'stuck' as I straightened out again because of the forces on the ball/socket. Check this out. The replacement ball and socket are inexpensive and easy to replace. Just take up the rear floor panel and look towards the back. The assembly is just before, but not under, the fuel tank. I also replaced the cable end with a new fitting and regreased the cable. Now the steering is easy and smooth.

Jeff N.
09-07-2004, 05:16 PM
Hi Scott,

Looks to me like the rudder has side to side play. If you grab it, it will move side to side. I need to get in there and take a look.

I'm familiar with the mechanism you've described and I don't THINK it's that. Maybe there a top nut on the thru-hull bushing that's loose or something.

454? wow... :D

09-07-2004, 06:09 PM

On my ride, I also had a lot of side to side play in the rudder. The bushing was shot and the rudder shaft itself was worn and necessitated having it all replaced (rudder and bushing). I can't seem to find my repair slip, so I can't tell you what it cost me, though I'd guess about $400 for it all. The rudder was a pricey part.

Good luck.

Jeff N.
09-07-2004, 07:12 PM
Thanks again Scott. I may have to do the same.

Did you purchase mastercraft parts or did you have custom items made?

09-07-2004, 07:31 PM
A Mastercraft dealer did the rudder replacement and I'm presuming they used all Mastercraft parts.

Jeff N.
09-13-2004, 03:41 PM

Well, got in there and, much to my chagrin - it turns out that a bunch of rudder components were - :eek: - loose! The main packing nut and the locknut were both finger tight. This made for a lot of side to side slop in the assembly.

Pulled it all apart to inspect the wear on the post and thruhull and it wasn't too bad. A few small scores but not too much to worry about. Got some new teflon packing at the local supply store and put it all back together being careful to set a nice gentle preload on the post.

Also turned out that the steering cable "clamp block" was pretty well worn out at the ball joint leading to more slop. Ordered a new one at BOHICA prices from WestMarine - $90!!

I think when it get's back together it should as good as it can be for 20+ year old steering. I think I'll also stick my head under the dash and see if there are any adjustments there as well.

Thanks for the help everyone,

82 S&S Powerslot

09-14-2004, 06:23 AM
Jeff - BOHICA????? :confused:

09-14-2004, 07:07 AM
lol, I'm not sure i want to know, since I run a West Marine store.

Jeff N.
09-15-2004, 08:34 PM
BOHICA = "bend over, here it comes again" :woohoo:

SkiFreak - could use you in my area as the West Marine folk here have been less than helpful in getting the right teleflex clamp block. They don't seem to speak "ski boat" too well.

09-15-2004, 09:51 PM
BOHICA = "bend over, here it comes again" :woohoo:

SkiFreak - could use you in my area as the West Marine folk here have been less than helpful in getting the right teleflex clamp block. They don't seem to speak "ski boat" too well.

well, to be honest "ski boat" is a difficult language to speak. It's different than every other kind of boating. do you have a picture of your clamp block? If so, i'd be happy to help out.

oh, i see you already ordered one, was it the right one?

09-15-2004, 10:04 PM
You don't have a MC dealer near you? Mine is 1.5 hours away, but I was able to figure out what clamp block I had while on the phone with them and I want to say that it was like $35 for the clamp and about the same for the ball...(but I can't find the receipt so I could be wrong).

Jeff N.
09-16-2004, 12:42 PM
Scott - that's a good suggestion. Maybe it might be better if I used the dealer. I just didn't expect this much difficulting in specing a commonly used teleflex part. It's clearly illustrated in the w/marine catalog.

This is item I need to get - looks exactly like this (http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10001&langId=-1&catalogId=10001&productId=72649). After discussion with the parts counter at the W/M store, we ordered part SA27579P but what arrived wasn't even close to what's in the picture. (That was when things fell apart - I told the clerk that the part in the bag would not work as it was different. He insisted it would work and "it was what I had ordered". I was like...no...that was what your parts man and I decided was the right part based on the picture in the W/M catalog. If the part that arrived, looked like the picture, it would work. The guy kept telling me what was in the bag was the same as the part in the catalog when it clearly was not. :mad: )

Guess it's dealer time or time to pull the part off and take it to W/M and have them figure out what it is.


Jeff N.
09-16-2004, 12:49 PM
OK - well, did a little more homework and here's the problem. The inboard and outboard clamp blocks are different. See this (http://www.teleflexmorse.com/scripts/PDF/connection.pdf) .

My boat uses an "outboard" style and we ordered an "inboard" style (which seems logical, no?) Would be helpful if the w/m catalog had two pics, one for each type. As you can see in the teleflex PDF, they are not the same. The inboard style that arrived at the store does look exactly like the one in the PDF. The guys at w/m didn't have this level of teleflex parts catalog.