View Full Version : 98 Maristar and First Outing

04-23-2006, 11:52 AM
Well finally made it to the lake yesterday with boat that I purchased last October. What a relief to know that it runs great, floats and all else I was expecting it to do. I don't have a water temp gauge, but it felt like 50-60 degrees. My 8 year old just had to wakeboard, so we got him all dressed in a full length wet suit, hood, and cold water gloves. It doesn't take much throttle with the Maristar 200 VRS and the 340hp LT1 to pull him right up. After he got up he didn't want to stop.
I am very pleased with the ride, power and everything else I was expecting this boat to do.

The only thing I noticed was that the steering is very stiff, especially turning to the left. I called the nearest dealer on the drive home and he said to grease up the steering cable and rudder pivot point and if that doesn't help he said that it probably needs a new cable. Does a cable wear out after only 49.5 hours on the boat? Admittedly the boat has been sitting for about 1 1/2 years, but still what can cause the cable to need replacing after so few hours?

The dealer said a new cable is 150.00 and 2-3 hours for them to install. Does this mean it will take me 10 hours?

Any ideas on the hard steering?

Also noticed when I got home that the carpet in the compartments on both sides of the engine was wet right at the very back on the bottom all the way across the compartment. Any ideas why this area would be wet? We were only on the lake for 1 1/2 hours.

04-23-2006, 12:57 PM
Hey VDrive -
I've got the same boat ('98 200 VRS), but I don't have the LT1.

I had the same problem with wet carpet in the storage compartments. I ripped out the panels back there (BTW, that adds significantly to the room available; with them out, my Air Chair fits back there nicely) to watch what was going on. For my boat, it was just the water in the bilge - the back of the boat is shaped such that when you accelerate, the bilge water rushes aft past the engine, hits the transom, then splashes left and right.
Did you take on much water while you were out? My boat did, had to run the bilge pump every hour or so while I was out. I caulked the hull-to-deck seam, thinking that was the problem, but it wasn't. Turned out the engine circulating pump was bad (not the raw water pump), and was dripping water out the weep hole on the bottom of the pulley shaft. That, and the shaft packing being loose and weeping a lot of water, combined to put enough water in the bilge to keep the storage areas wet. Check em out.


04-23-2006, 12:59 PM
It's not the 49.5 hours that would kill a cable- That's just how long the motor ran. How many hours since it was built, and how much time did it sit? It's a '98, right? That cable is 8-9 years old and you aren't the first owner so you don't know how well or if it had been serviced before. I have heard that there is a setup to force the old grease out of a steering cable but that will do nothing to reverse any corrosion on it.

Turn the wheel while it's not running and if it's stiff then, you may need to lube the cable or maybe the tiller arm is restricted. My bet is on corrosion from water in that area, especially if the leaking you mentioned isn't a new thing. The rudder and cable end may have been under water and this would definitely be a problem if the cable wasn't lubricated regularly. Grease gets hard when it sits, so it may be corrected by lubricating it and using the boat more.

I think 2-3 hours sounds like they just looked in their flat rate book but there is a bit of disassembly needed- the rear seat needs to be loosened, the center floor section needs to come out so the wire ties can be cut, the cable end comes off from the tiller arm and the rack comes off of the helm. Then, I would tie a wire to the back end of the cable so I could pull the new one to the rear of the boat. Much easier than trying to push it through. Attach the cable to the rudder, wire ties to secure the cable and mount it to the helm. Before starting, I would secure the rudder so it can't move and mark the steering wheel so you know where it needs to be when the rack goes back on.

To find the leaks, put it in the water and let it sit for awhile. If there are no leaks, start it up and let it run to see if it's from the hoses being loose, any cracks in the muffler, the exhaust hoses being loose or the motor leaking somewhere. If there's still nothing, take it out and see if it leaks after making several turns. If it does, the rubrail may need sealing. The most common place for leaks is in the rear 1/3 of the sides. Ideally, the whole rail comes off, the hull/deck joint is sealed and the rail reinstalled. This is best done on a hot day so the rail and insert are flexible.