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MI_Corey 07-08-2013 11:56 AM

How hard should steering a Maristar be?
I'm getting frusterated so I thought I'd reach out a little bit on here. I bought a brokered '93 Maristar 225 DD from Action Water Sports in Fenton, MI a couple months ago. My parents bought their '93 Prostar 205 from there used in '98 and have always had a good relationship with the dealership so that is where my wife and I went when we decided to get a boat. I had a few boats sell before I could get there so when we found this one my wife said just buy it. Shame on me I didn't test drive it first but I had a lot of trust in the dealership and they said they drove it when they got it and everything tested out good. The first time we took it out I immediately realized how tough it was to steer the boat. On the trailer and at idle speed it's perfectly smooth but under power it becomes very stiff and really hard to change direction. I can do it with one hand but my Dad, brother in law, and wife have to use two hands. I contacted the dealership and they told me probably a steering cable. How they wouldn't have noticed this on the test drive (along with the sending unit not working) is beyond me but I gave them the benefit of doubt and ordered a new cable and fuel sender and installed it. Upon inspecting the old cable it was probably due for a new one but the new cable made marginal to no improvement in the steering. I looked around on here and by what I found I thought probably a rudder issue. I dropped the rudder, it did have grease, and has no slop when installed. It also spins smooth by hand when disconnected from the steering cable. I again contacted my dealer and asked their advice/opinion as to if there was anything else to look for with the rudder/rudder box or if it could be the helm. They basically told me to not expect the boat to drive like a Prostar and that it steering hard is just the nature of the beast. Now, I in no way expect the boat to handle or drive like a Prostar due to the differences in weight, size, power, deeper V, etc. but I don't think it should be a night and day difference in how hard it is to turn the steering wheel. My wife should be able to drive it right? So I'm asking you guys that have or have driven Maristars how hard should it be to turn the wheel? I've driven a Mastercraft Prostar 205 and X14, a Malibu, and a Ski Nautiqe and they all turned similarly in respect to how hard it is to actually spin the wheel. Any thoughts or advice is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

LaRue 07-08-2013 12:44 PM

We have a 2000 Maristar 210. She turns easily with one hand while pulling riders. Our steering cable is 4 years old.

MI_Corey 07-08-2013 12:52 PM

Thanks. I assumed it should but have not driven any other Maristar.

FrankSchwab 07-08-2013 01:44 PM

My steering cable is 7-8 years old, and it steers easily at speed - one handed is no strain at all. Yours is a different hull design, but I'm pretty sure mine is significantly heavier (and a V-Drive to boot).

It doesn't sound like you can trust your dealer to diagnose at this stage; you really need to find another boat of the same type and drive it for comparison. Perhaps the rudders of that year are poorly balanced, or a PO bent the rudder or put the wrong replacement on?


MI_Corey 07-08-2013 02:37 PM

I actually sent pics to my dealer of the rudder to confirm that it is the correct shape.

MI_Corey 07-08-2013 02:41 PM

And I'm not bashing Action. They've been good about stuff... I'm just frusterated.

bigmac 07-08-2013 03:22 PM

Well, if your steering cable is new, and your rudder isn't binding due to being loose in the port, perhaps Maristar handling is just too different from your expectations.

FWIW, you might look at this thread .

I don't know what rudder your boat has, but I noted that my 2004 230VRS had rather hard steering effort when new. In 2006, Mastercraft changed the rudder geometry. Replacing the old rudder with that new one made a huge difference in steering effort for my boat.

On the left is the original rudder that came on 2002-2005 Maristars, on the right is the one that they started using in that same line 2006 and after.

MI_Corey 07-08-2013 03:27 PM

Mine is like the one on the right. I think MC went to the one on the left and then back.

bturner2 07-08-2013 03:49 PM

I had a 95 MariStar 200 VRS. V-Drive so different drive but I believe very similar hull. Very light steering, one finger to turn it underway.

I sold the MariStar and bought a 03 X2. Horrible steering and the prop/trans was set up for left rotation. Handling was horrible. Probably the worst set up inboard that I've ever driven. Switched the trans direction, prop and swapped out the rudder to the one above, fixed everything and all was right with the world.

I now have a 07 X2 which is larger and heavier than your boat. While it is in no way anywhere like a ProStar it can be easily driven with one hand and my wife and children have no problem driving it with one hand either.

In your case if you have the bigger rudder I'd be looking at the rack and routing for the cable. I'd also see if you can somehow cross reference the part number on the steering cable to make sure you're replacing it with the correct one. Someone on here posted about their steering issue and resolved it by finding a bad angle in the routing of the cable that was binding the cable.

MI_Corey 07-08-2013 03:56 PM

Wow... lot of work on the X2 to make it work. That wouldn't be an option for me though because I have an offset rudder.

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