Originally Posted by Zalamander
I have an '82 stars and stripes and I noticed the rudder has about 1/2" up and down play in it, as well as some play in steering. Last weekend I was at the lake with a friend who has an 87' prostar and he has no play in his rudder at all. Does anyone know what could cause this play in mine and how I can fix?
If it's just up and down play, it's likely the rudder pinch bolt has loosened to the point where it has slid up on the rudder shaft. Should be easy to fix by just loosening the pinch bolt on the tiller are where it attaches to the shaft, support the rudder from underneath up against the rudder port, slide the pinch bolt down and tighten. Don't lose the keyway. Probably don't even need to remove the cotter pin. You may want to take the opportunity to grease the rudder port, though - that's a big component of it's water sealing.
Loose steering isn't likely to be your rudder, it's more likely the steering cable or the helm mechanism.
If your rudder wiggles side-to-side in the rudder port, that would likely indicate a worn rudder port or rudder shaft and replacement is necessary.