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Old 07-19-2010, 09:56 PM
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Steering Stiff AND Not Stiff. What?!

OK, I've tried to do some research here on "stiff" steering, and everyone that had stiff steering in the past seems to have had a cable issue. And, their steering is usually stiff at ALL times.

But I've got something different going on. The steering on this 1983 S&S I'm working on is nice and easy when I'm sitting STILL, but as boat speed increases, the force required to steer gets up to the two-handed white knuckle variety on a small lake. Yikes!! It takes VERY high force to turn the boat.

I'm not a skier, and I've never been around Master Crafts. This is my new wife's boat.

So, for you guys in the know, does this sound like a cable issue? Or is there something going on with the Rudder Pivot perhaps? The rudder pivot does seem to have some play in it that could be excessive when I grab onto the rudder and shake it back and forth (from bow to stern), but that's coming from someone with no point of reference. It does not seem to be leaking water through the pivot, so I know it's not WAY loose.

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Old 07-20-2010, 01:34 AM
DanC's Avatar
DanC DanC is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Boat: 2003 Prostar 209, MCX, custom ballast, tower
Location: Santa Clara, CA
Posts: 839
Yes it is the rudder shaft if it spins freely at rest but binds when there is a horizontal load (even just at idle). I'm not familiar with whether your model has a grease fitting on the rudder shaft. Just hitting it with grease may lube it up enough. In my case it only made it marginally better for a very short time. Old grease had hardened on mine so I dropped the rudder, cleaned the shaft and housing. Grease it annually.
2003 ProStar 209, 2 flags, 8 cup holders
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:10 PM
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Thanks for the confirmation. I'll give it a shot!
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Old 07-22-2010, 03:14 AM
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deereman deereman is offline
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Join Date: May 2009
Boat: 1987 Mastercraft Prostar 190 Powerslot 351 Ford
Location: Oak Creek, Wisconsin
Posts: 191
I have a similar issue on our 87, just not quite as bad as you described. Every once and a while, it gets a little stiff, so I just give it a few pumps of grease, and it steers perfect, no matter what speed, and mine never has an issue with pulling to one side or the other either. I'd check for the grease fittings, makes a big difference.
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cable, pivot, rudder, steering, stiff

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