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  #21  
Old 07-14-2013, 07:34 AM
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bturner2 bturner2 is offline
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Boat: Maristar 200VRS w/ X2 Package, 2007, 310HP
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Amazing how some of the smaller things can make or brake your experience and impressions of a boat.
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  #22  
Old 07-19-2013, 11:14 PM
supreme112279 supreme112279 is offline
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Boat: 1996 mastecraft maristar 225
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My maristar turns better to the left compared to the right. I blame it on prop rotation. To physically turn the wheel, very easy.
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  #23  
Old 07-22-2013, 08:00 AM
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ConroePat ConroePat is offline
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Boat: 2005 X-45
Location: Gulf Coast - Lake Conroe
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I just bought a 2005 X-45 and had the dealer look into the hard steering issue when underway. During my test drive on the lake, the hard steering was the first thing I noticed about the boat. The previous owner agreed to have the MC dealer fix that at his cost. The mechanic who worked on the boat told me that everything looked good to him, he simply looked at the cable, greased it, and put it back in. When I picked up the boat, just like you mentioned, it steered fine on the trailer. In the lake, it steers fine at idle and while going at very slow speeds. As soon as you get underway, the steering is as hard as it was when I test drove it before buying it. I do not understand this either; it takes me two hands to turn the wheel with a lot of effort. My wife hasn't driven it yet but I suspect she will not be pleased with the way it steers underway.
I know very little to nothing about the rudder etc... I guess I am about to learn
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  #24  
Old 07-22-2013, 11:06 AM
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JerryW JerryW is offline
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Boat: 2002 X-9; LQ9
Location: Southeast
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I think there is possibly another aspect to the hard steering problems people are having, which is that the rudder may need to be shaved or "tuned" to the boat. If on the trailer and at idle everything is smooth, easy to turn, greased where it should be etc., then it may not be a mechanical component issue. If the steering gets "harder" as speed increases, and the boat starts to pull more and more to the left or right as speed increases, it could be the interaction of prop rotation and torque, a misaligned prop shaft, and or a rudder that needs to be tuned to account for all that. There are a number of posts here that can explain all that a lot better than I can, but heres my experience.

We have 2002 X-9 that came with the "smallest" rudder MC has used recently, sort of triangle shaped, all angles, no curves to it. The boat pulled a bit to the right, more than I liked when we first got it, and when I told the dealer about it, they "tuned" it the next time I took it on for service. After that, it seemed fine, did not pull much on it's own, easy to steer, etc. That rudder got bent last summer and I replaced it with the "largest" rudder, the one used on the current X series boats. At higher speeds, it started pulling to the right more and more as speed increased, and it took two hands to hold it in a straight line. I shaved off the left trailing edge of the rudder a little at a time, to tune it, and got it to the point where it would steer pretty even or neutral and not pull hard to the right. However, it was still too much rudder for the size of the boat, and when you turned hard to one side, it was difficult to turn it back to going straight. Not as easy to drive as it was with the original rudder.

This summer I replaced that rudder with the "medium" sized one that's used on the current Prostar's and the X-14. It's curved on the bottom, looks kind of like a duckbill, and does not have the long trailing edge like the one on the larger X series boats. Without doing anything to it, the boat did not pull nearly as much to the right, or was not nearly as hard to bring back straight after a hard turn. I shaved the left trailing edge on that rudder, and have it to the point where the boat is fairly neutral, will go straight on it's own with no hands on the steering wheel up to about 40 MPH, as long as I increase the speed slowly. Also, if I make a hard turn at high speed, it's relatively easy to bring it back to center.

So, if you are having a "hard steering" problem, it may help to shave or tune the rudder a bit and see if it helps.
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  #25  
Old 07-28-2013, 11:19 PM
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MI_Corey MI_Corey is offline
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Boat: 2008 X1
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I never really finished this thread. The culprit ended up being the rudder box not getting enough grease and mostly the rudder box being bent. When I dropped the rudder out to inspect I never removed the rudder box. When I decided to upgrade to the new rudder box style and dropped the old one out it was obviously bent. Probably 20 degrees! This would make sense as to why the wheel locked up so much when turned hard since the steering arm off the rudder was not rotating on a flat plane. Putting the new one in was pretty easy. I did have to make the hole larger to fit the new one but that was pretty simple using a drum sander. I will try to post a pic off my phone later of the old one.
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  #26  
Old 07-28-2013, 11:36 PM
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MI_Corey MI_Corey is offline
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PO bent it good. I can't believe there aren't any cracks in the gel coat.
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  #27  
Old 07-29-2013, 12:01 AM
FrankSchwab FrankSchwab is offline
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Boat: 1998 Maristar 200VRS
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I think that's the first time in nearly ten years of reading this forum that someone's identified a bent rudder box as an issue. Sorry you had to suffer through the tough diagnosis, but glad you're back on the water.
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  #28  
Old 07-29-2013, 10:18 AM
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sp00ky sp00ky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MI_Corey View Post
PO bent it good. I can't believe there aren't any cracks in the gel coat.
I wonder how this could happen without any damage to the rudder or anything else. Was the rudder original?
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  #29  
Old 07-29-2013, 10:44 AM
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MI_Corey MI_Corey is offline
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I'm not sure if rudder is original or not. It is the original shape but I have no way of knowing if it's original. It is a stainless shaft though so maybe the box was the weaker link. I'm more surprised that there is no damage to the hull. Either way, I'm glad I removed it to look!
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  #30  
Old 07-29-2013, 10:57 AM
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bturner2 bturner2 is offline
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I've seen a few time at our sandbar where an inboard ski boat has been anchored (really near beached) and the rudder buried in the sand. When waves some in from other boats I noticed the boat basically pivoting on the rudder. I'm sure that can't be good and with all the weight focused on the rudder and thus the rudder box this could be a more likely cause of a bent rudder box than an actual strike.
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