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Old 03-26-2016, 11:02 PM
JagNL JagNL is offline
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Question Rudder Grinding - Mastercraft X45 (Boat wants to turn/pull left)

I'm buying a X45 from a dealer and I noticed it was pulling left significantly when I took my hands off the steering wheel (non-hydraulic steering) at speed (~30 to 40mph). I haven't been around inboards in along time, my last boat was an old Malibu Subsetter direct drive about 8 years ago and I don't remember it pulling but it might have.

Anyways long story short I told the dealer and they said it could be fixed by tuning or grinding the rudder. I had a feeling it was most likely normal but they insisted it was normal to tune the rudder but now I'm not so sure. They had their technician grind it and I test drove it again today and did not notice any difference. What I'm wondering is if I should have let them do this at all? I read the waterskimag.com article where it said its not recommended to grind the rudder to counter prop torque and that it can mess with the steering and wake characteristics of the boat, something I definitely do not want!!

Here are some pics of what their tech did - it looks like he ground off quite a bit (and that was first pass, he didn't hadn't water tested it when I got there). Should I see if I can get a new rudder? Is it even possible to order this rudder anymore? Any chance this will mess with the wake of the boat?
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Last edited by JagNL; 03-28-2016 at 11:52 AM. Reason: Clarification of title.
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Old 03-26-2016, 11:04 PM
JagNL JagNL is offline
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Old 03-27-2016, 09:38 AM
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CruisinGA CruisinGA is offline
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Take a deep breath!

Yes, grinding a rudder is the typical way to make a boat "pull" to one side or the other.
The pull can be a desirable characteristic (especially for slalom skiers) so that you don't notice the inherent slop in a cable steering system.
You can grind to increase or decrease "pull".
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Old 03-28-2016, 11:50 AM
JagNL JagNL is offline
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Thanks for the reply. I know that it isn't anything unusual per doing it to a slalom boat. But should this really need to done for a big walkabout? The waterskimag.com article actually states it can hurt steering and wake characteristics.

I guess I should back up and ask - does anyone who has an X-45 with non-hydraulic steering have a left pull bias? As in when the boat is under way and you let off the steering wheel does it immediately and rapidly start turning left? On the boat I'm buying there is a slight pull, and I have to keep the wheel turned slightly to the right to keep the boat going straight otherwise it wants to turn left. It doesn't take a ton of effort to keep the wheel in place but there is definitely a pull or want to go left. I thought Mastercrafts were supposed to have a right pull bias?

Oddly enough when the boat was out of the water and the steering wheel was straight the rudder was also straight. So I'm not sure why I would have to turn a little more to the right to keep the boat tracking straight unless the prop torque itself is enough to make the boat want to turn/track left?

Anyways I now know some pull to one direction or the other is normal, I'm just trying to figure out how much is and what direction. I'm afraid it's probably normal and the dealership is trying to correct something that may not really be an issue, but they are trying to fix it because I mentioned it on the test drive.
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Old 03-28-2016, 11:56 AM
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JohnE JohnE is offline
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I'd just let the dealer work on the rudder until it becomes neutral. It wouldn't bother me.
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Old 03-28-2016, 12:39 PM
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CBA CBA is offline
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Either way you shouldn't have to worry about it. Sometimes the boat will feel squirrely without any kind of grind on it. It's nice to have a little resistance but either way you will be fine.
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Old 03-28-2016, 02:51 PM
JagNL JagNL is offline
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Well I definitely want some resistance. I was just curious if any other X45 owners without hydraulic steering have the same behavior in their boat. I thought MC's were supposed to pull right due to the prop rotation.
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Old 03-28-2016, 02:58 PM
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Truthfully, you get used to it. You notice it the first time because you're not used to it, but the next couple times you go out it will feel normal. I was freaked out the first time I was in my old stars and stripes, and the folks here made me feel better. The next time out, I didn't even really notice it. You just get used to ALWAYS having a hand on the wheel. Gives you good feedback, and keeps you going straight.
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Old 03-28-2016, 03:08 PM
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ccelia ccelia is offline
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I have an X45 without hydraulic steering and it pulls ever so slightly to the left, although it is not significant enough for me to shave the rudder. For the most part, I can let go of the wheel and it will track fairly straight, although slight adjustments occasionally are needed.

I am sure you are in good hands with the dealer and they will take care of it for you.
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Old 03-28-2016, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JagNL View Post
Well I definitely want some resistance. I was just curious if any other X45 owners without hydraulic steering have the same behavior in their boat. I thought MC's were supposed to pull right due to the prop rotation.
I have an X-45 without the grind and no hydraulic steering. It steers perfect, I have had other tournament boats( Maristar 230, (2)Ski Nautiques) with it and they steered perfect. You'll get used to it either way. It's just a feeling nothing less nothing more.
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