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    Noob First Time Technical Question-gctid361076

    Newbie question but first let me start out by saying that I have already taken and passed a boating safety course, as I have seen recommended to many a new boater on these forums!

    I actually have 2 questions, which may be related first, I noticed that at slow, wake zone speeds (

    2nd question, when I'm finally at a speed where I'm not struggling too much to keep straight, I notice that the steering wheel is not centered but actually 1/2 turn off. What would cause this and is it related to the boat not being able to stay straight at slower speeds?

    Any input is much appreciated.

    #2
    Newbies must be flogged!

    Welcome to the madhouse! No such thing as a stupid question....except the one that is not asked.

    Steering- if you have a single prop outdrive, steering wander is common. There may be a small skeg on the outdrive that can be adjusted to help correct the wander.

    Centering the wheel is usually nothing more than a cable adjustment.

    Comment


      #3
      My old 19' maxum wandered like an old drunk. I think that is just smaller single drive boats.

      welcome aboard.

      Comment


        #4
        Steering wander is pretty common in that size boat as others have said. You might be contributing by over correcting? Try miniscule corrections and see if that helps.

        The steering wheel centering could also be because the little tab that Pau Hana mentioned is not set right or missing and the wheel has to be that far off center to compensate for prop thrust? (I'm really an inboard guy so perhaps I don't really have a clue?)

        Anyway, welcome abored or aboard?

        Comment


          #5
          My old boat, a 21 ft. Four Winns Cuddy, was horrible at wake zone speeds. In the beginning I couldn't keep it going in a straight line until I started making smaller corrections with the wheel just like boattommy also mentioned before.

          Welcome Aboard!!!

          Comment


            #6
            trim tabs will help at No Wake speeds. It's a short boat and prone to wander.

            Unless your boat is pulling to one side on plane, I wouldn't worry about the steering wheel position. Then, the torque tab on the drive (just above the prop) could help you with that aspect.

            Comment


              #7
              Yeah they steer like a drunk at wake speed. The torque skeg on an alpha drive generally does little to help with steering but you can try. The newer alphas didn't come with a skeg rather a flat plate anode in its place. There maybe some cable adjustment that can be done.
              1989 Avanti 3450 Sunbridge
              twin 454's
              MV Mar-Y-Sol
              1979 Bayliner Conquest 3150 hardtop ocean express.
              Twin chevy 350's inboard
              Ben- Jamin
              spokane Washington

              Comment


                #8
                Its called "Prop Walk". A single propellor is always trying to walk off to one side, like a wheel. Steering corrections usually result on over correction, making the propblem perpetuate itself.

                The little adjustable trim tab on the stern drive is to counter act this effect at high speeds only. If you mess with this trim tab, you could easily end up with major torque steer at the wheel at high speeds. At low speeds, there is just not much you can do. Some suggest lowering trim tabs help, so try that. Get used to it. The only real solution is twins, with counter rotating props, then each counteracts the other. My boat with twins tracks straight as an arrow. Trawlers and sailboats with single props and a big keel track nicer because of the keel, but Prop Walk is still used during docking manuvers.

                You may notice that a single will be easier to dock on one side than the other...because prop walk will actually walk the stern toward or away from the dock. Whan I am docking with my twins, i always reverse the stern toward the dock with my non-dockside engine, and leave the dockside engine in neutral. If I reverse the wrong engine, it will simply straighten the boat, but will not pull the stern toward the dock.

                Comment


                  #9
                  1) When going slowly try to make smaller adjustments and try not to over correct.

                  2) The steering wheel might simply be in the wrong spot on the shaft. They sit on a splined shaft. Take the wheel off and try moving it a step or two in the correct direction.
                  Jim McNeely
                  New Hope a 2004 Bayliner 305 Sunbridge Express Cruiser
                  Twin 5.7s with Bravo2 drives
                  Brighton, Michigan USA
                  MMSI # 367393410

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Wheel not centred? Its a boat not a car. Wind, tide, loading of boat, will all cause centre to move a bit anyhow. Dont worry about it!You can find plenty more important issues to deal with. IMO.

                    Re the wandering yep itll do that. My last boat was a 1970s Sangster and it did zero wandering .This apparently was an uncommon luxury. Now I have a Trophy and she wanders. You get used to it. There is a thing called a superfin that you bolt to rear of drive and apparently helps big time(till you back into something I guess)

                    T1

                    Comment


                      #11
                      [QUOTE]vre919 wrote:
                      Newbie question but first let me start out by saying that I have already taken and passed a boating safety course, as I have seen recommended to many a new boater on these forums!

                      [QUOTE]I actually have 2 questions, which may be related first, I noticed that at slow, wake zone speeds (

                      As others have said, this is common with single prop drives. The biggest problem is over compensating. As soon as you see the bow start to point to the direction your turning try to turn the wheel back to center. (Make half adjustments). Aim further down the channel you are heading down. Trying to make quick adjustments will just frustrate you (unless it is to avoid collision).

                      2nd question, when I'm finally at a speed where I'm not struggling too much to keep straight, I notice that the steering wheel is not centered but actually 1/2 turn off. What would cause this and is it related to the boat not being able to stay straight at slower speeds?
                      To see if the wheel is centered: While the boat is on a trailer or tied up, turn the drive so it is straight in line with the keel, then look at the steering wheel. The wheel should be centered when the drive is straight. If it is not straight, you can usually just remove the wheel and reinstall it centered. If the wheel and drive are both straight while at dock or trailer, but you notice the difference while underway, it could be the current or wind. If you have a trim tab on your drive (below the cavitation plate) then that can be adjusted to compensate for the pull.
                      Gregg
                      2006 225 BR
                      XT Package
                      5.0 MPI
                      Alpha I Gen II
                      39.41130 N
                      76.35131W

                      Comment


                        #12
                        All v-hulls do this to some extent, the smaller they are, the more they do it.

                        Trim tabs down.

                        Trim motor in (down) all the way.

                        Point the boat in the general direction you want, and resist correcting unless it wanders off too far.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Brad 3055 wrote:
                          My old 19' maxum wandered like an old drunk. I think that is just smaller single drive boats.

                          welcome aboard.
                          LOL! Love the analogy. Thanks for the info.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            JimMc wrote:
                            1) When going slowly try to make smaller adjustments and try not to over correct.

                            2) The steering wheel might simply be in the wrong spot on the shaft. They sit on a splined shaft. Take the wheel off and try moving it a step or two in the correct direction.
                            Thanks I may try this... took it in for some service recently and they assured me (on visual site) that the steering wasn't off by much. But I know what I saw on the water, so I may just try this and see what happens. Hopefully there isn't anything "slipping" in my steering mechanism that is causing this. I guess if it goes astray again after correcting, I will know.

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