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  1. #1
    Registered
    My Boats:
    96' 29 Scarab
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    Aug 2004
    Location
    Willis,Texas
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    50

    wandering boat,play in steering

    I have a 1996 Scarab 29 with the 502 mpi. The steering wheel has several inches of play in it side to side before you can feel the drive start to move. Is this normal for a power assisted/cable system(teleflex)? At idle speed in the no wake zone behind my house the boat seems to want to wander requiring constant correction. At speed the boat steers and handles fine. I have tried to idle with the drive in and out, tabs up etc. The problem persists and the drive out of my cove through the no wake zone is 1/4 mile. Is it possible the system is old and in need of replacement? Are there any adjustments in the cable system? Has anyone had experience with the hydraulic add on kits.

  2. #2
    Registered fund razor's Avatar
    My Boats:
    Apache 28 Brave
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    Mar 2004
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    Re: wandering boat,play in steering

    You have a deep V single.

    They wander.

    There is a chance that your boat is fine, but maybe you have some slop in your steering. For some reason I doubt it. (That it has a problem)

    Under the best circumstances, deep V single screw boats wander at slow speeds.

    I'm surprised that your 29 wellcraft is that bad, because length helps.
    I used to have a 21 wellcraft deep V nova single and it wandered bad.
    I thought maybe it was my bad skeg, so I had a new one welded on.
    It didn't help.
    Later I found out that this is not unusual. With practice, you can get it minimized by not over correcting. I found that when I reacted slower and less, the wandering was reduced. By the time I got rid of the boat I could almost get it to go straight(ish) in a no wake.

  3. #3
    Registered fund razor's Avatar
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    Re: wandering boat,play in steering

    By the way... at the time, I had a couple miles of no wake to get through each way, every ride. It was a drag.

  4. #4
    Beak botr VIP Member 88Fount33's Avatar
    My Boats:
    1988 Fountain 8.8
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    Dec 2003
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    Re: wandering boat,play in steering

    Hey;
    I had twins with cable/powerassist with tons of play in the system. Coverted to full hydraulic for safety and it still wanders at idle speed. Just off idle it gets better. Was hopping the low speed wander would improve but just have to live with it. My old single (short really deep V) would wander badly. Just let it go and only correct when it does take a new direction.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2003
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    21

    Re: wandering boat,play in steering

    You can't stop it wandering completely at idle. But the play in the steering will make it worse although 2 inches play isn't real bad. See if you have play in the outdrive. Move it side to side - if you can move it without the steering wheel turning, you have something loose in the steering system - gimbal ring, steering arm, power steering unit, maybe the cable but unlikely. Less than an inch of play at the outdrive is probably not a problem.

  6. #6
    Registered
    My Boats:
    96' 29 Scarab
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    Aug 2004
    Location
    Willis,Texas
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    50

    Re: wandering boat,play in steering

    I appreciate the info. Last weekend I checked the drive while watching the steering wheel and everything was fine. Last night on the way to papas on lake conroe I noticed that if I corrected only slightly the boat was a little straighter. I have had the boat about 6 weeks and I'm trying to catch any problems before they become major. Originally my post was going to include a slight vibration off idle while getting on plane; however, that ended up being a loose rear motor mount bolt and a dinged prop. Torqued the bolt, had the prop fixed and lab finished problem solved. Okay, the lab finish was just for the added performance.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member Platinum Member mcollinstn's Avatar
    My Boats:
    1991 F311SR1
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    Sep 2001
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    tn
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    Re: wandering boat,play in steering

    single vees wander off plane.

    But you could have a loose gimbal ubolt where the square tang from the steering tiller goes in. This can be a very dangerous situation as if left "untreated" you can pop the top of the ring out at speed or while wavejumping. Bad scene. Sounds like you checked it, but recheck looking specifically for that.
    I see London, I see France...

  8. #8
    Registered Canada Jeff's Avatar
    My Boats:
    Sunsation and Apache
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    Dec 2003
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    Ottawa, Ontario,Canada baby!
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    Re: wandering boat,play in steering

    when you were checking the reaction from the wheel to the drive, was the engine running? The system will have slop in it untill the engine is running and the assist cylinder preasurizes. For example, my last boat had the cable to assist cylinder, and on the trailer I thought I had a huge problem. Could take the drive and swing it a couple of inches before I saw the wheel move! After checking with some techs, I was educated on the system, and after checking with the engine running, in the water, no problems. Just wanted to throw that out there.

    Also, do you have tabs? If so, drop them when ideling. That will greatly reduce any wondering! Up the rpm to 1000 if ideling for a long time, better for the engine. And with the tabs dropped, and the rpm at 1000, you should be crusin the same speed as before!

  9. #9
    Gold Member Gold Member Iggy's Avatar
    My Boats:
    '88 Formula F-206 LS
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    Jan 2001
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    Kissimmee, Florida
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    4,155

    Re: wandering boat,play in steering

    Also, do you have tabs? If so, drop them when ideling. That will greatly reduce any wondering! Up the rpm to 1000 if ideling for a long time, better for the engine.
    I was just going to say the same thing.
    Someone here previously posted the same suggestion. I tried it and it does help. I also push the limit of speed in idle speed zones.
    What ypou could try too is raise the drive a little it seems to help raise the bow slightly which helps to keep the bow from steering.

  10. #10
    Registered
    My Boats:
    96' 29 Scarab
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Willis,Texas
    Posts
    50

    Re: wandering boat,play in steering

    I tried dropping the tabs last night and it helped alot. My boat is much straighter now and raising the drive seems to help also. It's nice to have a place where you can ask questions without someone trying to sell you something you don't need. What a great site! Thanks to all.


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