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Steering arm is rubbing against gas tank

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I just bought a '95 Tantrum (same hull as sportster) a little over a month ago. The wake is phenomenal for skiing but the steering is pretty tough when turning. I just assumed that it was the steering cable and ordered a new one yesterday. I pulled the floor board right behind the engine cover last night and got down to realize that there is another board that is missing resulting in the plastic gas tank sagging and rubbing against the steering arm, which is the cause of the tough steering. The local Malibu dealer, who charged me for 3 hours of lake testing @ $85/hr, failed to tell me that there was anything wrong with the steering and returned the boat to me not mentioning a thing about it. It is pretty tough even for me, a 280lb Michigan offensive lineman. Regardless of my issue with the dealer I am now trying to figure out where to get this missing piece or build a piece myself out of treated lumber. The piece behind the engine cover is not wood but I figured a wood piece might work for Labor Day weekend until I can find the correct one. Any thoughts/comments would be greatly appreciated. Here is a link to a sportster showing the tank and pieces that I am talking about. http://www.themalibucrew.com/forums/index.php?/page/articles.html?record=6



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that's a fun place to work, isn't it?

my arms hurt just from looking at the pix.

i remember pulling that seat lean back on my sportster.

what a pia and i'm just a little guy when compared to an offensive lineman!

i've moved on from the sportster so i can't really help out much (except with empathy).

i do not remember any support under the center of the fuel tank; maybe it just sagged w age?

i would be tempted to cobble something from aluminum stock to make sure that that bomb never detonates.

where do you ski? i'm at whitmore lake most mornings.

holler if you want to join in.

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The previous owner backed out two screws on the rail that holds the removable floor board to stop it from going back any further, which I didn't notice when looking at the boat. The rail that holds the floorboard extends another 11 inches from where the first board(the one I have) stops.

The problem with just putting in another piece of wood is that is has to clear the steering arm while supporting a full tank of fuel. I was thinking possibly a U-shaped cutout to clear everything and then support it from underneath. Not sure how to do this at all but wishful thinking.

I ski with the UofM ski team on belleville. We sometimes bring our boat there or go up to Cass lake.. Not too many options near Livonia where I keep the boat. Definitely down to ski with you at whitmore. Message me with your number. Jon

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