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Steering efforts vs. speed


l98ycar

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I was out driving my new to me 2000 Escape 23 LSV this weekend - this is my first inboard boat. The steering at low speeds and on the trailer is light / low effort, at higher speeds it is much heavier particularly turning right - is this normal? If it is not normal is this a symptom of a steering cable issue (I would not think so) or something else?

Thanks

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I was out driving my new to me 2000 Escape 23 LSV this weekend - this is my first inboard boat. The steering at low speeds and on the trailer is light / low effort, at higher speeds it is much heavier particularly turning right - is this normal? If it is not normal is this a symptom of a steering cable issue (I would not think so) or something else?

Thanks

This is normal behavior. The resistance should increase to a point as speed increases due to the increased surface friction of the water passing over the rudder. There is no hydraulic steering as in many i/o's so you get direct feedback from the rudder. As mentioned in this thread, most Malibu's (and other inboard boats) have the steering preloaded to one direction to make it easier to hold a steady course. Also prop rotation can effect the pressure. Since you mention that your steering is noticeably stiffer turning to the right under speed it would suggest that your rudder is loaded to the left or that your prop is RH. Meaning that if you removed your hands from the wheel it should drift to the left, this is partially effected by the rotation of the prop as well as the preload on the rudder, which can be adjusted.

Edited by JDubya
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Try greasing the rudder.

While some resistance at speed is normal I have have solved the exact symptoms you are having with a little grease.

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I expected the lack of steering control in reverse - what is catching me is the tendancy to drift righ when in reverse, I come into my hoist straight then when I tap it in to reverse to stop the stern moves right - I have to remember to approach at an angle... Definately still learning....

I did not expect the steering to be so heavy at speed - I will definately grease the rudder as the service history I got with the boat does not have that on any of the check lists as being done recently. It would make sense that the lack of lubrication effects would be more noticible when loaded.

Thanks

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If no one told you yet, these inboards ONLY back to the right. Period. Takes a little getting used to, but if you know you will have to reverse to stop the forward motion you have to plan for just the right amount of stern angle to the left so it ends perfectly straight. This also makes loading on the trailer a bit fuzzy unitl you get the hang of it. Throw in some current or wind from the wrong direction and you might wish for your old I/O back. NOT!!! Good luck.

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I greased the rudder this weekend - at least the top zerk fitting (not sure I got anything in the bottom one, hopefully after some use I will have better luck). The steering effort at speed is much better still heavy but not suprisingly so. Thanks for the feedback.

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... Since you mention that your steering is noticeably stiffer turning to the right under speed it would suggest that your rudder is loaded to the left or that your prop is RH. Meaning that if you removed your hands from the wheel it should drift to the left, this is partially effected by the rotation of the prop as well as the preload on the rudder, which can be adjusted.

JDub, you'll have to tell me how to preload the rudder the next time we catch up. I'll let you drive it the boat when we meet up on Somerville and you can tell me what you think.

Edited by Hammertime
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