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kwiggy

rookie boat owner

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I have recently purchase a 2003 Lund Explorer with a 90hp 4s. Upon my maiden voyage, I realized the boat turned sharply to the right. I am sure it is related to the torque of the prop.

My question is this... Is there an adjustment I can make that will help keep it from turning when I let go of the steering wheel? Is there a better system I can buy to replace my current system? Sorry, I don't know what type I have, but it must be the most basic because that is my luck.

Thanks all,

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on the throttle side of my yahama, near area where engine pivets, there is a metric hex head showing(can be seen w/o cowling off), that you can turn to loosen/tighten engine swivel. Use caution when turning, basically it's a membrane in there that if tightened to hard, can tear membrane and then your engine will be to loose. I like mine fairly tight, and every couple yrs I have to adjust. Eventually it went thru membrane, so had to get a bigger bolt to put in. I'm assuming most outboards have this type of hex nut control, so you should be able to find it. Good luck

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Adjusting the trim makes a big difference, in fact that is one indication that you are trimmed out enough is that the torque on the steering gets much less.

Also, many motors have a thing on the bottom of the anti-ventilation plate that looks like a little fin that can be turned by loosening a bolt to offset some of the torque.

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Pic of what Del is talking about on your anti-cavitation plate. Most likely needs to be adjusted. Easy fix.

2a963p1.jpg

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That's it. You loosen the bolt from above by taking off a little cover. Turn the tab and tighten the bolt. I do it by trial and error, but I am sure someone here knows which direction to set it.

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First thing I would try is to make sure the motor is trimmed up when under way. You need to move the prop closer to the top of the water. On my boat I start with the motor down, then give 12-14 clicks on the upward toggle switch on the handle and I am usually right on.

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As mentioned.....

Trim baby trim grin

Start out of the hole with the motor all the way down. Once on plane or near on plane start trimming up until the wheel loosens up (to where you could let go.... but still hold on to it). This will also get more boat out of the water and improve your fuel economy.

The same thing goes for a big tiller.

Once there, you can keep trimming up until the prop starts to spray water in the air (ventilating) (at full throttle), it will start to pull the other way. Trim the motor back down a little and you have the sweet spot, running on the pad of the boat.

Just be cautious running trimmed way up when encountering waves (natural or man-made). The best thing is to slow down or trim down some, or you may begin to porpoise, and it is possible to even lose control depending on how much of your boat is out of the water and the angle you are crossing the waves.

This is an extreme example of what can happen when really pushing the limits. It's not going to happen with a 90hp unless it is hanging on the back of a canoe, but it gives you an idea. A clip or two before the crash you can see the boat chine walking like crazy.... I would poo in my pants if I was in a boat that ever did that.....

This guy was cleary showing off.... and showed us all what not to do.

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Some good info here. He doesn't talk about pull (he likely has hydraulic steering), but when trimmed down on plane is when you notice a cable steer boat or an unassisted tiller pull to the right.

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"My question is this... Is there an adjustment I can make that will help keep it from turning when I let go of the steering wheel?"

Unless you are running very slow. Please keep a hand on the wheel.

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Thanks everybody for the information. I will investigate more this weekend. The turning gets worse as the speed increases. At high speed there is a lot of back pressure, so much pressure that the wheel slipped from my hand and turned the boat hard almost sending my son to the floor. I held on tightly thereafter, but want to get it adjusted so my son can drive.

Edit: it is a Yamaha 90.

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Boats will do that if not trimmed properly. Especially if they don't have "non-feedback" steering.

You never said if you had adjusted the trim once you got on plane. If I leave my motor trimmed all the way down at speed the boat is hard to steer and sort of spooky.

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I may have trimmed it slightly, but probably could have trimmed more. I was on a small lake in the evening and didn't want to annoy everybody by running high speed circles, even though that is what my boat wanted to do. haha. I will try some things this weekend and see if things improve.

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Thanks for asking the question! and thanks for all the answers.

This will help me too! (another rookie boat owner)

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Yup - definitely educate yourselves on what trimming the motor is all about. Besides affecting the steering wheel it also affects fuel mileage, your ability to boat in big waves, porpoising, etc.

The trim tab is the likely problem here so make that adjustment and then make sure that you are trimming out once you get on plane. I generally rule of thumb that I've always heard is that you want to see the wake from your boat emanating from about 2/3rds of the way back on your boat for peak efficiency - dependent on conditions.

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