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Boat Pulls Left, Any Ideas?

4 posts in this topic

I backed my boat into my trash can last week. Didn't look like anything was bent or broken when inspected, but today the steering was about 90 degrees off (at the steering wheel) at WOT (125 HP Mercury). Upon further review, it looks like the "Foil", or big wing-type thing that comes back right above the prop was a just a little bent in the left-hand corner. This seems consistent with what I was seeing on the water, as the boat crept to the left a little when opened up.

Well, I tried to "correct" this bend today and I broke off a small piece of the foil. I didn't press very hard, so I'm wondering if I did weaken it when I hit it?

Anyway, it appears to be an easy weld for somebody who knows this stuff. Any recommendations for somebody south of the river who can fix this sort of thing? I'm guessing I'll bring in just the lower unit, but are the shops that work on this sort of stuff good at making sure everything is balanced and true when they are done?

Thanks!

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If your steering is 90 degrees off (out of the water) you might want to have a dealer check it, it's not supposed to do any "stretching" and I cannot see how it could have moved and/or got that way.

If it's off while undergoing in the water you can correct it by turning the silver "fin" at the rear of motor, hanging vertically above the propeller, turn it just a little on same side boat is pulling (looking from the rear).

You don't need to have broken piece fixed unless for cosmetic reasons, it won't influence performance.

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Thanks for the reply Valv!

The steering wheel is straight when the boat is out of the water, and at WOT with the trim all the way in to part-way out, it stays very straight. Only when I have it trimmed all the way out while at 1/2 to WOT does it start to pull to the left. I don't have a complicated steering system, so perhaps this is normal and I've never paid attention before?

Would a bent skeg or bent prop cause this? Eyeballing both, they seem ok. I've tried adjusting the silver fin to compensate, but it only seems to affect the performace at low speeds, with the trim all the way in.

Thanks again for the reply!

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The trim tab breaks very easily, it has two purposes. It corrects for pull in the motor, so adjust as mentioned above. If it pulls right turn it right. The second purpose is an anode to prevent rusting on your unit. They are very inexpensive <$20 replace it.

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