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Chris Christensen

Boat is hard to turn right, easy to the left

8 posts in this topic

I have a 1985 Chaparral 187xl with the 3.7L / alpha one drive. When turning right, I must really apply a lot of pressure to make the turn and to stay in the turn. Turing to the left is easy. It behaves in this manner at higher speeds. Any help is appreciated.

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Is it the actual steering wheel resisting a right turn or does the boat just not follow the steering wheel when turned to the right? Maybe too much weight bias on the port side. Does the boat list in either direction?

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Which type of anode do you have on the drive unit. IF you have the style with the skeg sticking down in front of the prop it needs to be adjusted to compensate and make turning effort equal (non power steering boat). It should be turned to the left a bit. Power steering boats don't need one so you will see some boats with just a flat anode.

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The main question... is does it do this when your stopped at idle??

and.. do you have power steering?

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Is it the actual steering wheel resisting a right turn or does the boat just not follow the steering wheel when turned to the right? Maybe too much weight bias on the port side. Does the boat list in either direction?

When the boat is at no wake speed the controls behave correctly and smoothly (except for a little play in the wheel), when I get on plane is when I really notice the difficulty in steering to the right. I get this if I am on the boat alone on the starboard side or if the boat is balanced with other people. If I am on the boat alone, the boat does list to the starboard side.

This boat has no power steering. It has a trim tab with a skeg. I will try to adjust the trim tab to see if it makes a difference.

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The next time you have the impeller changed, I'd install Mercury part # 822777a2. This is the high performance magnesium anode that will allow you to run whatever prop you desire (some props and pitches will hit the standard fin anode) while still providing a slightly larger fin to help compensate for steering torque on your non p/s engine. I opt for this anode when I'm changing the anode above the prop on all Alpha and Bravo 1 drives as it has more material to be sacrificed vs. the flat anode version. On p/s models, I just place the fin straight back.

Irregardless of whether you change the anode on the next impeller change, I'd install a new anode bolt, Merc part # 10-32470. The 1990 and older style Alpha drives can only have the bolt changed when the drive is split, and the bolt over time likes to seize on. This scenario requires drilling the bolt and anode out to get the drive split apart in the first place. Alpha Gen II models can have a socket fit down the hole to remove the bolt.

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Turn your trim tab to the right (starboard). this will make it easier to turn right (starboard).

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