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Old 04-27-2018, 03:33 AM   #1
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Default Fishtailing at low speed

I just went from a 115 hp pontoon boat to a 97 maxum 2000sr. Whenever I go slow, as in no wake zones, the boat fish tails left and right so I'm constantly correcting course. Not something my pontoon did. Is there a fix?

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Old 04-27-2018, 04:42 AM   #2
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Check the cable. Maybe is lose or you low in steering oil.
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Old 04-27-2018, 04:55 AM   #3
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I will check them
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Old 04-27-2018, 07:23 AM   #4
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Sounds like typical stern drive behavior tbh. Mine wonders about at low speed too.
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Old 04-27-2018, 08:42 AM   #5
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+1 Typical for stern drive monohulls. Your 'toon was wide and tracked on multiple hulls, so you didn't feel the wander as much.

It's something you'll get used to. Pretty soon you'll anticipate the movement and make small corrections proactively. It's very common to see new operators over correcting as they are correcting too late.
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Old 04-27-2018, 11:49 AM   #6
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Slow speed wonder is normal for sterndrives. Don’t make big corrections as it takes time for the boat to respond. Small movements of the wheel then wait for it to respond.

Also check the outdrive to see if you can feel side to side play as the swivel shaft on Mercruiser’s go bad over time resulting in play
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Old 04-27-2018, 12:36 PM   #7
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The behavior is expected and isn't a 'Maxum' issue. All V-hulls do it. The problem is exacerbated by two proceeding events.

1) The expectation that the boat won't 'wander', thus holding course and expecting course to hold .

2) Oversteering once the bow has wandered.

You're not only going to need to actively steer, but also begin anticipating. If you start to correct once the bow has gone off course, it's already too late. There will be a delay in the boat's reaction. The boat will tend to continue heading off course despite helm correction. The bow will finally 'catch up' to the helm.

Then once the boat is back on course, helm correction from the adjustment back to being on course again is also too late. If you straighten course at the helm once the bow is on course, the bow will continue turning past the course. The helm correction is again too late, and the problem is perpetuated.

What you essentially need to do is see the bow begin to creep off course and adjust immediately. Once the bow begins starts to come back to center straighten out again.

In other words the helm correction needs to occur at the beginning of the bow movement, not the end. Boats steer from the rear, not the front (like cars). They are also slow to react, with delays (unlike cars).

You'll get used to it with practice.
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Old 04-27-2018, 02:12 PM   #8
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I was afraid wandering was normal, but was hoping there might be some type of after market stabilizing skag type device.
Thanks to all for your input
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Old 04-27-2018, 02:29 PM   #9
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We installed a „course keeper“. It became so much easier to manoeuver at low speed or keep on course.
Information about Course-Keeper
I don‘t know if and where you can get this in the US or under which name. From what I understand it was developped in the Netherlands.
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Old 04-27-2018, 04:08 PM   #10
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Thanks, I'll try to find it
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