No Feedback Steering

I have a new Crestliner 16 1/2 foot Sport Angler boat with a 60 HP Johnson motor. The dealer talked me into ordering the boat with the "no feedback" steering option. I've had the boat three months and I don't like the way the boat steers. There is excessive freeplay in the steering system which makes it impossible to guide the boat in a straight line at slow speed. I have to consciously turn the steering wheel left or right when it drifts off course which, of course, requires a lot of extra driver attention to try to keep the boat on a straight course. I've had a lot of boats with outboard motors and I usually just guide the boat at low speeds and I have not had to saw the wheel back and forth to stay on course as I do now. 

At high speed the boat has improved directional stability but the steering effort is very high on left turns. 

Is this what I should expect with "no feedback" steering? 

The dealer is cooperative but he is 120 miles away so I don't want to take the boat to him unless there is something wrong. 

To cover all the bases, the motor is also a 2004 Johnson 4stroke. The problem didn't develop over time. It was there from the beginning. 

Thank you very much in advance.
R.J. Doyle

R. J., 

There is always going to be a lot of free play in a single cable steering system. The only real cure would be a lot more expensive hydraulic system. The play would be gone, but so would almost $1000. Sorry for the bad news. 




Please submit whatever questions you have to  All questions and answers selected will be displayed on this page as they come in.  Note: though all boaters are welcome, priority may be given to I.H.R. members.  Randy can not be held responsible for any advice given.  Though his information and expertise is second to none, he has no control over what you do with your boat.  It is up to you to boat safely and act responsibly, and his advice is only to be used as a guidance for your high performance boat/motor of which you are the one responsible for the risks involved.

Mark C.


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