Vegas XT Chinewalk

Randy, I'm running a '92, EFI 200 Merc. on a '90 Vegas XT. The boat has a hydraulic Jack plate, cle gearcase. My problem is at about 65mph I start to chime walk real bad. I'd like to know if I can do anything about it. Maybe the jack plate needs adj. I don't know. I do know that I have all kinds of gas pedal left and would like to use it. Could you please offer some tips. Thank You, Tracy.



Before we talk about chinewalk, let's make sure you have probably the most important item on your list of things to have. Make sure that your 200 has solid motor mounts installed, and if not, get them asap. With your Merc on the Vegas, this is probably the single most important thing. Otherwise, it is like trying to drive the boat with a rubberband for a steering wheel. For starters, position the jackplate so the prop shaft is 2 inches below the pad. This will get you in a fairly neutral position to start learning to control the chinewalk. Chinewalk is a natural thing that occurs with all fast V-bottoms as they are reducing their wetted surface and increasing in speed. The boat is literally trying to unbalance itself. The main thing to understand is that you cannot drive through chinewalk. The faster you go, the worse it gets. It is up to you (the nut behind the wheel), to learn to control this and fly the boat level. Kind of like riding a bicycle or flying a plane. It is all about balance. You will have to literally counter-steer the boat against its actions with appropriate reactions to maintain a level attitude. The main thing to do is don't drive faster than you can control the walk. Work your way up the speed range only after you "graduate" at a certain speed. The biggest mistake people do during this phase is to try and drive faster than they can control. In that case they learn nothing and never really figure the walk out. Just like riding a bike, it takes time and patience to gain the timing and the steering inputs that are needed, but you will get there. This is probably not the "fix" you were hoping for but it is the only way to get you to the 80+mph waiting for you. Be patient, practice steering the boat flat, and work your way up. 

And have fun doing it. 




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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