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.
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.
have fun doing it.
Please submit whatever questions you have to IHRTechTalk@yahoo.com. 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.
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