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-   -   My rudder spun 180 degree's...? (http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/showthread.php?t=794848)

liquidmx 08-01-2012 9:56 AM

My rudder spun 180 degree's...?
The other day while backing off the trailer at the launch ramp I had an odd experience. It sounded like I sucked up someone's anchor line. After pulling the boat out of the water it appears my rudder had spun 180's and it was making contact with the prop.

My boat is a 2000 Malibu VLX. I have done what little research is available on this and here are the two scenarios I have heard of this happening:

One: The rudder's Keyway is damaged and it's still clamped down hard enough to steer but the rudder arm and rudder can be spun around due to excessive prop thrust (suction) when the boat is in reverse.

Two: Same as the above only the keyway is NOT damaged and this can happen at any time a person driving in reverse has the wheel locked in either direction. The thrust from the prop in reverse can "suck" the rudder beyond it's turning radius, twisting the steering cable in the process. In addition this scenario can happen on the "older boats" as their rudder boxes did not have positive stops in the rudder's range of motion.

Has anyone else had this happen and can you confirm or deny the second scenario as a truth or B.S.?


Elliottsx80 08-01-2012 11:25 AM

happen to me on my x80 on the drivers side. thought i broke the cable but the rudder actually fell out going across the lake. almost sunk the boat and demolished the prop.

after looking at it. my rudder arm. the arm that pinches the top of your rudder was actually wore out or got loose allowing the rudder to spin inside the arm. until it actually fell out. i replaced the arm, the key way and the seal unless the seal. i would do the same. you dont wana take any chances on that! oh i also went and bought a big flat washer and replaced the carter key with a lynch pin just in case it ever did it again the rudder couldnt fall out of the boat!

Elliottsx80 08-01-2012 11:31 AM

i think the 2nd is bs, there might be a little more force on it in reverse at low speeds, but i would think any kind of power turn going forward would have alot more force on the rudder than any speed in reverse

liquidmx 08-01-2012 12:57 PM

Robby, think about the physics of it though. If you are going forward there is nothing to "suck" the rudder around...it will naturally track straight (or slightly right usually). However in reverse with the wheel cranked hard to the right I could see the prop "sucking" the rudder around with a hard enough throttle hit (which is the story I have been told).

08-01-2012 1:06 PM

There is only 3 things that could cause this. 1. The steering cable broke. 2. The steering arm is broke or missing the bolt holding the steering cable on. 3. The keyway is either broke or missing.

There isn't a whole lot to the steering system on inboards. You've got the rudder, rudder post, steering arm, and either a rack and pinion or rotary steering cable.

Elliottsx80 08-01-2012 1:36 PM

i understand what your saying dizzie. but thing about how much abuse your rudder takes running 40 at 4000 rpms and taking sharp turns. ive never backed my boat up at 4000 rpms. im going to guess your steering arm is wore out or the bolt that pinches it to your rudder is loose and slipped or broke your key way.

boardman74 08-01-2012 2:04 PM

I have to agree with the others. Those rudders take a lot of force at many different times. If the rudder is how it should be there is no better chance of it flipping in reverse than a power turn at a high speed. I have owned 5 inboards in my life and have used the same shallow ramp at our cabin lake my whole life. When the water is low you have to hit it pretty hard in reverse to get it off. I've done it plenty of times with the rudder turned and never has the rudder been sucked into the prop and flipped 180 degree's. I agree with the others, if it happened something was broken or worn out. It's not a normal thing to happen, at all. If it was that easy to do you'd hear about tons of people "flipping" their rudders. Your the first one I have ever heard of. Something broke or came loose.

nitrousbird 08-02-2012 6:42 AM

As was answered by an expert on TMC that also works for a Malibu dealer, the 2nd option is what happened.

"Scenario two is in fact... fact. The early big V-drives like the Escape ran a barn door for a rudder, and prop suction in reverse would pull it right over center and contact the prop. Rudder stops were implemented, and sent out to install on boats without them.


edit - most common occurance was when backing off a trailer."

liquidmx 08-02-2012 7:57 AM

Nitrous, do you have the name of the expert or someone I can contact to purchase those rudder stops? I pulled it apart last night and the keyway was sheared as well but I dont want this happening again.


nitrousbird 08-02-2012 7:55 PM


Originally Posted by liquidmx (Post 1772965)
Nitrous, do you have the name of the expert or someone I can contact to purchase those rudder stops? I pulled it apart last night and the keyway was sheared as well but I dont want this happening again.


Contact Bakes or Peter that posted in your thread on TMC (a far better place than here for Malibu specific info), they should be able to get you hooked up.

boardman74 08-02-2012 9:35 PM

Seems like a design problem on a few specific boats. Not a wide spread or common occurrence.

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