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Steering Play - Rinker 260EC

I have a 2011 Rinker 260 Express Cruiser.  I have a little bit of play in the steering, probably about a couple inches of steering before the drive actually turns.  It's been like this since I bought the boat in 2011.  Obviously, I don't expect it to be as reactive as car steering, but is this normal or is there an easy way to adjust the steering cable to tighten it up a bit?  I do lube the steering cable every year.  I had a Crownline boat with an Alpha drive prior to this boat and I don't remember that much play in the steering.  I can't imagine something is seriously wrong as I only have 80 hours on the boat.  Please advise??

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    raybo3raybo3 Administrator Posts: 5,468 admin
    edited May 2013

    Welcome to the RBOC.Sounds like you need to adjust the cable. Someone on this site will know and help you out. You can also search this site I think Babyboomer posted a link on cable adjustments. If he did I am sure he will chime in,

    2002 342 Fiesta Vee PC Point Of Pines YC Revere MA. popyc.org     raybo3@live.com
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    MarkBMarkB Member Posts: 3,967 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I have a 2011 260EC. There's some play, but I'd say at most 1" either way turning the wheel.

    Boat Name: King Kong

    "Boat + Water = Fun"

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    kneedeepkneedeep Member Posts: 103 ✭✭✭
    Mine is a 2009 340, 350's with bravo 3's. I have lots of play in my steering & the boat tracks horribly at low (off plane) speeds. It's my biggest complaint with the boat. My last boat was a sea ray 320 with inboards & it did not have these issues.  Still love the boat though.
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    BabyboomerBabyboomer Member Posts: 918 mod
    edited May 2013
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    raybo3raybo3 Administrator Posts: 5,468 admin
    You know after thinking about it. Are you talking slow speed or up on plane? Slow speed ie no wake it will seem like a lot play in the wheel. If its a high speed or on plane then you may have to adjust the cable. Also I (we) can always count on Boomer. I think we should change his name to Linkman......LOL
    2002 342 Fiesta Vee PC Point Of Pines YC Revere MA. popyc.org     raybo3@live.com
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    kneedeepkneedeep Member Posts: 103 ✭✭✭
    Mine is at slow speeds, no or little wake. It was like this when I purchased the boat & it only had 45 hours on it.
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    raybo3raybo3 Administrator Posts: 5,468 admin
    That might be normal. Very hard to keep a boat straight at slow speeds like that. I forgot the term that is used for this but my guess is you do not have a problem. Now if the boat was on plane then I would say you had a problem....
    2002 342 Fiesta Vee PC Point Of Pines YC Revere MA. popyc.org     raybo3@live.com
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    TikiHut2TikiHut2 Member Posts: 1,431 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Ray is probably/hopefully right about it being a normal issue, My 270 barely tracks at idle speed requiring constant helm attn. The Admiral almost always over steers when she is at it. The huge freeboard compared to the depth and size(lack) of a keel are just what you get at slow speed. 

    As was mentioned (and I actually did this this morning, remembering your post) when the boat is out of the water simply grab the aft edge of the drive and aggressively pull it side to side to see if there's slop in the tiller arm connection to the cable or at the tiller connection to the drive. I know mine is almost ready for a new gimbel ring/tiller connector and seal, and there's very little play, but it's an 8yo saltwater boat. Re-torque that U-bolt on the drive tiller pin every year too.

    As Ray said , I also suspect/hope yours is just a tracking issue that's inherent to the boats design limitations. Put a sailboat keel under it and it'll track like it's on a rail at low speed, but planning would be an issue...

    Good luck and let us know what you find. Mike
    2004 FV270, 300hp 5.7 350mag MPI Merc 305hrs, 2:20 Bravo3 OD w.22p props, 12v Lenco tabs, Kohler 5kw genset, A/C, etc.etc...
    Regular weekender, Trailer stored indoors, M/V TikiHut, Sarasota, Fl
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    BabyboomerBabyboomer Member Posts: 918 mod
    raybo3 said:
    That might be normal. Very hard to keep a boat straight at slow speeds like that. I forgot the term that is used for this but my guess is you do not have a problem. Now if the boat was on plane then I would say you had a problem....
    The Term is Sober  :D

    Slip 866 Sunset Marina Byrdstown Tn
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    raybo3raybo3 Administrator Posts: 5,468 admin
    LOL Boomer your killing me....
    2002 342 Fiesta Vee PC Point Of Pines YC Revere MA. popyc.org     raybo3@live.com
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    kneedeepkneedeep Member Posts: 103 ✭✭✭
    Yes, I agree. I don't think there is anything wrong, it's just inherent to the design. I think my sea ray was better because it had straight inboards with rudders. I think the rudders helped the tracking at slow speeds.
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    Capt_SteveCapt_Steve Member Posts: 281 admin
     Response from Randy Rinker:

    It is normal to have a couple of inches play in the steering. You can look in the engine room where the steering cable attaches to the steering actuator and make sure the nut is tight on the cable.
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