Why Is My Boat Pulling To The Right?

Why Is My Boat Pulling To The Right?

Do you have a small boat that steers to the right every time you let go of the steering? This can be extremely dangerous and terrifying.

A boat uses a propeller that is responsible for clockwise or anticlockwise motion.
Depending on the type, the propeller’s force can twist the boat on either side, pulling the boat left or right.

Many reasons can cause your boat to steer to the right, and different ways of fixing this problem.

Some of the things I will be discussing include:

  • The propeller
  • Tie bar
  • Trim bar
  • Steering system
  • Mounting of the engine

What Causes the Boat to Pull on the Right

Your boat might veer off to the right or left due to many reasons.

Defective Trim Tab

The boat’s trim tab is mainly used to offer a compensating lift for weight distribution, water condition, and speed change.

The trim tab will reduce hull resistance when it is deflecting downwards.

When the trim tab is adjusted incorrectly, the boat will either move on the right or left the moment your hands are off the steering wheel.

Therefore, take caution when removing your hand since incorrect positioning of the trim tab can cause a sudden change in direction, throwing you out of the boat.

The Poor Setting of the Tie Bar

This is common in several engine boats, especially if you have not properly set up your tie bar.

A triple or quad engine boat rarely pulls to one side due to the engine’s power.

On the other hand, twin-engine boats can pull to the right or left if you poorly set up the tie bar.

The main reason for setting up tie bars is to have a particular amount of tow-in angle.

I always like having the two wakes crossing each other at 40 feet (25 to 50 feet is still okay) from the back of my boat.

It is easy to adjust this distance by measuring the space between the propellers.

Another important thing I always check is the bolt mounting the tie bar.
My tie bar is always 26¼ inches if the distance separating prop shafts is 26inches.

This will greatly affect how your boat steers through the water.

Poor Mounting of The Engine

Poor engine mounting can be another reason why your bot might be pulling to the right or left.

If your engine is off to the right or left of the keel and a little crooked, the boat can push to one side.

You can correct this condition by mounting the engine correctly.
Therefore, you need to fill the mounting bolt hole located in the transom and then re-drill.

You can use one of the many techniques of mounting the engine to ensure it is at the transom center.

Remember, it is vital to mount your engine at the center of the keel to steer your boat straight or in the direction you want.

Otherwise, your boat will pull hard to the right or left, depending on the engine’s side.

However, it will depend on the steering system and the propeller’s force.

Type of the Steering System

The steering system is among the key components causing the boat to steer to one side. A hydraulic steering system will alleviate this issue.

The reason behind it is the fact hydraulic steering system will not let the engine often turn since you will be fighting the prop spin instead of turning the engine.

When you stop holding the steering while driving, the propeller’s force will try to turn the engine to the side of the spin.

With a hydraulic steering system, the engine will remain in the same position after taking your hand off the steering wheel.

When using mechanical steering, your engine will spin in one direction by the propeller if you let go of the steering wheel.

The Propeller

Your boat will steer in one direction depending on how it is pushed by the propeller through the water.

The engine is responsible for driving the propeller in either direction.

Therefore, the propeller’s force will create a twisting motion to make the boat veer to the right or left.

Also, some hull manufacturers have this challenge in how they perform in the water.
The boat will randomly roll over to the right or left from cutting through the water just because of the force produced by the propeller.

So, Why is My Boat Pulling to the Right – Summary

Your boat might be pulling to the right because of several reason like:

  • The way the boat is pushed by the propeller
  • The poor setting of the tie bar
  • Defective trim bar
  • Steering system type
  • Poor mounting of the engine


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igor desperatesailors

Hi, I’m Igor, Skipper of S/Y "The Hooker". A decade ago, I conquered my childhood dream: to be a sailing skipper, own a sailing yacht. Yes, it knocked dullness out of my urban life — Read more →

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