The older Outbacks had a long area in the water for the rudder to work with. The new design has a flatter bottom and the only real sideways control is way up at the verticle bow (front) down in the water. It acts like a skag on a surf board, only it is on the wrong end. Imagine paddling a surf board backwards with the skag down in the water in the front. That is the problem with the new Outback design and why many have said you can not go hands free with the Outback. Yes, I now have to keep my left hand on the rudder control almost all the time, even with the larger rudder, and that sucks.
My new 2012 model does not track straight at all and I have to keep my left hand on the steering control so it is not "hands free" peddling at all. Also the older model will turn in a much tighter circle, again because of the long round bottom in the water, where the flatter new model does not have anything for the rudder to push against except the verticle bow way up in the front.
You should be getting rock solid directional stability and turning out of your newer Outback with the large rudder. Remember, with your fins down (or in motion), the boat will pivot about the fins, not the bow, and the turn rate improves markedly.
You appear to have the classic symptoms of slack rudder lines -- poor turning and poor directional stability. If the directional control lines have slack in them, the rudder will not stay in place and the boat will not hold course reliably. Also, slack reduces rudder deflection, therefore turning is limited. It's an easy fix and should make a big difference for you. Here's the procedure I use:
In order to obtain full rudder authority and deflection, the directional control lines should be taut when the rudder is down and locked, and centered
. You need a #2 Phillips head screwdriver to make the adjustments.
First, deflect your tiller or rudder control full left and right, and [using a cardboard template or bevel square (shown)] check the deflection angles at the rudder in both directions.
After re-centering the rudder, any slack in the line should be first removed on the side that has the least deflection. Fine tune the lines accordingly to obtain equal rudder deflection from the tiller. Do not make your adjustments based on pushing the rudder back and forth
, as this is not how the rudder is operated and will not register correct deflection -- use the rudder control!
Remember that the hull expands and contracts with temperature. You don't want to set them piano wire tight -- just pull the slack out. Hopefully this will make your Outback handle much better!