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Old 07-15-2013
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Pearson 31-2 #80 ('87)
 
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Re: Backing up (or not)

My auxiliary sailboats have all had spade rudders. Some back better than others. Invariably I have prop-walk that prevents backing to starboard; so the answer has been get a head of steam up straight back and cut down to idle, out of gear, and THEN turn the wheel to swing the transom to starboard. This works fine.

In a tight channel the propwalk is actually handy for a bootlegger's turn (in one boat length/spin on the keep's axis). Power in, wheel hard stbd, at 70-90° back the wheel and power in reverse, at 160-180° wheel back over and power forward - out the way you came.

Gets people standing on their transoms when you do this between piers in a marina.

Always remember that, unlike a car, a boat pivots on the keel. Boats are like aircraft - they rotate on a central point. And you seldom see anyone backing an airplane in flight.

A friend of mine had a beautiful Albert Strange designed sailboat with a keel mounted rudder and offset propshaft; but not offset so much as to allow the prop to fully avoid the rudder when hard over. Reverse was an imaginary concept. He had to do an 18-point turn to regain his slip.
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Charlie P. P31-2 #80 CATNAP

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