Mud Hen #69, Mad Hatter
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Upstate NY
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 15
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.
Charlie P. Mud Hen 17 #69 Mad Hatter
To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive - R.L. Stevenson
I suspect that, if you should go to the end of the world, you would find somebody there going farther . . . - H.D. Thoreau