Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Washington, DC
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Re: Docking for Dummies
You have the same problem that I do then.
When you are trying to turn you need to get the bow through the wind. The wind pushes excessively on the freeboard of the boat, and is overpowering the turning force that you can get with the rudder.
You can reduce the effects of prop walk by doing a big burst of reverse, then putting the engine back into idle/neutral. That does help the reverse slow speed turning of the boat. Or you can go out backwards, which I think does work better in many situations on our boat.
This sounds like a good plan, and was what the PO advised as well.
I believe where I went wrong was backing out too slow (nerves!) and not shifting to neutral before turning the boat into the wind (which would have minimized prop walk). I was caught off guard when I lost control of the bow and didn't have a good backup plan when the boat began to turn the wrong way. (I had a good backup plan for the wind blowing us back into the pilings, but not spinning us the wrong way. Nothing like improvising with little experience surrounded by your neighbor's boats to bring the heart rate up!)
I got the boat back in the slip and tried again, this time taking the advice of my neighbor to back out even more slowly. Of course, that didn't work either, and actually went far worse. In the end, it was just easier to stop fighting it and drive out backwards.
What I really need is a styrofoam slip in calm water to practice close quarter maneuvering - anyone know if there's something like that around Herring Bay?
1987 Pearson 28-2, Deale MD