Originally Posted by emcentar
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.
I love the 28-2, but that freeboard really does have some costs.
I second this one; Short bursts will reduce the prop walk a lot.
Also, practice ... a LOT. find a buoy, do it.
over and over.
I always back into our slip and try to keep the speed around 1.7 knots, with a minimum of 1.5 and max of 2.0
This way it steers well, stops quick enough and has enough speed to overcome any wind push.
I do have to say, the bigger the boat, the easier it gets.
I always had a much harder time with a 28 and a 32 footer. Current boat is 47 ft and it seems much easier. Boat characteristics also matter of course.
Don't get nervous. Keep checking everything, speed, position, rotation of boat and where the dock is. over and over.
Also make sure you know what the wind does, where it comes from and what it wants to do with your boat. Correct for it a little bit.
Also, you could add some plastic bumpers to absorb slow impacts. Sometimes it helps people just to have it, and not even really need it.
Whatever you do, stay calm. Tune out people watching you. Don't be afraid to abort the docking and start over (if you can). I really don't give 2 cents for people watching.
Good luck, you will get it.