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post #26 of Old 02-24-2011
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There's a world of difference between a fin keel/spade rudder boat with a Max Prop and a full keel boat with a fixed prop when backing.

My boat is a 35 footer with a 3-blade MaxProp. The elliptical keel and spade rudder make for a very maneuverable boat in reverse. The MaxProp has something to do with this, since it does not have cupped blades and has just as much thrust in reverse as in forward.

By comparison, we've chartered mostly Island Packets, from 35' to 42', over the past dozen years. These boats are relatively heavy, have a modified full keel and an attached rudder. The fixed prop is cupped. They go forward very predictably, but have less thrust and noticeable prop walk in reverse. Backing out of a slip requires that you get some way on promptly, so the rudder can get some bite to counteract the prop walk. If you are in a cross-wind/current situation, it can be dicey.
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