Originally Posted by jaminotte
I've been reading practical seamanship and, under Dashew's advice, am doing my best to consider backing in as an option. Here's what i'm going to try this weekend. It will take advantage of the prop walk, but i'm concerned about the speed i may need to maintain control.
Great pictures. How did you generate them? Screenshot and Photoshop?
Your exhibit b is very similar to how I dock. My boat is 45' end to end and the fairway I back down is only 50' clear across. The most important thing for me is to get going fast enough in reverse to have good steering control. With control comes force (as noted above) so you have to keep a good grip on the wheel. In forward the rudder tends to stream straight; in reverse it wants to bang up against the stop - don't let go!
Some practice in open water will serve you well.
Originally Posted by MikeinLA
Well, I would try this. Nice slow wide approach to the slip head on so you are headed straight into it. About 1/3 in, reverse thrust to back the boat out of the slip to port. Then forward, putting the boat right about where # 4 is on your 3rd pic. Then, just back it in as you would under your backup plan.
That might work for the OP and is a good skill to have anyway. For me, the clearance in my fairway makes it a little spooky. I've done it but the long run in reverse is less stressful on my boat.