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Small boat close handling control
I've had the Catalina 25 at a mooring all summer but just recently we have it at a dock. This is a dock with finger piers, I'm on "L". I'm the third boat from the dock or the dock side of the first finger. I have to back out and turn to starboard to exit the fairway. Once exiting the fairway I'm still not in the clear as I then enter another fairway where I have to turn left to finally get to the channel. The fairways are wide I'm guessing maybe 75', I'm only 25' and 35' boats are slipped right next to me.
I have no problem getting out but I notice that I often have to turn the 9.9 mercury to make it happen. The Mercury is on a bracket on the starboard side sticking out a couple feet as is common on a spring loaded motor mount.
The wind is often blowing down the fairway and will blow the bow the wrong way. It is easy enough to turn the motor and force the bow to turn upwind.
My question is that on some similar boats in the 20 to 27' size the motor is fixed and can not turn.
On the Catalina 25 after I back out enough so the bow clears the big boats next to me and I put it in forward the wind will blow the bow down and I don't have any steering control with the rudder for at least 2 to 3 boat lengths.
Since I can turn the motor I have no problems but if I had a similar boat where the motor could not turn what would be my options?
I even backed down the first fairway but then I had the same problem with the second fairway. If you change direction you have to stop at some point. It takes a long time for the boat to get enough speed to get rudder steering.
It seems to me an outboard with a fixed mount would be a real hassle in even moderate close quarters.
Maybe the boats with a well for the outboard have better handling because the rudder is better positioned relative to the prop.
Last edited by davidpm; 09-13-2011 at 12:10 AM.