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Old 11-08-2011
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Best way to switch sides

There seems to be a bunch of new folks on this board so I would like to mention an old trick that "everyone" knows.

When switching sides on a small boat with a tiller like a Catalina 22 or 25 the most common technique is to slide forward a little, and stay facing forward and try to pass the tiller from one hand to the other behind you while switching your butt from one side to the other.
In ideal conditions this can work OK but often it fails.

Try this:
In this example I'm going from port to starboard.
Face forward right hand on tiller.
Switch grip so your holding the tiller like it was an ax handle.
Swing your but around so you are facing the stern and you are leaning your back to the front of the boat and holding the tiller with one or two hands like a bat.
Keep swinging your butt until you land on the starboard side and and switch to the standard grip with your left hand.

There are several advantages to this maneuver.
1. The handle can not get hung up behind you.
2. The tension between leaning forward and holding the tiller creates stability.
3. If you find that the boat is healed and the starboard side is uphill you can use your left hand to grab whatever is handy on the starboard side to haul yourself up there.

Try it and after a couple of practice runs you will find it just feels like you have more control.

Last edited by davidpm; 11-08-2011 at 12:51 AM.
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