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post #1 of 5 Old 05-21-2007 Thread Starter
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Sailing & Transmissions

This is the age old question about sailing with your transmission in what position. I was always told to put it in reverse when sailing. However if the prop is turning, you cannot shift into neutral in order to start the engine. You have to luft the sails and wait for the boat speed to bleed off before shifting. That is what happens on my C387. I am tempted to leave it in neutral when sailing, so I can start the engine if I need it.
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-21-2007
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I own a 350 and I also was advised to keep the transmission in reverse when sailing. However, I have never had the problem you describe. I have always been able to shift out of reverse into neutral without luffing the sails and slowing down when I want to start the engine.
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-21-2007
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If you shift to reverse it should lock the prop from turning - that's why it's recommended..... I've never heard of the prop spinning while the tranny is left in reverse gear - odd, that.
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-23-2007 Thread Starter
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Prop isn't spinning

but you can't shift into neutral until the boat stops moving forward. I think that the pressure on the prop keeps the transmission from being able to shift.
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post #5 of 5 Old 05-27-2007
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What gear you leave the transmission in while sailing and whether you can easily get back into neutral depends on the engine / transmission combination. Many Yanmar's use a different kind of clutch (than Westerbeke / Univeral, etc.) and can "lock up" in reverse when you attempt to get back into neutral after sailing. They (not me) consider this normal and specify that you should start the motor while the gear shifter is in reverse, then shift accordingly. I've been on a dozen Catalina's that do exactly this (larger boats with Yanmar power) and on 2 dozen more that don't (mostly Westerbeke / Universal). What gear you leave the shifter in while sailing is also dependent on the boat, engine and prop. You do what ever it takes to stop the shaft from spinning, assuming you want it to stop. Stopped is usually better because it stops the output shaft gears and clutches from rotating inside the gearbox while there is less lubrication. The prop also has an effect on this - some props (Autoprop for example) will attempt to turn the WRONG way while sailing, and will require the opposite gear to shut it down.

Ron

C400 #74 "Good Vibrations"
C250 WK #688 "Running Free"
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