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  #1  
Old 09-29-2007
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problem motoring in reverse

I am the new owner of a 1980 Pearson 32. It is equipped with a folding prop.
I have not been able to make any progress understanding what it is doing when I try to motor in reverse, such as backing into my slip.

I understand prop walk, and have backed larger boats (chartered) into slips without too much trouble.

I expect the stern to carve out a path to port as I am backing. But this is not what happens -- there is no motion for a few seconds (while prop is unfolding, I guess), then the boat starts to move sideways (to port). Not a turn to port, but it starts crabbing sideways. The boat is unmanageable.

Does anybody have an idea what might be the problem?

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 09-29-2007
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It's likely a lack of thrust from the folding prop that is the root of your problem.

Other than changing the prop, I'd suggest trying a bit more throttle (if you haven't already) to get some way on sooner, and make sure that your rudder is amidships until you do have some way on.

If the rudder is hard over from the start, it acts as a brake and makes things worse. It can't work without flow across it, and in reverse that requires some boat speed.
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Old 09-29-2007
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Old 09-29-2007
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I think Faster has got the key. You need to get a little headway first in reverse with the rudder centered. I find with my boat that if I turn the rudder and then put it in reverse, I will go the complete opposite direction that I intend to go.
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Old 09-29-2007
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Going to a folder is a bit of an education. Although I can achieve reverse with my two-blade Gori, I don't generally use it, preferring to "coast in" and simply cleat off a spring.

But I would suggest the following: Find a buoy that's not being used (a race mark on a non-race day is good) and power directly into the wind, switch to neutral, and then give it a good burst of reverse. Note how quickly (or not) you stop and actually start backing down. Then repeat, but with the wind directly on your stern. Use the buoy and a watch to figure out what's working.

Finally, have the wind directly on the beam and try to "dock" (come alongside with little velocity) with the mark. "Dock" either side to see if you still have prop walk and what steering/vectoring compensations you have to make in order to have the folder in reverse make a positive contribution.
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Old 09-29-2007
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The crabbing to port is probably due to prop walk. A lot of boats do much better if you use the throttle in bursts, rather than under constant throttle.

As for the steering—you really need to be moving in reverse for the steering to have the effect you expect it to, otherwise it will work opposite of what you are expecting.
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Old 10-01-2007
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You have a folding prop. Did it unfold fully when you go reverse ?
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