Join Date: Jun 2006
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Rep Power: 11
I agree. I tend to "coast" in neutral as much as possible when docking, and only give a high rev burst of reverse if I'm overshooting before a spring can be put on. My idle is about 700 rpm on a Westerbeke 52, I have the B-W transmission, and a three-blade 18 x 13, so it's not wildly different. I know that when I do reverse out of a slip, I tend to spin the engine up just to avoid prop-walking and to get sufficient way on for steerage. Noisy, but effective.
I can't recall when I've had to hit reverse, actually, if I was going more than four knots (which would put drag on the prop as you shifted to reverse). On the other hand, people who see my boat assume I'm unlikely to stop quickly anyway, and so give us a wide berth.
I anticipate that when I install our new four-bladed, 19 x 15 VariProp this spring, that I will have to learn how to shift all over again, because there is always a definite time lag as the prop blades redeploy. The upside of this is that I expect significantly more low-speed torque with the increased bite of the four-blade, and less drag, of course, under sail when those big blades are feathered.