Improved handling in reverse - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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Old 04-20-2008
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Improved handling in reverse

Well, after a nice day of sailing (which started with my boat drifting sideways to the dock, but we were able to push off) - I didn't relish the though of return (and for a good reason). With wind blowing into my dock - docking was a mess (not enough of a mess to make it an insurance claim but not far from that).
Part of the problem is - my boat is essentially uncontrollable in reverse. It will sort of prop walk counterclockwise - and that's about it. Rudder input is essentially ignored. I am sure full keel has a lot to do with it.

Still, I wonder if anything like a feathering/adjustable prop might improve things? I can't have every docking session turn into a full-marina affair (and I must be able to turn to stbd when entering my new dock, and when leaving too)
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Steering in reverse...

For boats that balk at turning in the direction opposite prop walk, I often teach students to use enough power to gain laminar flow over the rudder (yes, velocity), then shift to neutral (cancelling prop walk).. now you have steerage.

Have you tried this? What kind of boat, btw.. besides full keel?
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Old 04-20-2008
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I take it you have a left-hand turning screw?
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Old 04-20-2008
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It will sort of prop walk counterclockwise - and that's about it. Rudder input is essentially ignored. I am sure full keel has a lot to do with it.
Prop walk counterclockwise is great if you dock on the starboard side. Sucks if it's port side.
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Old 04-20-2008
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Originally Posted by bioman View Post
For boats that balk at turning in the direction opposite prop walk, I often teach students to use enough power to gain laminar flow over the rudder (yes, velocity), then shift to neutral (cancelling prop walk).. now you have steerage
Excuse my ignorance but how do you get flow over the rudder when in reverse with no boat speed?

Andre
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I read him as saying the boat itself turned counterclockwise, which would be not a bit of fun docking stbd side to. (g)
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Old 04-20-2008
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Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
Excuse my ignorance but how do you get flow over the rudder when in reverse with no boat speed?

Andre
I think he was trying to convey the concept of brief bursts of astern propulsion to gain sternway and thus flow over the rudder...at least that's what I assume he meant. (g)
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Old 04-20-2008
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Originally Posted by sailaway21 View Post
I think he was trying to convey the concept of brief bursts of astern propulsion to gain sternway and thus flow over the rudder...at least that's what I assume he meant. (g)
Brief bursts of astern propulsion will just give you brief bursts of intensified propwalk. . Or at least they do on my boat.

Andre
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laminar flow to overcome propwalk

Yes, enough power to get the boat moving, even if turning in an undesirable direction until you get flow over the rudder and keel.. then go to neutral to cancel prop walk and drive on momentum.
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prop walk

Had a cotum boat like this for 7 yrs .Just have to get used to it.Short burst worked in fwd but little effect on mine in reverse>Got to where just crab in sideways fwd would strighten.Been there done that lots of luck.
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