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Old 11-30-2008
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Our boat is not easy to steer in reverse either, especially if the wind has picked up. I only really need reverse when getting out of our slip, and I've learned with practice how to get out pretty good.

I put the transmission in reverse, give the engine a lot of power just long enough to get the boat to back up. Then I immediately take the power off, and put the transmission in neutral. Once the prop stops turning in reverse the rudder begins to take over, because it has enough water flowing over it without the effects of prop walk from the prop.

I start out of the slip with the rudder turned in the direction I want to go in, and as soon as the water flows over the rudder I begin turning.

If I back out and keep the transmission in reverse after I stop the power, the prop is still turning interfering with the water flow over the rudder, and inhibiting the boat from pivoting on its axis...at least that's my experience.

I envy those that can back into their slips back wards, but I'd be afraid to try that maneuver with out boat.
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Old 11-30-2008
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Some boats are better than others in reverse. If I can't get it to go where I want in reverse, I fall back on the method of using short bursts of forward thrust to (which put good flow across the rudder) get the point pointed in the right direction, then back up and hope for the best. Use as many short bursts of forward as needed to realign and then hit reverse again. The boat doesn't have to actually move forward, but just get forward flow past the rudder from the prop wash.
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Old 11-30-2008
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Prop Location and Prop Walk


My O'day 35 had a 3 blade fixed prop, and the prop is located most of the way aft. My boat has a lot of prop walk, so I don't think the prop location will have any bearing on the amount of prop walk there is.

When I first put my boat in reverse, it will turn about 45 degrees before I gain enough speed to have steerage. Since I know this and anticipate it, it's not really a problem.

I try to take advantage of the prop walk when I approach the dock. I like to come to the dock with the dock on my port side. I aim at the dock at a 45 degree angle. When the bow is close to the dock (and I am moving at 1 kt or less) I put it in reverse and rev up the engine for a few seconds. That stops the forward motion and pulls the stern right up to the dock.

Good luck,
Barry Lenoble
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY

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