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Old 09-16-2013
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Baba 30 Maneuvering

Hello all,

Recently purchased a lovely Baba 30. Love the boat, but having some difficulty getting used to close quarters maneuvering, especially in reverse.

I expected this to be a challenge, and I would like all the advice I can get.

I can get her moving straight-ish backwards in a fairway, by cocking the bow to port, so the prop walk will straighten the boat until there's enough sternest for steerage.

The problem is that I need to keep her going at a pretty good clip to keep enough sternway. (If I slow down, the bow gets blown off). I wouldn't want to try to maneuver that fast in close quarters though.

Does anyone actually try to maneuver in reverse in these vessels, or do most people use warping and back-and-fill to get the boat turned around so the forward gear can be used instead.

Any general other tips for maneuvering a mostly full keeled boat? I learned to sail on fin-keelers, so any help is welcome.

Thanks.
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Old 09-16-2013
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Re: Baba 30 Maneuvering

Stern-way, not "sternest". Silly autocorrect.
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Old 09-16-2013
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Re: Baba 30 Maneuvering

I'm interested in what folks say to as I have available to me a boat with a similar underwater profile, a Bristol 32.

As far as I can tell even the back and fill maneuver may not work reliably if you have even 10 knots of breeze.

I have frankly just been very conservative in my driving this boat.

I'll share some ideas that may or may not be valid.
One of my problems is that I mostly have to dock by myself so it makes my ability to experiment even less comfortable.

Going backwards even at a good clip may not work that well since it is a barn door rudder and the forces on the rudder get very high very quickly. It is important that the wheel does not jump out of your hand. If it does then it locks against the stops.

But even locked against the stops with the boat in reverse I have had the boat go the opposite direction to which you would expect because the wind on the bow overcame any effect of the rudder.

In forward the pivot point is somewhere aft of the mast.
In reverse the pivot point is probably way back about under your feet.

So far as I don't consider myself an expert with this boat but I really watch the wind.
The minute you go in reverse I think you can expect the wind to carry the bow no matter what you do with the engine or wheel.
If that is what you want great if not I don't even try.

I had marginal success with back and fill. Again the wind would control the bow a lot more effectively than anything I could do with power.

I'm in an area of 2+ knot currents also.
I have yet to figure out what wins when the current and wind are opposed.

If the wind and current are both against you I'm pretty sure the motor will not help you at all.
Don't ask how I know this?

Last year I drove a Bene 32s5. That boat I could drive as well backwards as forwards.
The Bristol with the cutaway fore foot and barn door rudder seems to have almost no directional stability in reverse.

My ambition is to really understand the forces so that with a given wind and current I can predict what it will do.
It is not magic obviously it is just physics but the behavior is amplified because the pivot point moves back so far.

So far I pretty much assume it will do the opposite of what I want and that has been pretty consistently accurate.

Seriously I think I might get it eventually, I'm getting better but I'm afraid that the answer will be that there are some maneuvers that just are not going to happen.

As a point of reference I attached a picture of the Allmond 30 which so far I'm thinking is a little more controllable in reverse but not as much as the fin keel balanced rudder designs.
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Baba 30 Maneuvering-allmond.jpg  
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Last edited by davidpm; 09-16-2013 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 09-16-2013
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Re: Baba 30 Maneuvering

Best advice I can give is to try to have the engine in neutral as much as possible so that the rudder has a chance to work with the water flow. When the prop is turning nothing good is going to happen. Also you can learn to steer your boat very tightly in one direction (in my boat to the right) by turning the wheel to starboard and leaving it there while you alternate goosing the power forward and reverse and changing directions before you start moving forward or back - be sure to pause for a second or two in neutral each time. Combine this tight turn with the previous one for getting out of the slip. I have done more than a few 270* turns to get out of a dock. Not a huge problem when you feel under control.
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Old 09-16-2013
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Baba 30 Maneuvering

I had the same problems as you for the first couple of months when I backed out my Morgan 323. Then I realized when I work with the wind and the current it's not a problem anymore. As long as you know what she does under different conditions, use that to your advantage and you won't have any problems anymore.
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Old 09-16-2013
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Re: Baba 30 Maneuvering

I approach going in reverse as an act of random chaos. Our full-keel, heavy displacement cutter has a barn door rudder. Killarney_sailor is bang on, for the rudder to bite you've got to be in neutral. Of course, that's usually not possible when you're needing to go in reverse.

I avoid going in reverse if I can. After that I use prop-walk when I can to pivot around as fast as I can. Beyond that it's creative uses of spring lines, fenders, anchors, and plenty of apologies to nearby boats .
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Old 09-16-2013
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Re: Baba 30 Maneuvering

We get far enough AWAY to build up enough speed to coast at which point the whole neutral thing allows you to turn fairly well
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Old 09-16-2013
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Re: Baba 30 Maneuvering

We use the "Nellie Thruster"

That is my wife in the dinghy nudging the bow or the stern.
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Old 09-16-2013
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Re: Baba 30 Maneuvering

Quote:
Originally Posted by tommays View Post
We get far enough AWAY to build up enough speed to coast at which point the whole neutral thing allows you to turn fairly well
Tommy if you are talking about your Cal 29 I can assure you that the behavior of your boat is darn right gentlemanly compared to a cutaway forefoot with a barn door rudder.

I'm not so sure anything you do with the rudder or prop has anything significant to do with the direction you go if the wind, even 6 knots, catches your bow if you have a boat like the OP's

Combined with current and the calculation is even worse.

I've got an experiment for you.

Next time you are at the supermarket go grab a broom from the display.

Now line up your shopping cart in the center of the isle backwards, the front towards you.
Now take the handle of the business end of the broom with one hand and using the handle end start pushing the cart down the isle backwards. Now start to run.

That would be easy but it will give an idea of what happens when the bow is easily pushed off course and the turning point is very close to the stern.
The moment you get out of perfect alignment the the boat turns 90 degrees or more.
P.S Be sure to have someone video the experiment.
You get extra points if you navigate around a floor display of glass bottles.


If you are referring to a similar boat to the OP's forget what I said.
Just kidding Tommy
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Last edited by davidpm; 09-16-2013 at 10:38 PM.
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Re: Baba 30 Maneuvering

I looked up the boats a lot of you are referring to and I'm not sure your experience is going to match that of the OP's

I'm pretty sure their is a world of difference between the reverse behaviour of those of you who have a boat with keel cut out front and stern. Yes it is not the delight of backing up a fin keel with a balanced rudder.

Based on my experience with a Bristol 32 and a Allmond 31 both of which I sailed a bit this summer I'm pretty sure the Bristol 32 with barn door rudder connected to a full keel all the way to the stern and cutaway for-foot is much more susceptible to minor effects of wind and current than the Allmond 31 with full keel that is cut away for and aft with the rudder on a small skeg.

If someone with real design experience or maybe ownership experience of both designs could chime in and set me straight that would be great.

In short it is highly possible that you folks who have the Allmond 31 keel config may think you have some problems backing up but wait until you try the OP's boat or the Bristol 32.
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The lesson from the Icarus story is not about human failing.
It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
If you have an engineering problem solve it.

Last edited by davidpm; 09-16-2013 at 10:45 PM.
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