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  #11  
Old 01-28-2008
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I'm pretty sure the trans is not slipping. Say I'm motoring along at 2 to 3 kts
if I shift to reverse and throttle up the boat will gradually slow with a lot of prop wash so I know the prop is working but is it working right....

I am wondering if the pitch of the prop could be off ??????
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  #12  
Old 01-28-2008
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Originally Posted by LBSailor View Post
I'm pretty sure the trans is not slipping. Say I'm motoring along at 2 to 3 kts
if I shift to reverse and throttle up the boat will gradually slow with a lot of prop wash so I know the prop is working but is it working right....

I am wondering if the pitch of the prop could be off ??????

To get past the reversing issue on my boat - to get out in a straight line or to slow down quickly ... I was taught to give a 1-2 second burst of full throttle in reverse - then lower the rpms to lowest and gradually work up - its gives just enough to grab after the cavitation and slows the boat down or allows it to travel in reverse without the boat trying to go one direction or the other....
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  #13  
Old 01-28-2008
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When I first got my boat, a Catalina 38, I tried to stop the same way. This went back to my powerboat, and smaller sailboat days. With the powerboat it was pull in, pop it in reverse, give it a quick pulse of power, and stop on a dime. I have learned that the sailboat does not stop like that, it keeps going, and going, and going..... I have since learned how to creep into where I want to stop, very slowly, then hit reverse. It will work at VERY slow speeds. I do have a feathering prop, so maybe that is the difference, or it is just a bigger and heavier boat. Just remember, approach docks, and anything else, at a speed no faster than you would want to hit them.
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Old 01-28-2008
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From what you've said, I'll assume it's neither a shaft nor a prop problem, then you just have a prop shape which is weak in reverse. It's okay from standstill, but not very good if you have much forward motion.

So limit the forward motion, let the boat lose speed to almost nothing before you try reverse. Sailboats are notoriously poor at backing under power, so don't count on reverse to "stop" you, it will turn you (probably to port, if you have the typical right-hand prop) more than it stops you. So just let the boat lose forward way naturally before you try reverse, because the shape of your prop probably just isn't that strong in reverse.

Also, if you try to come in too fast, then throttle up to full reverse, you can get cavitation, where the prop bites more air than water, and is ineffective. So come in slow (the old motto is "always approach the dock at the speed you'd like to hit it"), then you won't need much reverse power to stop her, because it sounds like you don't have much anyway.


Quick edit: I realize I didn't read page 2 before posting, so I've repeated much of what those above me have said. Anyway, maybe repetition is good....;-)

Last edited by nolatom; 01-28-2008 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 01-28-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artbyjody View Post
To get past the reversing issue on my boat - to get out in a straight line or to slow down quickly ... I was taught to give a 1-2 second burst of full throttle in reverse - then lower the rpms to lowest and gradually work up - its gives just enough to grab after the cavitation and slows the boat down or allows it to travel in reverse without the boat trying to go one direction or the other....
Jody, I learned the same way, (with power boats, shhhh). When you initially put into reverse, the prop will catch the water, but if you keep it there, you can create cavitation and the boat does nothing or crabs. So give it a burst to stop the motion of the boat, then feather to neutral letting the water settle around the prop, then slowly go back into reverse keeping the rudder straight until you get some head way, then start turning. It may just be that it is more pronounced on your boat or your prop shape.
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Jody, I learned the same way, (with power boats, shhhh)..

Secret is safe with me and everyone that read it my BF I hate to admit the 6 months of learning my boat - the biggest issue I had was just that... it took some practice and not until a Cat 31 owner chatted with me did I know this is how you do it... but after listening to the advice and practicing I could stop the boat in a reasonable distance in between pier legs and not hit someone ...
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  #17  
Old 01-28-2008
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Thank you all for your tips, advice and suggestions.......
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Old 01-28-2008
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Smile Gear ratio in the Atomic 4 tranny

LB.

In forward the ratio is 1:1 in reverse it's about a 30% reduction, around 1.27:1 if I remember correctly. Also you have to hold the shift lever in reverse or it will slip.
When backing down with the A-4 you really have to rev the engine and hold the lever at the same time. The transmission makes a funny noise while doing this, sounds like it coming apart. This is normal.

Fair Winds

Cap'n Dave
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Old 01-29-2008
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What I have learned to do when approaching my slip very slowly in forward is, just before I start to make my turn to the slip, I shift the transmission into reverse with 'no' power. The prop turning slowly in reverse slows the forward momentum of the boat, but does not create enough cavitation to the port to over come the forward flow of water over the rudder. By the time I am in the slip the boat has come to a complete stop (or very close to stop), and when I feel that I am stopped I shift the transmission to neutral. It has taken me a little practice to know when I should put the transmission in reverse while coasting into the slip, but I soon found that this method worked best for me.
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Old 01-29-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capn_dave View Post
LB.

In forward the ratio is 1:1 in reverse it's about a 30% reduction, around 1.27:1 if I remember correctly. Also you have to hold the shift lever in reverse or it will slip.
When backing down with the A-4 you really have to rev the engine and hold the lever at the same time. The transmission makes a funny noise while doing this, sounds like it coming apart. This is normal.

Fair Winds

Cap'n Dave
Correct, Cap'n. My Moyer manual's in the stable and I couldn't be bothered going out into the freezing rain to retrieve it, but this is exactly correct. Because of the difficulty of holding the reverse in gear (I use my foot and my left hand to work the throttle), I rarely bother. From dead slow, I go into neutral and point the boat at my slip a good five boat lengths (170 feet or so) away. My "dead slow" of 700 RPM is still two knots in a flat sea, so unless I have to aim to compensate for being blown on or off, I will get in slowly and without fuss, step off and put on a spring. If I have to apply power because of a cross wind, I will go into neutral much closer in, aim three boats up the line into the wind and then do a sharp "S" turn, which bleeds off speed sufficiently so my final turn is right into my slip.

I rarely use reverse casting off, either: I just push off. I even do this with the new, four-times-heavier boat: give it a heave to get it going, step on and push off with the trailing leg. I do use reverse on the Atomic 4 to keep station or to back in stern first, but I have to have favourable prop walk to try that unless I have no other choice.

Practise on a sea wall, and put bright tape on the edge to indicate your boat length plus a foot fore and aft. Practise coming in "hot" or with cross-winds, and bring plenty of fenders. Have crew to help, and then have crew stand on the boat to observe as if they weren't there. An afternoon spent doing this 20 times and you'll look like a total pro docking, and you'll learn the limits of your reverse...and probably just skip it except for the two-second "finishing burst".
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