Join Date: Oct 2002
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I was just reading of the joys of single-handing, and I love to sail, with friends or without. My problem is that my MacGregor 26 won''t move in reverse! This past weekend, I was motoring toward the slip and turned to make a gentle, 90-degree turn to port into the slip. The wind was to our stern, and my keel was half up. To reduce speed from about 3.5 knots to 1.5 knots, I put the Johnson 9.9 into reverse and gave it some gas. My motor is mounted on the port transom, and with prop-walk, the stern pulls severely to port.
Well, the boat turned and the engine whined but the boat never stopped moving downwind. I missed the turn, missed the slip, and almost hit a 60-foot motor yacht in my path. Pinned by the wind, I had to be poled off.
The guys on the yacht pushed my bow off in the direction of the slip and I motored upwind just shy of the piling. I had someone grab piling, we muscled the bow to the other side of the piling and I gave the motor enough gas so that the boat slowly pivoted on the piling, swinging the stern to port to get the boat into the slip.
I was exhausted and bruised (in more way than one) when we tied up the boat and now I''m rather nervous about bringing the boat into and out of the mooring, which almost always has a south wind.
In the past I''ve used dock lines to pul the bow around into the wind when motoring out of the slip, but I''m envious of other boaters in similar sized sailboats who have powerful, center-line diesels and big rudders and who can motor in and out of slips as easily as one backs a car out of the driveway.
I know that eventually I''ll figure out a passable way to bring her in and out of the slip in any wind condition, but I still want to know what may be done to give my 9.9 some pulling power as well as some directional control in reverse.
Are there any changes I can make to the prop to accomplish this?