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  #1  
Old 10-05-2007
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Have you driven backwards?

I've seen a friend of mine do this many times when backing his boat into a slip at a marina. It seems to work very well for him! He just stands facing aft facing the wheel and steers his boat backwards! I've not tried it yet.
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Old 10-05-2007
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That's the technique taught by many ASA instructors. Works well as long as you also keep an eye on your bow.
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Old 10-05-2007
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That's how I do it on a wheel boat, that way it is just like backing up in my car. On a tiller I have to look at the bow. Although it may not make sense it is what it is. I usually post someone looking the oppisite direction that I am.
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Old 10-05-2007
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Canadian is very correct. Once you have suffient way on so the rudder over-rides the propwalk, a sailboat will back well - especially when backing into the wind. But - in a cross wind of any significance you have to keep turning to watch the bow. I find it easier to face forward and turn to watch the stern - as the stern and dock are within close visual contact and I've got more control of the stern than the bow and tend to worry more about bow falling off. It's practice, practice (as usual.)
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Old 10-05-2007
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I face the stern with helm against my back whenever backing down in close quarters - although I typically head bow-in with my slip. The eye-hand co-ordination is reversed, but similar to turning in reverse when towing a trailer with a truck.
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Old 10-05-2007
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I look over my shoulder like Jimmalkin.
I would feel really wierd turning around and facing aft.
Most usefull when trying to get off of the fuel dock; for me we have to back out; limited room to turn around if you go forward off the fuel dock, so backing is the best way..
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Old 10-05-2007
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I also face forward while backing and usually have the Admiral watch the bow. And yes, practice is the only way to lear.

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Old 10-05-2007
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I back into my slip using propwalk. I tried facing aft but just can't do it. I also look over my shoulder because I feel the need to watch the bow even in low wind conditions. Looking over your shoulder also makes it easier for me to control the boats forward motion when I need it.
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Old 10-05-2007
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I'm an "over the shoulder" guy too... Doesn't feel right to go around the wheel, and unless you have pedestal controls you will be away from the throttle/gear levers.

Many boats have setups that aren't all that easy to "step around the wheel" either.
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Old 10-05-2007
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Faster,
That's me. I have to climb over the cockpit seats to get around the wheel. At my age that's a bit of a challenge, certainly not something I do quickly.
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