Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Aah, the joys of prop walk!
I agree with 'sailingdog' about putting the engine in neutral after getting some astern way on, and using lower revs. Works for me most times. In my boat I have difficulty in making the stern move to port when going astern. Having a full keel doesn't help me either, I think. In some conditions, she just will not respond and I have resorted to completing a reversing manoeuvre where I'm really only in partial control! At least I can stop if I need to by going forward. On occasions I have given a 'kick' forward to start the swing in the direction required, then slowly apply astern revs to complete the manoevre, but this can get tricky in a tight spot.
I also agree with 'faster' - find some place safe and practice - get to know your boat and it's behaviour.
My berth at the marina is port side to. With the astern prop walk kicking the stern to starboard, this means I have to approach very shallow and apply low revs astern early to stop so I minimise the prop walk taking the boat further away from the finger. A couple of times I've completely stuffed up the approach, so I reverse right out then start again!
Best advice is slow and easy - nothing worse than trying to 'power' yourself out of a situation, then find yourself in a no-win "I wish I hadn't 'ave done that" situation with a major damages bill to settle.
There was an excellent series of articles on prop walk in 'Practical Boat Owner', a UK magazine that I get here in Oz.
(No worries mate!)
Western Port Marina
Hastings, Vic, Australia