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post #11 of 12 Old 05-05-2010
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Every boat takes getting used to in reverse. I might suggest finding an area to practice. On the coast of Maine where I sail, we have a lot of lobster pots, so if I'm on a boat that's new to me, I'll go draw an imaginary line between two pots with my eye and try to hit it right on the mark while in reverse. Take her out for a spin in reverse and just try a few things out at different speeds. Trial and error in an open area is a great way to learn, you'll have a much better understanding of what her natural tendencies are, as well as her capabilities under various speeds, conditions, etc.

Constantly fixing and upgrading aboard EIGYR, a 1983 Sabre 28 out of Brooklin, ME.
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post #12 of 12 Old 05-05-2010
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I know this doesn't apply to your boat, but, since I've seen so many folks complain about reverse in smaller sail boats (less that 35'), I thought I'd chime in for those of us that have outboard motors.

Maneuvering in reverse in ANY smaller sailboat is overwhelmingly difficult for the learning skipper. I figured it out the hard way, but fortunately fairly early on... To maneuver in reverse with an outboard mounted on the center of the stern (NOT offset), you need to manipulate two pieces- the motor itself, and the tiller. Point the prop in the direction you want your stern to go, and use the tiller to manipulate the bow. Leaving the motor "centered" causes the bow to move, but the stern respond in time, so you wander. Find some bouys and practice on a calm day. I can thread a needle in reverse now with a 25' sailboat.

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