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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Reverse Motoring
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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-16-2003 10:17 AM
Sailormon6
Reverse Motoring

It seems to me that there are two ways to back a sailboat. One is to get up enough speed in reverse so that the rudder becomes effective, and then use the rudder to steer the boat where you want it. The other way is to learn the direction and magnitude of prop walk for your boat, and line your boat up slightly cocked at the entrance to the slip, so that, as you back up, it will pull the stern backwards and to one side, and the boat will end up centered in your slip.

The problem with the first method is that, when the boat is in the slip, you have to use a shot of forward to stop momentum, and if your timing is off, you hit something. I see guys do it successfully all the time, but you only need to make one mistake to do damage.

The second method is slower, but much safer.
08-16-2003 03:22 AM
slipacre
Reverse Motoring

Can''t pretend to have mastered it. Have found that sometimes having a line from stern cleat to a piling can pivot me around. Of course you have to have a convenient piling. This has been more useful departing than arriving, but it''s possible that you might rig something up at your home slip
Todd V
08-15-2003 10:20 AM
thefantasea
Reverse Motoring

In reverse, the torque resulting from the propellor rotation will always "throw" the stern of your C30 to port. It is a matter of physics and you can do nothing to prevent it.

The way I learned to use this reality to my advantage was this. On a calm day I motored close to a vacant mooring. Centering the tiller, shifting into reverse, and gunning the engine, I saw the stern swing to port as the boat began moving backwards. Repeating this a few times gave me an understanding of exactly what was happening.

I have a single lever shift/throttle control. I found that gunning in reverse then immediately shifting into neutral would minimize the swing to port and start the boat "coasting" backward. While in neutral, without the effect of the propellor torque, the boat could be easily steered to port or starboard.

As the speed falls off to the point where there is no longer any steering way, a quick burst of throttle in reverse gets the boat moving again, restoring maneuvering ability. An hour or so spent in this exercise will go a long way toward improving one''s boat handling knowledge and skill.

If I must reverse to get into a slip, I maneuver the boat so that the thrust to port, along with a little rudder action, will pull me in. For me, trying to do it any other way is an exercise in futility.

(When in reverse, the water pressure against the rudder acts to force the rudder hard over. Hang on to that tiller or wheel and control it to prevent the possibility of damage as a result of jamming the rudder against the stop.)

08-04-2003 11:42 AM
dameware
Reverse Motoring

What I like to do is to get up some speed in reverse (a good distance away from a slip Iím trying to back into) and then throttle down near idle and use the rudder accordingly. Better to get the reverse speed up in a wide open area than in tight quarters close to the slip.
08-04-2003 11:20 AM
tahitisail
Reverse Motoring

I had a 12 inch three blade close in to the keel which I couldn''t back down with. I put a strut on to get the prop away from the keel and changed the prop to a 14 inch three blade campbell taylor prop. All the difference in the world! My boat is a Yankee 30.
08-04-2003 03:39 AM
DuaneIsing
Reverse Motoring

Some general advice which helped me:

Use the wind and current to your advantage, or minimize its effect by the direction you bring your boat in.

Use as little throttle as possible to make the boat do what you want. A little burst from neutral into fwd or reverse then back to neutral is often better than letting it idle in gear.

Learn the prop walk characteristics of your boat and use them to advantage.

If the boat is doing what you want, do nothing. Having a little patience for the wind to bring the bow around, for example, can make things much easier.

Good luck; it does get easier.

Duane
08-02-2003 10:35 PM
joub
Reverse Motoring

Most boats have to deal with prop walk when in reverse. Until the boat gets some way on the rudder has no control, so you are at the mercy of the prop walk gods.
When stopping the boat prior to going into reverse, try to position the boat so the prop walk will bring the boat into the general direction you wish to go. If you go easy on the throttle until you get some way on it shouldn''t be difficult to control the boat in whatever direction you wish to go.

Jim
08-02-2003 07:36 AM
knothead
Reverse Motoring

Practice
08-02-2003 06:47 AM
davidbass
Reverse Motoring

I am having a heck of a time backing my Cataline 30 into my slip - or anywhere else. I have a M25 and a 3 blade prop. Any sugestions? Thanks

 
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