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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Optimal backing up strategy
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Thread: Optimal backing up strategy Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-20-2008 03:13 PM
Boasun Everybody seems to be complaining about the prop walk. But I have always used the prop walk to assist me in making my landings and getting underway.
This one more phenomena that works very well when you know how to use it.
08-20-2008 02:29 PM
imagine2frolic Warren

I learned this the hardway. When backing out in a strong crosswind the bow was blown down. I just stopped the boat, and let the boat settle down, and then proceeded to continue backing out of the fairway completely.

davidpm,

Practice makes perfect. I use to go out on S.F Bay during the summer, and for hours practicing gybing. The wind is usually minimum 25 knots in the summer afternoon. Sooner, or later there will be a time critical you will need to gybe with the wind blowing hard.....PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE....BEST WISHES in honing your skills
08-20-2008 11:34 AM
Warren M. Being mostly a single-handler, I have often had to back out of my slip against unfavorable winds. Most of the time I can pull the bow over to one side, rush back to the cockpit and pull the stern to the other side, hit reverse and back up and turn 90 deg without problems. But if the wind catches the bow and pushes it the other way before I can get the stern going in the "right" direction I simply go with the flow: I just keep backing up the way wind wants to push me all the way out the fairway where it's a simple matter to then turn the boat in the direction I want. Take the easy way out and go the way Mother Nature wants you and your boat to go -- you'll all be much happier.
08-20-2008 11:17 AM
cmendoza
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
Or just keep backing out? ...
Yep, nothing at all wrong with that...

Not that it matters, but our first vessel was a Catalina 30 as well and we used this very same process whenever the wind was blowing from said direction... just keep backing out until you get into the main channel and then point the "pointy end" forward!

Not too long ago, on our current 40'er, spent way too much time trying to fight the prevailing conditions while leaving our transient slip in Portsmouth while heading north... finally gave up and simply backed out of the slip and kept going until I got to an area that allowed me to turn around properly.

Some of us never learn ;-)

Carlos & Maria
SV Rocinante
08-20-2008 07:17 AM
sailingdog To keep this On topic...

One thing most N00bs don't realize is that the propwalk really only affects the boat significantly when the boat is under power... If you need to back a boat in a straight line, assuming it can do so at all, you can generally do it fairly easily by revving up the throttle to get some way on and then dropping the engine back into neutral while you coast in reverse. While the boat is coasting with the engine in neutral, there is very little propwalk. So, power the boat in reverse in pulses... with the engine in neutral most of the time you're actually moving. BTW, this doesn't necessarily work on older, full-keel designs, due to the nature of the beast...

One other big mistake N00bs make is to turn the wheel/tiller too soon. Watch the water near the boat. If it is still moving aft...the boat is still going forward and you need to steer as if you're still moving forward... until the water alongside the boat is moving forward along the hull and you're making way in reverse, don't try to steer as if you're in reverse—you'll screw up by the numbers and wonder what the hell happened.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillraining View Post
Where??Where?? Ill I see is an empty deck..
You're too slow... He keeps changing avatars...so that statement was time limited.
08-20-2008 02:22 AM
Stillraining
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Imagine-

Seems you have a new avatar image... that appears to be better than the old one... Not quite in USP's avatar image league...but a big improvement.
Where??Where?? Ill I see is an empty deck..
08-20-2008 01:46 AM
Sailormann
Quote:
...so he has to do 270 degree turn which is less than seamanly looking...
"looking good" should be the last thing on anyone's mind. Operate the boat safely so that it is under control and you'll earn the respect of all. Try to maneuver in a way that is beyond the capabilities of the boat or the skipper and you'll do nothing more than look like an idiot.
08-20-2008 01:33 AM
davidpm We have a lot of room in front of the gas dock and we had it all to our selves tonight about 10:PM.
So I tried backing up the Catalina 30. Worked pretty good. Significant prop walk to port in reverse and more prop walk to starboard in forward than I expected but once I was actually moving back-wards it steered rather well. Will give it another try next time when the captain is not so anxious to call it a nite.
Thanks for all the good suggestions.
One trick that seemed to make it smoother was to take it easy on the throttle after changing direction until the boat starts to move. Prop-walk seems to be less at low throttle. Then as the boat picks up speed more throttle and more prop-walk is offset by the rudder.
I need more practice but it looks like with enough distance and a gentle touch the contrary motion that prop walk wants to introduce can be controlled.
08-18-2008 08:03 PM
davidpm
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
Or just keep backing out? Some people seem to think you always have to bein forward. It is a good idea to learn to drive the boat in reverse too. Some day it could save your booty......

I never thought of that. A lot of advantages too.
Excellent visibility, I can just stand in front of the pedestal and turn around. Very easy to see the dinghy's. It's only about a mile out of three interconnecting channels past about 500 boats and three party hangouts. We will finally be well known at all three marinas.

Seriously though that is a good tip we have almost no experience backing up. We must give it a try.
08-17-2008 06:08 PM
Bryan53
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
Wheel hard to starboard and rev the engine for about 6 seconds then idle. This usually kicks the stern to starboard and the bow to port.
Assuming a right hand prop, the prop walk will be working against you in this step. I agree with imagine2frolic that backing out would be best in this case, since you could easily pivot turn to starboard before backing down the fairway, using the pivot turn procedure here: Sailing Lessons, Sailboat Docking and Anchoring. Or you could continue the pivot for 270 degrees and go out in forward.
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