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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > My Boat Won't Back (in a straight or controlled line)
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Thread: My Boat Won't Back (in a straight or controlled line) Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-26-2011 12:04 AM
TakeFive
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeinLA View Post
Also, if you are ever backing out of a row of slips into the main fairway, keep a firm hold on the wheel. If there's a strong current running, your rudder will hit it first and rip the wheel out of your hands as the current slams the rudder hard over. Don't ask how I know this.

Mike
I had pointed out something similar in the thread I linked above. For those with outboards, the link connecting the motor to the rudder helps balance the rudder. Here's what I posted on the topic in the above link:

Quote:
Originally Posted by RhythmDoctor View Post
...There is one other huge benefit that I had hoped for but wanted to confirm. You can see from the messages above that we do a lot of backing up in close quarters, and I have to hold the wheel very tightly because the rudder is so badly balanced in reverse. If I let go of the wheel for a split second, the rudder would turn hard in whatever direction it wanted. But with the rudder linked to the motor, that no longer happens. The motor is very well balanced in reverse, and keeps the rudder steady. I can loosen my grip on the wheel, and even let go momentarily if I need to.
FYI, I realize that the OP does not have an outboard on his C320, but others will read this thread and might benefit from my comments. I almost decided to buy a C320 last year, but decided to go smaller for river sailing.
02-25-2011 11:41 PM
MikeinLA
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
When reversing remember to hand-over-hand the wheel. Otherwise it will spin uncontrollably and may cause damage to the steering mechanism.
Also, if you are ever backing out of a row of slips into the main fairway, keep a firm hold on the wheel. If there's a strong current running, your rudder will hit it first and rip the wheel out of your hands as the current slams the rudder hard over. Don't ask how I know this.

Mike
02-25-2011 11:08 PM
CapnRon47
Backing up

Fallard,
I know exactly what you mean about the rudder and keel.

Keel and rudder down



Keel and rudder up



I have to bring them up as the water is usually shallow at our dock, fortuantely we are a bit protected from cross winds and I have lots of room. so I just have to judge the angle right as I start to back in.



I use the spring line only to stop us, I pick it up as I pass the outer pilling and walk back, take her out of gear and cleat off. If the winds up, I just pull in and wait until tomorrow.



Ron
02-25-2011 10:22 PM
pdqaltair The other time this approach is useful is with a twin screw (catamaran) boat when one engine is out. Prop walk is nothing by comparison.

There is one other caveat: if you are backing quickly (even 2 knots) and hit the gas to either get out of a blown approach or to slow down in the slip, the boat will turn away from the functioning engine uncontrollably for at least a 90 degree turn. Thus, you must go very slowly on the final approach. Honestly, it's wiser to pull in, fix the engine, and then turn the boat.
02-25-2011 08:27 PM
fallard Depending on your approach and the slip parameters, you may find it easier to back into a slip with the aid of a spring line. You might want to practice it where you have room for error first.

I routinely back my 35' sloop into the leeward side of a floating dock with the aid of a spring line. I do not have another dock nearby, which is helpful. My dock is in shallow water, so I often have my keel retracted and my spade rudder kicked up. The boat is very hard to maneuver in this mode, so the spring line is what saves the day.

My procedure is to bring the boat amidships to the corner of the dock at about 90 degrees to the dock ""crossing the tee"). I pick up a prepared spring line from the corner of the dock and secure the loop at the bitter end to a midships cleat and simply back down. The boat swings into the dock (don't forget your fenders) and lines up parallel to the dock if you've got the spring line properly sized. You can then secure the boat with regular dock lines.

This technique does not work as well if you are trying to back into a narrow slip, but it is remarkable effective otherwise. You might actually find a spring line helpful when pulling forward into a slip when the wind or current are trying to push you off the dock. By powering against the spring line, you will bring the boat up to the dock or float, which will allow you to secure the boat more or less at your leisure.
02-25-2011 05:02 PM
CapnBilll This makes good sense. Prop walk is generated when the prop is turning through the water faster than the boat is moving. This is why you use short bursts of throttle to generate it on purpose.
02-25-2011 05:01 PM
CapnBilll This makes good sense. Prop walk is generated when the prop is turning through the water faster than the boat is moving. This is why you use short bursts of throttle to generate it on purpose.
02-25-2011 05:01 PM
CapnBilll This makes good sense. Prop walk is generated when the prop is turning through the water faster than the boat is moving. This is why you use short bursts of throttle to generate it on purpose.
02-25-2011 11:21 AM
TakeFive I described a similar reverse docking procedure awhile back. For those who wonder why anyone would want to back in, some marinas have short finger docks, and some boats are difficult to board on the bow. That combination of factors can make backing in absolutely necessary. Also, docking in strong currents makes reversing direction suicidal - by the time you regain steering, you've already drifted into the dock. So you need to go backwards the whole way. I initially get funny looks when standing in front of the wheel facing backwards, but they are always followed by nods of approval when they see how effective it is:

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/genera...-currents.html

For those who have an outboard, a hard link makes low speed maneuvering much better because it eliminates the need to have any speed past the rudder. Here's my design:

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/genera...tml#post606388
02-25-2011 10:40 AM
jackdale
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailortom View Post
Did the zig-zag thingie taking my charter boat course. We used the mooring bouys in the marina. After doing it forward, I asked the instructor if I could try it in reverse. It had a spade keel, so it was a piece of cake with no wind. A bit harder with my IP 320.
When reversing remember to hand-over-hand the wheel. Otherwise it will spin uncontrollably and may cause damage to the steering mechanism.
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