Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: San Francisco Bay area
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Re: Why the Bristol 32 backs so poorly
My Bristol 31.1 can be a bit "interesting" in reverse too. I know the keel design is different, but I think the reversing problem is for the same reason: the tall bow section acts as a sail, while the overhangs reduce the resistance to rotation. You probably have a centre of resistance more aft than me, too.
Reversing out of the slip is nothing compared to how interesting anchoring can be.
However, once you have her moving at 2-plus knots, she reverses just fine.
My technique for reversing out of the slip is to rotate the boat so as to anticipate the prop walk, then go to reverse at idle. Maintain idle until moving, then go to neutral. Restrict rudder movements to only a third of a turn of the wheel, or the rudder will stall. Even then, if a gust of wind hits the bow you are off who knows where.
You've got to laugh, haven't you?
If the bow spins round and you are heading the wrong way down the fairway, just go with it - make it look like that's what you intended all along. I've got very good at back and fill......
These days I tend to assume that the boat has no steering in reverse, and plan accordingly.
1984 Bristol 31.1
Alameda, California, USA