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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #1  
Old 09-12-2011
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Small boat close handling control

I've had the Catalina 25 at a mooring all summer but just recently we have it at a dock. This is a dock with finger piers, I'm on "L". I'm the third boat from the dock or the dock side of the first finger. I have to back out and turn to starboard to exit the fairway. Once exiting the fairway I'm still not in the clear as I then enter another fairway where I have to turn left to finally get to the channel. The fairways are wide I'm guessing maybe 75', I'm only 25' and 35' boats are slipped right next to me.

I have no problem getting out but I notice that I often have to turn the 9.9 mercury to make it happen. The Mercury is on a bracket on the starboard side sticking out a couple feet as is common on a spring loaded motor mount.

The wind is often blowing down the fairway and will blow the bow the wrong way. It is easy enough to turn the motor and force the bow to turn upwind.

My question is that on some similar boats in the 20 to 27' size the motor is fixed and can not turn.
On the Catalina 25 after I back out enough so the bow clears the big boats next to me and I put it in forward the wind will blow the bow down and I don't have any steering control with the rudder for at least 2 to 3 boat lengths.

Since I can turn the motor I have no problems but if I had a similar boat where the motor could not turn what would be my options?

I even backed down the first fairway but then I had the same problem with the second fairway. If you change direction you have to stop at some point. It takes a long time for the boat to get enough speed to get rudder steering.

It seems to me an outboard with a fixed mount would be a real hassle in even moderate close quarters.
Maybe the boats with a well for the outboard have better handling because the rudder is better positioned relative to the prop.

Last edited by davidpm; 09-12-2011 at 11:10 PM.
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Old 09-12-2011
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Saildrive

Sail drive in line with rudder - easiest to dock
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Old 09-12-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDSchock View Post
Sail drive in line with rudder - easiest to dock
Sounds sweet.
I expect you would have some steerage at very low speed because of the prop wash directly over the rudder.

I my case with the prop a couple feet behind the rudder and offset a couple feet also probably nets the least control.
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Old 09-13-2011
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Doesn't have to be a saildrive. Any engine configuration that puts the prop in-line with the rudder will help ...although the amount of steerage prop-wash against the rudder gives you tends to be over-estimated by most. If you aren't moving fore-and-aft, the keel still isn't doing much to stop you being blown sideways..

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
It seems to me an outboard with a fixed mount would be a real hassle in even moderate close quarters.
Maybe the boats with a well for the outboard have better handling because the rudder is better positioned relative to the prop.
Basically, yes.

Being able to steer the outboard at low speeds is an asset worth having and the end result is still far more manouvrable than any fixed-prop system - but I've not come across many outboard-powered yachts where this isn't possible. That's one reason long-shaft outboards were invented.

If low-speed manouvrability is what you're after - you can't get any better than an Azipod.
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Last edited by Classic30; 09-13-2011 at 03:13 AM.
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Old 09-13-2011
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I have 9.9 offset on bracket fixed with throttle and shifter remotely mounted. I have to put tiller over as hard as I can for slow speed steering. Small tiller angles don't do anything unless you have some speed up. Hard over and it responds right away even from astandstill. Fixed fin with a rudder like a hockey stick that I need to bite the bullet and fork out the$$$'s for a proper balanced foil.
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Old 09-13-2011
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I'm thinking that the bailout option is to just backup all the way. The problem seems to be the bow so if the stern leads then maybe there is more control.

I tried again today but since the wind was blowing the right way it was easy just exit the slip and wait for the bow to blow the right way.
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Old 09-13-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
I'm thinking that the bailout option is to just backup all the way. The problem seems to be the bow so if the stern leads then maybe there is more control.
Yep, on most* boats there is.

You might feel (and look!) stupid doing it, but you won't be the first, or last, to get in this way.


* = assuming modern, fin, keel with independent rudder.
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