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Hello all

I am having a heck of a time with a newly purchased Watkins 27. Need any and all suggestions.
Have significant drift to starboard when in reverse which I cannot seem to compensate for by steering hard to port. I have a oyster bed on the starboard side of my slip so it is essential that I back out to port. Cannot however due to the prop wash.
Is there any solution to this issue? Would a new prop (right hand) solve the problem?

Thanks for your help.
Dennis
 

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I know of no way to stop prop walk, though quite a few people I've met have found that installing a MaxProp does it, but that's a pretty expensive fix.
When boats have a significant prop walk, it can be compensated for by doing your steering in forward. Do not try to steer in reverse, but keep the helm hard over (in your case to stb) and when she moves to starboard beyond what you'd like, give the throttle a hard, quick burst in forward to swing your stern to port. If done properly, your stern should swing but the boat will not actually move forward. Then put her in reverse and repeat. With a little practice you'll soon be able to back her anywhere you please.
We back to port, so whenever possible, we tie port side to. This makes docking a lot easier.
 

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grumpy old man
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Don't think you can just switch a left hand prop for a right hand prop due to reduction gear difference in forward and reverse. I've never known anyone to do that. Do you have a fixed blade prop now? If so they are very asymmetrical ion blade shape and can be very inefficient in reverse. You could consider a Max Prop with symmetrical blades. I don't think will totally solve your problem but it will help a lot. The Max Prop is very efficient in reverse. It is expensive and you would have to check the dims of your aperture to make sure it would fit.
 

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The quickest trick to learn is not to keep the engine in reverse. Either push the boat out of the slip by hand (with the rudder turned in the direction that you want to steer), or use a quick and high RPM burst of reverse then back to neutral so that you can steer. Your boat is light enough that you should be able to push it out of the slip in most conditions.

Your boat has a very very long fin keel which is going to make it harder. You might need to use a spring line to warp the boat around the corner of the dock.

This video is useful:

and this one:

This one is very long, but complete:

Finally, there is nothing wrong with seeing if you can get a slip that is better tuned to how your boat handles.

The measured prop walk of the Max-Prop wasn't that low in the Yachting Monthly Test:
http://www.flexofold.com/upload_dir/docs/Test_YachtingMonthly_low.pdf

I'm installing a feathering prop on my boat today, it will be the third prop on this boat (the first was a 2 blade Michigan Sailer, the second was a 3 blade fixed Campbell Sailor, the third will be a 3 blade Featherstream). I can let you know how propwalk compares when it is done. I've used a Max-Prop, but can't compare it to anything else because I've never used another prop on the same boat.

alex
 

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Many boats suffer from prop walk and it can be very tricky to overcome. It occurs when water flowing past the hull has more effect on steering than the rudder.

Every hull reacts differently to prop wash but the way I deal with it is to start reversing at the lowest possible idle I can and sometimes I will even slip the transmission it in and out of gear until I have enough water flow over the rudder to overcome the "Hull Walk". Sometimes, if the current and wind is also against me, I will hold the boat in place in the slip until I sufficient flow to gain steerage.

My boat will pinwheel to port (RH rotation prop) in it's own length if I try to back with any kind of power applied but there is a sweet-spot and if I stay in it the boat will back just fine.
 

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Wow, you guys are fast (or maybe I'm just slow). I feel like I'm in a texting conversation with my kids.

Bob has a point. When I took delivery of my current boat it had a three blade fixed prop and I almost couldn't control it in reverse. I switched to a two blade folding Martec and it got much better. Not sure if that's attributable to the blade symmetry or the fact it has much less thrust in reverse. Whatever the cause it sure helped my boat.
 

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would it be feasible to back into your slip then just drive out in forward?
 

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I almost always use a spring line when backing out of the slip. I double the length of the line so that the line comes with me as I leave the slip. I can not back my boat in a straight line no matter how hard I try. It's a full keel with a cutaway forefoot and I even have a max prop. The max prop is great for stopping the boat and while it still has prop wash, I use it to my advantage. It's a right hand prop so when coming along side I can use the wash to kick the stern to port when putting the transmission into reverse. By alternating between forward and reverse(and using the rudder) the boat can be turned within its length provided the wind and current are not too strong.
 

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What I do and others do out on the pile moorings in the marina I am at is to go astern with a bowline attached to the pile directly off the nose. Once I get the engine going a bit I have my wife drop the bowline. Single handers aroung me have the line off the bow led aft and they ease it by hand as the go astern and then let it go. Got to make sure the line does not foul anything on the deck. If the line is of proper length you will not foul it with the prop when you come in. Hope that helps.
 

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My boat came w/ a fixed 2 blade. Prop walk in reverse was terrible. I looked at every option out there and settled on a KIWI. The prop walk disappeared.Jim
 

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On my current boat, I find that if I start with high power and the helm full over to counter the wash, the rudder grabs sooner. Yea, you go the wrong way for a few feet, then it catches. Once it catches, you need to be quick to straighten out the rudder, or you'll start going the other way.

We've got a max prop and and skeg hung rudder. Lot's of walk normally. YMMV, every boat we've owned is a little different and required experimentation away from anything we didn't want to hit.
 

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Nothing you can do to stop prop walk, as others have mentioned. You need to set yourself up so that it is useful. That and spring lines will do the trick. Can you post a diagram of you slip and surrounds or a marina.com link? There might be some other suggestions to be made, if we could better see what you're dealing with.
 
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Dennis,

My W27 has the worst prop walk ever. To back, I must throw tiller hard over to port and start R at idle, gove a bit ofthrottle and knock it into N immediately. Repeat a time ot two to make way, then stay in N while maneuvering.Steerage in R is near one quarter of fwd
Non optimal approach is reliant on lotsa room to swing and vast pre planning. In odd wind, I spring line back onto the dock.
My lastt move, I had decent room. . I pulled up perpendicilar tp tje slip half length off the pile with stern just at the last pile. throw it into R and walked right in!

hth,
Paul
 

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Dennis,
One important consideration. When powering in reverse your rudder does nothing until the boat is actually moving backward hence having the rudder hard over stops the boat from moving and exaggerates the prop wash. Keep the rudder straight until you feel the boat move then turn the rudder slowly.
Practice this out in the harbor somewhere. I always back straight out of my slip and when clear give a brief starboard rudder to start the turn and then give it a good thrust forward and turn the rudder hard to port. You can almost spin the boat on the keel like this.

John
 

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You should be able to minimize the prop walk by using short bursts of throttle and then take it out of gear in reverse. Do not put the rudder hard over to port to try and compensate for the prop walk, it will work much better to either have it neutral or slightly to port until you get enough speed up for the rudder to be effective. Each boat is different, you'll have to experiment with yours and see what works.
 

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Myself, having to deal with "prop walk" on airplanes, and in a three axis situation most of the time, I thought out what should work best for my boat.
I set the rudder to go opposite to the direction that the walk will take me, but not fully. It will act as a brake as well if it is too far over. So I choose 15 to 30 degrees. Or 1/2 way as a rule of thumb.
Then I give the boat a shot of power in reverse, to get me moving, accelerating.
Once the rudder comes alive (starts to be effective), I start to center the rudder and may add some power at this point, to continue the roll.
The second application of power, is only after the rudder is working, and then I steer the boat. Voila!
 
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