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Always learning...
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Our Jason 35 goes wherever she pleases in reverse, at least until she has too much way on for close-quarters maneuvering in a marina! The kind and patient people here gave me some reassurance that I wasn’t being a total idiot, and that I just had to use some different techniques to get her where I needed her to be.

Back and fill is your friend. Use short bursts of forward with the rudder to point the rear end/bow where you need it to be, then a burst of reverse to keep her moving astern.

The wind will want to blow the bow down, so observe the wind when preparing to set out, so you can plan for how to counteract it while backing out. We have a boat next to us in our slip and no piling between us, so wind blowing our bow off of the finger requires some extra effort while departing. If my wife is aboard, I’ll have her keep some tension on the bow line to keep our bow closer to the finger for a bit longer as the stern pivots back off of the finger, and I’ll use a bit more speed in reverse so that I have some momentum astern and can afford a burst or two of forward with the rudder hard over to keep her in a good attitude and clear of our neighbor. That said, if the wind is from that direction and is on the strong side, we might elect not to leave right away.

I have plans to practice warping out of the slip on my own, engine in idle reverse for a light assist getting her nearly 10T moving, and walking back to the helm after getting the bow nearly clear of the finger. I need to do this with some space in case I have problems. Once I have the hang of it, this might become my preferred way to leave when the wind is up from any direction.

I know I can spin our boat in place, and I’ve done this several times when things have gone a little sideways leaving the dock, or trying to back in to the lift well for our end-of-season lift out. Learn how to do this if you can. Knowing you can do this reduces panic in close quarters.

Try to always have a few plans running so that you have some options to choose from if something doesn’t go the way you thought it would. Along these lines, don’t be afraid to bail out on a maneuver, but also have a plan of how to do that!
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