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Old 19-10-2012, 13:53   #16
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Re: Boat will only back out to the right

My solution was to (and I am serious now) switch to a slip that allows me to reverse in a favourable direction. Is there any reason NOT to get on the waitlist for another slip?

Another point : My boat will turn maybe 20 degrees to pstarboard when reverse is selected, before there's enough way to steer straight again. So I just start with the boat rotated 20 degrees to port, in the slip.

This technique of correcting prop walk before it happens is also useful when going forward, and you want to stop suddenly. Quickly turn 20 degrees to port, select reverse, and you should stop pointed where you were headed originally.
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Old 19-10-2012, 14:02   #17
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Re: Boat will only back out to the right

If that is the wrong way then get a left handed propeller. All joking aside, that might be the solution if you have a way of reversing which way the shift cable attaches to the transmission. This is also true only if you have a transmission that does not have a primary direction that it is engineered to be driven. With some transmissions it does not matter which way becomes the forward direction.
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Old 19-10-2012, 14:26   #18
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Re: Boat will only back out to the right

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Originally Posted by rolandgilbert99 View Post
My Whitby 42 has a major default backing out of a dock, she will only turn right and in a narrow channel, I have already been in serious trouble not being able to exit properly. This is caused by my propeller, which is the most effective one in forward gear.
There are many boats with similar problems and I was wondering if anyone had found a way to exit the slip nicely turning left with a line attached on the dock, an anchor back in the channel or any other way to back out of my dock on the left side with elegance regardless of the direction of the wind?
How about keeping a line attached to the dock until the boat reaches mid-channel, would the boat turn to the left or would this accelerate the move to the right?

I wouldn't use words like "default" or "problem" to describe the situation -- it's not a defect, it's just a "feature" of the way your prop turns.

I gather your prop turns clockwise in forward, counterclockwise in reverse? And you enter your slip bow first, after a turn to starboard?

As someone else mentioned, docking stern-to might be easier for you. Come abreast of the slip (more or less, depending on wind, current, tide, etc.), turn the helm to starboard briefly, then start backing in (and I'd usually set the rudder amidships about now, your mileage may vary). Propwalk in reverse will pull your stern toward port, and brief forward, repeat as necessary. (Consult Chapman's, etc. for further details.)

When you leave the slip, the rudder will be much more effective in forward for your turn to starboard.

Excuse, if I've got the geography all wrong

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Old 19-10-2012, 14:40   #19
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Re: Boat will only back out to the right

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My solution was to (and I am serious now) switch to a slip that allows me to reverse in a favourable direction. Is there any reason NOT to get on the waitlist for another slip?.
No slip on the other side can accommodate the length of my boat in this marina and I waited 3 years to get one!
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Old 19-10-2012, 15:47   #20
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Re: Boat will only back out to the right

Some of the answers are general not specific and many are wrong.
You already know how to handle prop walk. Prop walk is greater when high revs are used before the boat speed matches it so low revs are better when the prop walk is the opposite to what you want.
I would run a line through a ring at the end of the dock or around a pole to a cleat on the stern with the other end going to a winch. You need to let out some line until the boat is able to clear the dock as you go back to keep the stern in but allow the boat to move. If you have two aboard one can take the line forard as the boat moves back to keep it abreast the dock attachment. Otherwise it is going to move somewhat stern to stb as the boat moves back. You can lessen that somewhat by low revs briefly, or by manhandling it back. Once clear of the dock you can give it more revs and it will rotate to the left and you recover the line.
With wind from the port side that will help it rotate assuming it turns the bow.
With wind from stb that will accentuate the problem You then need maybe a line strung along the dock on the stb side with a short loop around it to the bow or at least forard of amidships. That will hold the bow up while allowing the boat to move back. It would also stop the stern rotating. The tricky part is releasing it if shorthanded (maybe a line to a pelican hook). You would still need a stern line particularly with wind from the stb side, but with the two probably would not need to move the stern line forward ie could handle it yourself. You don't mention if crew are available. It could be tricky in wind doing it alone in a confined space.
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Old 19-10-2012, 15:54   #21
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Re: Boat will only back out to the right

I'm partially echoing what others have said:

- Build up some way in reverse, then drop out of gear. The water going past the rudder will cause you to turn without any prop walk taking affect. Unless you're needing to back down a large distance, you really don't need to be in reverse all that long. Pop in for a bit if you need some more go juice, then drop out again.

- Boats, especially deep keel boats, can be *very* affected by current. Like as much by the current as by a moderate rpm prop. Folks with fin keels have no idea how bad this can be.

- Don't move big boats around in tight spaces when the wind is blowing. It's stupid, dangerous, and eventually you'll run out of luck and into concrete.

- Warping (using lines) is extremely valuable.

The biggest lesson I've learned is that there is no one handing out awards for docking in tough situations. Just like you wouldn't run almost-too-much canvas, there's no reason to dock boats in almost-too-much conditions. Wait at anchor for the wind to die down, tie off at a side tie, or talk to the marina manager about an easier place to get in and out of.

I almost never go into fuel docks anymore because they're inherently in 5' of water with morons buzzing about in skiffs dodging paddleboards and kayaks.

Make life easy on yourself.
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Old 19-10-2012, 17:20   #22
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I think I would look at how a line could assist keeping the stern sprung in a favorable direction. Then use the suggestions of movement in neutral and prop wash.
I imagine backing out with a line looped around a piling. I am easing the line and doing all those good things with way and neutral. Ass end is pulling around and the dock beauties are amazed at my tact. The line loops into the prop the boat spins into channel and stops. The engine sputters and seizes. My tea kettle is whistling engine alarms are screeching. I am about find out who my friends are. My boat is now secured but the channel is closed. I run a maze of lines. Before going over and cutting the prop free. Now I can spin off the added lines and make my turn. Safety.
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Old 19-10-2012, 17:41   #23
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Re: Boat will only back out to the right

I've seen guys back all the way out of the marina. Don't worry about what other people think.

- or -

This is a propwalk management issue.

Find a mooring ball in a calm area and practice. The key is getting underway in reverse using as little throttle as possible so that you get flow over the rudder.

Some boats may end up impossible depending on prop, keel and rudder. Add wind and current and it gets sporty.
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Old 19-10-2012, 18:04   #24
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Re: Boat will only back out to the right

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
I've seen guys back all the way out of the marina. Don't worry about what other people think.

- or -

This is a propwalk management issue.

Find a mooring ball in a calm area and practice. The key is getting underway in reverse using as little throttle as possible so that you get flow over the rudder.

Some boats may end up impossible depending on prop, keel and rudder. Add wind and current and it gets sporty.
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Old 19-10-2012, 18:19   #25
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Re: Boat will only back out to the right

if anything propwalk is a serious advantage if short handed coming along side,once bowline is on putting in reverse will hold the boat against the dock!
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Old 19-10-2012, 19:21   #26
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Found a great article on the cause of prop walk. In summary it is the result of shaft angle and is worsened by pitch and diameter of the prop

http://www.diysailor.com/index.php?o...ical&Itemid=12

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Old 19-10-2012, 19:35   #27
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Re: Boat will only back out to the right

Quote:
Originally Posted by rolandgilbert99 View Post
My Whitby 42 has a major default backing out of a dock, she will only turn right and in a narrow channel, I have already been in serious trouble not being able to exit properly. This is caused by my propeller, which is the most effective one in forward gear.
There are many boats with similar problems and I was wondering if anyone had found a way to exit the slip nicely turning left with a line attached on the dock, an anchor back in the channel or any other way to back out of my dock on the left side with elegance regardless of the direction of the wind?
How about keeping a line attached to the dock until the boat reaches mid-channel, would the boat turn to the left or would this accelerate the move to the right?

I have used a line to turn my boat in a tight space -- but mine is a much smaller boat.

Boats don't turn like cars, but ... I know this will sound crazy to some, but a friend showed it to me, and for me (and her) it works.

When I'm backing out, I turn around and look out over the stern instead of toward the bow. Of course, you still have to pay attention to where the bow is.

If you want to try this I would try it in more open water first. You might also try making partial turns, forward and backwards. Feathering, as Zee said, is also a good thing to do. It diminishes the "prop wash," the tendency of the boat to turn much better in reverse to port or starboard, depending on which way your prop turns. The shape of your rudder as well as how close it is to your prop can make a difference -- also the kind of keel you have.

I have the perfect combination for maneuvering in a marina and it almost IS like parking a car.

Until you have it sorted out you really should have someone else on the boat as well.

it's unnerving, but speed equals steerage. My boat is very tender and will steer adequately under most conditions with 1.5k of forward speed. My guess is that your boat needs more than that.

Pick some strategies, then take the boat out and methodically practice. Pick a light wind day the first day, so you can get familiar with how each strategy works on the boat without wind issues to deal with as well. You'll also have an easier time getting her back into the slip.
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Old 19-10-2012, 19:38   #28
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Re: Boat will only back out to the right

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Ah the joys of backing a full keel boat with a barn door rudder. Between prop walk and wind pushing the bow, its a wonder they back up at all.

Get a bit of speed up and go neutral, which will neutralize the prop walk and drift back. If your lucky you might get some rudder control.

Sometimes I just zen it and let the boat go where it wants. Doing a back and fill Which is while backing up the fairway, when the boat starts drifting to one side, apply a bit of forward to get the boat straight again and continue in reverse.

With a barn door rudder your using full right or full left with sometimes straight back. Plus the wind will push the bow however it wants.

With a bit of practice, you can turn the boat around in about a boat length.

I agree with the Zen aspect! Often the wind will encourage your boat to turn one way or another, and there's no point arguing with the wind ... my boat has high freeboard for its size and the boat itself acts as a sail. There's no point in pretending it doesn't, gotta learn to work with it.
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Old 19-10-2012, 19:41   #29
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Re: Boat will only back out to the right

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Originally Posted by rolandgilbert99 View Post
No slip on the other side can accommodate the length of my boat in this marina and I waited 3 years to get one!

Then reverse your approach into the slip -- if you've been going in bow first, try going in stern first. You will have better steerage going forward, so go into the slip at whichever point the boat will fight you the least.

'Course that doesn't work well if you live on the boat. If you live on the boat, you have a lot more privacy if you have your cockpit out to the fairway rather than the bow.
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Old 19-10-2012, 19:47   #30
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Re: Boat will only back out to the right

Some good advice but you can't learn to manage prop walk by reading the internet.

Find someone at your marina whom you trust and who has some boat handling experience and solicit some help first-hand. No one ever mastered handling a boat by reading about it.
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