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Old 19-10-2012, 20:10   #31
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Re: Boat will only back out to the right

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Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
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.
+1

I don't understand why no one practices.

You should be able to do pirouette turns using power, prop wash and rudder and turn the boat around in little more than her LOA.

You should be able to stop a boat at a specific location and heading.

You should be able to stop the boat under power and understand what wind and current will do when they take over from steerage.

You should be planning ahead to know your bail out options from any upcoming obstacles.

I've posted this before but on my last charter check out I had to demonstrate

- Approach a ball and stop
- Back away from the ball in a straight line managing prop walk
- Demonstrate a "u-turn" under power to port and starboard
- Demonstrate a 3-point turn in my choice of direction
- Demonstrate a pirouette turn within boats LOA

If you can do this stuff docking and departing will be a lot easier.

I would also add picking up a mooring ball and landing a dock under sail only.
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Old 19-10-2012, 20:45   #32
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Re: Boat will only back out to the right

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
+1

I don't understand why no one practices.
Amen to that, brothers

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
....on my last charter check out I had to demonstrate
.... a 3-point turn in my choice of direction
I was just recently reminded of the semi-involuntary 3-point turn Peter Blake "demonstrated" at the helm of Condor, under spinnaker, during the Fastnet storm, when so many boats were abandoned ;-)

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.... landing a dock under sail only.
It's pretty sad how much of a novelty this manoeuvre has become.

Even sailing to anchor is not nearly so common as it was.
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Old 19-10-2012, 21:32   #33
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Re: Boat will only back out to the right

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Originally Posted by bloodhunter View Post
Roland
Have you thought about backing into your slip? That way you go out in forward which is much easier and you can also see what's going on the the fairway.
Backing in can be tricky. Since my slip is on the port side of the fairway I come in along that side. When the helm is about 1 1/2 slips before my slip I turn hard to the starboard when I start getting close to the boat across the fairway I put the boat in neutral and when my wife starts screaming I rev the engine in reverse to stop forward motion then slow it down and let the prop walk take me into my slip. I can straighten out the boat by putting the rudder to port or if necessary putting the engine in forward and giving it some speed then back to reverse. It sounds more complicated than it is. The real trick is to determine where to begin your turn across the fairway. When you put the boat in reverse you want your stern to be slightly below your slip so that the propwalk will bring you in.
This is possibly a good plan if you can learn to back in. We've had to learn to go with the prop walk. I think most boats want to prop walk right in forward or reverse at slow speeds. We learned a trick for backing in where you leave your slip to port, throw a line attached from the port stern to the outermost pile, once around and back to a cleat. Back down so the pile is drawn against the port side. The line length is correct when it just prevents the stern from hitting the starbord pile. The boat will rotate around the pile stern into the slip. Ease off on the line and let the boat continue to back in.
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Old 19-10-2012, 22:27   #34
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Re: Boat will only back out to the right

Most boats turn the stern to port not stb in reverse.
The OP has said that he could handle other boats well but not this one, so I am not sure where all the basics lessons come from.
Part of the reason he has a problem might be what looks like a full keel, certainly not a fin. A fin is much easier to turn in its own length or so. Not impossible with a full keel but more difficult.
Sorry windage must be taken into account, in fact that is what the OP asked for. No-one suggested undocking or docking in a high wind. Ten knots can be enough to blow the bow off and make the boat difficult to steer in neutral or not. Certainly on my boat and his is bigger.
The problem has two parts as I see it. One getting enough way on in reverse to steer without inducing too much prop walk, given most berths are very narrow so one first has to clear it. This is effected by wind. One has to clear the berth first before toing and froing. The second is turning in the inter pier space.
What hasn't been suggested as far as I recall is simply doing a 270 turn. Maybe use some fenders on the bow. Then when one is far enough out to go forward use the prop against the rudder to stop and get a turn started and get some momentum even at 90 degrees then use the rudder and prop in reverse at high revs briefly to work together in turning anti clockwise. Do that a couple of times and you should get through 270 without using much space.
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Old 20-10-2012, 05:11   #35
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Re: Boat will only back out to the right

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Originally Posted by chris_gee View Post
The OP has said that he could handle other boats well but not this one, so I am not sure where all the basics lessons come from.
That is exactly the point, I have now a full keel and never had one before, I was able to rotate any of my previous boats on a dime, back out for a half mile if needed and never encountered a boat like the one I have now with a mind of her own! And rather than fiddling around with trial and errors, I was looking for a tip on getting out on the port side.

I guess I got a whole lot of good advice here and will take all this and make a soup of my own! Thank you all!
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Old 20-10-2012, 06:02   #36
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Re: Boat will only back out to the right

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Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
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.

Third vote for practicing... Good idea to hire someone if you're still struggling after you've tried a few of the tips here.

You can do it, and you can do it without thrusters, but it's an ongoing thing to learn. Even if someone spends 2 hours with you today, he can only "tell" you (same as "reading about") the conditions that aren't present today -- wind from a different direction, for instance.

So each time you see new conditions -- go out and practice AGAIN. I know practice pays off because I did it.
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Old 20-10-2012, 06:04   #37
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Re: Boat will only back out to the right

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Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
This is possibly a good plan if you can learn to back in. We've had to learn to go with the prop walk. I think most boats want to prop walk right in forward or reverse at slow speeds. We learned a trick for backing in where you leave your slip to port, throw a line attached from the port stern to the outermost pile, once around and back to a cleat. Back down so the pile is drawn against the port side. The line length is correct when it just prevents the stern from hitting the starbord pile. The boat will rotate around the pile stern into the slip. Ease off on the line and let the boat continue to back in.

Sometimes going with the prop walk means backing in. Sorry I wasn't more clear. On a 42' boat, using both engine and lines, it would be a great idea to have a second pair of hands if possible.
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Old 20-10-2012, 06:08   #38
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Re: Boat will only back out to the right

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Originally Posted by rolandgilbert99 View Post
That is exactly the point, I have now a full keel and never had one before, I was able to rotate any of my previous boats on a dime, back out for a half mile if needed and never encountered a boat like the one I have now with a mind of her own! And rather than fiddling around with trial and errors, I was looking for a tip on getting out on the port side.

I guess I got a whole lot of good advice here and will take all this and make a soup of my own! Thank you all!

Exactly. My boat spins 360 perfectly on its vertical axis. But I have a fin keel and a spade rudder. I also have a tender bow, and I let the wind and the boat decide the direction of the turn.

Another skill that it might be worth it for the OP to learn is how to turn his boat at the dock using lines (if he hasn't learned that yet). That way, he could turn his boat to a more favorable position. He could enter and exit bow in AND bow out if circumstances demanded it.
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Old 20-10-2012, 08:34   #39
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Re: Boat will only back out to the right

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris_gee View Post
Most boats turn the stern to port not stb in reverse.
The OP has said that he could handle other boats well but not this one, so I am not sure where all the basics lessons come from.
Part of the reason he has a problem might be what looks like a full keel, certainly not a fin. A fin is much easier to turn in its own length or so. Not impossible with a full keel but more difficult.
Sorry windage must be taken into account, in fact that is what the OP asked for. No-one suggested undocking or docking in a high wind. Ten knots can be enough to blow the bow off and make the boat difficult to steer in neutral or not. Certainly on my boat and his is bigger.
The problem has two parts as I see it. One getting enough way on in reverse to steer without inducing too much prop walk, given most berths are very narrow so one first has to clear it. This is effected by wind. One has to clear the berth first before toing and froing. The second is turning in the inter pier space.
What hasn't been suggested as far as I recall is simply doing a 270 turn. Maybe use some fenders on the bow. Then when one is far enough out to go forward use the prop against the rudder to stop and get a turn started and get some momentum even at 90 degrees then use the rudder and prop in reverse at high revs briefly to work together in turning anti clockwise. Do that a couple of times and you should get through 270 without using much space.

Nearly full keel and skeg rudder; 55,000 disp; no thruster. Our free turning radius is 120 feet (2 boat lengths). Our slip is 18 feet and we are 16; the channel behind is 90 feet and often has large boats tied up. We were ready to sell the boat in dispair until we learned how to use the very pronounce right prop walk and local conditions presented by nature along with more patience than I've ever mustered in my life. The slip is a 180 left turn from the main waterway so we manage the forward speed and rotational speed so the boat dies slightly upwind of the slip while still rotating. With a slight breeze in the right direction, the bow SLOWLY bears off toward the slip and we eventually power in. This can take up to 4 minutes while we totally block the channel and access to the restaurant opposite our slip. While I have learned patience, many of the drunks exiting from the vallet parking at the restaurant wall have NONE. This has lead to a plethora of incidents we now chalk up to entertainment.

In very contrary winds the bow may be forced away from the desired travel direction. We back out of the slip, let the wind push the bow off and continue backing all around the end of the docks and finger piers into the next waterway. By this time, we have established steerage and favorable rotation. At this point, forward prop and opposite rudder causes the boat to spin sort of like a fin keel and spade rudder.

Any time we exit or leave the marina we always evaluate the wind force and direction to plan how the immeadiate conditins will help rather than hinder us. With the low water this fall, the waterway is effectively narrowed to 40 feet with shallows on the restaurant side. We compensated by choosing only manageable weather days to go out and we leave a couple of very long lines tied tothe docks that we can throw on cleats or winches to help us complete the turn into the slip.

The short of it is that you can't fight physics and Mother Nature but you can learn to use them.
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Old 21-10-2012, 07:48   #40
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Re: Boat will only back out to the right

I think I interpreted OP's situation backwards.



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Old 21-10-2012, 08:43   #41
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Re: Boat will only back out to the right

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The OP has said that he could handle other boats well but not this one, so I am not sure where all the basics lessons come from.

From the heart I'd guess.
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Old 22-10-2012, 12:21   #42
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Re: Boat will only back out to the right

Roland, there have been many good suggestions, but two I believe will have an immediate result for your boat. As a couple of people have mentioned, initial speed is important to give steerageway to your vessel. Without steereage way, you boat will founder, stall and be subject to the vagaries of wind and current. When leaving your slip, try a semi-full throttle with your wheel turned opposite of your prop walk. This should keep you fairly straight. If your stern begins to walk in the undesired direction, put your boat in neutral and use the speed you initially generated to turn your boat in the desired direction. You can also help your vessel greatly with someone on the bow with an extended boat hook pushing in the direction you want to go. We have used this technique successfully with a 60,000 lb. CT56 without bow thrusters. Secondly, as Nicholson 58 said, use the wind and current to your advantage and factor it into your equation everytime you leave or enter a dock. If the conditions are excessive, you may not be able to leave the dock safely and even the use of spring lines will not overcome the conditions and could jeopardize the safety of your vessel and those around you. A vessel that is out of control is a danger to everyone in its way. Good luck and good sailing.
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Old 22-10-2012, 12:41   #43
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Re: Boat will only back out to the right

Not unusual for a full keel boat. Our Cape Dory won't back in a straight line for long.

Use SPRING lines...
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Old 22-10-2012, 13:09   #44
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Re: Boat will only back out to the right

I won't rehash all the suggestions and advice given so far. Suffice it to say that when we moved from a 34' fin keel to our current 42' cruiser, I had a lot of practicing and relearning to do. We also back to stbd, have a narrow fairway, big boats with dinghies on davits sticking out in the fairways and, occasionally, foul wind direction (our bow really blows off fast). Couple lessons we've learned:

- take it slow. There's no hurry. If it takes 4 or 5 backing/filling cycles, so what.
- set pride aside. back out if you need to. Use lines. Ask for help from others on the dock, etc.
- talk it through. before we do anything (get underway, dock, anchor, etc.) my wife and I talk through what we're about to do, what we expect, what might happen, etc.
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