Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass
You dangerously have all that the wrong way around!!!
When reversing a boat, pushing the tiller to port moves the boat to starboard (the bow will swing port, but the general movement of the boat is in the STARBOARD direction).
Oh i hope we're not going to play another game
. Very clearly, her stern moved to port. I saw it. Since her slip is on the port side of the fairway, there would have been a collision
with another boat if the boat I had been on behaved as you are insisting it must have.
But then, you weren't there ...
This approach just came to mind because I spent last Sunday sailing on a Catalina
'27 that belongs to a friend of mine. She know I am systematically testing my back now with slightly heavier tasks. She let me try things little by little (happily, I had no trouble with my back).
She had another couple on the boat who are going to share the boat with her, and she was showing them how she backs the boat into the slip.
She started steering
the boat the way I described just inside the two channel markers that go into the Gulfport Municipal Marina. Steering
as I described she made a 90º turn to port by pusing the rudder
to port. Then she made about a 70º turn to starboard into her fairway, and then increased that turn as she went into the slip, which was to the port side of the boat.
It worked extremely well. I'm not surprised, because she taught me how to do it on her boat, and then we went out and did it with my wheel
boat as well.
I'm going to tell you one more time, and then I'm going to give up on you. I don't just come in here and make ship up. I've done everything I've ever said I did. You would have done a lot in six years too if you were sailing your boat every second to third day. I've learned a *whole* lot from the more experienced sailors I see day in and day out.
I do listen selectively, however. One friend who often turns out to be helpful in the end is rarely helpful in the beginning, because the first words out his mouth are *always* "Oh you can't do that." When it turns out that I *can* do whatever it is, both safely and effectively, he does have the courtesy to acknowledge it. For some people, their minds immediately go to something negative first. I just smile of him and think of the little robot waving his arms around saying, "Danger, DANGER
Will Robinson!" I'm sorry, but that's what you just made me think of also.
It may be that YOUR boat fights this approach, but maybe you're going too slowly. Maybe you have more prop wash, or more current
, where you are. Neither of my boats have handled current well when in reverse, but I really don't know whether that is a standard trait since I've only experienced it on two boats that were powered very significantly differently.
Go ahead and be an alarmist, or change your approach to it. I only know the way my friend taught me, and I've only done it on her boat, but it works on my boat as I described as well. I don't push that idea strongly because my boat is so maneuverable (I credit the specialty prop partly for that) that it may well not be typical.
The thing I will add that I haven't seen addressed recently is the issue of prop wash. It's not much of a problem with my boat, but the way my bow catches the wind is something I must always pay attention to. Boats don't always steer as we expect or wish them to. Whether the issue is prop wash or a bow that catches the wind pretty easily, one's docking
plan should work WITH these traits and not against it. Sometimes it's better to move past your slip so when your stern turns into the slip, your boat's innate nature is helping rather than harming you.
Your experience apparently is different than mine, but this isn't something I just read or heard about. I've done it. I've practiced it. She backs her boat into the slip, and that's how she does it. She has a fin keel
; it does make steering in tight quarters easier. Maybe you have a full keel
, and maybe you have a bigger boat, and maybe it won't work for you.
It would have been nice to hear some version of "That's interesting. It doesn't work well on my boat. My boat is (whatever). What is your friend's boat like?" instead of some version of "I'm either a liar or a danger
to others but because I can't do this, no one can."
This is in fact a change I think this board would benefit from -- encouraging people to seek out why person A's experience is different than person B's, instead of pulling out the tacks and hammer in readiness to mount someone's hide to the wall.
I have to assume that people here actually read the other posts, and follow the excellent advice we had I think yesterday, about about practicing with two buoys. That's exactly what I did when I got this boat. I'm a musician. I believe in practice. I also have faith that in addition to trying it in open water
first, they will notice that they have to momve the tiller more to port or starboard than they might have expected. That's why smart sailors try new things away from other boats.
I would be interested to hear from people who have tried this with full keel vs. fin keel, because I've done it quite successfully, but both boats have fin keels.
Anybody who takes ANY docking
advice without practicing is taking a risk, because each boat responds differently and conditions vary greatly according to tide, current and wind. Current and wind are a challenge here; tide and wind were an issue at my previous marina -- tide because it was tricky just to get into the marina, and the slips hadn't been dredged in years. There may well be some boats that this won't work with. I'm thinking of a friend who has a full keel. It's a bluewater-worthy boat, and although he has many, many years of experience an would be recognized as an expert by anyone, he has a heckuva time backing up his boat. I don't know if he's tried my friend's approach, but when he gets back from his mini-cruise I'm going to see if I can't talk him into trying it.