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Old 16-09-2012, 11:41   #1
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Catalina Prop Walk

We have a 30' Catalina Sloop. Backing out of our slip is very difficult due to the tendency of the stern to walk to port causing the bow to swing to straboard and bump our neighbor boat on that side.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? What did you do to solve the problem?

Thanks.

TJM
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Old 16-09-2012, 11:47   #2
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Re: Catalina Prop Walk

put the wheel to starboard.
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Old 16-09-2012, 12:01   #3
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Re: Catalina Prop Walk

gun the engine to get speed for your rudder to work. then go to neutral so no prop walk. used to do it all the time on a catalina 27.
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Old 16-09-2012, 12:05   #4
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Re: Catalina Prop Walk

Position someone on the bow to fend off lol Learn to use it to your advantage I will push the stern hard to one side as i start to back out. I do not leave it in gear but bump it and give the boat time to get some momentum going for steerage, then start to leave it in gear a bit longer as she starts to get rudder control. All part of learning the art lol
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Old 16-09-2012, 12:18   #5
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Re: Catalina Prop Walk

Learn to use your spring lines to weather cock the bow and aline the stern to make backing out, or getting away from a dock easier and safer !!
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Old 16-09-2012, 12:51   #6
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Our solution to the reverse walk is to "walk" (as in using two feet) the boat out and keep the bow line in hand. Hop on when the shrouds reach the end of the finger... Give the bow a little tweak in just before you jump on. You can easily generate enough way to get some steering control just by hand. Our Catalina 30 walked less when we went from a 2 blade to 3 blade prop. Although, we repowered electric and it isn't an issue anymore.

Otherwise, hit the throttle hard with the rudder opposed and go back to neutral. It doesn't walk when you aren't driving the prop.

I actually really find the prop walk handy. With a little practice you can make it work for you, not against. Our new boat has a V-Drive, and I'm still not used to it walking the "wrong" way...

JRM
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Old 16-09-2012, 12:59   #7
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Re: Catalina Prop Walk

Off/on/off/on with the power until you have enough momentum where the rudder is working. Also, as previous poster says, learn to springline out. I cured most of it by putting a Martec folding prop on. There's less power in reverse but I've learned to deal with that (come in to slip SLOWLY!)
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Old 16-09-2012, 14:02   #8
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Re: Catalina Prop Walk

Start with the rudder centered and the bow canted toward you dock,. Give the engine a good shot of power to get the boat moving astern. Go to neutral to eliminate prop walk.

Do not start with the rudder canted to starboard; it will just act like a brake.

Have a crew member on the bow with a boat hook if there is a need to fend off. This person can also act as a lookout as the move about the marina.

Learn to dock stern-to. The port prop walk will then be advantageous when docking and irrelevant when leaving the dock. Getting gear on and off the boat is must easier stern-to.
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Old 16-09-2012, 14:18   #9
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Re: Catalina Prop Walk

Quote:
Originally Posted by TJM1 View Post
We have a 30' Catalina Sloop. Backing out of our slip is very difficult due to the tendency of the stern to walk to port causing the bow to swing to straboard and bump our neighbor boat on that side.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? What did you do to solve the problem?

Thanks.

TJM
Find a quiet area preferable with a mooring ball available and practice -

- Approach the ball in forward, stop the boat without the stern moving off to the port side. This requires a slow approach and judicious use of reverse. You are allowed to come in slightly canted to simulate a condition where a bit more approach speed is required (i.e. a bit of wind) and allow the stern to walk to port but you should aim to have the boat aligned with your imaginary dock when stopped. Approach at 1 knot at first then maybe up to 2 knots.

- When stopped at the ball practice a 3 point turn to starboard - The prop walk will help you in this case. You want to complete the turn in no more than 2 boat lengths. Hard burst of reverse,, then rudder to starboard, hard burst of forward - prop wash over rudder is what you are trying to get here with little to no boat movement.

- 360 turn - With plenty of room from a stopped position rudder hard to starboard and do a 360 turn. Do it again to port and note the difference.

- Walk the boat sideways - Rudder neutral and a hard burst of reverse. The stern will walk to port. Rudder hard to port - hard burst of forward - bow will come back but boat will start to "walk" sideways.

- Reverse in a straight line. Rudder neutral - hard burst of reverse - 5 seconds max. Stern will walk to port. Rudder to starboard. Hard burst of forward - less than reverse - about 2-3 seconds max - bow will come back a bit but you should have a little stern way on now. Repeat - You are not trying to get all your speed at once.

The bow walking - with crew is also an option.

The maneuvers described above were required at my last 40 foot charter check out. I only screwed up the reverse in a straight line. The hardest maneuver and one essential for back straight out of a slip.

If there is no wind I also generally use idle reverse or jogging in and out of idle reverse which minimizes walk but the boat gets underway really slowly which can be bad in adverse wind or current. Then you walk the bow.

Oh - You can also buy a twin engined cat...
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Old 16-09-2012, 15:12   #10
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Re: Catalina Prop Walk

First of all this isn't something only done by Catalina Sailboat...

Prop Walk is caused by the props movement of water across the hull and to some extent, ALL BOATS with an engine have it.

You have prop walk in both forward and reverse, but is more prodominant in reverse.

As suggested in previous posts, as you back your vessel, the prop walk begins immediately, but until water is flowing across your rudder, you have no steering.

Also as previously suggested, short bursts of the throttle and back to neutral will get the boat moving and cause water to flow over your rudder, without being significantly effected by the prop walk.

Again, several people have suggested you practice... Your prop walk can be a very useful tool for dock or close quarter manuvering, but knowing how to use it requires practice...

Here his a link I found that should give you some good detail on prop walk
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Old 16-09-2012, 15:21   #11
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Re: Catalina Prop Walk

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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
Learn to dock stern-to. The port prop walk will then be advantageous when docking and irrelevant when leaving the dock. Getting gear on and off the boat is must easier stern-to.
If you try backing in you trade a small problem for a heck of a headache
I have had lessons from a professional captain to back in and I still can't do it well enough to dock single handed. It's especially annoying with even a little wind from the wrong side. My Catalina 36 doesn't steer well in reverse and you can't do sharp turns but if there is any wind you need to have sufficient speed on to get it done or the wind grabs the bow. The combination of poor steering and speed is too much for me. I go slow and steady and end up sideways across two slips because the wind grabbed the bow.
Next boat will have a bow thruster!
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Old 16-09-2012, 15:31   #12
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Re: Catalina Prop Walk

I have the same issue with my Cat 36 confounded by the wind direction which comes across the port bow serving to push the bow to starboard even faster. What I do is this. Uncleat the stern port line. Then, as I uncleat the two bow lines, I pull the bow to port so it is at an angle in the slip and pointing into the wind. Walk back and board on the starboard side, uncleating the stern starboard line. Give a short burst of reverse to get some momentum going. The prop walk then serves to straighten the boat in the slip, by which time I have momentum going and she comes dead straight out of the slip.

Mike
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Old 16-09-2012, 19:19   #13
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Re: Catalina Prop Walk

Thanks to everyone for all of the great tips!

It's good to know that others have the same issue, and that there is a solution.

Cheers!
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Old 17-09-2012, 16:48   #14
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Re: Catalina Prop Walk

If you feel your prop walk is unmanageable - and you are the one responsible for your boat - then consider a MaxProp from PYI, Inc. The blades rotate to give a much more desirable angle of attack and hence more power.

The Ericson E32-2 is the queen of prop walk, and this tamed it. Not a cheap solution, but it will give you confidence handling your boat in challenging situations and considerable peace of mind when the wind is up or entering unfamiliar harbors/marinas.
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Old 17-09-2012, 19:56   #15
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Re: Catalina Prop Walk

Very good suggestions.

PRACTICE.

Then do it a dozen more times.
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