Originally Posted by TJM1
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?
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
. Then you walk the bow.
Oh - You can also buy a twin engined cat...