Reading this in 2015. Don't know if Bets ever bet on that Sabre, but thought continuing the discussion might be worthwhile for others interested in offset shafts. I have an Erikson 35 with a right hand prop, mid-cabin engine, with shaft angled a few degrees towards starboard quarter.
I agree with David M and Boasun here. There seems to be little important difference in handling in either forward or reverse.
I find that I disagree with Bets' conclusions. Prop walk to port in reverse will be less, not more. Do a mental experiment
: Imagine a shaft offset by 30 degrees, and long, so that the prop is way back under the far starboard quarter of the boat. Backing this boat down will definitely move this boat's stern to starboard (forgetting rudder effects for the moment). In the actual situation we are discussing here, the same tendency is present, but it is slight, and only slightly counteracts the "port propwalk in reverse" that all boats with right handed screws have.
As far as the shaft being offset to the wrong side when going forward, adding additional rightward turn to the existing bow turn to starboard from port propwalk, I would submit that 99% of the steering
concerns that skippers have relate to backing down. I can't recall
ever hearing someone complain about not being able to steer while going forward. I think Bets' concern here about shaft offset to the wrong side is theoretically correct, but has no real-world importance.
As for me, when I'm backing down uncontrollably to port like the rest of you, I do always get a small sense of satisfaction: "At least my boat designer
made some attempt to offset this problem."