I have an older Catalina
27 that doesn't go astern worth beans, but I've sort of figure out the puzzle on the reversing stuff. Yesterday I had a weird experience that left me baffled and embarrassed. First the history
Since my hip operation of May 18 2006, I haven't been on the boat much. I experienced a great deal of pain and walking problems initially. In fact it is only recently that my leg has felt any where near normal. This means not only wasn't I using the boat a lot, I didn't haul it out. I left this summer for two months and on my return, I took two friends out boating
from the high north, close to the artic circle in Nunavut.
Everything went smoothly backing out, the stern was pointed where I wanted it and the bow swung in the direction I wanted. BUT, when I put in the Mercury
into forward I had no steerage way - none. In fact, I did a 360 in front of the world as my two friends were rapidly re-assessing how experienced I was in boating
I successfully backed the boat into a double empty slip and life seemed to be good until again I put the engine
into "forward" and again no steerage, no matter how far over the tiller was; the boat would just go forward, the wind
would catch it and again I did another 360 with an every increasing doubtful friends.
This repeated itself one more time before I got the boat to face the correct direction and hit the forward hard for a moment. The only thing I can think of was some how the collection of crud on the bottom significantly altered my forward steerage way. Amazingly my friends didn't chicken out and we had a good time.
We did get out for a couple of hours and on my return, the old sensitive forward steerage I was used to had returned. In all my years of boating, I've never encountered this loss of steerage; it was so pronounced that at one point I wondered if the rudder
had some how come off; which of course it didn't.