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Old 02-07-2008, 09:56   #16
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why it is hard.....

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Originally Posted by Alan Wheeler View Post
I am not quite sure why this is hard. I may not understand something. I would be backing out and allow the wind to swing the bow around. This is what I do with my boat. So am I not understanding something??
when I back out, the wind blows the stern in the WRONG direction (see diagram)

everyone else in the marina is parked bow in, so I believe that with a combination of throttle and rudder it must not be too hard to get out. I just don't have the right combination!

jc
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Old 02-07-2008, 10:28   #17
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Is there room to do a 180 after you clear the slip? That might be the low hassle way.

George
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Old 02-07-2008, 10:37   #18
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Question my driving skills...

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Is there room to do a 180 after you clear the slip? That might be the low hassle way.

George
hi

the problem is my driving skills. it is fairly narrow between the docks. everyone has suggested lines and backing in, however everyone else is bow in, which tells me it couldn't be too hard to get out. can you suggest a good site or book which concentrates on sailboats under power?

thanks

jc
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:24   #19
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Ok, my boat is a CCA style full keeler that backs horribly. I was having issues with backing and turning into the channel when the wind was across my finger. I found that by getting everything ready to go, checking for traffic and going full throttle for about two seconds to get her to run back, going to neutral with the rudder hard over, I can force the bow into the wind enough that when I'm halfway out the slip and go to forward, she'll swing right into the wind. While your boat's different, getting the burst and going to neutral as ya drift back will eliminate the prop walk.
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:54   #20
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Originally Posted by alameda View Post
hi

the problem is my driving skills. it is fairly narrow between the docks. everyone has suggested lines and backing in, however everyone else is bow in, which tells me it couldn't be too hard to get out. can you suggest a good site or book which concentrates on sailboats under power?

thanks

jc

Chapman's has a good section on it. The physics is actually more complicated than you would think. Rudder placement and engine kick have different effects depending on whether or not you have way on.
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Old 02-07-2008, 12:35   #21
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Question more what I was looking for....

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Ok, my boat is a CCA style full keeler that backs horribly. I was having issues with backing and turning into the channel when the wind was across my finger. I found that by getting everything ready to go, checking for traffic and going full throttle for about two seconds to get her to run back, going to neutral with the rudder hard over, I can force the bow into the wind enough that when I'm halfway out the slip and go to forward, she'll swing right into the wind. While your boat's different, getting the burst and going to neutral as ya drift back will eliminate the prop walk.
should I turn the rudder before I hit the throttle back for 2 secs or wait until it is in neutral and then bang the helm over?

thanks

jc
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Old 02-07-2008, 13:33   #22
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Based on your diagram, what would work best for me is to have the rudder amidships or slightly to port while revving in reverse for a couple of seconds, as CharlieCobra suggested, then put it in neutral and smoothly put it over to port. The idea is to begin making way and getting some water flowing smoothly over the rudder, so it can do it's work when you turn the wheel to bring the stern toward the wind. If you "bang" the rudder over, it will act like a big brake and slow the boat way down.

Once you're in the fairway, the wind should begin bringing the bow down more than the stern. The boat should be slowing down, since you're in neutral. When the stern is almost to the other side of the fairway, turn the rudder all the way to starboard, and gun the engine in short bursts. That will force water into the prop, kicking the stern to port, but not so much as to gain any significant forward speed. You can "back and fill" like that several times if you need to, and the bow should finally work it's way downwind.

Anyway, that's what works for my full-keel, fixed blade prop boat.
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Old 02-07-2008, 13:34   #23
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Park any way you can. Then, if you find bow first more convenient, turn the boat around by hand when it falls flat calm, in the middle of the night if neccessary.
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Old 02-07-2008, 13:45   #24
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First off, I don't think what everyone else does should determine whether you dock bow in or stern in. If it's your boat and slip, you can do what works for you. I sail out of Dana Point, CA and 90% are bow in, but some folks like to dock stern in. I charter and have to follow their rules, so I dock bow in.

I've been working on boat control under power and at low speeds for almost a year now. I have a down wind exit like what you illustrated. What I've found to work is using more power coming out of the slip in reverse so you can steer the boat once it's in the channel. I power out with the rudder slightly to port and gradually turn more to port and cut power back to idle once the bow is exiting the end of the slip and shift to neutral. This gets the stern up the channel a little bit and the bow starts to blow downwind. I then shift to forward, turn the wheel all the way to starboard, and apply power.

If there's an instructor available or a sailing school, I would suggest going through this drill a number of times with someone aboard to help (or even better, on a school's boat or charter boat). It will make a lot more sense having it demonstrated versus reading about it.
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Old 02-07-2008, 13:46   #25
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You can not always rely on what other boats are doing, they probably prop walk to port (more common than stbd).

I would imagine that tiller hard to stbd (rudder to port) and reverse should get you at least straight out of the slip. You will probably need to use a bit more speed than you are currently using (I know, it's scary). Then, at the last second and at the same time, tiller hard to port (rudder to stbd) and a blast of forward throttle (while you still have sternway) would start your spin clockwise. Normally the bow falls off faster than the stern so with the spin already started the wind should help you.

If that works but doesn't quite turn you enough to head out... then after the sharp blast of forward power and full rudder (this should stop your sternway and start your clockwise spin) don't allow the boat to make headway. Instead you have to feel when the sternway stops and before headway begins, then hit reverse again for a second but don't actually go anywhere (just check your motion and maybe get a touch of sterway). Then do the blast forward again with full rudder. In fact after your initial run back out of the slip and your first blast with full rudder to port you should not need to move the rudder anymore because the last forward and reverse thrusts should be while sitting in place without head or sternway.

Hope all that makes sense. Maybe practice this in a safer part of the marina. Good luck.
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Old 02-07-2008, 13:50   #26
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Question great !

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Based on your diagram, what would work best for me is to have the rudder amidships or slightly to port while revving in reverse for a couple of seconds, as CharlieCobra suggested, then put it in neutral and smoothly put it over to port. The idea is to begin making way and getting some water flowing smoothly over the rudder, so it can do it's work when you turn the wheel to bring the stern toward the wind. If you "bang" the rudder over, it will act like a big brake and slow the boat way down.

Once you're in the fairway, the wind should begin bringing the bow down more than the stern. The boat should be slowing down, since you're in neutral. When the stern is almost to the other side of the fairway, turn the rudder all the way to starboard, and gun the engine in short bursts. That will force water into the prop, kicking the stern to port, but not so much as to gain any significant forward speed. You can "back and fill" like that several times if you need to, and the bow should finally work it's way downwind.

Anyway, that's what works for my full-keel, fixed blade prop boat.
thanks, just what I wanted to know.

how can I mark the wheel to know that the rudder is amidships?
the wheel seems to go round more than one full turn.

thanks

jc
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Old 02-07-2008, 13:53   #27
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great...

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You can not always rely on what other boats are doing, they probably prop walk to port (more common than stbd).

I would imagine that tiller hard to stbd (rudder to port) and reverse should get you at least straight out of the slip. You will probably need to use a bit more speed than you are currently using (I know, it's scary). Then, at the last second and at the same time, tiller hard to port (rudder to stbd) and a blast of forward throttle (while you still have sternway) would start your spin clockwise. Normally the bow falls off faster than the stern so with the spin already started the wind should help you.

If that works but doesn't quite turn you enough to head out... then after the sharp blast of forward power and full rudder (this should stop your sternway and start your clockwise spin) don't allow the boat to make headway. Instead you have to feel when the sternway stops and before headway begins, then hit reverse again for a second but don't actually go anywhere (just check your motion and maybe get a touch of sterway). Then do the blast forward again with full rudder. In fact after your initial run back out of the slip and your first blast with full rudder to port you should not need to move the rudder anymore because the last forward and reverse thrusts should be while sitting in place without head or sternway.

Hope all that makes sense. Maybe practice this in a safer part of the marina. Good luck.
thanks, just what I wanted to know.

jc
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Old 02-07-2008, 13:53   #28
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HUD3 and AVSKIPPER posted while I was typing. The idea of starting with less rudder when backing is good to help you gain sternway at first.

I learn something new everyday!

I have a powerboat with similar handling of a sailboat. She's deep keeled, single prop, really long, and doesn't like to turn.
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Old 02-07-2008, 14:00   #29
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thanks, just what I wanted to know.

how can I mark the wheel to know that the rudder is amidships?
the wheel seems to go round more than one full turn.

thanks

jc
JC,

The "easy" thing is to center the rudder (visually check it) and wrap a piece of electrical tape around the "King Spoke", the one pointing straight up.

The "elegant" thing to do is to weave a Turk's Head knot around the wheel at the intersection with the King Spoke.
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Old 02-07-2008, 14:06   #30
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Alameda,

If Hud is correct, and your prop is offset to port, this explains the tendency of the stern to want to pull to the right as you back under power at low speed, which is the opposite phenomenon most of us experience. This design diference is likely to explain the confusion among the responses you are receiving in this thread.

I am going to assume this is the case, and my advice is based on that assumption. You can confirm an offset prop position with a visual inspection. Understanding the physics is fundamental to arriving at a satisfactory solution.

Here's my step-by-step:
  1. Cast off all lines except the port quarter. Let the prevailing wind push the bow off to the downwind side of the slip, introducing an angle that puts your stern 10-15į into the wind.
  2. Set the rudder amidships.
  3. Standing at the helm, with the transmission in neutral, remove the remaining dockline from your stern cleat. Pass it outboard and up, over your lifelines, so that the loop is in your left hand @ shoulder height and it will be easy to to throw up on the finger as you exit.
  4. Shift the transmission into reverse, and open the throttle to the stop (wide open throttle).
  5. Give the dockline a toss to clear the boat. If you can make it land on the finger, so much the better.
  6. Resist the temptation to turn the helm as you are accelerating out of the slip.
  7. Just before your bow clears the finger, kill the throttle, shift into neutral, and throw the helm over hard to port.
  8. Continue to coast back on momentum as the stern pulls upwind and the bow blows off.
  9. As the boat aligns itself in the fairway, shift into foward to avoid touching the boats behind you, center the helm, and give it at least half-throttle (you may need more) to begin making way toward open water.
  10. Once you have steerage in forward, reduce throttle and introduce starboard helm as necessary to keep yourself aligned in the fairway.

You want to build reverse speed quickly, then manuever without power: the rudder must initially be positioned amidships, not causing drag, or you'll just plow back, & the prop will pull the stern to starboard.

How far to back out under power is the real question: you must build enough momentum so that you can shift the transmission into neutral and manuever without prop-effect. Your only limit is the brightwork on the boats opposite you in the fairway. As long as you don't touch them, you can use an extra second or two to power back. If you over-power and are going to hit them, you can always shift into forward to check your reverse momentum and avoid a call to your insurance agent.

Good luck. Practice makes more nearly perfect.
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