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Old 04-06-2015, 09:59   #16
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

Hi. I have a similar problem with my Bayfield 29. Full keel. Read this excellent article http://www.his.com/~vann/KrgStuff/360turns.htm.
Basically the secret is "goosing" your engine in reverse. Get moving enough so the rudder becomes effective, while minimizing the prop walk.
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Old 04-06-2015, 10:01   #17
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

You have a right handed prop rotation. BacKs to port in reverse. New. slip is best option but still need to learn how to Back and Fill.. You can spin the boat on its keel with this method. Look up videos .Essentially bow will walk to starboard in forward and stern always moves first. I would shove boat out of slip as stern clears give quick shot of reverse and then neutral followed by forward. Don't need rudder at all.
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Old 04-06-2015, 10:20   #18
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

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Originally Posted by dtlx11 View Post
The prop walk really is quite tremendous, at low revs my prop does not fold out fully in reverse and at higher revs the prop walk is unworkable. she turns on a dime in open space.
Not sure what brand prop you have but sounds like a folding design? If you think it's not opening fully when you shift into reverse at low rpms, you can try a very brief rev up to higher rpms then back down to low rpm. The rev up may kick the prop open. Also might be worth lubing the prop if it hasn't been maintained in a while. A diver could probably do that without a haul-out.

Keep in mind prop walk is greatest when at high rpms without weigh on (without the boat moving backwards yet). So if you try the reverse kick you might want to do that while the stern is still tethered to the dock.

I agree with all the suggestions to back in, but if you really want to back out singlehanded then another good option could be just holding a line looped around a cleat or piling at the aft end of the dock, while you're at the helm, and feeding it out until you get steerage.
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Old 04-06-2015, 10:29   #19
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

The first thing is that you are seeing prop walking as a problem. It is not, it is your friend which will help you if you use it. Know when and how to use this handy friend with your boat.

Here are a couple of facts to ALWAYS keep in mind:
Prop walk happens, it happens most when the boat is not making way, and decreases as boat speed through the water increases. It happens greatest in reverse. It happens a little in forward but it is slight and most people do not notice it.

Your boat pivots on her keel and is turned by the rudder moving the STERN, stern goes one way, bow goes the other. You turn your boat to port by turning your stern to starboard.

A short burst of power (near full throttle) in forward, while making little or no way, can be used with water deflected off the rudder to move the stern port or starboard. A short burst (near full throttle) in reverse (with a right hand prop) with little or no way will move your stern to port. Using this allows you to turn your boat in an area just a few feet wider than the boat is long. Short burst is one to two seconds at most.

And a few important rules for you. (we use the same rules on ships)
Slowly, slowly, slowly.
Don’t get something started you can’t stop.
If things get out of hand, come into neutral and sit on your hands, you will do far less damage.
Always be aware of current and the wind.

So there you are in your slip, let us assume for the moment no wind or current.
Put a couple of fenders on the port side midship and near the bow, ‘just in case’. Put the rudder (wheel) amidships. Throw all lines off, get behind the wheel and come into dead slow astern with no throttle until the boat starts to move slightly, then back into neutral . (There will be little prop walk as you were only in astern a few seconds. The boat is moving very slow so the rudder is ineffective. Now when the boat is about half to three quarters out of the slip, almost dead in the water, come into astern and give a SHORT burst of power (near full throttle) then back into neutral. Stern will walk to port and again start moving slowly astern, keep an eye on your bow to stay clear of the boat on your port side. As your stern gets to within a couple of feet (get close) of the boats astern of you put your helm hard starboard, give a SHORT burst of power ahead, then as the boat just starts to move forward, a short burst of power astern to stop her forward movement. Each one of these maneuvers will be moving your stern to port and your bow to starboard. Repeat as necessary (bursts forward and astern) until your bow is pointed the way you want, (favor the starboard side of the open area) then just a little power ahead to get her moving and steer her out.

Again, practice with no wind, and perhaps the first time with someone on deck with a moving fender on your port side. You will get the hang of it and be glad your stern walks to port.

Michael
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Old 04-06-2015, 10:35   #20
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

Darn good ideas, all. Try a couple of them with your co-owner as a spotter a couple of times until you get comfortable.
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Old 04-06-2015, 11:20   #21
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

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Darn good ideas, all. Try a couple of them with your co-owner as a spotter a couple of times until you get comfortable.
In addition to this don't be afraid or embarrrased to have an extended practice session doing touch and go's. Like Tomlewis said get some spotters/people to fend and each of you (you and your partner) spend time practicing docking and pulling out. I have seen a lot of people be afraid to let other people see that they are learning and are unsure of the best way to dock their boat which is ridiculous. We all start somewhere and have to learn. Better to practice for hours in front of a crowd with people to help, rather then to crash into something pretending you know what you are doing.
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Old 04-06-2015, 11:52   #22
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

Spouces can be trained quite easily.
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Old 04-06-2015, 12:00   #23
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

Propwash can be a blessing, just not in your instance. Override the propwasw by using a "Watermans spring" as someone already has suggested to a midship cleat a man or around a pole. Back straight out and use the Waterman to pivot yoiur stern to starboard. Another way is to back into your slip - - thereby making good of your propwash to port.
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Old 04-06-2015, 12:30   #24
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

Consider having your girlfriend learn to helm the boat while you do the more difficult work. Rigging spring lines and fending are more work than turning the wheel and adjusting throttle. Resist the urge to yell. Start by going out in a big empty area and have her drive while you give gentle directions. Don't yell...ever. Once she is confident she can drive then get 2 additional friends to position fenders. They are just there in case something goes wrong (which it will). Practice leaving and arriving the slip 10 times. If you don't yell she will figure it out. Probably better than you if you're lucky.

You will figure out how to rig spring lines to turn the boat out of the slip and back in. You can do it without jumping in and out of the boat. Always stay in the boat until it is secured.
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Old 04-06-2015, 12:32   #25
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

Back into the slip with a spring line on the port midships (or aft quarter if you midship cleat is too far forward). Back slowly and keep the rudder pointed hard over to port (short engine burst in forward can help control the bow once in the slip). You can start by docking port bow in on the opposite side of the dock if open and setting your spring line. Keep bumpers to starboard.

Leave with a spring line attached to the bow. Again move slowly.

Both spring lines can be run to the cockpit so you can single handle.

Don't need the rudder to steer in either case.

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Old 04-06-2015, 12:33   #26
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

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Consider having your girlfriend learn to helm the boat while you do the more difficult work. Rigging spring lines and fending are more work than turning the wheel and adjusting throttle. Resist the urge to yell. Start by going out in a big empty area and have her drive while you give gentle directions. Don't yell...ever. Once she is confident she can drive then get 2 additional friends to position fenders. They are just there in case something goes wrong (which it will). Practice leaving and arriving the slip 10 times. If you don't yell she will figure it out. Probably better than you if you're lucky.

You will figure out how to rig spring lines to turn the boat out of the slip and back in. You can do it without jumping in and out of the boat. Always stay in the boat until it is secured.
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Old 04-06-2015, 13:02   #27
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

Enjoy reading this stuff. Excellent suggestions. I trained charter guests to dock for years and still feel like a fool at times. Practice, practice and then practice some more.
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Old 04-06-2015, 13:03   #28
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

In both the cases of reversing out, and coming back in forwards, the prop walk is helping you, if used correctly.

Your situation is about the same as mine.

The first step is to anticipate the prop walk. My boat will usually turn through 10 degrees or so before the rudder has enough way on it to work. So I begin with the boat turned the other way, in the slip, so it ends up going straight.

I reverse out at idle, with rudder counteracting the prop walk. Use of rudder is delicate at low speed in reverse. More than a third, and the rudder stalls. Once clear of the dock, I use as many cycles of back and fill as needed, to turn the boat in its length.

When doing back and fill, just leave the rudder in the position for forward thrust, in this case to starboard. Its doing almost nothing in reverse anyway.

For return, I come in at low rpm in reverse again. The prop walk then helps turn the boat into the slip. You can even stop in the fairway. Use short bursts of forward, with rudder, to get the boat aimed correctly. When the boat is pointed into the slip, proceed straight ahead. Finally, a short burst of reverse to stop.

Prop walk is your friend. Learn to use it to your advantage. I'd hate to have to maneuver my boat without any.

Finally, I do occasionally scrape the dock. So what. That's what it's there for. If the dock isn't well covered in PVC rubbing, buy some. Or buy one of those rubber wheels that screw onto the corner of the dock. Actually, that might help you a lot.
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Old 04-06-2015, 13:25   #29
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

Prop walk only occurs when the boat is in gear. Can you bounce her into gear and as soon as you have sternway shift to neutral. As she slows, bounce her again.

I use this technique often and it helps.

While I am not familiar with folding props, I found that when I changed from the higher pitch fixed prop the PO had on the boat, to the size and pitch S&S recommended, the walking seemed to subside.

Recommend you NOT practice at the dock. Instead find a quiet bay and play there. Nothing to hit tat way.


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Old 04-06-2015, 13:27   #30
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

'just a brief review of the terms "prop wash" and "prop walk" that are often used incorrectly.

Prop wash is the water flow produced by the spinning prop that propells the boat forward and is used to turn the boat when the prop wash is deflected by the rudder.

Prop walk is the influence of the prop rotation to deflect the stern to the side. Prop walk has little effect in forward gear when the prop wash flows across the rudder, but prop walk is significant in reverse when the prop wash is not passing over the rudder.

When a vessel with a right-hand propeller is in reverse gear the prop walk deflects the stern to port.

I had noticed that these terms were not consistantly used properly in this thread. No great consequence, but it can be a source of misunderstanding.
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