Go out in an open space with no wind
and a piling or bouy to use as a reference mark. Be still. Come to a stop. Add a second or two of reverse, GENTLY. Keep your hand off the throttle, leave the engine at near idle. Use the shift and the wheel
only. See the effect, and steer while she is moving. Add another second or two. Steer again. Practice.
I'm speaking from a heavy displacement
boat with a single
left handed prop and no thrusters.
The central point here is to learn how to control the motion of the boat very gently. If you try to dock
or get underway with monster bursts of revs, or lose your cool doing it and start reacting, you will come to grief, as in shattered fiberglass
, scuffed pilings, and dismay from your neighbors. I got happy with my boat when I could hover in front of a lock, gently turning in circles without going anywhere.
in reverse can be nudging rather than steering
per se. My father-in-law, a Panama Canal
pilot, said that the only ship he ever managed to steer in reverse was a three prop destroyer.
Have a really good time doing it. I think I'll go practice, as well.