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Old 04-07-2020, 06:05   #1
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Prop Walk Madness

I took a look at a C&C 32 the other day. Original engine was an Atomic 4 then a diesel was installed. It turns opposite. Backing out of the slip was challenging as in ‘Cluster F..k’. Prop is offset to the left from the factory as are so many C&C’s but with this rotation it should be offset to the right. Anyhow, I like the boat, and once you get going forward it runs so smooth. Any suggestions on how to not look like an idiot whilst in reverse?

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Old 04-07-2020, 06:10   #2
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Re: Prop Walk Madness

Depending on the replacement engine tranny , some can be operated in reverse almost forever. Will cost a new prop.

Check to see what yours can be operated long term in reverse.

The Kubota conversions offer a number of tranies , some are fine for reverse forever operation.

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Old 04-07-2020, 06:11   #3
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Re: Prop Walk Madness

Practise, practise, practise.

God how I hate offset props! (and centre cockpits)

Good luck,
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Old 04-07-2020, 06:28   #4
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Re: Prop Walk Madness

Full throttle astern until the boat is moving. Once moving, neutral and glide out in complete control.
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Old 04-07-2020, 06:37   #5
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Re: Prop Walk Madness

Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
Full throttle astern until the boat is moving. Once moving, neutral and glide out in complete control.
For our big boat idling in reverse until moving works better. If I give her a burst she almost jumps sideways. More than once I’ve had folks comment, seriously, thinking had a thruster. I come into a dock port side to and hit reverse so she lays up nice.

Practice, practice, practice. It’s a real PITA.

As an aside, if the OP wants to install a wind game think about the aux rudder type. Can be used reversing to give more control, I do that on the small boat. But you kinda have to be able to be in three places at once balancing on one foot to make it work. Other than that it’s great.
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Old 04-07-2020, 07:42   #6
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Re: Prop Walk Madness


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.

Steering 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.
Never let anything mechanical know that you are in a hurry.
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Old 04-07-2020, 15:39   #7
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Re: Prop Walk Madness

Heres a bit of cautionary advice and my experience to illustrate it; get to know how your boat behaves going in reverse.
My present boat will steam at a good rate of knots in reverse and steers quite well enough once it has picked up some way. I wish i'd realised this when I first had to take the boat some considerable coastal distance. The forward clutch was so worn the boat would not move against the barest tide or wind, but I didnt realise that the particular gearbox had a separate reverse clutch, which had no wear at all. What ensued was a several week odyssey wherein I put my sailing management skills through a number of challenges, all of which would have been a great deal less rigorous if I had realised the boat would drive at almost hull speed in reverse.

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