Originally Posted by Cruiser2B
As others have said a spring line works well. My alberg 30
does not steer in reverse at all. I use a spring line attached to the piling at end of slip and run it to cockpit( over the lifelines). I keep tension in line in my hand. As I'm backing I let spring line do its thing a run through my hand. Once bow clears slip I apply a good bit of tension and stern moves to Stbd and bow starts turning. Once clear and bow is coming around I heave the line. Put boat in forward and motor
Sound like a lot but really it all is happening very slowly. Just practice with someone on board. A few tries and you'll be a pro.
This is exactly what I do. I have an Alberg 35
(not a coincidence we are both sailing Albergs!) with considerable port prop walk. I back out to port. I have a slip with side docks on both sides, I dock
So my procedure is:
1. Set a long spring line at the end of the port dock, from port stern around a cleat, back to the jib winch
2. Set a mid boat line on port.
3. With everyone on board, release the starboard lines, haul boat to port dock.
4. Cast off the mid boat line on port.
5. Give it enough reverse to get the boat moving slowly to stern, immediately shift to neutral. steer straight. The boat will still move a little to port.
6. Keep a little way on, depending on wind/tide.
7. As bow clears docks, increase reverse for a moment, then back to neutral. This starts swinging the bow to starboard.
8. Once bow is clear, harden spring line. It only takes a moment. Bow immediately swings starboard. release spring at stern, retrieve at winch
9. Shift to forward, give it a blast, then reduce to slowly leave fairway.
When I first had the boat, I had a terrible time trying to back out. This method has made my undockings mostly tension free. Of course, I still mess up on occasion but the occasions are much fewer. Good luck!