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H240 steering

Apr 26, 2020
Hunter 240 Melbourne
We have a H240 and backing up is difficult. My engine and rudder turn simultaneously. Should the rudder be in the up position while motoring in tight places like the marina and steer with just the motor. It seems like the rudder makes steering worse under motor since it is side by side and not behind the prop like in boards.
Dec 2, 2003
Hunter 260 winnipeg, Manitoba
Almost all sailboats I’ve been on handle with great difficulty when moving slow, close quarters increases the anxiety associated with maneuvering. I keep our rudder down. Using bursts of power and having the center board down assist with low speed handling. learning to use short high power bursts and you should be able to turn your 240 in a bit more than its own length. Especially with the directional power provided by your linked outboard. These methods work in both forward and reverse.
May 24, 2004
CC 30 South Florida
The steering difficulty is a consequence of the boat's lack of speed both for the rudder and weak directional thrust of the engine. To steer a sailboat you need to adjust your mind set. A car is steered by the steering wheel but a boat is steered by the rudder, wind, currents, drift, dock lines. Steering a sailboat is a planned maneuver, which requires previous knowledge of how the boat will react to different conditions, it requires observation of the current's direction and speed, of the wind direction and strength, of any fixed objects in the immediate vicinity. With all the data a primary plan is formulated as well as a contingent secondary plan. Then the plan has to be executed. Many a time you get just one try and many a time it does not go as planned so the things is to know what to do when that happens. Let's say you are trying to dock, understand that there are instances when it will be impossible, so have an alternate docking facility in mind until conditions change. Many a time I have dropped a crewmember at the dock so he can walk around and grab a line to pull the boat in while I stand in deck fending the boat from nearby boats and pylons. No sense standing behind the wheel or tiller on a boat with no steerage. Lines can help steer a boat by fixing a pivot point. Close quarters require slow speeds to avoid banging into something but it is contradictory to the fact that the ability to steer solely by rudder requires a certain speed. It is easier to back up a boat going against the current than it is to back up a boat going with the current; it is all in the speed differential of water passing by the rudder. Practice and observation are the keys to boat handling in close quarters. I have had a couple of trailerables with outboard engines and my preferred setup is to have the motor remain fixed in position and steer primarily by rudder compensating for the other factors. Docking does not have to be pretty just safe. Pretty will come with practice and even then the most experienced will provide dockside entertainment. The slower a sailor moves around deck the more experienced he usually is. Good luck and Practice, Practice.
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Feb 21, 2019
Catalina 30 TR 3571 Cocoa, FL
If I understand the question, you're having to fight the outboard and the rudder trying to turn in different directions when backing down in reverse? Your rudder blade is partially balanced carrying more surface area aft of the pivot than forward so reverse water flow tends to force it left or right if not perfectly in line with that flow. This is aggravated by an outboard trying to pull the stern off of that alignment. It sounds like you can get to the OB tiller during docking without too much trouble so raising the rudder out of the water and steering via OB is one option. Another option is to find the "sweet spot" in your motor's steering alignment that pushes your boat straight ahead with minimal helm correction. Tighten the steering rotation bolt or adjustment on your outboard to "fix" that alignment and use your rudder for all steerage which IMO would be the preferred option. Depending on your OB you may find higher speeds in reverse exert enough force to rotate the motor so keep reverse speeds to a minimum. My situation is a smaller boat and a small OB with fwd & neutral only requiring a 180 deg. spin for reverse so locking rotation's not an option. At very slow speeds in reverse I find steering with rudder up in close quarters to be preferable otherwise rudder down and a firm hand on both tillers for backing down.
Jun 8, 2004
-na -NA Anywhere USA
If you want, I will be glad to talk with you. Heck. Former dealer who helped design this boat. Send a message with name, location and phone.
Do you have the motor and rudder alignment both in the same direction tied with a connecting bar? What size motor ?
Oct 12, 2020
Hunter 240 Little Rock
Crazy Dave. Do you have a recommendation for a motor to rudder connecting bar? I also find it difficult to back keeping the motor and rudder tied into the same direction. Thanks.
Jun 8, 2004
-na -NA Anywhere USA
@rgranger @caverun or anyone else , can you either advise home unit or a manufacturer of motor to rudder connector please
I sent him my contact info to call about backing up and will advise afterwards about prop walk in reverse and how to overcome that
Jan 19, 2010
Hunter 26 Charleston
@rgranger @caverun or anyone else , can you either advise home unit or a manufacturer of motor to rudder connector please
I sent him my contact info to call about backing up and will advise afterwards about prop walk in reverse and how to overcome that
I don't have my O.B. connected to my tiller. I think the frog did that on his H260


Oct 23, 2019
Hunter marine 270 Merrick
One thing with the wheel vs the tiller, its hard to tell at times where the rudder is without looking. I have a wheel with ez steer on a 270 now. 20 years ago, got a 26 with tiller rudder and outboard not connected. Backing down was easier as there are times when you want thrust and rudder in opposite directions. In the 270 with ez steer and non tiller outboard, at times a mess. the ez steer was connected to the rudder by previous owner and not shaft as should be. the ez steer is also too short. At times in reverse, the honda 9.9 torque causes it to violently move to one side and separate from the ez steer. will fix that with a rudder post connection and larger ez steer.
Jun 8, 2004
-na -NA Anywhere USA
The issue on a 4 hp motor is the difficulty is reaching over the transom to shift gears. I suggested an extension rod knowing the motor or getting a larger motor which you can add to the boat a motor gear and throttle shifter. He is aware of prop walk.

There are other issues but later as it was dinner time
Jun 28, 2020
Hunter 240 Saefern Dock
For maneuvering around the dock I keep the rudder up and steer with the motor. It's way more responsive and maneuverable, especially in reverse. On the other hand, trying to steer by motor at any speed above idle is REALLY squirrelly.
Jun 8, 2004
-na -NA Anywhere USA
When reversing you have to get water flowing over the rudder at which time steering by rudder becomes effective.
Maneuvering around the docks I would suggest using the motor and rudder together with a tie bar joining the two together. I felt using the motor and rudder together you had better steerage