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Reverse Steering Characteristics

Fleet

.
Feb 8, 2021
17
Catalina 310 Lake Guntersville
Flex fold prop on my 310. I was playing around last week, getting used to its handling. While practicing backing into my slip, I noticed that while reversing, she does not like to turn to starboard. Turning to port while reversing was fine. Is this typical?
 
Oct 29, 2016
1,744
Hunter 41 DS Port Huron
2 blade?
We have a 3 blade on our Sapphire and yes it does walk to port in reverse, this is where short throttle bursts help. Keep enough speed to acquire steerage but minimize the prop walk.
 
Last edited:
Jul 19, 2013
301
Pearson 31-2 Boston
I assume you mean, in reverse, the stern does not go to starboard...An engine in reverse creates prop walk to port...thus your experience. Prop walk is a weak effect. When you have adequate water flow past the rudder, say moving 1+ knots, your rudder to starboard can override the prop walk effect allowing you to control the direction of the stern. If the stern gets out of kilter, ie too far to port, your solution is apply hard left rudder and a short burst of power in forward. This shot of prop wash on the rudder will swing the stern back to starboard. Repeat if required. Then resume your maneuvering in reverse...but you need to get the boat moving if you want the rudder to effect its rotation.
 
Oct 22, 2014
15,713
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
This shot of prop wash on the rudder will swing the stern back to starboard.
This is a great tool.

Learning to give the boat a short pull (thrust) then gliding will get the boat moving and give the rudder some control (without the effects of prop walk. A routine of - In gear/Burst of Throttle/Throttle to idle/ Neutral, Coast - and steer with rudder will help to give you directional control.

Also to remember which way to turn helm, stand with helm in front of you facing the stern. Helm to port boat will turn to port. Helm to starboard boat will turn towards starboard.

Always remember if things seem to be going wrong, abandon the task and go to a safe space. Then start the evolution again. There are no bonus points issued for a bad performance made worse but crashing the dock. Just like there are no penalties for bailing out of a bad situation and starting again.
 

Fleet

.
Feb 8, 2021
17
Catalina 310 Lake Guntersville
Two blade. Springline is free. Thanks guys. Will practice applying power and seeing if I can get her to turn to starboard.
 
Oct 22, 2014
15,713
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Will practice applying power and seeing if I can get her to turn to starboard.
That is the thing. The turn happens when you coast. That way the rudder becomes affective. No prop wash to try pushing you to port.