Really stupid question - steering in reverse

Discussion in 'Downeast Boat NEWBIES' started by nick5446, Jun 22, 2018.

  1. nick5446

    nick5446 Member

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    This is my first inboard boat, and I'm embarrassed to ask this, and will probably delete this thread once I get an answer. But, my boat only goes straight when in reverse. I can turn the steering lock to lock and it doesn't make any difference. Throttle doesn't seem to make much difference. Is this normal?
     
  2. BOSBoatMan

    BOSBoatMan Captain

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    I/O?

    Seriously?
     
  3. nick5446

    nick5446 Member

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    Inboard
     
  4. Diesel Jerry

    Diesel Jerry Captain

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    A. No such thing as stupid questions, just stupid people to proud to as a good question.
    B. What your experiencing is the prop overriding the rudder. Not uncommon.
    C. Practice giving some throttle to get momentum, then throttle down and go into neutral. Sometimes just giving some throttle will make it answer her rudder.
    D. Please dont’t delete this. Others may have the same issue and can benefit from my advice and others that will post.
     
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  5. Ms.Aimee

    Ms.Aimee Senior Member

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    Best advice i ever got was that you have to know where your boat is going, instead of where you want it to go. You just have to be more aware of wind, current etc. my old boat would back up straight/slightly to starboard due to the torque of the prop. Just takes getting used to. Early morning docking practice aswell.. before you gain a audience. Good luck!
     
  6. AW_Holland32

    AW_Holland32 Senior Member

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    That’s half the fun.. Use the reverse gear for momentum, drift a little in neutral, use short bursts of forward to thrust the stern from side to side and point it where you want to go. Repeat.
     
  7. nick5446

    nick5446 Member

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    Thanks for the advice, guys! That's basically what I've been doing, so glad to know I am on the right track!
     
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  8. junkman

    junkman Member

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    And remember "never approach a dock any faster than you are willing to hit it"
     
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  9. WoundUpMarine

    WoundUpMarine Captain

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    Junkman, that's a fantastic quote!
     
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  10. CEShawn

    CEShawn Captain

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    First off, its going astern, not reverse... smh lol maritime humor...

    That is one thing I have enjoyed with larger downeast boats is being able to go both ways astern.

    Throttle is a great suggestion, I believe on my GM26 I had to do that to go in one direction, other than that I always planned on it once you know your boat.

    Practice, go early... we are all there... dont yell at your crew docking...
     
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  11. Fishonnelsons

    Fishonnelsons Captain

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    Thats
    perfect advice!
     
  12. traditions

    traditions Captain

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    Most full keel boats wont steer in reverse, some will wander to the direction of the wheel . I was always taught to try to center the rudder when backing down, because you have a huge blade that is not designed to have water pressure on it sideways. Think about the force when backing down with the rudder hard over. Of coarse the old rudders where made of oak and threaded rod, and could snap the rods when backing down. We used to have steering gears made from old truck steering boxes, with a pipe going back the rudder, and if you didn't have the rudder strait, and holding onto the wheel, the prop wash would spin the wheel when the rudder was being sucked into the wash, and the spokes would clean out your elbows, or fingers. Things that don't happen with hyd. steering.
     
  13. xbskt

    xbskt Captain

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    Yeah cause they don't usually have anything to do with whatever went wrong. Makes for some cool moments in the aftermath.
    Or so I've heard......
     
  14. capecodda

    capecodda Member

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    It's a feature not a bug. Mine does the same thing. Interesting that full keel sailboats I run typically have all kinds of prop walk, my DE doesn't have any. It backs up like it's on rails.
     
  15. xbskt

    xbskt Captain

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    No such thing as a stupid question and the advice given is important to have in the archives.
    For my boat, I have come to find (as others have said) a little rudder , like 5 to ten degrees, to port or starboard, slow astern and a kick in forward to twist the boat, adjusting the angle of the boat for continued movement astern. Trying to use the rudder to steer while the lever is back does nothing as you have found. As traditions said too much can be counterproductive.
    We spent a few early mornings practicing in the boat basin before the season started and it was the predictable shitshow. Not surprisingly we still ended up with an audience that was not so quietly analyzing and suggesting how I might do it better. Most of what they were saying was dead wrong.
    With time it will get better. Keep at it and remember it's a boat and it supposed to be fun.
    Good luck.
     
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  16. restless

    restless Captain

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    My boat seems to answer the helm in reverse a little better if I get some momentum. Get some water flowing over the rudder.
     
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  17. bobfish21

    bobfish21 Member

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    We've all been here- my 1st DE, a 35 Bruno, they told me "steers great in reverse with that big rudder". Don't believe it. My 25 GM is pretty much the same, steering in reverse is a "suggestion", not a rule! Good advice here, know where it's going, not where you want it to go. After enough practice you'll get the hang of how she behaves.
     
  18. The Gaff

    The Gaff Member

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    All good advice as always on here!! Google the term back and fill u will have an idea of pivot points. Realize these tubs need a little throttle to move especially backing into the wind. Practice and if u r in a jam anticipate how to get out of it. If its real tight where u r use a midship cleat, loop a piling and then let rope go once u r turned this works well on bigger boats.....GL
     
  19. bobfish21

    bobfish21 Member

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    Learned quickly that the pilings are your friends!
     
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  20. Jjbfort

    Jjbfort Member

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    I’m so impressed by all the positive responses given to Nick5446. Here he thinks that he is asking a stupid question and comes to find out that its a great question! I’m fairly new to the forum but have always appreciated the information, the positive responses and the humor that you all have given. There is not a week that goes by that I have not learned something from you all. Like Nick5446 I at times feel embarrassed in asking “a stupid question” and don’t. This positive thread makes it easier in asking what I would deem “a stupid question!

    Thanks to all of you!
     
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