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steering in reverse


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#41 Mitchell

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 12:57 PM

Sorry guys , hope you didnt take it the wrong way .
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#42 Variable

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 05:38 AM

So by now you're realising there's no simple answer to your question. The answer is to experiment because every boat and every circumstance is different. Boat reversing is dabbling with ultra-chaos, where a tiny change in input has a wildly unpredictable outcome. Some things are constants though: any wind will turn your attempts to manoever into a shambles. The degree of failure of any manoever is directly proportionate to the audience. Despite all factors appearing to be constant, the boat will never do the same thing twice.
Seriously though, some things seem to happen most of the time. I find that if I trickle the engine it will go left a bit, and if I gun it it pulls right. Overall I prefer to take it slowly unless it's windy. Over long distances I gun the engine to get the boat moving then go into neutral and coast; re-align the boat, and repeat. Reversing seems slightly more controlled if my bow water tank is full. I wish I had a bow thruster.
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#43 Essbee

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 07:24 PM

Works as a sea anchor. I did try it once asking SWMBO to tie a rope round her waist and jump in but this was not sucessful. I am sure it would have worked if my instructions were followed but all that happened was a load moaning /growling noise from the front of the boat followed by a loud slapping noise. I then felt a strange warming sensation with a swelling on the left side of my head, accompanied by the most wonderful sight of shooting stars during daylight I have ever seen.
I abandoned this option for future use.


Oh, how funny - have a greenie!
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#44 Speedwheel

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 08:08 PM

I thought it was popularly known that a narrow boat will generally reverse in precisely the way you want it to, provided nobody, absolutely nobody, is watching.

Your ability to reverse as intended is in some strange way inversely related to the size of the audience.

At a large festival or boat show, the tiller somehow no longer in any way controls what the rudder, and hence the boat will do.

This is a fundamental law, and no amount of skill will change it.


Ahmen to that. You forgot however that if there is anyone watching who has a video camera, the likelyhood of such a cockup is multiplied by at least a factor of 10.
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#45 Richard10002

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 08:09 PM

When you reverse a NB, i understand the tiller can't really do much.

When you put into 'forwards' (sorry) to use the tiller to steer, does the boat actually have to go forwards for the steering to work or is the water getting forced over the rudder enough?

I've read a few threads in this section but any other advice would be appreciated...


I would say that the simple answer to the question is "No", the boat doesnt have to be moving ahead.... The fact that you ask the question, in the way that you ask it, suggests that you understand the principle. The burst of ahead, with the tiller over, should be enough to start the bow swinging the way you want, and you can then go back to powering astern.... Until the bow swings off again :)
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#46 tillergirl

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 05:27 PM

Well I hope it does help with the steering otherwise when Pugwash reversed out of Shireoaks Basin in 2010 there must have been some divine intervention Posted Image
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#47 theiC

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 08:36 AM

My best advice is to take advantage of any opportunity to use a decent area of open water to try various things and see... Different combinations of thrust, speed, and tiller will achieve different things on different boats, loading does make a difference, and then once you've got a basic understanding of how your boat behaves (and therefore, how it can be made to behave), you can apply this in the particular circumstances in which you want to manoeuvre. Variables like depth, wind, current, etc, are best managed so that they're in your favour. Finally, never embark on any manoeuvre without having thought it through completely, including how you'll get out of trouble at each stage...
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#48 Chertsey

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 04:32 PM

I would say that the simple answer to the question is "No", the boat doesnt have to be moving ahead.... The fact that you ask the question, in the way that you ask it, suggests that you understand the principle. The burst of ahead, with the tiller over, should be enough to start the bow swinging the way you want, and you can then go back to powering astern.... Until the bow swings off again :)

In fact you can do it while the momentum of the boat is still taking it backwards, and be back in reverse again before it stops.
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#49 Tam & Di

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 05:01 PM

In fact you can do it while the momentum of the boat is still taking it backwards, and be back in reverse again before it stops.



Just think of it as steering a 2' boat with a 50-70' rudder :rolleyes:

(that's more a reply to what way to hold the rudder over in reverse that was asked at some point)

Edited by Tam & Di, 11 June 2012 - 05:03 PM.

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#50 Chertsey

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 10:36 AM

Just think of it as steering a 2' boat with a 50-70' rudder :rolleyes:

Oh, I like that.
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#51 bizzard

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 11:39 AM

Rudder for sale, with boat attached. :mellow:
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