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Mad Harold

Turning Around

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12 hours ago, howardang said:

may also go some way to partly explain why a vessel - ship or boat - handles differently when going astern - a subject which is sometimes spoken about as the devils work

 

When going astern, a boat is mainly acting according to its own momentum, and the only way of changing direction is to change its alignment ( the direction in which it is pointing).

 

Sometimes the rotation of the propeller is enough to do this, and sometimes it isn't. Wind and bursts of sideways-directed thrust (gears ahead!) are other ways of changing this alignment. 

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the best advice I have come across for new boaters (or experienced boaters with an unfamiliar boat) is to get the boat onto a quiet stretch and play with it.

 

You'll learn a lot more about how the boat reacts from that than you'll learn from books or reading on here, you simply can't beat experience.

 

That said... how well the boat handles drops dramatically with people watching.

  • Haha 1

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On stability, as noted above you want the centre of gravity below the centre of buoyancy.

 

The other quite strong effect on a narrowboat is that when it rolls the centre of buoyancy moves sideways - to the right with a right hand roll - and this also helps the boat right itself. This is very different to say a sailing yacht where the cross section in the water is (very approximately) a cylinder, and so a heavy keel is needed to provide the necessary forces/couples to stop the boat turning turtle.

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5 hours ago, nicknorman said:

Well that is where experience comes in. Knowing whether adding plenty of power is going to fix the problem or make it worse!

I got through the problem with feet to spare, so I must have 'called it right'. When the wind is involved it's 'interesting'. 

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8 hours ago, Machpoint005 said:

 

When going astern, a boat is mainly acting according to its own momentum, and the only way of changing direction is to change its alignment ( the direction in which it is pointing).

 

Sometimes the rotation of the propeller is enough to do this, and sometimes it isn't. Wind and bursts of sideways-directed thrust (gears ahead!) are other ways of changing this alignment. 

I find the tiller quite effective when going astern. As you say, prop walk and wash are also helpful, but I find wind is usually a hindrance, rather than a help. 

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10 hours ago, nicknorman said:

I think the clue to the problem with that event is in “the boat gently leaves”. So many people come out of locks on tickover doing 1 mph or less, then wonder why their boat gets affected excessively by modest wind and slight currents. If in doubt, come out with plenty of power on and then you are out of the lock and can steer properly, before the wind and current have time to do anything much.

 

It is the same when entering a lock. There seems to be a choice between creeping in sufficiently slowly that when you miss the aperture by a foot, the inevitable collision (due to lack of steering authority) isn’t too severe. You even see people hitting reverse when the 1mph they are doing feels too fast for them. Inevitably, they then bash the lock entrance.

 

Or coming in with plenty of power on and hence plenty of steering authority, and just slide straight in. We always do the latter but it is amazing how many people think that doing the former and hitting the lock wall is normal.

I totally agree, with plenty of power on the wash around the bow tends to self centre the boat, particularly in narrow locks. The same applies in tunnels where normal speed keeps the boat centred. Following a slow boat through a tunnel is interesting as they zigzag, bouncing off the sides.

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On 01/01/2019 at 20:08, Tonka said:

If you read "Boater's Guide to Boating" by "Christopher Norton Deuchar" you will learn that the turning point of a narrow boat moves and it explains why it moves. Well worth a read for even the most experienced skipper

Thank You for recommending this super little book. I've grown-up with boats all my life & can honestly say this book is one the best, easiest to understand, books on the subject I've read.

Just gotto persuade my wife to read it now 😄

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1 hour ago, Clodi said:

Thank You for recommending this super little book. I've grown-up with boats all my life & can honestly say this book is one the best, easiest to understand, books on the subject I've read.

Just gotto persuade my wife to read it now 😄

It is good isn't it, I really should read it again

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