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Old    sickwake            07-11-2010, 9:35 PM Reply   
So I always wondered why wakeboats can only reverse in one direction? Does it have to do with being an inboard?
Old    mojo            07-11-2010, 9:47 PM Reply   
because the prop itself doesn't move like an outboard when the wheel is turned. the water doesn't get to use the rudder like when moving forward. your boat will either go to the left or right depending on shaft rotation. you can get a tiny bit of less turn if you turn the wheel opposite direction before you move into reverse.
Old     (cavlxenvy)      Join Date: Aug 2007       07-11-2010, 11:15 PM Reply   
If it backs to the right too much, turn the wheel to the right, tap it in gear forward really quick and it will straighten you out. I think the boat backing to one side is a nice advantage once you get the hang of it.
Old     (Brett24ve)      Join Date: Mar 2010       07-12-2010, 6:18 AM Reply   
yes, when a single prop inboard is put in reverse the prop acts more like a paddle, due to the shape and size of the prop the reverse action pulls the boat and is commonly refered to
"prop walk". Its just something you get used to and can use it to your advantage in most docking situations.
Old     (joesell)      Join Date: Apr 2001       07-12-2010, 7:15 AM Reply   
You do get used to it, but I've found that if you go in and out of gear, you can back in either direction. It just takes some practice.
Old    sickwake            07-12-2010, 11:07 AM Reply   
I See. but why can the rudder move both ways in reverse? I dont have a problem with it. Im just curious.
Old     (evil0ne)      Join Date: Sep 2006       07-12-2010, 11:17 AM Reply   
Jessie, in reverse the prop wash doesn't hit the rudder. The rudder will turn in both directions but it is less effective then when the prop wash is hitting it in forward.
Old    sickwake            07-12-2010, 11:34 AM Reply   
got it!
Old     (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       07-12-2010, 12:33 PM Reply   
Yup, the rudder needs to be in front of the thrust in order for it to be effective. With the location of the rudder behind the prop there is nothing to direct the thrust when you're in reverse.

I hadn't driven an IO in so long that it felt strange a few weeks back when I was driving my step dad's boat. Once you get used to driving an inboard you'll love it. Every once in a while it can be a pain around a busy dock, but like most of these guys have said, if you get the back end swinging one direction by going forward, then put it in reverse you can usually keep it going that way.
Old     (idaho_hillbilly)      Join Date: Jun 2009       07-12-2010, 3:21 PM Reply   
I took this guy out that was going to buy my direct drive and he thought he was god's gift to boating. After he spent 30 minutes telling me all the great things he could do with his I/O, I let him pull the boat way from the launch. We were sideways by the time I had to take the controls from the guy...considering it was still my boat. We took him out to the middle of the lake and threw out some flotation cushions and had him do a little practice.
Old     (toneus)      Join Date: Feb 2007       07-12-2010, 7:20 PM Reply   
Just to add...

At slow speed inboards will turn better in one direction than the other. If you boat crabs it's butt to the right in reverse, then it will likely make tighter turns to the left. Use this to your advantage. Set yourself up for left turning maneuvers and you'll be more successful around the dock.

I think you will also find that your rudder is slightly off center in relation to the prop. My Sanger's rudder is to the starboard side of center. Although the offset is not much, a forward left turn deflects more prop wash than a right turn does. This also causes it to turn left better when in forward.

These two combined means I can almost spin the boat on a dime to the left. A turn to the right is a different matter.

This crab to the left in reverse is awesome for parallel parking. Nose in at a 45 degree angle, add reverse power to slow to a stop just before your bow reaches the dock. The reverse crab sucks the rear end to the right. That's all there is to it. Here's an animation I made of how it works.

Attached Images
Old     (otown_dave)      Join Date: Dec 2007       07-13-2010, 8:43 AM Reply   
OK, Now make one leaving the dock with that boat still there! I try to go to the furthest dock on my starboard side so when I back out I have time to pivot before I back into something on my port side. Does not back up just turns right!
Old     (jame04)      Join Date: Nov 2007       07-13-2010, 10:59 AM Reply   
The above example works well in either direction. I Just head straight for the doc at about 45 degrees and like stated above right before you reach cut the wheel all the way towards the doc and hit reverse, it sill suck the back in right to the doc. When leaving the doc just push off slightly on the front and pull away like you would a car.
Old     (toneus)      Join Date: Feb 2007       07-13-2010, 11:12 AM Reply   

Disclaimer - For this discussion, I'm assuming zero wind, and that you cannot proceed forward and simply drive out of your position.

I think you have two options there. One is to reverse out, and the other is to turn and drive out. Both are going to require a good shove from the dock. Since you mentioned backing out, let's look at that first.

Have one of your more experience (and stronger) deck hands push the rear of the boat out. Ideally, your rear end is a good distance from the dock. If your rear will clear the boat behind it is possible to use a fast reverse (~1000 RPM) with a hard left turn. If your reverse speed is fast enough, there will be enough water deflected by the rudder to negate the crabbing effect of reverse. This is a game time decision.

An alternative would be a similar approach, but to inject a forward right turn after shoving off. In this case you would either have enough room for a second of forward right which would kick out the back end far enough to clear the boat to your rear. Followed by a more gentle reverse. You can also repeat this Forward Right, Reverse Left combination to slowly pivot yourself until you're clear of the boat to your rear.

There are also techniques of using your dock lines (spring line) and fenders if you desire to pivot your boat on the dock itself. This could be required if there is a strong crossing wind coming from the left. Attach/Hold a bow line to a cleat near the drivers seat, place fenders to protect your right bow. Use an idle Forward Right turn to drive against the spring line. This will rotate the stern to the left and clear of the rear boat. Then reverse out. There are some good graphics that can be found on this site ( ). Yes it's a sailing site, but a sailboat is a power boat around the dock. The animation is a little over half way down called Forward Spring Line.

The Forward exit uses the boats better left turning tendency to pivot the boat in place. This is a combination of Left Forward and idle Reverse Crab. Repeated, it should pivot you clear.
Old     (otown_dave)      Join Date: Dec 2007       07-13-2010, 4:08 PM Reply   
Yea my old Coronado has NO rudder effect backing , Just a hard hook with a Acme prop. Yes a hard push from the back kicks the tail enough to crab out. I just wish it would steer. I 'm thinking of adding on my stainless rudders trailing edge to help some as I don't have allot of surface area..
Old     (littletna)      Join Date: Jan 2008       07-14-2010, 6:48 AM Reply   
Anybody ever heard of someone putting a thruster on the stern of the boat? Kind of like a bow thruster used on the larger boats. It would sure help in a high wind situation at the ramp.


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