Prop Walk on a Sailboat

Combating Prop Walk

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Prop walk can be quite frustrating on sailboats with a drive shaft. On most boats  the aft of the boat “walks”  to the port when the engine is put into reverse. It seems like there is nothing you can do. Watching this animation will help you deal with prop walk when backing into a slip. Note that however it is always best to start out far away from your slip with the aft pointed into wind. Then engage reverse at low revs. Once the boat speed has picked up, water flow over the rudder will combat the prop walk effect and you can begin to steer the boat in what  ever direction you want. Water flow over the rudder is key to combating prop walk. Therefore DO NOT stop the boat’s motion before the boat enters the slip. To do so  will be to start the boat from standing position again where the prop walk will take over and completely embarrass you in front of the entire marina.

Play the animation below.

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The Maneuvering a Sailboat Under Power Course is a must. In a marina is where you will have your accidents and they are not cheap. Become an absolute expert with the Maneuvering Under Power course. You’ll learn how to maneuver forwards, backwards, spin in tight circles, deal with a 40 knot cross wind, do a Mediterranean mooring with a cross wind etc etc. We put together 28 sample exercises that you can use to practice with. Take these exercises with you on a windy day, a mate, a few refreshments, lunch and have a fun day out. And become an expert. You’ll really like our most popular NauticEd Course and it’s part of your skipper certification – rightly so!

Maneuvering Under Power
Maneuvering a Sailboat Under Power Course

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docking a sailboat ibook
Maneuvering a Sailboat Under Power ibook

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