Steer with rudders only when using engine. A survey.

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opie
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Steer with rudders only when using engine. A survey.

Post by opie » Mon Aug 02, 2021 8:41 am

I got this inspiration from member, the dude, and would like to start a survey:

Who has used rudders-only to steer the Mac in slow but crowded conditions, using engine, aft and forward?

In other words, secure engine straight and lock it there, disconnected from steering
Last edited by opie on Mon Aug 02, 2021 10:11 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Jimmyt
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Re: Steer with rudders only when using engine. A survey.

Post by Jimmyt » Mon Aug 02, 2021 8:47 am

opie wrote:
Mon Aug 02, 2021 8:41 am
I got this inspiration from member, the dude, and would like to start a survey:

Who has used rudders-only to steer the Mac in slow but crowded conditions, using engine, aft and forward?
In tight situations at very low speed: always in reverse, motor only, rudders up, dagger down as far as depth allows.
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Re: Steer with rudders only when using engine. A survey.

Post by Jimmyt » Mon Aug 02, 2021 8:53 am

Never even considered using rudders only, with motor fixed position. Having directional thrust is the key to very low speed maneuvering. Rudders have to have boat movement to provide steerage.

If conditions are not critically close, I go forward with motor and rudders down, all steering. Dagger down as depth allows.
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Re: Steer with rudders only when using engine. A survey.

Post by Jimmyt » Mon Aug 02, 2021 9:08 am

Having said all of that, I have now read your other post and see that your motor is frozen straight ahead.

Below 6 knots, you now have the same situation as an inboard. Stay out of really tight spots and go sailing. Verify that your rudders don't crowd the prop at extreme positions.

Definitely DON'T motor above 6 knots.
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Re: Steer with rudders only when using engine. A survey.

Post by Starscream » Mon Aug 02, 2021 11:04 am

I would absolutely HATE to try to maneuver in close quarters with the motor frozen in a straight position.

The motor adds steering authority, and moves the stern the way I want it to go. Using the "vectored thrust" of the motor is integral to every docking procedure I have ever done. The motor stops the boat, and pulls the butt-end in to the dock.

The steerable motor provides an emergency option to simply put the motor in reverse and drive backwards out of any bad situation, since the boat will simply follow the motor in reverse. It certainly helps to swing a 14" prop, just sayin'.

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Re: Steer with rudders only when using engine. A survey.

Post by NiceAft » Mon Aug 02, 2021 6:01 pm

I disagree with rudders up and daggerboard down. Under 6pmh, daggerboard down AND at least one rudder down. I usually go for two down. Also, ballast full. If going into a slip, it’s done in reverse, easier to control an :macm: that way.

As to disconnecting the outboard, I know nothing of that subject. Never interested in a disconnect feature. There are times where I need to quickly start the engine and get out of a situation. I want the extra maneuverability of the motor changing the direction of thrust.
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Re: Steer with rudders only when using engine. A survey.

Post by Tomfoolery » Tue Aug 03, 2021 6:06 am

Jimmyt wrote:
Mon Aug 02, 2021 9:08 am
Below 6 knots, you now have the same situation as an inboard.
But a major difference is that a keel boat will have a barn door hanging behind the prop, giving some directional thrust in forward (none in reverse other than prop walk). You can steer the stern when docked with a spring line on a keel boat with forward thrust over the rudder, holding the aft part of the hull against the dock, and actually move the point of contact fore and aft by turning the wheel. Can't do that with a Mac if the OB is locked straight ahead, as there's no prop flow over the rudder(s).

The OP would have to keep the boat moving to have any steering. It's perfectly doable, but having directed thrust is soooo much better in tight quarters. I can do a U-turn in a boat length, and within the length if alternating forward and reverse. That's with full CB, which helps hugely.
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Re: Steer with rudders only when using engine. A survey.

Post by Tomfoolery » Tue Aug 03, 2021 6:12 am

Starscream wrote:
Mon Aug 02, 2021 11:04 am
The motor stops the boat, and pulls the butt-end in to the dock.
Absolutely. It's pretty much second nature at this point to come in to a dock, parallel parking style, at an angle, cut the wheel away from the dock to bring in the stern while moving forward, engine in reverse to slow the boat, and as the rudders lose steering due to the low speed, just cut the wheel toward the dock so the OB sucks the stern into the dock. Done well, it's a single smooth move.

Step out with a dock line in hand, either stern or breast, and tie it up. I don't normally use a breast line, but in rough conditions, I'll have a dock line on the bow cleat and brought around outside the stays and rails, and tied to the rail at the cockpit so when I step out I have both dock lines at the ready.

Even with 'crew', I sail solo. Better to be able to do it all yourself and not rely on someone who doesn't move fast enough, or follow directions well. :wink:
Tom
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Re: Steer with rudders only when using engine. A survey.

Post by Jimmyt » Tue Aug 03, 2021 6:13 am

Agree. Having the rudder directly behind the prop is better for forward thrust than the twin rudder with the prop in the center.

But, given his situation, I'd get out the fenders and give it a try before I gave up the whole season.
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Re: Steer with rudders only when using engine. A survey.

Post by kurz » Tue Aug 03, 2021 6:51 am

I Love to motor with just rudde down.

Easy for the steering. Best ever.

When I enter a Marina, I go back to motor steering.

Also when I use the AP, I do it just with rudder steering, so the AP has less work

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Re: Steer with rudders only when using engine. A survey.

Post by Starscream » Tue Aug 03, 2021 4:44 pm

Tomfoolery wrote:
Tue Aug 03, 2021 6:12 am
Starscream wrote:
Mon Aug 02, 2021 11:04 am
The motor stops the boat, and pulls the butt-end in to the dock.
Absolutely. It's pretty much second nature at this point to come in to a dock, parallel parking style, at an angle, cut the wheel away from the dock to bring in the stern while moving forward, engine in reverse to slow the boat, and as the rudders lose steering due to the low speed, just cut the wheel toward the dock so the OB sucks the stern into the dock. Done well, it's a single smooth move.

Step out with a dock line in hand, either stern or breast, and tie it up. I don't normally use a breast line, but in rough conditions, I'll have a dock line on the bow cleat and brought around outside the stays and rails, and tied to the rail at the cockpit so when I step out I have both dock lines at the ready.

Even with 'crew', I sail solo. Better to be able to do it all yourself and not rely on someone who doesn't move fast enough, or follow directions well. :wink:
Yup.

It's almost like having a bow thruster.

I come in at a slight angle towards the dock, with some forward momentum, wheel straight. Then I hard over the wheel towards the dock, which would normally cause the boat to ram the dock, but with an almost simultaneous shift into reverse and a burst of power, I can get the boat to both stop and move sideways several feet.

I have have the bow dockline led back to the cockpit outside the shrouds and fenders, cleated to one of those genoa-track mounted cleats that bwyachts sells. So I step off with both the bow line and the stern line in hand.

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Re: Steer with rudders only when using engine. A survey.

Post by Tomfoolery » Tue Aug 03, 2021 5:17 pm

Starscream wrote:
Tue Aug 03, 2021 4:44 pm
Tomfoolery wrote:
Tue Aug 03, 2021 6:12 am
Starscream wrote:
Mon Aug 02, 2021 11:04 am
The motor stops the boat, and pulls the butt-end in to the dock.
Absolutely. It's pretty much second nature at this point to come in to a dock, parallel parking style, at an angle, cut the wheel away from the dock to bring in the stern while moving forward, engine in reverse to slow the boat, and as the rudders lose steering due to the low speed, just cut the wheel toward the dock so the OB sucks the stern into the dock. Done well, it's a single smooth move.

Step out with a dock line in hand, either stern or breast, and tie it up. I don't normally use a breast line, but in rough conditions, I'll have a dock line on the bow cleat and brought around outside the stays and rails, and tied to the rail at the cockpit so when I step out I have both dock lines at the ready.

Even with 'crew', I sail solo. Better to be able to do it all yourself and not rely on someone who doesn't move fast enough, or follow directions well. :wink:
Yup.

It's almost like having a bow thruster.

I come in at a slight angle towards the dock, with some forward momentum, wheel straight. Then I hard over the wheel towards the dock, which would normally cause the boat to ram the dock, but with an almost simultaneous shift into reverse and a burst of power, I can get the boat to both stop and move sideways several feet.

I have have the bow dockline led back to the cockpit outside the shrouds and fenders, cleated to one of those genoa-track mounted cleats that bwyachts sells. So I step off with both the bow line and the stern line in hand.
Sounds like the same move, though I try to slide it in as close as I can, and don’t turn the wheel until the prop starts to overpower the rudders, then a brief burst if necessary to bring the stern in.

I’ll have to give your method a try, i.e. not greasing it in quite as shallow, but hitting reverse and throttle a few feet away from the dock. My method requires a little more space between boats as I come in more shallow it seems. 8)
Tom
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Re: Steer with rudders only when using engine. A survey.

Post by svscott » Fri Aug 06, 2021 5:08 am

The D and S models don't generally have steering linked from rudder to engine so when motoring around, it's all rudder. However, I always hand steer the outboard and the rudder when backing out of the slip but for coming back in, it's all rudder. I make my approach to the dock at about a 30 degree angle, and carrying 1.8 to 3 mph. I go into neutral before starting my turn and usually use a burst of reverse tostop the boat just a few inches away from the dock so I can step off and tie up. I used to be fearful of and hate docking but after being in the marina for several years, I've gotten really good at it.
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Re: Steer with rudders only when using engine. A survey.

Post by Chinook » Fri Aug 06, 2021 9:31 am

I do something like that when I'm using my downrigger for trolling. I lower my 2.5 hp Suzuki kicker, which rides on a retractable motor mount on the stern, start it up, set throttle speed and then lock it in place. With big outboard tilted up and rudders down, I can then steer with the steering wheel. It works fine so long as wind, waves and current are tame. The little motor has definite limitations on being able to overcome adverse conditions, and I need lots of room to make a turn. It is nice, though, to be able to steer with the wheel instead of leaning over the steering seat to turn the kicker's direction.

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Re: Steer with rudders only when using engine. A survey.

Post by steve4 » Fri Oct 08, 2021 7:44 pm

I suppose this is more of a thing on the 26's. My '82 Mac 25 handles more like a classic sailboat most of the time and I actually ordered a part to force the motor to stay straight ahead so i COULD only steer with the rudder without having to worry about the tiller on the motor. I can see how using the motor for the turning could make life easier in some tight quarters but I'm more accustomed to having to maintain 'steerageway' on sailboats anyway so I prefer the rudder steering method.

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