Steer with rudders only when using engine. A survey.

A forum for discussing boat or trailer repairs or modifications that you have made or are considering.

Moderators: kmclemore, beene, NiceAft, Catigale, Hamin' X

Posts: 150
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:04 pm

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

Post by Sheppie62 » Sat Oct 09, 2021 12:23 am

I have never done that, and wouldn’t really like to try it. But I have had the original 50hp Nissan stall a bunch of times as I was coming into the slip. Not having the motor thrust while turning makes a huge difference. If boat didn’t have motor steering, then I guess I would figure it out and make it work. I think with a smaller motor (under 10hp) steering thrust wouldn’t be that strong anyways.

First Officer
Posts: 335
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:53 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M

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

Post by adudinsk » Fri Oct 15, 2021 9:11 am

Me.. in VERY SLOW conditions..
Motor .. on..
Rudders full down...
Dagger board down..
(ie: docking in tight..)

Sometimes we motor down the Thames river .. next to the club...
If I idle down it.. I will drop rudders/dagger board..
River is VERY deep.. 18-25ft..
Anything over 4-5mph.. rudders/DB up


Just Enlisted
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:52 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26S

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

Post by BillyBobV » Sun Oct 17, 2021 3:46 pm

With a 26S, a 9.9 hp Evinrude.
I use both and have the scars on the rudder to prove it.
Bill V
1991 26S

User avatar
Posts: 5588
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:25 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Maccutter26M 2008 75HP Merc. 4/S Victoria BC. Can. ' An Hileanto'ir III '

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

Post by Highlander » Sun Oct 24, 2021 4:23 pm

If u ever git into a position where ur motor is iffy heading into a tight situation always carry a 1 gal can of baked beans , chomp down hurriedly cold is fine but the hotter the better heat produces a more powerful blast & u can now go ahead with directional Fart Power but u need to b aware that reverse thrust can b problematic so Ray tell,s me :P & oxygen mask maybe required depending on wind direction

Just sayin Thats all :D :D :D :D

J 8)

User avatar
Posts: 5064
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 7:28 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Upper Dublin,PA, USA: 2005M 50hp.Honda4strk.,1979 Phantom Sport Sailboat, 9'Achilles 6HP Merc 4strk

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

Post by NiceAft » Sun Oct 24, 2021 4:34 pm

I always carry one around for low wind conditions :D

Ray ~~_/)~~

User avatar
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon May 04, 2020 8:59 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 25

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

Post by steve4 » Fri Nov 05, 2021 7:22 pm

I absolutely LOVE the way this thread came out in the end... :wink:

User avatar
Posts: 847
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 5:40 am
Location: Wilmington NC, BF50A Honda, 1999 MacX, "Marin"

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

Post by opie » Sat Nov 06, 2021 11:43 am

Agree. What a blast.

User avatar
Posts: 4842
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:12 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Oceanside, CA MACMJ213 2013 ETEC60

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

Post by BOAT » Sat Nov 06, 2021 5:37 pm

Why am I always the weird one on this site??

I use the motor in the locked position quite a bit. I may be lazy. It's just that I like having the boat ready for sailing ASAP. As soon as I get some cloth in the air I want to tilt the motor out of the water and I do not like to tilt the motor if it's connected to the steering because the motor flops to one side or the other and makes steering harder. So, I just lock it up as soon as I leave the dock. We don't motor much under 6 knots - we sail mostly when going that slow.

Entering the marina under sail all boards down ballast full and motor ALWAYS locked forward I just push the button to tilt the motor into the water and let it push us along on otto the pilot as I take the sails down. The rudders seem to work just fine - no need to connect the motor to the wheel :? . When we are approaching a dock or slip I will open the helm seat and stand on the first step in the motor well - connect the motor to the steering (we have the speedy connector) and idle the boat to a crawl and drift it into the dock or if it's a slip I back it in and at idle the boat turns like it's on rails if you go backwards. Standing on that back step makes backing easy and makes it easy for me to step on the dock when going backwards (most the time) not always.

It is very different than my old Aquarius that had a rudder in front of the motor under the boat. The M boat maneuvers much better in reverse because having the rudders enter the water before the prop gives more control. That's why boats with the rudder well forward of the prop maneuver so well. (Like the Aquarius 23).

Power boat people use lots of cool throttle tricks to power the boat into the dock - I never learned that stuff - we never did much power boating. In fact we sailed into slips and docks most of the time. I am pretty lousy with a motor. :|

User avatar
Posts: 2408
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:52 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Mobile AL 2013 26M, 60 Etec

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

Post by Jimmyt » Sun Nov 07, 2021 4:43 am

Not weird at all (well, on this subject anyway :D ). Just different circumstances. I use a very similar process, I just don't have a significant marina area to work with. It seems that the general point is, the tightest maneuvering is done using directional thrust from the outboard (motor steering connected). I disconnect motor steering when I get out in the bay and start raising sails. I reconnect it on the way back in after getting the sails down. From the river, the turn into the marina and ramp area are such tight spots, I use the motor with steering connected. If it's really windy, I've been known to back the boat out to the river with the motor thrust leading the way.

Or, maybe we're both weird... 8)

(Good to hear from you by the way!)
2013 26M, Etec 60, roller Genoa, roller main
Cruising Waters: Mobile Bay, Western Shore, Fowl River

Post Reply