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wanttoski

Driving in Reverse

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wanttoski

As a newer owner of an inboard I am still adjusting to driving these things. Does anyone have any tricks for trying to navigate around docks and the launch? I seem to have no control in reverse and limited and delayed control at slow speeds forward.

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spinxt

Uh, no not really. Pretty typical observations for someone new to inboards. The fact of the matter is, these boats handle like bars of soap at slow speeds. You will, however, get used to the slow speed handling and be able to put the boat where you want it. For example, I know that putting my RLX in reverse will not only slow the boat from forward progress, but it will also swing the tail to the starbord side. Think of it this way, inboards steer by changing the direction the stern moves. If you've ever driven a forklift, you know what I mean. Forklifts handel TOTALLY different than the automobiles we're used to driving everyday (which steer from the front), but given time, you can learn to maneuver a forklift just as precisely as an automobile. Just give it time, it will come to you.

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footnlongline
Uh, no not really. Pretty typical observations for someone new to inboards. The fact of the matter is, these boats handle like bars of soap at slow speeds. You will, however, get used to the slow speed handling and be able to put the boat where you want it. For example, I know that putting my RLX in reverse will not only slow the boat from forward progress, but it will also swing the tail to the starbord side. Think of it this way, inboards steer by changing the direction the stern moves. If you've ever driven a forklift, you know what I mean. Forklifts handel TOTALLY different than the automobiles we're used to driving everyday (which steer from the front), but given time, you can learn to maneuver a forklift just as precisely as an automobile. Just give it time, it will come to you.

Good analogy.....If you turn your wheel portside and hold it while quickly shifting from forward to reverse several times , you can actually spin the boat in place.

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martho

practice practice practice

At slow speeds, you drive with the throttle a bunch. You will be able to use reverse as your friend very shortly. Approaching docks at a 45 degree angle and using reverse to bring the transom to the dock is just how driving an inboard works.

You will also learn how to back to the left by using quick bursts of forward thrust with the wheel all the way to the right and using reverse to stop forward progress. This will allow the transom to move to port without much forward progress. Try it...

These are all things which will come with time. A RLX is a nimble machine and with practice you will do just fine!

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jayjoans
Forklifts handle TOTALLY different than the automobiles we're used to driving everyday (which steer from the front), but given time, you can learn to maneuver a forklift just as precisely as an automobile. Just give it time, it will come to you.

I tell new drivers to practice at the grocery store by flipping the shopping cart around and push it from the wrong end. Same theory with our boats.

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Bill_AirJunky
practice practice practice

At slow speeds, you drive with the throttle a bunch. You will be able to use reverse as your friend very shortly. Approaching docks at a 45 degree angle and using reverse to bring the transom to the dock is just how driving an inboard works.

You will also learn how to back to the left by using quick bursts of forward thrust with the wheel all the way to the right and using reverse to stop forward progress. This will allow the transom to move to port without much forward progress. Try it...

These are all things which will come with time. A RLX is a nimble machine and with practice you will do just fine!

Yea, what he said. I've never driven the RLX, but my Prostar 205 was & the Vride is very much like this..... possibly just a bit less sensitive.

Another suggestion is to train your wife, buddy, or whoever is in the boat with you to help out when your approaching a dock or another boat. Ask them to get in the habit of moving to the rear of the boat to help soften the landings a bit.

And even pull out the bumpers early if really needed.

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KTM_FortyThree

Doesn't your lake have Valet Parking? ;)

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MalibuNation

Agree what everyone else has said + use (anticipate) wind, waves and current to your advantage.

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tvano

it may help to keep in mind that without the prop spinning you don't have much steerage.

reverse isn't nearly as efficient at moving the water around the rudder.

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mibarefooter
Uh, no not really. Pretty typical observations for someone new to inboards. The fact of the matter is, these boats handle like bars of soap at slow speeds. You will, however, get used to the slow speed handling and be able to put the boat where you want it. For example, I know that putting my RLX in reverse will not only slow the boat from forward progress, but it will also swing the tail to the starbord side. Think of it this way, inboards steer by changing the direction the stern moves. If you've ever driven a forklift, you know what I mean. Forklifts handel TOTALLY different than the automobiles we're used to driving everyday (which steer from the front), but given time, you can learn to maneuver a forklift just as precisely as an automobile. Just give it time, it will come to you.

Good analogy.....If you turn your wheel portside and hold it while quickly shifting from forward to reverse several times , you can actually spin the boat in place.

Plus1.gif

Every spring it is again a learning process. You have to retrain your brain. After long it will be second nature to you. I now have a hard time driveing and backing up other boats.

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Sixball

As most have said the throttle/shift control and steering wheel together is the trick and one other thing as in most sports, Practice Practice Practice. Tease.gif

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wakeup

It is all about the drift IMO. Go into a dock/lift slowly and bump the boat in gear/out of gear to get the boat to drift where you want it to go as this will eliminate the dreaded over steer and overcorrection.

As far as reverse, we found reversing alone from a standstill is not much help unless you want to go in the direction of the pull, but reverse with a few bumps forward with rudder steer is how we get better results.

My wife learned by putting a tube out and going by the tube, turning around and reversing/bumping the boat to let the platform slowly touch the tube. This helped with picking up riders and docking.

With wind and/or current, just start things early else you'll be too close or too far by the time you get to the intended location. And don't get in a hurry and look for a way out prior to getting into a tight spot or on top of another boat.

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JohnDoe

All good input so far, but I would add that the best way to rotate the boat around its center axis is to lightly goose throttle with wheel turned and immediately pull back to neutral. It will rotate on the y axis much faster, and will not move donw the x axis nearly as much as just putting it in gear. Much better for tight situations. Not the same in reverse though, always try to anticipate making the boat turn around countercloickwise in tight quarters.

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UWSkier

If you have to reverse to the left over a long distance (like a tight ramp with no decent turnaround space) it's doable if the wind is light. c*** the rudder slightly to the left and pulse with reverse briefly to start your backward momentum. With the rudder cocked slightly and the prop in neutral, the back of the boat will come around to the left. Repeat with several pulses to keep your momentum and you'll be golden. You can't turn real tight to the left in reverse, but you can go that way if necessary.

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JohnDoe
If you have to reverse to the left over a long distance (like a tight ramp with no decent turnaround space) it's doable if the wind is light. c*** the rudder slightly to the left and pulse with reverse briefly to start your backward momentum. With the rudder cocked slightly and the prop in neutral, the back of the boat will come around to the left. Repeat with several pulses to keep your momentum and you'll be golden. You can't turn real tight to the left in reverse, but you can go that way if necessary.

Or turn sharp right and "hard bump" it, to swing bow right, the return to the "regular" reverse UW described above.

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1FootDan

Here is how I park and teach how to park.

I park nose out, the dock on the driver's side.

I slowly (shifting between Forward to Neutral) approche from the right side (side I am parking on) of the dock. parrallel to the shoreline about the same distance as the end of the dock. (as tough I was going to go past the dock as closely as possible without touching it.

Once the tip of the bow is a few feet from the beginning of the dock (depends on speed of approche, size of boat and current/wind, you will get used to it...), at the same time, I steer completely to the left (counter-clockwise) and shift in reverse and give a bit of throttle. The more you give, the more the boat will slow down and move backwards and the more the rear of the boat will move away from the dock.

When the rear statrs moving away from the dock, shift in forward gear (without throttleling) and put back to neutral. Always with the steering to the left. This will swing your rear back towards the dock and slow down the reverse movement. Once back parrallel, shift back in reverse and adjust with the throttle.

Practice this away from shore a few times to get the feel first and if you feel unsafe at any certain point, shift in forward gear, idle away (bail out) and start again.

PLEASE, let me know (or anybody else who tries it) how it works out. I fit my boat between my dock and my boatlift with my barefoot boom on and have never missed... I may have bailed out a few times to be safe, but have never damaged or hit anything.

f_boat_desc--1856_702.jpg

Edited by 1FootDan

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Squag Mon
:salute: I make my passengers swim to me. Edited by Squag Mon

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spinxt
:salute: I make my passengers swim to me.

I second that!!!

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tj_in_kc

Yes, exactly i went through this recently with the new vride.

Only thing i can add to what's been said is that even though you know you only get steering with throttle if you get into a situation where you are in trouble. COOL OUT. Don't try to goose the throttle to get the boat to kick a certain way real fast.

You will be much better off IMO slowly bumping into whatever object you are close to than inevitably hitting it at the higher speed/force you will be travelling when you try to save yourself by goosing it.

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tj_in_kc

learning to "pop" in-and-out of gear is also something you will get very good at, and will help a lot as someone i think already said.

i should post pictures of the cove my dock is in. It's about 15ft wide with docks and boats on each side.

Not much room for manuvering an inboard to get in and out......you will get better i promise.

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Sunsetter95
:salute: I make my passengers swim to me.

I second that!!!

I just slow down, toss them the rope and tell them to hang on. Oh, and take a deep breath!

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mikkee1

After having a stern drive, the first time I tried to park my 23LSV was an enlightening experience. It must've taken me 20 minutes to park in my slip - 2 inches forward, 3 inches back...We put 20hrs on it in a month and now I'm reasonably confident after having learned the tricks many of the guys have mentioned. Trying to park in a cross-current is a good marriage test, with you and the wife bickering incessantly...Try doing it with a crying 18 month old in your lap and the wife yelling at you from the dock. Good times, good times...

I like the bar of soap analogy - very appropriate.

Mike

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Bill_AirJunky
:salute: I make my passengers swim to me.

I second that!!!

I just slow down, toss them the rope and tell them to hang on. Oh, and take a deep breath!

Three boats never to crash big behind. Tease.gif

I pull up to the rider so their on the driver's side of the boat, then when I'm sure I've passed them, I hit reverse for a couple seconds. Puts the swimstep right within their reach. Just be sure to stop before you run them over. Surprised.gif

16 yrs of driving boats, including a couple with the USAWS cert & haven't done it yet.

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Air Force 1
:salute: I make my passengers swim to me.

I second that!!!

I just slow down, toss them the rope and tell them to hang on. Oh, and take a deep breath!

Three boats never to crash big behind. Tease.gif

I pull up to the rider so their on the driver's side of the boat, then when I'm sure I've passed them, I hit reverse for a couple seconds. Puts the swimstep right within their reach. Just be sure to stop before you run them over. Surprised.gif

16 yrs of driving boats, including a couple with the USAWS cert & haven't done it yet.

Same here..... Common sense

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1FootDan

Getting a bit of subject, put when I pick-up a skier (and that is how I get picked-up), I idle in from the driver's side, when the skier gets beside the driver, I put it in neutral and turn left. This swings the platform right in the skier's face. Easier to grab than when novice drivers turn right, whipping it away making you have to swim for it....

Edited by 1FootDan

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