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Colby2ya

Tips on driving in reverse at low speeds?

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Colby2ya

Well i only been driving an inboard for 3 months now, and when i'm launching to get off trailer....there is really no control in reverse. Especially if there is a current and the water is ruff. Just wondering if anybody got any tips or what do yall do when needing to reverse in a tight spot. Same thing with going forward...not a whole lot of control when i low low speeds, but it's manageable forward but reverse...different story

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elc

Backing up a inboard is one of those things that you just have to get use to. I put the boat in and out of gear to move the boat in reverse and forward in tight spots and when putting the boat back on the trailer. Be thankful you have a malibu - they track pretty well in reverse compared to other inboards.

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wakebrdr94

When you are in reverse on an inboard, you are somewhat at the mercy of the rotation of the prop. As you have noticed, the rudder is separate from the prop and located behind (vs the I/O) so this gives you the control when going forward. When in reverse, there is nothing "behind" (in front of the prop) to control which direction you want to go. Because of the rotation of the prop, my boat goes to the drivers right, which I'm sure yours does too.. You need to plan a little more when you are going into a tight situation. It is akward at first, but with experience, you will master it. It can be tricky in a current, but when you learn how the boat responds and you are comfortable, you will maneuver easily. Go slow, learn and know your boats limitations and you comfortableness, and you will get it.

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Armyguy

Trying tO reverse is hard enough as it is in a V drive..trying to reverse in a v drive, with a strong current on a windy day, with a crowded and narrow dock and everyone waiting on you is absolutely horrible. I am just mostly talking about bring it back in at the end of the day.

If there is a secret, I never learned it in the 2+ years with my last boat..lol

Edited by Armyguy

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bamabonners

I just take my time and don't get in a hurry. I have actually had wind blow me past trailer so I reversed out and went again. No big deal, others can wait.

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Oberon

The rudder has very little authority at slow speed. In reverse, the rudder can't overcome the turning tendencies of the rotating prop so the boat pulls left or right depending on the rotation of the prop. My boat pulls to the right when in reverse; I don't know how the v-drive in your boat affects which direction the boat pulls but it should be readily apparant and predictable. Practically speaking this means you can't back your boat up with a lot of precision. The good news is you can turn a boat around in a very small area using proper technique.

Using my boat (which pulls to the starboard side while in reverse) as example Ill explain how I get out of our lift and turn around. After the boat is floating I put it in reverse just long enough to get it moving back. It is very shallow and I don't want to churn up the bottom which could be ingested into the engines cooling system. In deeper water you can be more aggressive. As the boat backs up it steers to the boat's right naturally so I leave the steering neutral. When the boat is clear of the lift and while it is still moving backwards I shift into forward and steer full left. This makes the rudder affective before the boat is even moving forward and results in a turn that is nearly zero radius. At any point in this process if I want to slow things down I simply shift into neutral. It's important to note that when the boat is in neutral you will have very little rudder authority so you better like the direction you are going. It's also important to note that your boat has a rear mounted engine vs. my centrally mounted engine and your boat is much heavier than mine. I've never driven a v-drive but I'm guessing this means it isn't very maneuverable so my experience will probably not translate exactly but will hopefully give you a good starting point.

When docking you can use the pulling tendancy to your advantage. When pulling up to a dock approach it at a 45 degree angle on the same direction the boat pulls (right side for me). Control speed by alternating between neutral and forward on an as needed basis and do not over-steer. It takes a few seconds for any steering inputs to work so set the wheel where you want it and wait. If you spin the wheel until it starts to turn you will end up doing the same thing to the other side and get into what is referred to in the aviation world as "pilot induced oscillation

Edited by Oberon

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Oberon

Sorry for the broken post...formatting issues when posting with my tablet.

Anyway, as you are approaching the dock at the 45 degree angle, shift the boat into reverse to slow the boat and rotate it toward the dock. With practice you will be able to get to the point where the boat gently glides sideways toward the dock which makes it possible to handle with only one person. I suggest practicing in the middle of the lake using a life jacket as a stand in for the dock. It's a little more forgiving.

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Soon2BV

The same way you get to Carnegie Hall - Practice, Practice, Practice.

Find a day when you can just go out and practice. See how the boat responds to all different inputs, fast and slow, forward, reverse, wheel left, wheel right, etc. You really just have to feel it.

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jcochrane007

And there's no better feeling than coming into a public dock on a windy day, spinning the boat 180 degrees on a dime and bringing it to a dead stop perfectly parallel and only inches from the dock!

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Lance B. Johnson

So here is some useful information. The boat will back up kinda straight but definitely not perfectly straight so think of it like this:

You will need to keep the back of the boat pointed exactly where you want to go because you can not steer it. So to do that start by moving forward and steering until the back is pointed in the right direction. Pop it in reverse and back up. As soon as you start going off course, pop in in forward again and quickly steer to point that the stern is pointed in the right direction again. Then pop it back to reverse. If you have to back up a long ways, or if it is windy, you will have to do this many times.

Hope this helps.

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bamabonners

omg, I'm the power turn guy :cry: I don't do it around anyone else, but I can't help it, the kids love it. :clap:

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G-Mack

So here is some useful information. The boat will back up kinda straight but definitely not perfectly straight so think of it like this:

You will need to keep the back of the boat pointed exactly where you want to go because you can not steer it. So to do that start by moving forward and steering until the back is pointed in the right direction. Pop it in reverse and back up. As soon as you start going off course, pop in in forward again and quickly steer to point that the stern is pointed in the right direction again. Then pop it back to reverse. If you have to back up a long ways, or if it is windy, you will have to do this many times.

Hope this helps.

Agreed... I just crab walk in... I keep the wheel hard right.... reverse until I am off course... short hit (nothing over idle) forward to correct for direction... back to reverse... and then course correction... I can back the swim platform into a dock or berth without issue... it does take a number of corrections and patience but works well .... all the screw-ups I have seen have been either.. a chatchy putting on a show... or people getting rushed or flustered in a crowded launch (can be either skilled or unskilled pilots)... I take my time and don't care what others think.

Although... at our local launch my wife and I can go from backing into the water to pulling out in less than 2 minutes.... it takes timing and also takes patience... we still are not rushing just comfortable in our process.

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Colby2ya

JB-FOOT, thanks man! Good tips!

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Bill_AirJunky

Don't ever do reverse at low speeds. Haul a** or don't go at all. :surprised:

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obski

Don't ever do reverse at low speeds. Haul a** or don't go at all. :surprised:

Yeah, right.... :woot:

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Bill_AirJunky

Yeah, right.... :woot:

HEhe, don't think these boats are built for it, huh. Me neither.

It's funny, I've been driving an inboard for so long, I don't even know how to explain it anymore. I've driven in ski shows, exhibitions in places like False Creek (Vancouver BC), the hydro races courses in Seattle & TriCities, and many just stupid busy places. I even back my boat into the boat slip so it's easy to get on/off at the dock. But it is tough to back these things up in a straight line,especially if it's windy. Of course we have to occasionally, But I don't usually do it for much distance.... ie; less than 30' or 40'. And I drive forward in such a way that I am positioning the boat so I only have to go backwards a few feet & knowing full well the boat will pull to the right. I think that is key.

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Woodski

JB Foot, nice post & good tips. I would like to add, when you start pulling skiers/footers/boarders, when they go down, don't do a power U turn but throttle back to neutral, slowly spin boat 180 degrees and return to fallen skier at idle pulling up alongside as noted. This technique is just as quick as a power turn and much safer as it allows either the observer or the driver to keep the skier in sight at all times and does not send a tidal wave across the lake.

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JB-FOOT

One thing I forgot to mention is how to get a LH prop to back up to the left or Port side.... (reverse what i am going to say if you have a RH prop that wants to back up to the Port/LEFTside in the first place, and you want to back that up to the STBD/RIGHT side)

What makes an INBOARD turn is a combination of prop thrust and water passing over and or past the rudder which in turn diverts the water and pushes the boat in the desired direction FROM THE REAR OF THE boat.....the more power you give it the more water passes past the rudder and the better it turns.....that is GOING FOWARD!!!! However, when you go in reverse you are not pushing water past the rudder any longer but instead the water thrust from the prop is now going towards the bow of the boat.....leaving only prop thrust to do you turning....that is why the boat wants to back up in only a straight back or to a favored side at first...

So here is what you must do to get it to back up the opposite way...

Remember the rudder? that thing that water MUST pass over and past in order for it to do its job.....well if you back up slow and long enough, eventually enough river or lake water will pass it to start finally directing it to the desired opposite side, but usually by the time that happens, it is too late.... you are already way off course or have hit something....

So here is what must happen....

Enough water must pass across the rudder and must pass fast enough to get it to go the opposite direction....

Put the boat into reverse and right back out again, put it back into reverse and right back out again with the rudder straight back.....do not give it any throttle. just reverse....what is starting to happen is water is starting to pass over and past the rudder without the counter desired action of prop thrust (providing you are not giving it any gas) now that the boat is starting to back up rather straight...turn the wheel in the direction you want to go in reverse and leave it in gear.....you should start slowing turning in the desired direction....dont be throttle happy.....and you should be HAPPY....

Now if you want the process to go even quicker, then you must start with your stern facing the direction you want to go.....BEFORE you put it in reverse....

How you do that is either by PUSHING the boat in the desired direction from a hard object on the opposite side of the boat like a dock, another boat, a lock wall, or a boat trailer guide when backing off of your trailer.....OR......

By TURNING the wheel to the RIGHT if you want to back up LEFT and putting the boat in FWD and IMMEDIATELY putting it back in neutral....and repeating that 2 or 3 times, if you do it correctly, the stern of the boat will go LEFT and the boat will not have move forward more than a foot if at all.....the key here is IN AND OUT OF GEAR in FWD....

Once the boat's stern is now pointing way to the PORT or left side, you can return your wheel position back to FULL LEFT and only after you have moved the wheel full left, put it back in reverse and quickly back out following the procedure I outlined above a few paragraphs before....(If you put it back in gear while the wheel is still turned to the RIGHT, you will negate EVERYTHING you just did)

I assure you, once you get the hang of this technique, you can amaze your friends and fellow INBOARD boaters.....Your I/O friends (if you have any) won't be impressed, as their sleds back up well....and they will just be wondering why it has taken you so long to figure out how to drive your D*MN low free board boat in the first place... LOL

Backing UP???....at least an I/O does something well....but that's no reason to own one....

Just another 2 cents worth..... OK. more like $1.02 worth...

Edited by JB-FOOT

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BumbleBee

Torke steer buddy..... Use the rotation of the prop to kick the boat where you want. Once you get use to it you'l be amazed where you can get these boats in reverse.

If you have the flyby wire throttle hold it between you thumb an forefinger and treat it like you'd want your balls held ;-) .

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Deephaven

My dock is a bey$#)(*@)(*. That means I am doing a whole lot of in and out of gear to back up, use forward to turn, back up etc. In particular when there is wind. That being said has anyone had any transmission problems due to a lot of in an out of gear? Not like I have a choice, but am now curious as that is truly the only way to steer in reverse. Basically steer in forward and use reverse to stop you from moving forward. Line up the stern and go.

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