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Forums / General / Dolphin under power  
The discussions for this thread include the following:

Posted: 27 Jul 2011 at 1:02pm
So I've had Yanqui out four times this (terrible) sailing season in Portland, Oregon. She is a wonderful boat under sail, but under power she's an absolute cow. My last boat was a Montgomery 17, very different. I'm having extraordinary trouble maneuvering around the small marina I'm at (it's two 90 degree turns from river to slip).

The problems are obvious: prop behind the rudder, no ability to turn the motor in the well, and a long, relatively deep keel for the river current to push around. The solution hasn't been obvious at all, though.

In order to make the turn upstream into my slip, I seem to have to be just flying such that I have to nail the dock and/or nearly rip the motor out in reverse. Since I can't turn the motor I can't use it to "walk" the stern around into position.

Any advice concerning low speed maneuvers in this boat? Particularly in a current?

Thanks a lot,
Yanqui (Yankee Dolphin 197)

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 at 7:46pm
Hi Joe

Is there anyway you can 'free up' the motor so you can turn it up to 90 degrees? I have a small motor, 4 hp, no reverse but in a pinch I can spin the motor 180 for reverse if necessary. Usually, I find that being able to turn it 90 degrees makes manuevering work ok. If its the length of the throttle arm that prevents turning the motor, I would consider having your Service shop figure out how to shorten the throttle control arm.

If this is not possible I would consider spending a few bucks making the well hatch opening larger, replacing the hatch with a larger double hatch ie Marionette's so you can turn the motor

Marionette #12

Posted: 03 Aug 2011 at 10:40pm
90 degrees is all I need, but the 6 hp Suzuki 4 stroke is just too big in almost every dimension to turn more than 10 degrees. On the other hand, it's the first outboard I've had that I trust in the slightest, so I'm not willing to swap it out for a smaller motor.

I took the lazy way out and changed to a different, easier to access marina. No maneuvering for me!

Posted: 05 Aug 2011 at 5:59pm
Hi Joe-

On Robin Lee, we have a long shaft Tohatsu 6HP, and although it will turn a bit in the well, I never actually turn it. I've just learned the limits of what I can do when maneuvering the boat under power, and I am careful to avoid putting the boat into a situation where i will exceed those limits.

My slip is the last dock before a seawall at the end of the marina, and I have a hard 25-28 feet of space to turn in when coming and going. I've learned to turn quite early and hard when heading in. When leaving the slip, I don't motor backwards, but I back the boat out by hand, holding the bow pulpit, with the motor idling in neutral. Then I push off gently from the end of the dock finger, step aboard, and run back to the helm and engage the motor.
Erik Evens
Los Angeles, CA
"Robin Lee", Yankee Dolphin #118

Posted: 05 Aug 2011 at 8:31pm

My new slip is like angle parking off of the river, so all I have to do is push the boat out like you, hop on, and let it float out into the river. Coming back in is just a wide left turn. The first attempt, I could literally float it into the slip perfectly. Much better. The real killer here in Portland is the heavy flow of the Columbia River.

As to the motor, you can see from the photo below that the Suzuki is large enough, and fits low enough in the well, that it bumps up almost immediately when being turned. Definitely a space made for a two stroke.


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