Re: left or right hand prop for a W30

Sean Eamon Kennedy

Yep, prop walk to port in reverse is a PITA. I find Moonlight pivots very easily at slow speed, which exacerbates the problem. 

Does Puffin have a bow thruster? I think I’d pay out for that rather than run the transmission in reverse all day. 

I try to mitigate it by slowing to a near stop well away from the dock, then accelerate all the way home, land with more speed on than I’d care for, and use lines to stop the boat. It’s not usually a problem, kinda like docking under sail. 

But sometimes it can’t be done. Like if there’s a strong breeze on the starboard bow - if I come in too slow the nose blows off, and if I put it in reverse the stern walks away as well and I end up parallel but 5 feet away. Over time I’ve grown more comfortable with coming at a sharp angle and crashing the nose gently onto the dock. It slows Moonlight down and pivots the stern in! (It helps to have a large fender hanging off the bow.)

On the other hand, prop walk to starboard in forward makes it really easy to get off the dock - or go round again if I botch the landing approach. I like this so much I probably wouldn’t reverse the prop direction even if it was easy. 

On Aug 10, 2021, at 12:54 PM, richarddalaska <rpackard@...> wrote:

A few years ago I replaced the Perkins in Puffin with a Beta 38. Since my helm is on the starboard side of Puffin I liked the original  left handed prop which would pull the stern into the dock (i.e. starboard prop walk in reverse) when I tie up on the starboard side. However the standard transmission with the Beta is a twin disk that turns left on reverse producing port prop walk..  The Beta people told me I can run the transmission in the opposite direction from normal  if there is a cooler installed in it. Now after about five seasons the transmission is crapping out when I back down. I will have to replace the transmission.

So my quandary is this: should I run the new transmission in its normal mode,  buy a right handed prop and live either with not having the stern pulled into the dock on reverse or, learning to dock on a port tie which is hard to see from the helm. Or alternatively should I continue  with the present left hand prop and live with a possibly short lived transmission.. 

I would like to hear from people who have right handed props on their W30s and hear what problem,if any ,, they have when docking.


Richard P
Richard P
Willard 40 -Lilliana-Sea of Cortez, Mexico
Willard 30- Puffin- SE Alaska
Tiffany Jayne 34-sailboat- Dancer- SF Bay

Sean Eamon Kennedy
Vega Voyager “Moonlight”

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