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View Full Version : How to properly park a mastercraft?


Matt7246
08-02-2012, 12:26 AM
I am very new to boating and i just bought a 1997 Mastercraft Maristar with the Corvette LT1 engine in it. I am having so much trouble parking it i can't even explain lol...

Unlike other boats this has a V-drive and the prop doesn't go up or down. For some reason when i am approaching my dock as soon as i put it in neutral the boat makes a hardddd left turn so what i have been doing it just coming in with it just ever so slightly clicked in gear and then ram reverse before i crash into the dock (still very fast though for parking, all my passengers always go woah woah woah and then i slame reverse and they're all like "dude!, woah woah woah!, phew! :confused:, i thought u were taking the dock out man!". This seems to be the only way i have somewhat control of the boat while parking it. I see everyone else come into the dock and they just line up and some even turn the boat completely off and the thing just coasts right into the space like a piece of cake.

Is there a certain way, trick or anything i am supposed to be doing to park a V-drive stationary prop driven boat ?

Any help will be appreciated. Thanks

onebadrubi
08-02-2012, 12:31 AM
I have learned over the years to come in and work from the right. You only have control of these boats in reverse if you can allow the back in to drift the right (steering wheel side). THis is because the way the prop spins.

If you are approaching a straight ahead dock then just click forward and work back and forth from neutral to gear to get your desired speed.

No real definite trick, just keep trying and take it slow with "all hands on deck" ready to help. Maybe define your docking space so we can throw some ideas to you.

Limpkin
08-02-2012, 12:33 AM
When I first started driving V Drive the best advice I was given was to approach the dock from the passenger side at a slight angle (7 clock) slowly and gently go into reverse and this will pull the back end of the boat toward the pier. Another option is to grab a "pier pole"

Good luck, you will get it in time it just takes a while to get to know the process.

Matt7246
08-02-2012, 01:00 AM
My dock is kind of hard to explain... I literally probably got the last available space on the lake since i just got the boat mid season and i'm lucky i even found one. My spce isn't even really a space but i'll try to explain it the best i can. It's pretty much a big square dock about a 25' square with two spaces one on each side like a normal dock. The guy i got it from took like a 10' self-made square and just attached to to the front of the dock so it's not even a slot that i pull into i pretty much just pull straight ahead at the dock and have only one side to get off the boat and i tie the front of the boat to the dock nose first using only the front two cleats on the nose of the boat... I really hope i explained it well enough to understand. If you have nay questions let me know...

The problem is that the boat on my right sticks out about 2' longer than the dock and when hit reverse "so i don't crash into the front of the dock" my rear end swings that way and almost hits his boat every time and 2-3 times i tapped it. It did no damage at all but if he were to see how i park the thing every time i'm sure he wouldn't be happy just like i wouldn't if it were my boat in his position.

So pretty much i'm doing all that i can do somewhat the right way i just have to slowly get better and adjust accordingly over time until i master it?

FrankSchwab
08-02-2012, 01:34 AM
Yeah, when you hit reverse the rear end is going to swing to the right (starboard).

You're going to have to come in dead slow, coming from the left as much as possible so that when you reverse you have room for the boat to swing right without hitting the other boat. Make sure to put some fenders on the rear quarter of your boat so that, if you do hit the other guys boat, you hit it with the fender.

Couple of things you might try:
When you pull back to neutral, crank the wheel all the way to the right. This will get the stern moving left, which will counteract the right swing that will occur when you hit reverse (The rudder position really doesn't have much affect when you're in reverse). Also, with the wheel cranked hard right, you can momentarily hit forward to arrest a swing to the right.

In your original post, you mentioned that the boat pulled hard left when you put the boat in neutral. If you're just coming back to neutral, this is NOT normal behavior - your boat should glide straight just like every other boat.

/frank

Matt7246
08-02-2012, 01:42 AM
What would cause it to do that because when i put it in neutral it definitely glides to the left not crazy hard but decently hard?

mikeg205
08-02-2012, 09:39 AM
Hard to explain for the left turn...you should be able to idle in and gently switch from forward and reverse to keep the boat from approaching dock too fast. "Ram reverse?"

JimN
08-02-2012, 09:52 AM
I am very new to boating and i just bought a 1997 Mastercraft Maristar with the Corvette LT1 engine in it. I am having so much trouble parking it i can't even explain lol...

Unlike other boats this has a V-drive and the prop doesn't go up or down. For some reason when i am approaching my dock as soon as i put it in neutral the boat makes a hardddd left turn so what i have been doing it just coming in with it just ever so slightly clicked in gear and then ram reverse before i crash into the dock (still very fast though for parking, all my passengers always go woah woah woah and then i slame reverse and they're all like "dude!, woah woah woah!, phew! :confused:, i thought u were taking the dock out man!". This seems to be the only way i have somewhat control of the boat while parking it. I see everyone else come into the dock and they just line up and some even turn the boat completely off and the thing just coasts right into the space like a piece of cake.

Is there a certain way, trick or anything i am supposed to be doing to park a V-drive stationary prop driven boat ?

Any help will be appreciated. Thanks

Go out and find a calm part of the lake and practice- that's what it takes to know your boat and how it reacts when shifting. Usually, you'll need to come in on an angle when docking. When you put it on the trailer, you need to come in straight and leave it in gear, idling. Once it glides on, you can use more power to move it forward to the bow roller or Boat Buddy.

Practice, practice, practice.

east tx skier
08-02-2012, 09:58 AM
Go out and find a calm part of the lake and practice- that's what it takes to know your boat and how it reacts when shifting. Usually, you'll need to come in on an angle when docking. When you put it on the trailer, you need to come in straight and leave it in gear, idling. Once it glides on, you can use more power to move it forward to the bow roller or Boat Buddy.

Practice, practice, practice.

This!

In a MC, we approach the dock at about a 35 degree angle nice and slow. When you get close enough, but the boat briefly into neutral, then reverse until the stern swings in parallel with the dock.

With our SN, the prop spins the opposite direction. So we come in with less angle, neutral, then reverse, but much lighter (enough to stop forward momentum. Then turn the steering wheel to port and bump the throttle forward to swing the stern gently toward the dock.

Again, practice, practice, practice.

willyt
08-02-2012, 09:59 AM
no, no, no, you're all wrong. this is how you do it:

east tx skier
08-02-2012, 10:07 AM
Hey, kids, this looks like a great place to feed the fish. :o

mzimme
08-02-2012, 10:09 AM
One thing to keep in mind with an inboard, is that you have zero control of your boat if it's not under power. In order for the rudder to do it's job, you have to have the prop spinning. Also keep in mind, you have almost no control in reverse. The rudder is essentially useless, so the only thing you can count on with reverse being pulled ever so slight to the starboard (driver) side.

Lots of quick bumps of the throttle into and out of gear will keep you within managable speeds. Don't drive at the dock staying in gear the whole time. Let it be in gear for a second, then bump to neutral and coast, then bump back into gear for a second to keep your inteded directional path, then back to neutral to keep speeds down. Doing this will eliminate the need to "slam reverse". You'll still need to bump into reverse when you get to the dock, but you shouldnt be launching people around in the boat and freaking them out because you're coming to dock too quickly.

Use the reverse starboard "suction" to your advantage. When you come to dock, try to keep the dock starboard (driver) side as much as possible. Approach the dock at a 45* angle using the "bump into throttle, bump into neutral" method. When you get about 5 or 6 feet away from the dock, start using less throttle, and more neutral to keep slowing yourself down. When you get within a foot of the dock, start hitting reverse. You should still be at a 45* angle from the dock, with your starboard bow side being the closest part of your boat to the dock. Now when you hit it in reverse, let it stay in reverse for a bit and you'll feel the rear part of your boat start sucking towards the dock. Now is the time for your helpful hands to grab the dock and assist pulling the boat towards it.

Once you get this method down, you won't need those hands anymore... you'll look like a pro.

thatsmrmastercraft
08-02-2012, 10:19 AM
Go out and find a calm part of the lake and practice- that's what it takes to know your boat and how it reacts when shifting. Usually, you'll need to come in on an angle when docking. When you put it on the trailer, you need to come in straight and leave it in gear, idling. Once it glides on, you can use more power to move it forward to the bow roller or Boat Buddy.

Practice, practice, practice.

Best advice there is. Throw a boat cushion in the lake and use that to practice your approach. You should eventually be able to slide your boat right up to the cushion so you can reach out and pick it up. It's just parallel parking on the water.

dfmaus
08-02-2012, 10:28 AM
Hey, kids, this looks like a great place to feed the fish. :o

It looks like they're pouring out liquor/beer :)

thatsmrmastercraft
08-02-2012, 10:32 AM
It looks like they're pouring out liquor/beer :)

We don't all drink out of a paper bag:rolleyes::D:D

JMann
08-02-2012, 11:16 AM
Maybe this will help. It's not an MC but the method is the same

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIBj-RE3NGs

BrianT
08-02-2012, 11:32 AM
It looks like they're pouring out liquor/beer :)

Looks to me like the kids are feeding something popcorn..... and why not, it's only in the middle of an accident investigation/rescue scene.....

JimN
08-02-2012, 11:35 AM
no, no, no, you're all wrong. this is how you do it:

I'm surprised the transom plug wasn't installed from the outside.

LouisvilleFan
08-02-2012, 11:43 AM
Looks to me like the kids are feeding something popcorn..... and why not, it's only in the middle of an accident investigation/rescue scene.....

They are feeding the huge carp that live under the docks...unreal!

mikeg205
08-02-2012, 11:52 AM
no, no, no, you're all wrong. this is how you do it:

sorry for the thread jack... what's the story behind this? Dude is really hurt and not much damage on the slips...

BrooksfamX2
08-02-2012, 11:56 AM
Docking Golden Rule:

Never approach the dock any faster than you are willing to hit it!

Jason.H.
08-02-2012, 01:21 PM
Saw this in another thread, It was a rental boat at smith mountain lake va. Guess the person that rented it was taught the incorrect way of parking the boat.

mikeg205
08-02-2012, 01:22 PM
Saw this in another thread, It was a rental boat at smith mountain lake va. Guess the person that rented it was tolk the incorrect way of parking the boat.

What full throttle into the slip? eash...

thatsmrmastercraft
08-02-2012, 01:24 PM
Trying to dry-dock the boat.:rolleyes:

mzimme
08-02-2012, 01:58 PM
Trying to dry-dock the boat.:rolleyes:

Guess he didn't understand that people usually use a lift to do such things...

Redstorm
08-02-2012, 04:08 PM
For me the only time I need throttle is if there is a current and or wind. Like mentioned earlier, go out to a calm area and just practice and practice til u get a good feel for it. Over time your
Passengers will be saying ..damn good job. The only time your rudder will work is when water is passing over it. Keep your passengers seated. If they all get up and move to one side Trying to grab the dock ...well then the boat is even more difficult to maneuver and lookin goofy as well.

bobx1
08-02-2012, 04:18 PM
All good advice. Two more options:

A - http://www.gandermountain.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?pdesc=Overtons-Floating-Telescoping-Boat-Hook&i=38798&r=view&aID=506X15A&cvsfa=2586&cvsfe=2&cvsfhu=3338373938&s_kwcid=goobasecontent_goobasecontent_filler&cID=GSHOP_38798

B - Install a trolling motor on the front and use as a bow thruster
http://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?t=49448

JDC
08-02-2012, 04:48 PM
Here are two good videos on parallel docking. Both have good tips.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MS_2fRsHZFo&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1iSMWzRuqc&feature=related


This one is titled "Impressive boat handling"... and I'd have to agree! Maybe it has side thrusters or something, but it's impressive.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W36rDKl4T5s&feature=related

tdjaster
08-02-2012, 04:57 PM
Docking Golden Rule:

Never approach the dock any faster than you are willing to hit it!

Like.

LYNRDSKYNRD
08-02-2012, 05:04 PM
Someone on here said it in another thread...

"Go slow look like a pro....go fast look like an A$$ :-)"

GoneBoatN
08-02-2012, 08:59 PM
Docking Golden Rule:

Never approach the dock any faster than you are willing to hit it!

Good one.

A few more:

Have fenders deployed in any area you may expect contact, on purpose or unintentional. Have an extra fender you (or someone you can count on) can suspend in an area of unexpected contact.

If you have botched approch, go around. Keep doing. This goes along with practice, practice, practice. Have a pole with a hook handy for when you finally need to give up and just want it docked/trailered - e.g. crowded ramp and you had enough.

If you have people you can count on use them (my son). If you have people that you can not count on (my wife will just not react) instruct them to sit in a position out of the way.

Remember to play the wind and current (if present) in addition to the boat's tendancies.

I've finally got a hold of swing the boat in and using the forward/reverse bump process. We had a narrow slip for our week on Lake Shasta - thank God for fenders.

TXX9
08-02-2012, 10:57 PM
Docking comes natural with experience and practice as many have mentioned on here.

Where I have trouble at times is unloading on some of the narrow and/or crowded 2 lane boat ramps, when I have to power off the the trailer, the a$$ end does it's natural tendency of pulling to the starboard side. That can cause issues in narrow launch areas and or if another boat is on that side. I float mine off whenever I can, but it is not always possible. Just put new bunk boards on and definitely need to apply liquid rollers to these, though very slippery bunks have their issues too.

DemolitionMan
08-02-2012, 11:14 PM
Here is what happens when you come in HOT!!!

GoneBoatN
08-02-2012, 11:57 PM
Docking comes natural with experience and practice as many have mentioned on here.

Where I have trouble at times is unloading on some of the narrow and/or crowded 2 lane boat ramps, when I have to power off the the trailer, the a$$ end does it's natural tendency of pulling to the starboard side. That can cause issues in narrow launch areas and or if another boat is on that side. I float mine off whenever I can, but it is not always possible. Just put new bunk boards on and definitely need to apply liquid rollers to these, though very slippery bunks have their issues too.

On backing up it is best to give a short shot of reverse and then let her drift as much as possible; also hard over to port while doing so. This keeps the pull to starboard to a minimum and sometimes nil for me.

GoneBoatN
08-03-2012, 12:35 AM
Back to the original question, what would make it go hard left when coming off power? So basically direction is controlled by drag and torque.

If you look at the prop there is a slightly down angle. This causes a little more pull on the port side (the blades on that side have a higher pitch than the starboard because of the downward angel) swining the rear end of the boat to starboard while in reverse. This same thing happens with airplane propellers when an airplane increases the "angle of attack".

So when you have power on and are moving forward but the boat is level the prop is still facing downward, hence pushing the boat a little more towards starboard. To keep the boat straight you would have to have a little left rudder. Remove that power, you remove the torque to right and your counter with rudder to left takes over. Solution, little bursts of forward and reverse on the approch. Maybe mark the steering wheel where the rudder is center and observe the position during your docking manuver to see where it is really at.

The above is torque. Now lets think about the possibilities of drag. That I guess could change while docking because there would be slight changes of angle of the boat sitting in the water when the speed changes. Two things: 1) the hull could be mishapped and causing changes when angle and speed change; you should be able to rule this out. 2) perhaps you have the port side of the boat weighted more than starboard; could be just where the people in the boat are sitting. Maybe take a couple practice runs in some calm water and adjust the weighting of the boat to see if it makes any difference.

The above is speculation and guesses but perhaps worth a shot. What worries me is that you say "hard left" and like others I don't think that is normal.

This past week at the resort we stay at, a guy had an inside-corner slip. He had to make a turn to come into the docks then a turn into his slip. Behind the slip along the edge there was a metal box that stuck out. Every time he pulled in he made it look just so easy. I would have slapped that metal box every time with the platform.

thatsmrmastercraft
08-03-2012, 09:53 AM
What is your idle speed? If too high, your boat is harder to maneuver.

ntidsl
08-03-2012, 10:13 AM
I would have so much trouble driving an I/O!!! You'll get a hang of it. My wife and I can pick people off the end of the dock without even turning around...people are always trying to get up and catch the dock, we are always like..." please stay seated, you dont need to catch it." Practice practice practice and it will be like riding a bike. We back in to our slip as well. You'll get an agle that works and whip it right in when you figure it out. The cool thing is that it alwasy turns the same way when you back up.

mzimme
08-03-2012, 10:21 AM
Here is what happens when you come in HOT!!!

I love that they tied to boat off to that post... like the boat was just going to drift away.

thatsmrmastercraft
08-03-2012, 10:25 AM
I love that they tied to boat off to that post... like the boat was just going to drift away.

Looks like the boat's name was rather fitting.:rolleyes:

mikeg205
08-03-2012, 10:36 AM
Here is what happens when you come in HOT!!!

gives new meaning to level float ..... just sayin' :D

surfacetension
08-03-2012, 10:45 AM
I always come in Really SLOOOW. put out your bumpers and have only ONE person help grab the dock . everyone else should be seated and out of the way. If you have to SLAM it in reverse I would think you are way fast in forward. Just bump it in and out of gear as slow as you can. Don't know what your dock looks like but on any boat you should never have to slam it into reverse hard .

psychobilly
08-03-2012, 07:21 PM
Depending on where you are coming into "dock" is going to dictate how to handle her. At our marina there are slips and I prefer to back in. Backing in is a breeze and easy. Head for the slip you want and swing her hard over, do not turn the steering wheel through out the rest of the "docking". Just hit reverse and bring her in. When she starts walking go forward and ya stern will swing towards the dock, back and forth with out turning the steering wheel.

Like someone else said, take her out by yourself and throw out a cushion and practice. I've been on boats since I was a baby as my daddy was a shrimping boat captain, (says in best Forrest Gump voice) and I have docked 85' shrimp boats so it just takes practice. You can do it!

thatsmrmastercraft
08-03-2012, 07:25 PM
Depending on where you are coming into "dock" is going to dictate how to handle her. At our marina there are slips and I prefer to back in. Backing in is a breeze and easy. Head for the slip you want and swing her hard over, do not turn the steering wheel through out the rest of the "docking". Just hit reverse and bring her in. When she starts walking go forward and ya stern will swing towards the dock, back and forth with out turning the steering wheel.

Like someone else said, take her out by yourself and throw out a cushion and practice. I've been on boats since I was a baby as my daddy was a shrimping boat captain, (says in best Forrest Gump voice) and I have docked 85' shrimp boats so it just takes practice. You can do it!

While in college I worked for an excursion boat company that had 125' and 138' boats. I was crew chief of the smaller boat which was a true stern-wheel boat. It had a lot of the same characteristics in maneuvering as an inboard.

GoneBoatN
08-03-2012, 07:36 PM
Looks like the boat's name was rather fitting.:rolleyes:

For the owner and most likely not so temporary. :D

Matt7246
08-04-2012, 01:29 AM
Thanks for all the advice guys i went out and practiced today a bunch of times i can definitely reduce the speed of the boat by doing the "in and out of gear" trick but then i feel like i lose control of the boat unless it's in gear. I have already gotten better for sure i just need to figure out the wheel and rear end swings... I completely changed my parking too and i now have to park my boat like in the videos where i pull up to the dock and the whole right side of the boat now sits flush against the dock...

I also noticed that there was a black rubber thing and the way i was parked last time every time my boat went up and down it was making rubber streaks on the side of the boat. Anyone have any ideas on how or what to use to buff this out?

Redstorm
08-05-2012, 11:56 AM
If its just rubber ....use a little "Goof Off"". Takes it right off

SkiDog
08-05-2012, 12:27 PM
no, no, no, you're all wrong. this is how you do it:

I'm still trying to figure out just how this happened!
:confused::confused::confused: