View Full Version : Reverse Steering

Tom Wortham
07-27-2004, 01:13 PM
Question. I own an 86 which I can steer fine in reverse (low speeds) as sharply as I can steer going forward (low speeds). I drove a 01 X-9 and you can't steer it in reverse. :confused: Curious to know what year this changed? Could it be the location of the rudder? I was reading a thread about a MC hitting a bigger boat... due to lack of steering while in reverse. Curious, Tom

07-27-2004, 01:27 PM
I think it is torque that causes the boat to go to the right while reversing. Not sure when this changed.

07-27-2004, 02:19 PM
I have a 90 Maristar and it doesnít really have much ability to steer going backwards. I thought is had to do with the rotation of the prop and the relative position of the rudder. After I get it moving in reverse, I can put it in neutral and get a slight drift towards the port side with the wheel cocked all the way, but not much.

east tx skier
07-27-2004, 02:26 PM
I've never heard of an inboard where you could control the steering, at least not until recently. I recenlty went to a ski school that was running a newer ski nautique. He had used a different brand the year before and I asked him if he had trouble getting used to the different pull in reverse. SN has prop rotation opposite MasterCraft and Malibu, and, as a result, they pull to the left in reverse where as the M-brands pull to the right.

His answer, you can control these things if you can figure out just how much rudder to apply and don't overpower it. He then proceeded to back it up to the right. I haven't had the chance to mess with this on my MasterCraft yet, but am curious if I can figure it out.

07-27-2004, 02:33 PM

Thatís sort of interesting. Maybe little power and a slight turn :confused:

07-27-2004, 02:58 PM
I used to be able to back up my Nautiques by:

1) Start with reverse and slight to medium rudder turn. This gets the boat moving in reverse.

2) Turn the rudder full in the opposite direction and tap forward to kick the back of the boat and start the momentum of the turn.

3) repeat 1) to keep the boat moving in the reverse direction.

4) repeat 2) to keep the boat turning.

Of course wind and current can make the above technique null and void

I haven't spent enough time with my Prostar 209 yet to really say how it does.

east tx skier
07-27-2004, 02:59 PM
I'm thinking the lightest bit of constant power you can add is the ticket. The less torque, the less effect on the yaw of the boat.

Tom Wortham
07-27-2004, 03:12 PM
Great responses. Thanks. It's has to be the rudder... becuase I can back my boat at low speeds in a circle... stop it and back it the opposite way. No way could I have done this on the 01 X-9. :confused:

07-27-2004, 03:30 PM

I think some of it may be to so much more hull in the water on an 03 X9. :confused:

07-27-2004, 03:58 PM
I think it was Andre that told me give it small amount of prop spin in reverse and go to neutral,then while you drift backward you can steer some. I find that works pretty well on my 230 Maristar. But it's still like driving a cow by the ears!

Tom Wortham
07-27-2004, 04:05 PM
Thanks everyone... This helps explains it. Now that I think about it... I do rock my 19 foot back and forth (with the drive) and keep the steering wheel turning (as I do a backwards 180) as I would spin to dock it... Driving my boat for 9+ years.. I have gotten use to it...
Was pretty wild getting into my buddys 01 x-9 ready to back and go.... Thinking... "why can't I back this boat".
Summary... I thinks it's a combination of many things. Rudder, boat size and draw, prop, etc. I'm just an Old School guy. :D

07-27-2004, 04:05 PM
I almost wet myself when I read, "But it's still like driving a cow by the ears!":uglyhamme

07-27-2004, 07:39 PM
I would guess there are very few who have horse back riden a cow on this board....and not an experience I would recommend... :o

lakes Rick
07-28-2004, 07:00 PM
Well just read my post " I am a moron" if you want to know what I think about backing these things... Just like I told the guy " I thought I had this thing figured out".....

east tx skier
07-29-2004, 10:37 AM
Don't worry, Rick. I'm still going with making the reverse torque pull work for me instead of trying to control it.

07-30-2004, 10:21 AM
This is a quick story that the title of this thread reminds me of.
I had a 84 stars with a very tight steering wheel. My buddy and I think we can fix anything so we proceeded to take apart the helm to see if we could grease it or find some other problem. We got it apart and couldn't really see anything wrong and decided to just put it back together since we were headed out on the river the next day. The next day my wife backed it off the trailer like any other time and I pulled out and parked the truck. When I got down to the dock she was still out in the middle of the river, and I'm thinking what the &*#% is she doing. She finally gets do the dock and she is just frantic. She yells "the boat is steering backwards" :eek: . When my buddy and I put the helm back together we put on backwards. It was actually pretty funny because when diriving you had to do things completly opposite to what was normal. Turns out the boat just needed a new cable and when I put that in I checked the direction of the rudder to the steering wheel about 10 times. It's always a funny story to talk about around the camp fire. Maybe you had to be there because watching my wife try to drive the boat back on to the trailer was a riot. She typically is pretty darn good at it. :worthy:

07-30-2004, 10:32 AM
Sounds like something I would do. Farmer Ted and I had a big laugh at the boat ramp wednesday. First guy pulled his Bayliner out of the water with the motor down, took a big chuck out of his lower unit. That quickly became his wife's fault. The second guy backed his big bass boat in the water (with his two small kids in it) and had not put the plug in. i wonder which one of those kids unscrewed the plug. :confused: It all happened within 5 minutes. We triple checked Tim's boat before we left.

07-30-2004, 10:47 AM
I love watching the goings on at the public boat ramp. Some times, we just anchor slightly off the ramp, but out of the way, to watch. Also, you should see some of the looks of awe we get when it takes my wife and I (or whomever I'm skiing with) a total of one minute to land our boat. Nothing like a flat bottom ski boat and a boat buddy to make all the I/O deep v folks look clue free. I get a special little tingle inside when a wife turns to her husband and says..."how come their boat goes on so easy?"

I was confused by this thread though, in terms of being able to back an inboard. As I understand it, the rudder on an inboard directs the thrust of the prop. If you're in reverse, it can't direct the thrust cause it's in front of the prop. The only directional control I have in reverse with my 93' 190 is the torque pull to the right.

Farmer Ted
07-30-2004, 11:14 AM
Brad and I could of used some beer, lawn chairs, and some score cards.

Funny thing with the guy ripping up his lower unit was Brad saying " wouldn't it be funny if he forgot to put his truck in park" about 0.9 seconds later the dude raises his lower unit and the truck slammed back.

Still doesn't beat the time when I put the boat in the water at the ramp just to run the engine and just as I was discovering that my battery was dead a john boat full of vatos coming back from juggin' looked over and said "hey esse that thing got a hemi"

Farmer Ted
07-30-2004, 11:27 AM
Hey Jake,

What part of the cities do you live in? My sister lives out in Minnetrista.
I stopped by Midwest Mastercraft when I was up there last week, nice guys! They should have a couple of 2005s soon if not now.

I'd love to live up there but good god what's up with the traffic? I saw Prince up there and it took us almost 2 hours to get back from the concert. It was like rush hour traffic at 1 in the morning.


07-30-2004, 11:37 AM
Ted: traffic isn't too bad in the twin cities, except for a few specific spots. You hit on one of them, which is trying to get out of down town after any major event releases (metrodome or target center). I live in New Brighton, small suburb just about 6 miles north of down town Minneapolis.

Minetrista is nice.