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  Reverse in a 170 Montauk, tilt engine up?

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Author Topic:   Reverse in a 170 Montauk, tilt engine up?
chuck21401 posted 08-20-2008 11:08 PM ET (US)   Profile for chuck21401   Send Email to chuck21401  
I'm getting used to docking my 170 Montauk. I keep it at a boatel so I have to back it into a slip for the forklift to pull it out of the water. I've owned a number of boats and I'm usually pretty good at docking. But the first couple of times with the 170 have been frustrating, particularly in reverse. When I would attempt to back up and turn into the slip the boat would just go straight back, like the position of the wheel didn't make a difference. This made me look like I've never driven a boat before. :)

Anyway tonight we went to a waterfront restaurant for dinner. The water was very shallow (like 10 inches) where I wanted to dock the boat, so naturally I tilted up the engine. I was surprised to find that the boat actually turned in reserve with the engine titled up.

Has anyone else had this experience?

fishgutz posted 08-21-2008 10:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for fishgutz  Send Email to fishgutz     
I've had very similar experiences with my Dauntless 14. The boat will not back down with much control at all. Tilting the motor up seems to give the prop more distance from the boat to make a better arc and thusly makes backing a bit easier.

I try to avoid backing up at all costs. I usually pull straight in somewhere and turn the boat around by hand. It's pretty easy with a 14 foot boat.

I think the short waterline and stern heaviness may have something to do with it. The front doesn't want to follow the stern when backing up. It just wanders around.

It seems to works better if there is more weight in the front, too.

boatdryver posted 08-21-2008 11:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for boatdryver  Send Email to boatdryver     
Chuck21401, I'm getting used to docking my new 200 Dauntless with T top, similarly heavy in the stern (500 lb Verado plus 75 gallons of fuel).

It behaves like you describe your 170 Montauk. This is unlike my recent Classic Montauk/Honda 90, which would back sensibly in the appropriate direction at idle.

When I return to the dock there is frequently a 15 knot crosswind from the port quarter. I have found that just a very brief little burst of power in reverse will pull the stern in the direction it is supposed to go, then reverse idle will maintain that control for a short distance.

If there is a strong crosswind the bow will blow off downwind badly and the boat is a handful rotate from dead downwind to crosswind at idle inside our very tight and shallow marina without a burst of power with the wheel turned. Then it will rotate but immediately start to move sideways quickly like a crab. Then I have a wind off the dock situation and I am glad there is usually no one around to watch.

I'm wondering if a switch to a 4 blade prop would help handling at idle with a hull setup like these boats.


Tohsgib posted 08-21-2008 12:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
For some reason I have always found 4 strokes do not like to reverse with wheel cut hard to port. The boat will only go straight. With it cut hard to starboard it turns like it should. No idea why but maybe has something to do with the torque?
HuronBob posted 08-21-2008 01:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for HuronBob  Send Email to HuronBob     
bigshot... I would be amazed if there is a difference between 2 stroke and 4 stroke engines as it relates to moving in reverse..... Unless it is all that oil in the exhaust that makes the water slipperier.
Tohsgib posted 08-21-2008 02:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Again I would agree but I never had that problem with a 2 smoke nor an outboard(usually I/O's) until I bought 4 stroke outboards. It is not as pronounced as with an I/O but it is different from the 2 smokes I repowered from. Could be the jackplate as well.
chuck21401 posted 08-21-2008 03:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for chuck21401  Send Email to chuck21401     
This video was posted in the general section, a tutorial on docking from trailer boats magazine.

It's interesting at 1:34 - 1:37 min into the video the boat is put in reverse with the wheel turned and you can see it going straight back :)

The docking in this video isn't touch, they need to try backing into a slip with a crosswind!

swist posted 08-21-2008 09:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
My Montauk 170 reversing deteriorates noticeably with wind and/or current. But I don't remember any of my other outboard boats being much different. In particular I had one boat with the outboard on a Gil bracket and it was really strange in reverse.

It is better with increased throttle, but that's not really a comfortable thing to do in close quarters - most reversing is usually at idle speed.

BlueMax posted 08-23-2008 08:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for BlueMax  Send Email to BlueMax     
My 2007 170 seems to require that I power it up to 1k rpm or so in order to back up and turn in reverse with any significance. At Idle speed it seems to take me straight back. I don't recall if there was any much difference turning to port or starboard - I will have to check this out today.
Shrdlu posted 08-23-2008 09:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for Shrdlu  Send Email to Shrdlu     
Boats with right-handed props (most single outboards) will back to port more easily than to starboard because of the prop's paddlewheel effect. This is particularly true with inboard motors. I had a sailboat once that backed in a straight line when the helm was hard over to port, yet backed to starboard on a dime.
Shrdlu posted 08-23-2008 09:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for Shrdlu  Send Email to Shrdlu     
In the sailboat posting above, that should be backs better to port than to starboard.
Rich M posted 08-26-2008 03:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Rich M  Send Email to Rich M     
My 170 Montauk has a lot of prop walk in reverse (Mercury 90HP two stroke, aluminum prop), once it grabs you have to make a fairly significant helm correction to starboard. Anticipating it is the tricky part and then correcting only as much as needed rather than over controlling will improve your boat handling.

By tilting up you are lessening the prop walk effect but sacrificing some control. I prefer the quicker response of level trim during docking. Don't be afraid to apply a little throttle to make the boat respond, using only idle your steering in reverse will be very slow to respond.

The high free board and lack of a V hull makes docking the 170 Montauk particularly challenging in a cross wind, I've learned to come in a little hot and use reverse with a tiny bit of throttle to put the boat where I want it. Practice at a quiet dock before you try it in close quarters!

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