View Full Version : Why cant I steer when backing up?

07-19-2006, 06:24 PM
I have an o6 LSV and I learned that you can not steer while backing up... This is my first boat so I don't know this answer. Can you not steer any wakewboard boat when backing up? Or is this just moombas? I just find it annoying sometimes...


07-19-2006, 06:46 PM
You cant steer any ski boat while backing up. You have to have water coming by the rudder to have any control. It just takes getting use to.
Suzuki DL650 VStrom (http://www.cyclechaos.com/wiki/Suzuki_DL650_VStrom)

07-19-2006, 07:00 PM
WELCOME to inboards !


The problem is called torque steer. The prop wants to turn the boat as well as pull or push it. If you center the steering, and backup at a moderate speed, the boat will pull the stern to starboard. Any level of right steering will increase the rate of turn.
HOWEVER... if you put in full left rudder, and continue to back at slow to moderate speed, the boat will track somewhere between 0-2 degrees port or starboard... esentially straight back. :(

So how the hell do you back to port ???

Well - some do not. 270 degrees right is the same as 90 left. If you need to pull the stern to port, your best bet is to use short bursts of a bit more than moderate throttle with the rudder full left. More water over the rudder helps pull the boat around. It takes a while to get used to, and I think all of us can say we needed lots of practice to get it so we feel comfortable. The new 06 L series larger hull is larger and a tad more difficult than the smaller hulls, and the v-drive adds even more difficulty.

Mostly - try to think : back straight, turn while going forward. So you may need to make 3 point or 5 point turns in some tight situations. You will learn that the boat turns on a dime going forward and you use that to your best ability.

I think Backing into a slip w/ one of these would be the most difficult thing.

Some here have reccomended throwing a boat fender in the water and trying to come along side it as practice.

Keep at it - it will come.


07-19-2006, 08:30 PM
You'll develop tricks of your own.

Be sure to develop a couple more drivers, too.

On our boat, its not really "do you wanna drive", its, "you gotta drive".

07-19-2006, 10:04 PM
Thanks Guys, I have been doing fairly well at it. but when the dock gets crowded my fear is bumping someones boat. I dont want that now...


07-20-2006, 09:19 AM
Just keep it slow and as Joe said use small shots of power to correct your direction.

You'll be okay! Just takes a little getting used to


07-22-2006, 09:03 AM
Great info....my LS came in yesterday and I'm looking forward to my first inboard.....Thanks

07-22-2006, 10:34 AM
The other thing to remember is that if the prop is not turning you can not steer. You can not be neutral and steer the boat.

Boating is a great family sport. Make sure you let the kids drive (with you close by) from time to time.

07-24-2006, 03:26 PM
mschude, which way does the back-end of your boat pull when you back up?

07-24-2006, 03:30 PM
Back end will pull towards the driver side


07-24-2006, 08:33 PM
My boat is the same--the back end pulls to the right when you back up. My old Nautique did the exact opposite because the prop rotated the other way. Anyway, here's how I pull up to a dock on my left side.

I come in slowly at about a 30 degree angle to the dock. When the nose gets close, reverse it to stop yourself. I keep the wheel turned full right at all times and bump from forward to reverse. Every time you bump into forward, your nose will go right and your back end will swing around to your left. By keeping your wheel to the right and bumping back and forth between forward and reverse you can essentially rotate your boat clockwise around a vertical center axis. A little practice and it's easy.

Coming into a dock on your right is super easy since the back end wants to pull right anyway. Just nose in about 30 degrees and then hit reverse and the back end will swing in right up along side the dock.