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Old 01-07-2022, 04:53 PM   #1
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Default Stern drive Maxum

Hello all,

Iím trying to research and understand better ways to create separation when leaving docks and docking techniques. Generally trying to get a better understanding of my boat in general. I came across the subject of prop walk and how it can be used to your advantage when you understand it. Iím getting mixed reports whether or not thereís significant prop walk in single propeller, stern drive boats. I have a 1998 Maxum 2300SC. Iím still pretty new to boating and am trying to research better techniques for next boating season. Would my stern drive have any prop walk?.

Thanks all
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Old 01-07-2022, 11:23 PM   #2
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Yes any single engine with a single prop will have some prop walk. I find it best to experiment to see how the boat handles on a week day when itís calm and no one is around. Then you can take you time to learn how your boat behaves to different throttle and wheel settings.
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Old 01-08-2022, 12:03 AM   #3
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It will depend on the type of drive you have. If you have a bravo 3 or other counter rotating duo prop drive then the opposing rotations will cancel out any prop walk. If you have an alpha or bravo then prop walk is proportional to the size of the prop.

We usually think of a prop as a screw that only thrusts forward. But because the blades are angled/pitched, thereís a thrust component that acts laterally like a waterwheel. Itís also usually more prominent in reverse because props arenít as efficient running backward, so the lateral thrust vs axial thrust is slightly higher.

The way Iíve always understood it Ö If you look at the back of the boat, the direction the bottom blades of the prop are moving creates the lateral force. If the prop is spinning clockwise the bottom is going left so it will push the boat right. If the prop is spinning counter clockwise the bottom of the prop is going right so it will push the boat left. Youíll have to determine if you have a right-hand or left hand prior to know which one occurs in forward and which occurs in reverse.

If anyone else has a simpler way to remember that Iím all ears. Itís usually too much for me to figure out when docking and Iíve just developed the ďfeelĒ. For instance I found when I back up into a slip with the dock finger on starboard, the boat pulls towards the finger (twin alphaís).


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Old 01-13-2022, 04:53 PM   #4
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Prop walk occurs in all props. The reason it is somewhat irrelevant with outboard or an I/O (sterndrive) is that you can physically turn the OB/Drive (prop). This allows you to both counter prop walk and make it's benefit irrelevant. Turning the drive will be way more impactful than trying to work with prop walk.

Prop walk is really only a serious factor in single engine inboards, like Trawlers, sailboats, and waterski boats.

The only other time propwalk comes into play is with twins, where you can leave the drives centered and use the throttles and prop walk to 'tractor' the stern around.
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