Originally Posted by jan n will
We have a 1978 40' DeFever Hudson that has poor maneuverability at slow speed. Rudder is a horizontal rectangle. Have thought of adding wedges to the back of the rudder. Trying to spend less and get more
Anyone have design suggestions?
Hi Jan or Will, it says in your profile that the DeFever is new to you. As the others have pointed out technique is probably going to help you more than any modifications. The current rudder has served it well since 1978.
The best thing you can do short of hiring someone to teach you is the next time you leave the dock find a patch of calm, current free water and slip her into neutral, drift to a stop and practice. I tossed an old orange PFD into the water and practiced coming along side it and maneuvering around it for the better part of an hour. Picked up the life jacket and went for a drive to another area with a little bit of current and repeated above. Picked up the PFD and went to a place that had current and lumpy water and repeated again.
By the end of that day I returned to the marina and practiced coming along side an empty side tie for a half hour. Then went to my slip and pulled her in and out of the slip probably a dozen times.
That was a fairly long Tuesday on the water but I had the place pretty much to myself, probably saw 2 boats all day. By the time I came up to the boat the following weekend I had enough confidence to come alongside a fellow TF members boat and raft up. Al even commented how impressed he was at how easily I maneuvered into place.
There's no shortcuts to seamanship and as this is my first "real" boat with single inboard power it took a little getting used to. My seamanship skills are far from what I'd like them to be but learning close quarter maneuvering is best learned in open water away from docks and Lookie Lou's.