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Thread: Hard Pull to Left

  1. #1
    Contributing Member II
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    Hard Pull to Left

    My wife and I took our 30+ out for our first spin yesterday and noticed that it pulled hard to the left while under power. I suspect it's the prop, but nothing unusual was found in the underwater survey. Any thoughts?

    Also - I presume it best to take the main off the boom and store indoors over the winter. Should the same be done with all running rigging?

    Thanks.

    So far it has been a real treat owning Gayle Winds!

    Peter S
    Bayview, ID

  2. #2
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    You are probably experiencing prop wash from the design of where the rudder is in relation to the propeller. I had this on my prior E-27. Not much to do about it but hold on. I assume it varies with RPM e.g. more is stronger pull? If so, this is most likely what you are experiencing.

    Always good to remove what you can, but I don't go nuts e.g. genoa lead sheets would be an easy logical thing to pull, but I've always left my mainsheet and traveler control lines in place. I think summer UV is more of a problem than winter cold.
    -David
    Independence 31
    Emerald

  3. #3
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Question

    We had little torque steer with the factory two blade fixed, virtually none with the the feathering two blade for a decade, and now it is noticeable with our new three blade fixed prop.

    Which prop does your boat have?

    LB
    1988 Olson 34 #8
    Sail # 28400
    Betamarine 25 (new 2018)
    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

  4. #4
    1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
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    Our 1984 E30+ with a two blade folding propeller pulls to left/port when starting in reverse, then straightens out once I get some speed and the rudder grips. Otherwise there is no pulling when underway.

    I am posting this to let you know that your problem doesn't seem to be an
    E30+ problem, but is more likely related to propeller as the others have suggested.

    Frank

  5. #5
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    Hard pull to left

    We have a two-blade fixed prop. For the time, I'll hold on tight and may look for a different prop down the road.

    Thanks as usual. This site has made our venture into Ericson ownership that much easier given everyone's assistance, information and valuable insight.

    Peter S

  6. #6
    Principal Partner Cory B's Avatar
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    Also, check the shaft the next time the boat is out of the water, if its a little long it may be closer to the rudder than it should be, causing more turbulence. I think the rule of thumb is the prop hub should be about 1 shaft diameter away from the cutlass bearing / strut... but I might have that wrong.
    Cory
    1984 E-35III #163 "Balancing Act"
    Portland, OR

  7. #7
    Principal Partner mherrcat's Avatar
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    You don't mention whether you had the sails up or not and the wind conditions, so it's hard to say for sure what might be happening.

    If this is happening with no sails up in calm wind and water it sounds like something's not right if the pull is so strong that you have to "hold on tight." I have a three-blade fixed prop with right hand rotation and have no discernable pull when under way forward. (Maybe a two-blade prop is significantly different?)

    When reversing out of the slip I do get prop walk to port until there is enough boat speed for the rudder to have effect. (Same thing to starboard from a dead stop.) To counter this I will hold onto the starboard stern line as long as possible to keep the stern from going to port.

    When motoring out of the harbor, with the main up and depending on the wind direction and strength, I can put the boat on a course and leave the helm long enough to lower the lazy jacks, adjust the outhaul and topping lift or pull up the bumpers without having the boat go significantly to port or starboard.
    Last edited by mherrcat; 10-22-2010 at 01:26 PM.
    Mark H.
    1985 Ericson 30+

  8. #8
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    Hard pull to port

    One thing I just realized that I failed to mention that may add clarity - the wheel pulls to the left, hence pulling the boat that way. So somehow the prop wash is pushing the rudder over, pulling the wheel and boat to port. ??

    Thanks

  9. #9
    Principal Partner mherrcat's Avatar
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    You are only talking about a prop that's what, maybe 13" in diameter? Engine running at maybe 2000 or so RPM? (If it's the M18 engine the max RPM is 3200.) I think it would take more "prop wash" than that to push the rudder over. I think something else is going on.

    Are you saying that if you let the wheel go it just keeps turning to port until it reaches the stop? (DO NOT let go of the wheel when in reverse! You could damage the stops, the rudder or both.) In fact, if the wheel wants to just take off in forward, don't let it go then either!
    Mark H.
    1985 Ericson 30+

  10. #10
    Principal Partner Tom Metzger's Avatar
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    Peter - My 1987 E-34 pulls to port under power also. I think it's the nature of the beast. The geometry of the prop & rudder.

    It's all resolved with the autopilot.
    Tom Metzger
    E-34 Xanthus

  11. #11
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    Regulus pulls under power forward and reverse with a 2 blade prop. She is a 30+ tiller boat so I have learned to sit so I am pulling on the tiller rather than pushing to keep her straight. Tiller pilot is a wonderful tool when motoring long distances. Completely normal.

    Hope this helps
    Greg
    Greg, E30+, "Regulus II"
    San Pedro, CA

  12. #12
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Question Prop Pondering...

    Quote Originally Posted by psanburn View Post
    One thing I just realized that I failed to mention that may add clarity - the wheel pulls to the left, hence pulling the boat that way. So somehow the prop wash is pushing the rudder over, pulling the wheel and boat to port. ??
    One thing to keep in focus is the "pull" you sense on the rudder is really your effort to correct for some torque coming from the rotation of the prop. I sense that the discussion might get sidetracked, perhaps, into something caused by the rudder.
    Note that prop wash will cause an oscillation of the rudder, but that oscillation may not be a cause of the boat trying to turn in the first place.
    (For a really wicked rudder vibration/oscillation under power, try holding on the tiller of the Ranger 33... Deservedly a modern classic sail boat, but arm-tiring when under power.)

    Since our last prop change produced a lot more forward thrust under all conditions, I speculate that this also is the cause of some constant turning force ("prop torque") in forward gear. We did not have this with our previous two blades.

    Loren
    1988 Olson 34 #8
    Sail # 28400
    Betamarine 25 (new 2018)
    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

  13. #13
    Principal Partner mherrcat's Avatar
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    I took my boat out yesterday to see if I could detect any "pull" to either side when motoring. Inside the harbor in flat water and no wind I ran the engine at about half throttle and almost full throttle. The most that happened is the boat would slowly veer off to port if I let the wheel go. There was no detectable "pull" to either port or starboard if I kept the wheel centered by hand.

    I also went outside the harbor for a couple of hours. Since there was no wind I motored out about 3 miles heading directly into a 2ft swell. Again, no detectable pulling. With the auto pilot engaged the wheel also stayed centered as I motored along. (Usually, when sailing in a moderate breeze with the auto pilot, the wheel will sometimes stay slightly to leeward as the auto pilot compensates for any weather helm due to the wind.)

    I guess the two-bladed props just generate more torque...
    Mark H.
    1985 Ericson 30+

  14. #14
    1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
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    Mark, we have a two blade folding propeller on our 1984 E30+ and the only time I notice pulling is when I put it in reverse at the dock, there is a pulling to port before my rudder grips, ie. before I have any real reverse movement. Once I get underway in either reverse or forward, I don't notice any pulling to either port or starboard. So I don't really think this is a two blade vs. three blade issue.

    Frank

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