A Game of Inches

David J. Shuler photo

 

QuestionI recently purchased a 2000 Parker 2110 Walkaround with a 200 Evinrude Ficht Ram Injection and an SST 14-by-17 stainless steel prop. I took the boat out recently on a slightly windy day and noticed that the steering control was poor, especially when I slowed down when approaching the dock. Reversing seemed worse, because the engine revved up but the boat hardly moved and didn’t respond to my steering command. Later, I noticed that the anti-cavitation plate on the motor is about two inches higher than the bottom of the hull. Do you think that the motor height or the prop might be the problem?

 

AnswerOK, the Parker is a nice boat. If I’m right in assuming the builder gave you all it could of the 21-footer by putting the engine on a stern bracket, there’s one source of irritation. If it did, then two inches above the bottom of the boat is about right. Less resistance, for one, but far less maneuverability for reversing.

The cabin on the (short) 21-footer acts almost as a sail at lower speeds. Couple that with a stern bracket holding an engine three feet off the transom and trying to drag the hull backwards is asking a lot of Seamanship 101.

If I’m wrong in my assumption about the transom bracket, and the engine is mounted directly to the boat, then lower it two bolt holes if you can. That should help things. If my assumption about the bracket is correct, call Parker and ask the folks there if they have that model without a bracket, and if they’d send you the specs so a boatyard can remove the bracket and cut the transom to accept the engine.

Unfortunately, far less expensive will be to plan your docking well ahead of your approach.

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