#1 2020-08-10 10:36:57

Registered: 2018-12-22
Posts: 1

V34 Boat Handling

Hi All, I am looking to purchase a V34 as my next boat having just sadly parted from my V26 and was hoping someone could give me some idea as to its close quarters handling. I often sail alone and was extremely happy with my V26's performance except when berthing in a marina, which was often a tense affair, can anyone comment on the V34's close quarters performance especially when single handing.Thanks.


#2 2020-08-10 20:13:22

Registered: 2018-07-11
Posts: 5

Re: V34 Boat Handling

Hi Craig, I purchased a V 34 two years ago and found it almost impossible to steer straight  in reverse. Also I have wheel steering which apparently has reduced the turning circle quite significantly from tiller steering.
I have resolved most issues now by installing a bow thruster which has changed my life in marinas! I have a darglow feathering prop and that does stop the boat well in reverse with some port prop walk. My other life changer is a gadget from Canada called a Docking stick available from Amazon .COM. Watch Patrick Laine on U tube using it. I run a line from the docking stick through a block midships and on to the winch. As soon as the docking stick connects to a cleat I winch in  and the boat is secure . Again life changing! I'm in Portsmouth & will gladly show you both if you wish.

Regards Alan Taylor SV Symphony V 34 07768746441


#3 2020-08-13 12:39:14

Registered: 2011-02-28
Posts: 24

Re: V34 Boat Handling

Hello Craig,

As an owner of the V34 Tessera for 10 years now I agree with Alan. Practising manoeuvring in close quarters helps. What I feel is important is to dare to use the power of your engine. E.g., when turning clockwise the port prop walk in reverse can be a great help on condition that you power up your engine. Just as the starboard prop walk when turning anti clockwise helps only if you use your engine. But I guess nothing beats having a bow thruster. After all those years I still feel that the benefits of our semi longkeelers outweigh the the drawbacks.

Kind regards,
Jan van Miltenburg


#4 2020-08-13 15:42:52

From: Dun Laoghaire, Ireland
Registered: 2017-03-14
Posts: 71

Re: V34 Boat Handling

I'll second Jan's comment about the prop walk. I've got the stock tri-blade propeller on Blue Opal (with wheel steering), and initially in reverse she will always walk her stern to port. Once she's got some way up, I can steer her in a straight line quite easily, and have found that forward/reverse port/starboard full loops are all doable within about 1.5 boat lengths.

However, I will always ask a marina for a hammerhead berth if one is available, because it makes my life so much easier. When I come in to the club pontoon, I will always go port-side to, simply to take advantage of the strong starboard-exiting prop walk that forces my stern in to the pontoon, instead of away to the pontoon. Coming in starboard side to means that the prop walk will kick my stern off when I go astern to slow down.

If you look at https://www.cricalix.net/2019/07/16/rev … e-pontoon/, and jump to about half-way through the video, you'll see when I realised that I needed to go back on to the pontoon, and did it astern. The RIB under tow alongside probably helped compensate for the prop walk, and a lack of wind certainly made life easier.

With minimal way on, you can get some pretty good bursts of power to port and starboard without imparting much way, but only forwards. Astern always kicks to port until you've got some way on and the rudder can take over.


#5 2020-08-22 12:29:56

Registered: 2007-06-12
Posts: 20

Re: V34 Boat Handling

You'll gather from Alan, Jan and Duncan that going astern in a V34 can be challenging. What I would say is it is a learning experience as with all boat handling. I've had my V34 Kaya for 15 years or so and I would say I'm pretty content with knowing how she will behave.

She has a 3 blade prop (I took off a feathering prop she had as, in my opinion, that made matters worse). I don't have a bow thruster and although I debated about this to begin with, I'm now comfortable that I don't need that. She will walk her stern to port and that shouldn't be seen as a problem! In fact it is a positive advantage if you are trying to turn in a tight spot - just make sure you turn the right way! In my case moving the bow to starboard, by using stern, ahead and astern repeatedly I can just about turn her in her own length. If I try to turn the bow to port it simply won't work. 

What you would have to learn is that some berths in marinas are not for you. It took me a while to realise this and having caused myself and Kaya problems over the years I now don't accept those that will not work for Kaya. My current marina berth is perfect (starboard side to). When I visit different marinas I am very choosy. 

What I find particularly handy when sailing single handed is a mooring strop which is run from my mid-ship cleat. I can put this over the last seaward end cleat on the pontoon when coming in and then use the length of the strop (I put it onto one of the foresail winches, so I can vary the length), the engine revs and the rudder angle to berth. I avoid any shoreside assistance as invariably, although well meaning, they take the bow line and pull the bow in leaving me totally out of control. 

Many years ago when I was considering what new (to me) boat to buy, I sailed a Tradewind 33 with someone who had been round the world in it. If you don't know about Tradewinds they have a full keel and are very awkward to berth. The guy who owned this one had a very, very tight berth on a pontoon at the top of a harbour.  There was only a couple of feet to spare at the bow and stern, bit he confidently put the Tradewind into the space, just using his knowledge of how the boat would turn coupled with forward and stern power. He touched no other boat and didn't need me to do anything. I took that as a lesson!!


#6 2020-08-22 16:40:11

From: Guernsey
Registered: 2017-04-07
Posts: 38

Re: V34 Boat Handling

I can't add any more to the other comments, except to echo many of them.  I have a Darglow and a bow thruster and am usually solo.  When I have the blade fitted to my Hydrovane, she is impossible to steer astern and has a much bigger turning circle going forwards.  With the blade off, she doesn't do much better astern, but is vastly better ahead.  I suspect the original fixed 3 blade prop would be better astern. 

I now berth stern first, always picking up a prepositioned shore line which I hook onto a cleat before motoring gently forward against it, which keeps the boat nicely in whilst I sort the other warps out.  When leaving I again motor against a warp, whilst removing the others.  When there is a stiff cross wind things are obviously harder and this is where the bow thruster comes into its own, plus I am not shy with the throttle.  Berthed alongside and amongst various assorted gin palaces adds to the excitement.


Board footer

Powered by FluxBB