Carrying over from the general welcome thread, Dave Calkins, who should be considered very knowledgable with aircraft, mods and clear thoughts, believes that step turns should be performed with no flaps for stability.
I, who should be ignored on many accounts because I am a smart aleck, do use flaps from the beginning of a takeoff run through liftoff on floats...
Dave, Your statement that you keep flaps up to 'stabalize' in the turn makes sense, however, I was taught to pull some power back and keep the flaps in. If your worried about the bird lifting off in the turn, (or one float), using less power achieves the reduced lift, and keeps the bird at a constant speed further helping the stable goal.
If you lift flaps up as the method of stablizing the turn, you will continue to increase speed which will in effect make the step turn harder and larger in arc. This 'habit' could come back and bite one in the water rudder if they get used to the flap monkey motion and then hop in a bird with no flaps...
Or they move to the big metal round motor birds where you have to pump the flaps up and down, and be sure that the selection handle is in the correct spot
It appears that we are both trying for the same effect: a smooth stable plane on the water through the turn; Is one way better than the other to get there?
(SJ, you wanted a big discussion, you got it!)