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  #11  
Old 03-28-2016, 01:39 PM
NMG NMG is offline
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Agree completely about finding a place to hide out if you can. A secluded bay, the calm side of an island, beached in safe spot, etc.

I'd also add that staying calm and being patient is important. If it's going to take you 45 minutes to get back safely, then that's what it has to be. Trying to scream back to the launch in a panic can cause all sorts of things to go wrong.

Like Juls said, don't just "pick a speed". Always evaluate the current conditions and adjust accordingly. Sometimes you have to go slow and steady, sometimes you'll get a bit of a break in the weather where you can pick up some speed, and sometimes you can even run the same speed as the waves and stay in a trough. The conditions will dictate how you have to drive the boat.

If you have any doubts about the weather, don't go out. If you're out and things start to turn, start heading in ASAP. No fish is worth dying over!
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  #12  
Old 03-28-2016, 01:40 PM
SGPopp SGPopp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juls View Post
First of all, do not hide behind a windshield if you have one. Get up above it where you can "read the waves".

Keep your hand on the throttle at all times, and USE IT! That means, you will be on and off the throttle continuously..."driving the boat" through the waves.

If you simply "pick a speed", you're going to get into trouble, because not all the waves are going to be the same. Now, throw in a boat wake that turns that wave action into a "washing machine". If you're not reading the waves, and using the throttle for what it was designed to do, then you will get into trouble.

In following seas...keep the motor trimmed down, and "surf the waves"....power up the back side....slow down on top, so you can surf it, and let the wave set you down on the wave in front of you. If you run a following sea too fast, you run into the danger of putting the bow of the boat into the backside of a big wave, filling the boat with water from the front...and, then, the waves coming in behind you will fill your boat full of water from the back....then, you're in trouble....big time. Patience is the key to running in a following sea.

It takes practice, but it's not hard to do. Just keep your eyes on the waves and your hand on the throttle. That will give you the smoothest ride possible.
Everything she said plus this....learn your boat. I had a Skeeter S-1850 prior to my Reata. The Skeeter was a faster, more powerful and definitely more responsive boat. It was easier to drive in rough water. My Reata is drier now that I've learned to drive it better but the two boats handled big water very differently.
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  #13  
Old 03-28-2016, 01:48 PM
fireboat fireboat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juls View Post
First of all, do not hide behind a windshield if you have one. Get up above it where you can "read the waves".

Keep your hand on the throttle at all times, and USE IT! That means, you will be on and off the throttle continuously..."driving the boat" through the waves.

If you simply "pick a speed", you're going to get into trouble, because not all the waves are going to be the same. Now, throw in a boat wake that turns that wave action into a "washing machine". If you're not reading the waves, and using the throttle for what it was designed to do, then you will get into trouble.

In following seas...keep the motor trimmed down, and "surf the waves"....power up the back side....slow down on top, so you can surf it, and let the wave set you down on the wave in front of you. If you run a following sea too fast, you run into the danger of putting the bow of the boat into the backside of a big wave, filling the boat with water from the front...and, then, the waves coming in behind you will fill your boat full of water from the back....then, you're in trouble....big time. Patience is the key to running in a following sea.

It takes practice, but it's not hard to do. Just keep your eyes on the waves and your hand on the throttle. That will give you the smoothest ride possible.
Best advice here! No doubt she's returned white knuckled more than once. Did you ever notice how quiet it is when surfing big waves?
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  #14  
Old 03-28-2016, 02:19 PM
Fisher-man Fisher-man is offline
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I've had a couple "white knuckle" rides, and found that standing at the helm versus sitting gave me more control. I could see better, and "feel" what the boat was doing. I was able to absorb the bow hitting the waves with my legs, and see 360 around the boat.
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  #15  
Old 03-28-2016, 02:54 PM
hunterjoe hunterjoe is online now
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I will do something similar when it's bad. I "sit" on one knee which gets me up higher but also allows some shock absorption with the leg. Can get a lot better view of the waves from there along with a smoother (feeling) ride.
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  #16  
Old 03-28-2016, 03:52 PM
MN1965 MN1965 is online now
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I would add: Quarter the waves in the general direction you need to go, but also head toward the calm shore as quickly as possible. Obviously, that may not be viable on the Great Lakes, but most inland lakes allow you to do so. Cutting the fetch in half can make a huge difference in wave size. I'd rather go twice the distance in calmer water than straight across the worst of it.
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  #17  
Old 03-28-2016, 04:38 PM
cmdworker cmdworker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REW View Post
JT,
A common reason for boats sinking is to either spear a wave - where the bow gets buried in a wave, or you pitch pole ,where water floods the boat from the stern.

So, if you are running in waves that are several times taller than your boat, you do not want to drive directly into or away from the waves. Either of these cases could easily swamp a boat.

Rather, you want to quarter the wave. So, if you are going into a wave , you do not point the nose of the boat into the wave, but rather you hit the wave at about 45 degrees. So you go 1/2 sideways up the front side of the waves, and then slide down the back side of the wave 1/2 sideways as well. This means that the boat will be doing huge rocking from side to side as you negotiate each wave - but you will be doing the driving through the waves safely without swamping the boat.

Some folks suggest that the motor be trimmed down so that the bow cuts the waves. That may be all right to a point, but if you have the nose trimmed down and then encounter a much larger rogue wave, the entire boat will get buried in the wave and you will sink.

I would rather trim up the boat so that the front 1/3rd of the boat takes the wave, splits the wave and deflects water to each side of the boat, - rather than having the wave come over your head.

I know that there have been more than one time when I was faced with huge waves for a run back to the cabin. In these cases, I figure that I take about double the distance to get back to the cabin. This is because I will hit the waves at about 45 degrees and stay on that course for about a mile or so. Then, I will make a cut back and come back at about 45 degrees for the next tack against the waves. This continues until one encounters waves that may be driven head on. Then, the course can straighten out and the boat driven straight back.

http://www.boatsafe.com/nauticalknowhow/heavy2.htm

http://www.boatsafe.com/nauticalknowhow/waves.htm

http://www.docksidereports.com/rough...amanship_1.htm

http://www.unitedmarine.net/blog/ind...in-rough-seas/

http://www.boatus.com/magazine/trail...vy-weather.asp
That last link is a good one REW
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  #18  
Old 03-28-2016, 05:17 PM
SLE SLE is offline
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Maybe I'm different that some; I've spent my entire life boating and fishing and connected with the water and until recently in smaller 14-17' boats. Of course to my benefit, I've navigated generally the same bodies of water my entire life here in Nodak country. It's definitely not the Great Lakes but both Devils Lake and Sakakawea can make a grown man pucker on a given day (I'll let others divulge which can be nastier, ha ha). Now granted, over the past 10-years, I've been fortunate to own very capable 18.5'-20' boats compared to I what grew up with and learning to drive those smaller vessels probably provided a great deal of background and respect for ol' mother nature. What I've found over the past several years, on those days that I start to get a little stressed about the drive back and concerned about safety of myself and others aboard; in every case, upon making it back to the bay, it's never been as bad as I typically prepared for or expected. In most cases the capability of my boat and some of my own always seem to exceed my expectations. Maybe that bit of self-doubt and respect for mother nature is probably good in those circumstances. What I find intriguing, again in every case, the passengers are far less worried, stressed, and concerned than I.

To me, boating in rough water is all about knowing your own ability and your boats capability. Knowing, admitting, and having a little humbleness will likely keep most people out of those bad situations to start with and when you end up with the lake gods staring you in the face, you'll be best prepared to know what you need and are capable of navigating, be it to find cover, traverse the water, etc.

The last time I faced a nasty ride back, I had 4-5 miles of open water to cover with a perpendicular 35 mph sustain wind and 10 miles of open water for it to build. I had been fishing way up in a bay not realizing what the wind had been doing all morning. We buttoned up the boat, secured everything we could, and made our way across. We worked the trough, running between 13-18 mph, and using the throttle like I was playing a video game. Once back in the bay, I looked to the back of the boat to see can of Coke can sitting in the rear deck pedestal mount like it was cup holder. Not a drop spilled and perched there like we just set it down. Forgot I set there when buttoning up the boat on the other side of the lake. I guess the ride back really wasn't all that bad, lol.

Last edited by SLE; 03-28-2016 at 05:20 PM.
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  #19  
Old 03-28-2016, 05:52 PM
sylvan81 sylvan81 is offline
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Everyone has great comments. The only thing I can add is, The old saying practice makes perfect. The only way you can get confident is by staying out for a while in a little winder conditions then you are used too. Just drive around and get some confidence in yourself. I m not saying go out in a storm but if you fish in 2-3 footers but go in after they build, try staying out in 3-4 footers. Just having confidence in yourself will help you one day you are stuck out in a storm. Water is powerful, be safe
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  #20  
Old 03-28-2016, 05:56 PM
jtulius jtulius is offline
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Really great feedback. I appreciate it. I have only had aluminum boats out in rougher water. I have run fiberglass ski boats but never in more than a little chop. Are fiberglass boats safer? I know no boat is truly safe if you drive poorly, but would it be safer in a boat that rides better? I doubt I am going to ever truly put a boat to its limit as I am terrified of being in that nasty of water. But I also want to be in the safest fishing boat possible.
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