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Old 07-01-2014, 12:13 AM   #1
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Boat wallows in rough water

Our 29'6" Californian seems to do a constant wave roll on every rougher wave that we quarter. It seems to fall into a dip and roll side to side which is uncomfortable for me, and my husband is constantly doing a hard steer back and forth. Not sure if this is just ours or there is a problem or remedy. We have been caught in very rough seas and it is safe, but is it common?
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:22 AM   #2
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I dont know your boat at all, but a little bit more boat speed may negate this undesirable affect.
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Old 07-01-2014, 01:42 AM   #3
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How rough are the seas you're talking about , , , greater than 3 foot. . . Are they breaking with white caps? Some sea states, like crazed seas with waves from multiple directions, are just overwhelming. Not a pleasant experience and you just have to work it.

But for my boat I would say your running too close to the trough. Maybe a little more bow into the wave and work the throttle to find a better speed that will push the bow through the wave. Too slow and not enough bow onto the wave and the power of the wave will push the bow around leaving the boat abeam the trough between wave crests and that's a nasty ride!!

Someone else said it already but every boat is different and you need to try different things to find your best ride. Remember the boat is capable of withstanding a lot more of a beating than its occupants.
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Old 07-01-2014, 04:05 AM   #4
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Yes, every boat has it's sweet spot in heavy seas, and it's ugly spot. Sometimes changing course 20 degrees, or increasing the speed by 2 knots will make a world of difference.
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Island Time View Post
Our 29'6" Californian seems to do a constant wave roll on every rougher wave that we quarter. It seems to fall into a dip and roll side to side which is uncomfortable for me, and my husband is constantly doing a hard steer back and forth. Not sure if this is just ours or there is a problem or remedy. We have been caught in very rough seas and it is safe, but is it common?
Do you have a picture of the boat out of the water? Also which engine is in it? I think the 30 Californians had a single screw unlike the 34 models.
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Island Time View Post
Our 29'6" Californian seems to do a constant wave roll on every rougher wave that we quarter. It seems to fall into a dip and roll side to side which is uncomfortable for me, and my husband is constantly doing a hard steer back and forth. Not sure if this is just ours or there is a problem or remedy. We have been caught in very rough seas and it is safe, but is it common?
Not sure what your boating background is.....

but yes I would say it's common.

A lot of people think by getting into larger, heavier boats that they will provide a magic carpet ride that just isn't true.

Anything bigger than 2 feet and just the right wavelength (like a passing motoryacht wake) taken abeam or on the corner will rock the crap out of many "trawler like", motor cruisers ...probably most boats under 50 feet or so. Add another foot or two to the wave and make it the right length...and then they will rock too.
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:39 AM   #7
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My ex, an old Mainship 34 would wallow as descibed above. It wasn't until I repowered with a significantly larger engine that gave me enough speed to rid that trait.
Originally it would cruise at 9 + knots, but I needed to get to about 10.5 in those conditions to get rid of the wallowing trait.
My buddy, with an identical boat would cruise right next to me at 8 knots, I would be wallowing, he would not be...because he was towing an 11 ft Whaler. I believe it acted as a sea anchor and kept him going straight.
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:21 AM   #8
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My ex, an old Mainship 34 would wallow as descibed above. It wasn't until I repowered with a significantly larger engine that gave me enough speed to rid that trait.
Originally it would cruise at 9 + knots, but I needed to get to about 10.5 in those conditions to get rid of the wallowing trait.
My buddy, with an identical boat would cruise right next to me at 8 knots, I would be wallowing, he would not be...because he was towing an 11 ft Whaler. I believe it acted as a sea anchor and kept him going straight.
Good point...towing definitely helped with the yaw portion and possibly the additional prop torque to overcome the tow helped with the roll portion.

Powering up helps a lot except for fuel consumption....
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:47 AM   #9
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I have read where people enlarge the swim platform and this has helped? Since my boat's a full displacement hull adding additional power won't really increase speed it'll just bury the bow.
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:31 AM   #10
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Powering up helps a lot except for fuel consumption....
Actually, it made the boat MUCH more efficient. At the old crsuing speed I used less fuel and at the new higher cruise speed I used the same.
In other words higher mpg.
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:41 AM   #11
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Actually, it made the boat MUCH more efficient. At the old crsuing speed I used less fuel and at the new higher cruise speed I used the same.
In other words higher mpg.
I meant the boat towing...unless he got into a more efficient range...whih is certainly possible....towing usually knocks bit off.
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Old 07-01-2014, 10:19 AM   #12
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Not sure what your boating background is.....

but yes I would say it's common.

A lot of people think by getting into larger, heavier boats that they will provide a magic carpet ride that just isn't true.

Anything bigger than 2 feet and just the right wavelength (like a passing motoryacht wake) taken abeam or on the corner will rock the crap out of many "trawler like", motor cruisers ...probably most boats under 50 feet or so. Add another foot or two to the wave and make it the right length...and then they will rock too.
Ditto.

At the recent Trawler Fest in Anacortes, the owner/builder of a 65 Bruce Roberts steel trawler who elected not to put stabilizers in said that in crossing Rosario Strait in a beam sea he was worried about capsizing due to excessive roll. While his concerns are probably overblown, he did have quite a lot of experience, so perhaps it was just testimony to the fact that all boats of most any size that lack a mast to dampen roll, or stabilizers to reduce it will roll like the dickens in certain conditions. If your vessel is unhappy in a beam sea, and most boats are, then try to avoid them. I know that sounds simplistic, but if you read the books written by Eric and Margaret Hiscock, who sailed the world for 50 years, they claim they never saw winds greater than 35 knots during the whole time. They did it by not crossing oceans except at the optimum time to make the calmest passage possible.
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Old 07-01-2014, 10:48 AM   #13
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Ditto.

At the recent Trawler Fest in Anacortes, the owner/builder of a 65 Bruce Roberts steel trawler who elected not to put stabilizers in said that in crossing Rosario Strait in a beam sea he was worried about capsizing due to excessive roll. While his concerns are probably overblown, he did have quite a lot of experience, so perhaps it was just testimony to the fact that all boats of most any size that lack a mast to dampen roll, or stabilizers to reduce it will roll like the dickens in certain conditions. If your vessel is unhappy in a beam sea, and most boats are, then try to avoid them. I know that sounds simplistic, but if you read the books written by Eric and Margaret Hiscock, who sailed the world for 50 years, they claim they never saw winds greater than 35 knots during the whole time. They did it by not crossing oceans except at the optimum time to make the calmest passage possible.
When I sat on a few discussion panels with Bruce Kessler back in the late 90's...he used to say the same...even after a circumnavigation...he still really never saw monster rough water in all his travels.

Even aircraft carriers will roll at some point...the smaller the boat the smaller the wave it takes.....simple as that.
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:07 AM   #14
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Ditto.

At the recent Trawler Fest in Anacortes, the owner/builder of a 65 Bruce Roberts steel trawler who elected not to put stabilizers in said that in crossing Rosario Strait in a beam sea he was worried about capsizing due to excessive roll. .
I've seen several Bruce Roberts designs that were/are difficult resells without stabilizers. Yesterday when rounding Cape Caution I did the on/off test of our Active stabilizers, boy what a difference with roll reduced from 25 to 30 degrees to 5 to 10.

A primary reason for Nordhavn's sales and comfort success is active stabilizers. How much of a difference are they on your vessel Delfin?
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:15 AM   #15
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"Necessity is the mother of invention" I think is an old, wise quote.

My friend's 55 Viking Motor Yacht has 4 active fins and the regular captain who used to run it back and forth from Jersey to Myrtle Beach didn't want to make the last 15 miles a few years back because the fins were inop and there was a following sea predicted for several days.

I got the job of moving it the last 15 as I was the only captain that would run the boat up the NJ intracoastal.

It was a good deal for me as we became good friends and now I have a great place to stop (Little River, SC) every year to/from Florida with friends to share it with.

Moral of the story is...most boats benefit greatly from some sort of stabilization over the original design.
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:38 AM   #16
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Our 36' Nova sundeck can be "roly poly" in a beam sea, so we just alter course to avoid that condition. Unfortunately, during a predicted log contest, altering course is not an option, so we just grin and bear it.
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:54 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Our 29'6" Californian seems to do a constant wave roll on every rougher wave that we quarter. It seems to fall into a dip and roll side to side which is uncomfortable for me, and my husband is constantly doing a hard steer back and forth. Not sure if this is just ours or there is a problem or remedy. We have been caught in very rough seas and it is safe, but is it common?

It's very common with trawlers. Heading bow into a wake is the best way to reduce the roll. Remember, the early morning hours in the PNW are your friend.
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:57 AM   #18
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Actively steering while anticipating waves often helps, counter-acting the force of stern quartering waves. Significant rudder adjustment must be done quickly and at the first indication that a roll is about to start.
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:58 PM   #19
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I've seen several Bruce Roberts designs that were/are difficult resells without stabilizers. Yesterday when rounding Cape Caution I did the on/off test of our Active stabilizers, boy what a difference with roll reduced from 25 to 30 degrees to 5 to 10.

A primary reason for Nordhavn's sales and comfort success is active stabilizers. How much of a difference are they on your vessel Delfin?
The fins definitely make a difference, but I am kind of surprised it isn't more dramatic than it is. I installed the ABT fins directly in line with the mini bilge keels on this class of Romsdal, and I think they are about optimally situated. When I turn them off just to check we increase roll from 5 degrees to 15 (depending on where the seas are coming from), but coming from the sailboat world that still seems very modest. I am quite sure that over time in blue water, the difference would be far more important, but Delfin draws over 7 feet, and has a mast, albeit a short one, so we have some dampening already built in.

Cape Caution? You're a ways up there Tom. Wish we were buddy boating. How's the fishing?
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Old 07-01-2014, 10:16 PM   #20
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Island Time,
Perhaps you're boat has become too heavy over time as different owners make up grades and install more equipment. And I suspect this is more often the case than not. And of course if one starts w a fully equipped boat and twin engines it may be overloaded from the beginning. Your boat at less than 30' probably dosn't have twins but from what I remember of them the design seems to think it's a bigger boat. Could be a candidate for extra weight.

Even people aren't so graceful w lots of extra weight.

Next time you haul out you may want to ask the travelift operator how much weight his scales are showing. When hauling I usually try to have my fuel, water and holding tanks low. As a popular boat numbers of boat weights should be easy to find. Just a stroll at YW would be a start.

Also in quartering seas (that you mention) a small rudder could make your boat act and feel like she's wallowing as the word "wallow" implies a lack of control.
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