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Old 03-20-2018, 08:46 PM   #1
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How close is too close?

Sorry for the odd title...

The discussion of radar coverage from behind reminded me of a pet peeve and I thought I would ask the group mind of TF about it.

I have a slow boat. I typically cruise about 7 knots. I get passed a lot my boats running 2-3 times my speed. I don’t mind folks passing me. However, when that boat is a 40-55’ running at 17 knots kicking out a huge wake, I would prefer they gave me a little room.

I run a lot in Colvos Passage in Puget Sound. Colvos is a 10nm long passage separating Vashon Island from the Peninsula. It is about 1 nm wide and about 300-400 ft deep with generally steep sided shores. There is a lot of room.

Every time I run up of down Colvos, I am subjected to large wakes by these faster boats who pass within several boat lengths. They kick out very large wakes which are rather uncomfortable. They don’t seem to mind a close pass since my own wake is pretty minimal and they hardly notice it.

These happens whether they come from behind and pass me or if we are passing in opposite directions. At least if they are coming towards me, I can make a course change to create some more room, however they rarely if ever make a corresponding course change.

I get annoyed but honestly, should I? For those of you who operate boats like this that kick out very large wakes at speed, how do you handle passing in this situation? Do you figure that it is a large body of water and I should expect to be waked? Is it up to me to divert my course sufficiently to avoid the large wakes? Do you alter course to provide more distance than 2-3 boat lengths considering there is so much room? If an oncoming boat alters course to avoid you, do you also alter course or are simply glad that they got out of your way?

What is reasonable for me to expect?
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Old 03-20-2018, 09:03 PM   #2
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Not sure, but had some questionable close passes myself. A friend told me it's better to pass close with a bigger waking boat. It was proved to me by a friends 30 something searay. Was a lot smoother at a close pass. But all boats may be different. I do know I prefer small boats to pass at plane pretty close so I don't feel the roll.
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Old 03-20-2018, 09:05 PM   #3
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Dave,
I operate on the premise that I am responsible for any damage my wake does. I experience similar situations in narrow areas of the Hudson River. I slow down from 15kn for other boaters who are within about .25NM of my wake, sometime farther out. When I see large fast movers I try to move to the edge of the channel and ask them to respect my space. Sometimes it works and sometimes people are just inconsiderate or if not, they are morons.

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Old 03-20-2018, 09:09 PM   #4
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You should expect to be waked by thugs operating excessively close at excessive speed. It`s how they live all aspects of their their lives,impinging on other peoples enjoyment of life for their own benefit.
There is nothing you can do except turn towards or away from the offending wake. They will ignore radio calls, and it is too late for anything to change.
You could take a photo which includes registration details, and perhaps find some regulatory authority to take an interest.
And you can expect good decent operators to pass at a safe speed at a safe distance with due regard for your safety.
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Old 03-20-2018, 09:14 PM   #5
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I do get annoyed when there is a mile wide passage and captain dimwit needs to run up my stern before passing me with an 8 ft wake. I'd like to have a harpoon gun or an atomic ray.

But 99.99% of the time I notice the wake and turn a little into it. It's only for a few seconds. I resist the urge to pick up the mike. It's a crowded world and I'm not out on the water to get my blood pressure up.

I don't alter course. I'm heading for a waypoint, your're heading for a waypoint, maybe the same one, go around me if you're in a rush. (Exception for tankers and tugs)
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Old 03-20-2018, 09:32 PM   #6
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I actually find it more comfortable to be passed close by, the wakes tend to be very close together and don't get my boat rolling heavily the way further apart spaced wakes do. Of course it varies with the speed and weight of passing vessels...

I hate passages where everybody and their brother is running past each other and all of the wakes are on the beam. Trying to fish in an area where it's like that is my pet peeve :-)
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Old 03-20-2018, 09:38 PM   #7
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The problem is Colvos Passage zig zags. Despite the passage being 1/2 mile wide all the boats are traveling in a narrow 200’ corridor. Inevitably you are forced pass closer than you would like. That said there are still a few oblivious boaters out there.
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Old 03-20-2018, 09:47 PM   #8
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Entitled, oblivious and basically just morons. I don't hold a steady course any more, that keeps the bozos guessing. That's why its so nice to get away to the remote places where nitwits fear to tread. Am I being too harsh?

You'd think with all this talk about taking firearms onboard, there would be more courtesy?
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Old 03-20-2018, 09:55 PM   #9
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Here on the East Coast, the Intracoastal Waterway specifically, the channels are sometimes very narrow and passing close is a necessity. Dave, you say you cruise at 7 knots. Do you pull back when being overtaken in a confined channel? 7 knots is the worst speed at which to get passed. For a boat to be able to pass you in a timely fashion, they would have to be making a couple of knots more, which is where a big wake really occurs, at 8-12.
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Old 03-20-2018, 10:03 PM   #10
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I think it's kinda inevitable. In the recreational boating world there are just way more planing hulls vs SD hulls (and even less FD hulls). Those boats are meant to go fast so I usually keep that in mind and try to not let it bother me. But as others have said, I agree that there's also a lot of ignorant boaters out there too. Mix in some alcohol and it's worse! Lol
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Old 03-20-2018, 10:06 PM   #11
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Colvos is like a lot of passes in the South Sound. Much as I agree its annoying to get bounced around, its just a fact of life in even mildly congested waters. Try tying at the bouy near Eagle Island between Anderson and the prison. You can get pretty beat up there, even in the middle of the night.
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Old 03-20-2018, 10:24 PM   #12
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When passing we call for a slow pass. Works well.
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Old 03-20-2018, 10:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boomerang View Post
Here on the East Coast, the Intracoastal Waterway specifically, the channels are sometimes very narrow and passing close is a necessity. Dave, you say you cruise at 7 knots. Do you pull back when being overtaken in a confined channel? 7 knots is the worst speed at which to get passed. For a boat to be able to pass you in a timely fashion, they would have to be making a couple of knots more, which is where a big wake really occurs, at 8-12.
IME in the ICW, courteous captains on over taking boats will call and ask if the overtaken boat wants a slow pass. In which case both boats slow down. The overtaking boat slows down to a reasonable speed while the overtaken boat slows down to minimum speed to make the pass as quick as possible. On busy days it must be a pain for the fast boat to keep having to slow down.

On the other hand, I have seen really large boats cruise through narrow channels at whatever speed they please (even in no wake zones) just because they are holier than thou.

In other places I have seen express style boat operators who cruise their boats at the worst possible speed (nose high plowing) and producing large wakes. If they would just speed up a bit, not only would they save some gas, they would make things easier for everyone else.
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Old 03-20-2018, 10:54 PM   #14
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Securité, Securité, Securité
All vessels in Colvos Passage,
This is the MV "Delicate"
Please be advised the Motor Vessel "Inconsiderate" is presently travelling Northbound at excessive wave making speed and passing or overtaking too close to other mariners. This vessel does not respond to VHF calls or other proper signals. Take adequate precautions.
Delicate out.
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Old 03-20-2018, 11:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boomerang View Post
Here on the East Coast, the Intracoastal Waterway specifically, the channels are sometimes very narrow and passing close is a necessity. Dave, you say you cruise at 7 knots. Do you pull back when being overtaken in a confined channel? 7 knots is the worst speed at which to get passed. For a boat to be able to pass you in a timely fashion, they would have to be making a couple of knots more, which is where a big wake really occurs, at 8-12.
Sure, I am happy to slow down and let someone pass in a confined channel. It just happens rarely.

We just don't have many confined channels around here that aren't also no-wake zones. It did happen a couple weeks ago as I was leaving Liberty Bay (Poulsbo). The channel there is about 1/10 nm wide. I was outside the no-wake zone and going about 6.5 knots. A smaller cruiser was passing me at about 7.5 knots. I slowed down to let him pass quickly. But this is a pretty uncommon situation around here. Most of our area is filled with much wider water.
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Old 03-20-2018, 11:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by South of Heaven View Post
I think it's kinda inevitable. In the recreational boating world there are just way more planing hulls vs SD hulls (and even less FD hulls). Those boats are meant to go fast so I usually keep that in mind and try to not let it bother me. But as others have said, I agree that there's also a lot of ignorant boaters out there too. Mix in some alcohol and it's worse! Lol
I don't have much issue with the planing hulls that are actually up on a plane. When they are up on a plane they don't produce a disruptive wake. Too often however, the planing hulls being driven a bit too slowly. They produce a very large wake. Or SD hulls that are really being pushed producing a different kind of very large wake.
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Old 03-20-2018, 11:16 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by ssobol View Post
In other places I have seen express style boat operators who cruise their boats at the worst possible speed (nose high plowing) and producing large wakes. If they would just speed up a bit, not only would they save some gas, they would make things easier for everyone else.
+1!
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Old 03-20-2018, 11:26 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by koliver View Post
Securité, Securité, Securité
All vessels in Colvos Passage,
This is the MV "Delicate"
Please be advised the Motor Vessel "Inconsiderate" is presently travelling Northbound at excessive wave making speed and passing or overtaking too close to other mariners. This vessel does not respond to VHF calls or other proper signals. Take adequate precautions.
Delicate out.
Great idea but I regret,water off a ducks back. Short of regulatory authorities getting involved, the overtaking 40ft+ "ButtDragger Mk.3" is here to stay.
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Old 03-21-2018, 04:38 AM   #19
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I agree..a lot of jerks..just have to deal with it..saw.a.big.jefferson in ochecobee fl almost capsize...same with us .narrow canal. With jerkoffs flying by..really dangerous
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Old 03-21-2018, 05:37 AM   #20
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Unfortunately, as you travel in the ICW around West Palm, you see way to much of this . . . Safe, responsible and courteous captains vanish when alcohol and bikinis are on board, just saying.
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