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Old 03-11-2013, 02:25 PM   #61
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Point well taken K. Sanders

But however. Even in simulators they have a baseline to go by.

Happy cruising
In Hawaii we fished 10 to 30 miles off the north coast of Oahu and in the Molokai Channel. The typical conditions on a nice sunny day were 8 to 15 foot swells with 2 to 4 foot wind waves on top of them, usually coming from a different direction than the swells, driven by the constant 15 to 20 knot tradewind. Most of the time I spent fishing was in a friend's 28' Uniflite. All the other boats out with us were about the same size.

This was the only power boating any of us knew at the time so these conditions were totally normal to us. In other words, 8 to 15 foot swells with 2 to 4 foot wind waves on top in a 15 to 20 knot wind was our "baseline" from which we judged the boating conditions over there.

Would that be your baseline, too?

Kevin is spot on when he says one man's rough water will be another man's normal water. Boating is all about the operator, not the boat, and not the water conditions.
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:19 PM   #62
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"Rough water" is water that is worse than what you are comfortable going out in. Its a moving target for everybody and more so between individual captains. Perula is a little fishing village south of Puerto Vallarta where a few diehard gringo fishermen like to hang out in the winter. They haul their 10 and 12 foot aluminum boats down strapped on top of their trucks or vertical on the back of their 5th wheels. Then they go out of sight of land in big ocean swells. That's their "normal" but while I was happy to clean out their freezers, no way in hell would I go fishing with them. The other problem with making any objective description is that one man's 3 foot swell is another's 5 foot waves. Man is notoriously poor at estimating size - just ask your wife if you don't believe me.

Like Kevin said - untie it and go boating.
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:23 PM   #63
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There's really only one baseline. Flat, clear, calm, no current, no wind, etc...etc.

If someone says 8 foot waves, or 3 knot current...I know what they are talking about (pretty much)...as long as they do. Most boaters I know are like fishermen...they over exaggerate everything. I've seen 3 knot currents called 12 and 3 foot waves called 8 footers.

Now...... I should also have a reasonable expectation of the difference between ocean waves that are breaking and shallow water breakers just like the difference between wind wave and swell.

The conditions Marin describes in Hawaii is easy for me to picture in my mind because I do have quite a few hours in the Pacific. The visual is something we don't see in Jersey much...usually something like 2-5 swell with a couple foot wind chop on top.

As for a baseline...if someone says they took their 36 Grand banks out in a 3 foot swell with a 3 foot breaking white caps on top, I have a fairly good idea of the conditions and how a 36 GB or Albin or Lobsterboat or Sea Ray...etc..etc is going to ride into, with and broadside to the wave and what to do to minimize the action of the boat. Those conditions are acceptable in all, uncomfortable in many.

Now make it 6 foot breakers in an East Coast inlet with a 3 knot outgoing tide...I really only have experience in the Sea ray and the lobsterboat hulls. I wouldn't want to be in either a 36 GB or my 40 Albin coming in in those breakers. If I had to, different story and I'd really like to have a nice stout drogue.

But in reality..driving either trawler...I opt for a better inlet or the outgoing tide.

So I'm not sure where "baselines" came from other than someones comfort level...factual conditions are factual conditions and as long as they are described as such, they should be comparable in anyones minds for recommending actions or procedures as long as the boat is similar in size and design.
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:25 PM   #64
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In Hawaii we fished 10 to 30 miles off the north coast of Oahu and in the Molokai Channel. The typical conditions on a nice sunny day were 8 to 15 foot swells with 2 to 4 foot wind waves on top of them, usually coming from a different direction than the swells, driven by the constant 15 to 20 knot tradewind. Most of the time I spent fishing was in a friend's 28' Uniflite. All the other boats out with us were about the same size.
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This was the only power boating any of us knew at the time so these conditions were totally normal to us. In other words, 8 to 15 foot swells with 2 to 4 foot wind waves on top in a 15 to 20 knot wind was our "baseline" from which we judged the boating conditions over there.

Would that be your baseline, too?

Kevin is spot on when he says one man's rough water will be another man's normal water. Boating is all about the operator, not the boat, and not the water conditions.


Marin - what you say is pretty much spot on! Having owned a 1973 twin screw Uniflite 31' sport fish sedan I can say that the 28' Uni you fished in could easily handle the seas you describe. 8 to 15 foot swells are not actually a sea that would disturb any well designed hull/boat such as a Uni and small wind waves are not a problem to it either.

MOF, gentle swells are sheer joy to play in at sea. And, 2 to 4 foot wind waves on swells are barely a ripple compared to just a bit higher waves that can sometimes too quickly get whipped up... like 7’ to 15' and beyond white-capping waves on swells. Point I'm trying to make: For inexperienced boaters to hear your honest account of a relatively small yet very stable/capable boat design such as the Uni you fished in, undoubtedly piloted by an accomplished Captain who knew his Uni well, I’m a bit fearful that the inexperienced Captain with a considerably larger boat just might feel they can venture out with their new (to them) boat into conditions that could become perilous to their and their passengers’ safety. It is only boat handling experience that cleanly cuts through any type water conditions, and, every good Captain I know of learned first from other good Captains. In boat handling a new-to-boating inexperienced Captain needs to first go out into some sea conditions with an experienced Captain aboard to really learn what their boat’s reactions are to various sea conditions as well as the actions they need to take for their boat to remain safe. Conflicting sea conditions that can occur over sand bars, entering or exiting inlets, having close duration following seas with substantial opposite direction wind waves or conflicting current, and the like... need experience at the helm to clearly understand and explain what actions to take and why to take them.

And, sorry, but I must mention that I disagree with the end statement in your post (I highlighted it). I believe that boating is inclusive to all three, i.e. the operator (must be experienced), the boat (must be in great condition), and the water conditions (often as possible should not be entered into if they are or may soon become too rough/turbulent).

So... My base line to this thread – “If a boat owner is inexperienced he/she should spend the time and $$$ to have an experienced Captain teach them the ways of the sea in their boat.” Two or three six hour lesson stints would make a world of difference to the competence-ratio of any new Captain’s capabilities.

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Old 03-12-2013, 03:36 PM   #65
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.......Regarding the issue of marine simulators, ksanders says: "Then we get into the reality of the simulator. For someone like you for example with your Camano at 31' you would not be well served to train on a commercial simulator set up for say a cargo ship. .........................

A small boat handling electronic simulation would never be as meaningful as just gaining experience from taking your own boat out, as amply mentioned in this thread.
I never suggested a cargo ship simulator for a small boat captain and I don't know how you read that into my post. Obviously, to do any good, the simulator would have to simulate the captain's own boat or something close.

As far as taking one's own boat out for practice in rough water, I think one would be a fool to intentionally head out when small craft or gale warnings were in effect just to see if you could handle the conditions. I don't think the USCG would think was a good idea either as they search for your boat or body.

What we have left is studying advice from books and experienced boaters and then running the situations through our heads over and over so if actually faced with those real life conditions, our reations would be spontaneous and automatic.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:10 PM   #66
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I never suggested a cargo ship simulator for a small boat captain and I don't know how you read that into my post. Obviously, to do any good, the simulator would have to simulate the captain's own boat or something close.

As far as taking one's own boat out for practice in rough water, I think one would be a fool to intentionally head out when small craft or gale warnings were in effect just to see if you could handle the conditions. I don't think the USCG would think was a good idea either as they search for your boat or body.

What we have left is studying advice from books and experienced boaters and then running the situations through our heads over and over so if actually faced with those real life conditions, our reations would be spontaneous and automatic.
Actually when I posted that I was using a cargo ship as an example, of a possibly readily available simulator, since I do not think there are simulators available for your or my specific boat.

As far as going out in SCA's or Gale warnings, thats something that I've built up to over time, and I'm no fool.

Possibly your enviroment is different. Possibly you boat in waters that for example do not have the fetch that the open ocean has, so wave height is limited.

I wish I had that luxury, but I do not. I had two choices, prepare for the worst, or be caught unprepared. I chose to adress the issue head on, and for me that was a good decision. For you it might be unnecessary.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:22 PM   #67
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.... since I do not think there are simulators available for your or my specific boat.
That's not a bad idea for some enterprising geek to followup on! I sure as hell would buy one if I could approximate my boat's style, size, weight, free board, etc.
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:14 PM   #68
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Actually when I posted that I was using a cargo ship as an example, of a possibly readily available simulator, since I do not think there are simulators available for your or my specific boat.

As far as going out in SCA's or Gale warnings, thats something that I've built up to over time, and I'm no fool.

Possibly your enviroment is different. Possibly you boat in waters that for example do not have the fetch that the open ocean has, so wave height is limited.

I wish I had that luxury, but I do not. I had two choices, prepare for the worst, or be caught unprepared. I chose to adress the issue head on, and for me that was a good decision. For you it might be unnecessary.
Here on the East Coast, often SCWs and Gale warnings are due to strong Northwesterly winds in the Fall and Winter. What is nice is that you can run out an inlet and it's all but flat calm for the first mile offshore...then it builds the farther you head out. So going out and getting used to it gradually is actually pretty easy and safe.

I often laugh and giggle at the cruisers who look at me and say "you're not headed offshore today with the winds!!!!" I say yep...headout, run down the beach in almost calm conditions and make my destination right on schedule. The "smart" ones wait till the wind swings around to the south at 15 and the temps warm up so the "cruise is on"...the problem is the 10-15 knots (not SCWs) kicks up a 3-4 chop and makes slogging into it all day a chore or they just give up and cut short their daily run.

I can count on one hand the amount of recreational boaters I know that actually understand wins and waves.

So don't beat your head against the wall....you figured it out...and have posted a thread that gives people suggestions on how to improve their skills...if they choose to, great...if they don't...their loss.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:13 PM   #69
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Since Bogue Banks run East to West and the fall and winter storms were usually northeasters, at Morehead City we would drive over to the beach. If the horizon was not jagged like the teeth on an band saw blade, we would fish. If it was jagged, we stayed home.

In the Bahamas they look for elephants on the horizon.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:26 PM   #70
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Since Bogue Banks run East to West and the fall and winter storms were usually northeasters, at Morehead City we would drive over to the beach. If the horizon was not jagged like the teeth on an band saw blade, we would fish. If it was jagged, we stayed home.

In the Bahamas they look for elephants on the horizon.

Yeah...I alway forget that crazy part of the East Coast
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:17 AM   #71
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........... I can count on one hand the amount of recreational boaters I know that actually understand wins and waves.
............
Does that surprise you? Recreational boaters, by definition, boat for fun and pleasure. They do not typically have many years of daily time spent on the water. Their primary concerns are brain surgery, keeping defendants out of prison, running a business, building houses, or whatever else earns them enough money to support their boating hobby.

They don't have to be on the water in bad conditions. They aren't delivering the goods or patrolling the waterways. They don't have to deliver other people's boats or tow boats that have broken down.

They have the luxury of postponing or cancelling a trip if the weather isn't suitable or safe. And since it's recreational, there's no point in leaving the dock just to be miserable in high winds, rain, waves, etc.

As a professional mariner, you would be expected to know about boating under these conditions. A recreational boater would not be. If he or she wants to take it up as a hobby, that's fine, but it's not a requirement for recreational boating as long as they have the good sense to stay out of those conditions.

Likewise, you would not be expected to know a lot about medicine, legal maters, building houses, etc. That's the recreational boater's area of expertise.
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:58 AM   #72
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I can count on one hand the amount of recreational boaters I know that actually understand wins and waves.
.
No doubt you know your stuff in assisting and rescuing those who are in trouble. But as happens with those (police, combat soldiers, etc) who spend their waking hours dealing with certain types that are a small precentage of the population - the entire population gets a bad rap. You and your cohorts seldom come in contact with the law abiding, water smart or most TF members. Judging all by your frame of reference can lead to erroneous suppostions.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:53 AM   #73
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Recreational boaters, by definition, boat for fun and pleasure. [Etc....].
Very good summary of the reality of boating. The same thing applies to recreational flying.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:06 PM   #74
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[QUOTE=rwidman;141846]

Recreational boaters, by definition, boat for fun and pleasure. [QUOTE]

Recreational relationship (sexxx) is also by defination happily similar for even more fun and pleasure, while in a Trawler! Just sayen!!
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:06 PM   #75
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No doubt you know your stuff in assisting and rescuing those who are in trouble. But as happens with those (police, combat soldiers, etc) who spend their waking hours dealing with certain types that are a small precentage of the population - the entire population gets a bad rap. You and your cohorts seldom come in contact with the law abiding, water smart or most TF members. Judging all by your frame of reference can lead to erroneous suppostions.

That's like assuming (), I "suppose"....

What make you think I deal with a small percentage of anything???

Been cruising for the last 100 days...I'd say I have met and run across a fair cross section of the boating population.... as well as I did my whole life in alll my maritime jobs and recreational boating.

And I don't think the average boater is supposed to have the knowledge or skill level as the professional....again another BIG assumption by someone.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:46 PM   #76
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Does that surprise you? Recreational boaters, by definition, boat for fun and pleasure. They do not typically have many years of daily time spent on the water. Their primary concerns are brain surgery, keeping defendants out of prison, running a business, building houses, or whatever else earns them enough money to support their boating hobby.

They don't have to be on the water in bad conditions. They aren't delivering the goods or patrolling the waterways. They don't have to deliver other people's boats or tow boats that have broken down.

They have the luxury of postponing or cancelling a trip if the weather isn't suitable or safe. And since it's recreational, there's no point in leaving the dock just to be miserable in high winds, rain, waves, etc.

As a professional mariner, you would be expected to know about boating under these conditions. A recreational boater would not be. If he or she wants to take it up as a hobby, that's fine, but it's not a requirement for recreational boating as long as they have the good sense to stay out of those conditions.

Likewise, you would not be expected to know a lot about medicine, legal maters, building houses, etc. That's the recreational boater's area of expertise.
Ron, I think that is one of the best posts I've read on here. Thanks.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:04 PM   #77
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Ron, I think that is one of the best posts I've read on here. Thanks.
Ditto! It could serve as my (and many others) autobiography.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:25 PM   #78
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Ron, I think that is one of the best posts I've read on here. Thanks.
Thanks to you and the others. It gets really tedious being told over and over again by the same few people that one knows nothing about boating because he doesn't have 35+ years of experience at it.

If we can ever get past the ranking of the value of people's posts based on their years of experience that some subscribe to, maybe we can all learn a little about boating and have fun at the same time.

Thanks for allowing me to vent my frustration with the attitudes of some of the members here.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:45 PM   #79
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If we can ever get past the ranking of the value of people's posts based on their years of experience that some subscribe to, maybe we can all learn a little about boating and have fun at the same time.
Experience measured by time is certainly a contributor to expertise but it is not an automatic indicator of it. I and I'm sure people like FlyWright and Walt have known pilots with thousands of hours of experience but they still were not very good pilots for various reasons. The same is true of boaters, recreational AND professional.

And I'm sure we've all known relative newbies-- be it in flying or boating or logging or whatever--- who take to it immediately, understand the subleties of the processes and techniques, posess the judgement and common sense to operate the machine intelligently and safely, and in very little time are, in fact, experts at it.

In trying to get answers to questions I might have, be it to do with boating, flying, my work here at Boeing, or anything else, I'm a lot more interested in what the "expert" I am querying can tell me about my question than I am in hearing how long they have been doing whatever it is that they've been doing.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:40 PM   #80
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I remember pilots both ultralight and general aviation that basically do/did nothing but fly the pattern or off to the same place over and over again. They learn almost nothing and do it for years many of them claiming that as experience flying. Some boaters do basically the same.

In another boating club one knowledgable member advised all to make landings with the engine always at idle. It works. I've tried it. Not w any wind or current though. And I asked him what he does when the conditions are challenging. Like ksanders says we need to expand the envelope. Skiers and dirt bikers that never or almost never fall down just never get skillful. They don't have the "experience".
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