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Old 07-01-2016, 09:51 AM   #21
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I was in a similar situation running a 52' sportfish from the FB off NJ coast in a big following swell. Running slow planing speed abt 20kts and handling seemed ok. Still had a white knuckle grip on wheel. Without warning, rudders lost grip riding down a sea and dang boat did a rapid spin to port, leaned way over to stbd, and shot away now 90deg to seas. If I did not have a good grip on the wheel, it would have chucked me out through the isenglass to stbd. Mate on bridge was well seated but almost launched out of the chair. Scared me badly, and for good reason.
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Old 07-01-2016, 09:53 AM   #22
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Don, that's the one.
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Old 07-01-2016, 10:32 AM   #23
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So based on all these accounts of broaching, would slowing way down and letting the waves pass under you be a better solution than trying to speed up and stay with the waves?

I can only go 7-8 knots so slowing down is my only option, but I don't like the idea of a big wave breaking on my stern.

Note to self-- stay out of gnarly inlets.
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Old 07-01-2016, 10:50 AM   #24
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Speaking of gnarly inlets...

https://youtu.be/yG9JmkhH7Qg

This seems incredibly risky, but maybe there was no other choice.
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Old 07-01-2016, 10:56 AM   #25
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Never used a Seabrake, but they seem perfectly purpose designed to keep the arse end of the boat from getting away from you and keeping things under control;

Seabrake | Burke Marine

Used to love surfing while sea kayaking, until the waves started to play with us more than we were playing on the waves...broaching wasn't a problem if you leaned into the wave, reached overhead and stuffed your paddle into the face of the wave. Sadly, not an option with over 10,000lbs of trawler skidding sideways
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Old 07-01-2016, 11:00 AM   #26
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Speaking of gnarly inlets...

https://youtu.be/yG9JmkhH7Qg

This seems incredibly risky, but maybe there was no other choice.
That's no inlet, that's like getting shot out of a fire hose nozzle!
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Old 07-01-2016, 11:31 AM   #27
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I can only go 7-8 knots so slowing down is my only option, but I don't like the idea of a big wave breaking on my stern.

Note to self-- stay out of gnarly inlets.
In a slow boat you don't have a choice. Cut your speed to barely steerage way when an over taking wave is behind. You don't want to help it push you anymore than necessary. Remember if the overtaking wave is large enough you can slide off the face stuffing the bow. The overtaking wave can then lift the stern setting up a pitch pole type situation.

Also remember, you can sit offshore in safer conditions for an hour or two waiting for slack or flood tide. That can drastically change conditions in the inlet.
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Old 07-01-2016, 11:43 AM   #28
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Also remember, you can sit offshore in safer conditions for an hour or two waiting for slack or flood tide. That can drastically change conditions in the inlet.

This seems like excellent advice. I would rather bounce around offshore than mess with a dangerous inlet. I was wondering why the sailboat in that video didn't just do that, but maybe someone was hurt or something.
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Old 07-01-2016, 11:49 AM   #29
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You can also back in an inlet if it looks too hairy.


On many a surf salvage job I had to back through several lines of breakers to get near a stricken boat and keep the bow and power where I wanted it.
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Old 07-01-2016, 12:04 PM   #30
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Thank you.
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Old 07-01-2016, 01:14 PM   #31
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Two keys I believe and they are speed and control of direction. Finding the best speed is difficult at first, but you learn the wave timing in respect to your boat and it becomes far more instinctive. We were made to practice surfing. Now, we do have one advantage many here don't and that is we have extra power in reserve.

The other thing is steering. I heard, was even taught in one classroom, to take it off autopilot and take over. However, in hands on training, we were shown how to adjust the autopilot to the right sensitivity and use it. It can then keep direction better than you or at least easier. You keep your hands ready however to take over.
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Old 07-01-2016, 01:50 PM   #32
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The first time I ever had an issue with following seas I was out with a sail boater. I was keeping pretty busy at the helm, and the boat was moving around a quite a bit. My sailboat buddy spoke up after a couple hours saying " man, try slowing this thing down ". Pulling back on the throttle life instantly became better, and the difference in the ride was amazing.

That was a good video, and very informative for me. The more experience I get, and the more I read and listen to what others have to say, the better I feel about handling the boat. Phrases like " detach from the weather".... " move faster or slower than the water".... now mean more to me since I've been in a couple of situations.

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Old 07-01-2016, 02:50 PM   #33
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Holy crap! So in this case instead of trying to outrun the swells could you have slowed down? Like they mention in the video?
Most of the time we did not need to slow down because the waves outran us. When I bought that boat, it was a 15kt cruise boat, and 22kt WOT. Several times we intentionaly slowed like the video showed and that worked. 4 times it did not work.
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Old 07-01-2016, 03:35 PM   #34
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I've spent a lot of time at sea in ships and commercial boats. You can reach a point where it's safer to turn around and slowly go into the waves. You don't want to get to the point where you're barely avoiding broaching. If you can, stay in deep water, 100 fathoms or more. Ocean swells grow steeper and closer together as they near land and shallow water.
I have been in a following sea where I was making turns for 7 knots yet made 22 knots in the PNW.
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Old 07-01-2016, 04:38 PM   #35
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I've spent a lot of time at sea in ships and commercial boats. You can reach a point where it's safer to turn around and slowly go into the waves. You don't want to get to the point where you're barely avoiding broaching. If you can, stay in deep water, 100 fathoms or more. Ocean swells grow steeper and closer together as they near land and shallow water.
I have been in a following sea where I was making turns for 7 knots yet made 22 knots in the PNW.
That's part of looking at fuel needs for transatlantic and transpacific crossings. One needs to have enough fuel to go 24 hours with no progress or slowly in the opposite direction.
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Old 07-02-2016, 12:19 PM   #36
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Looking at the back end of the GFC Sea Ray, I am reminded of an often forgotten element. Trim tabs. They can be your friend or enemy in following seas. No two situations are alike so be aware of tab position and play with them if needed.
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Old 07-02-2016, 12:33 PM   #37
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You can also back in an inlet if it looks too hairy.


On many a surf salvage job I had to back through several lines of breakers to get near a stricken boat and keep the bow and power where I wanted it.
That's interesting,
Never even thought of that but would be very slow going.

A big rudder that can be moved fast and the ability to anticipate when to swing it over at the right time before the stern moves sideways much solves most stern sea problems IMO.
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Old 07-02-2016, 01:29 PM   #38
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Not in a breaking inlet.... a slow boat with a big rudder is the worst unless you have a double ended or canoe like stern.


Most breaking inlets are not bad for the whole trip...usually sand waves create the breakers and vary enough so there are dead spots where maneuvering is possible.


You can also back when the waves aren't pushing too hard to shorten the tough spots.
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Old 07-02-2016, 04:03 PM   #39
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Looking at the back end of the GFC Sea Ray, I am reminded of an often forgotten element. Trim tabs. They can be your friend or enemy in following seas. No two situations are alike so be aware of tab position and play with them if needed.
On the boats I have run, the tabs would be taken off to sink the stern for better directional stability. I want the bow forefoot out of the water to cut down on shearing off. In all but absolutely flat conditions I order the ext cabin doors and hatches closed, tabs up, life vests on and everyone inside. I don't want to be worried about someone running around on deck.

Call me overly cautious, but once a passenger went below. It was stuffy, and opened a hatch as we took green water over the bow. That was a complete mess.w
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Old 07-02-2016, 08:55 PM   #40
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The photos of that boat in trouble are striking, but this one image really shows something rarely seen, but spoken of, as another reason it is called a "Fly Bridge" or "flying bridge."

Look closely and one can see the helmsman is literally flying off the bridge as the boat rolled. Yes, that is his body, head down. Wow!
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