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Old 06-30-2016, 11:46 AM   #1
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Boat handling in following seas

I have found in YouTube this very useful video that I agree totally by my own experience.
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Old 06-30-2016, 01:37 PM   #2
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Good video and great model!
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Old 06-30-2016, 02:25 PM   #3
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Thanks, that is very useful.
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Old 06-30-2016, 03:03 PM   #4
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Boat handling in following seas

Yes. Very interesting. Thanks!

I often read about sailors towing warps or drogues when in a big following sea to avoid a broach. Can a slow power boat do that as well? Is there a chance the lines could get caught in the prop?
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Old 06-30-2016, 03:21 PM   #5
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Sobering stuff. Our best lesson was had by following a gillnetter in steep-ish following seas.
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Old 06-30-2016, 03:22 PM   #6
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I too found that informative. So much of this is new to me coming from sail.

The video was very useful. My normal cruise speed is slower than some of the critical speeds mentioned in the video. Even so, the idea of slowing down to reduce the danger is a good one to keep in mind.
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Old 06-30-2016, 03:53 PM   #7
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That video was a good one to watch. Last weekend when we went down to Umatilla, OR on Friday morning and had to turn back because of the large waves, after I turned around we had a following sea.


I could feel the effects of the waves on the stern but they were minimal due to the shape of the stern of the boat...



If there was a large, flat stern like many boats have I'm sure I'd have felt it more. I stepped up the pace by about .5kts and was able to stay ahead of the waves.
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Old 06-30-2016, 04:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post
Yes. Very interesting. Thanks!

I often read about sailors towing warps or drogues when in a big following sea to avoid a broach. Can a slow power boat do that as well? Is there a chance the lines could get caught in the prop?
yes, but you can't do it if the boat will get pooped by a wave and the powerboat design would be damaged...in other words, is it better to keep the pointy end or the square end into the waves to prevent damage?

If the boat has a narrow stern and no cockpit...so much the better....

But yes, drogues are a good way of preventing boaching for a slow, low horsepower vessel.

If the boat has a lot of power...you may be better off using that power and rudder thrust to keep straight....you have to play around a bit with it in more moderate conditions.
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Old 06-30-2016, 04:42 PM   #9
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My boat has a fairly narrow stern and small cockpit, but no scuppers to speak of. Just two smallish drains at the rear of the cockpit. About 1" diameter I think. If I get pooped I'm thinking water would find its way into the lazarette around the hatches and it would take awhile for the bilge pump to get it out I'm bet.

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Old 06-30-2016, 04:51 PM   #10
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Up to a point towing would help if you wanted to make distance down sea...but when they get close to pooping you or you are losing control even with a drogue...time to head up sea....assuming you didn't wait too long.
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Old 06-30-2016, 05:21 PM   #11
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I've "smelled" an oncoming broach a few times, scariest was coming into a narrow jettied inlet with a meaty swell coming in. That's where some serious hp came into play. I did not stay on the power to build speed, but when heading was defying rudder position, give 'er some counter rudder and a snort of power to kick it in the right direction.

I'm still not confident that I have the skills to avoid inlet broaching. Something I simply try to avoid.

I try to get the bow on the backside of the biggest wave and simply ride it in, but that does not always work. Sometimes that wave flattens out and a bigger one appears behind you. In that case put 'er on the pins!!! I think..
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Old 06-30-2016, 06:45 PM   #12
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Yes - very informative video.

I'm fairly lucky having a boat that handles very well in a following sea. In fact it's my preferred direction of travel, although I may find my limit one day.
I expect having a narrow, canoe type stern, a full length keel and a fairly large rudder help in this situation.

I'm a little concerned with getting pooped by a breaking wave as I cannot outrun a decent surf. The cockpit is fairly small and has 2 x 2" and 2 x 1" scupper drains. I'd install bigger scuppers but it's a bit pointless unless I upgraded to a watertight cockpit door.
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Old 06-30-2016, 07:01 PM   #13
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I have broached in sailboats. Small sailboats can result in a capsize and then you get wet, cold, and right the boat and keep on sailing. Larger sailboats can result in a knockdown which is altogether unpleasant, but the boat comes up again, you clean up the mess and repair any damaged rigging but no permanent harm done (provided everyone was able to stay on board).

My current boat with its SD hull can't recover from that so this is good learning for me. The concept in the video of slowing down so following waves pass you more quickly is something that I will remember. I have used that technique when being hit with very large quartering wakes from ships or really nasty wakes from 50' fast cruisers that aren't going fast enough. It took just one time to see how much oscillation could build up if I was traveling at slightly faster than the wake to make me happy to back the throttle off to let them pass me by
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Old 06-30-2016, 10:07 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Ski in NC View Post
I've "smelled" an oncoming broach a few times, scariest was coming into a narrow jettied inlet with a meaty swell coming in. That's where some serious hp came into play. I did not stay on the power to build speed, but when heading was defying rudder position, give 'er some counter rudder and a snort of power to kick it in the right direction.

I'm still not confident that I have the skills to avoid inlet broaching. Something I simply try to avoid.

I try to get the bow on the backside of the biggest wave and simply ride it in, but that does not always work. Sometimes that wave flattens out and a bigger one appears behind you. In that case put 'er on the pins!!! I think..
Serious HP, indeed. With small rudders it takes serious throttle and wheel work to keep from a broach. Turning the wheel hard over while kicking the throttle on the outboard engine can bring the stern around. With enough speed you can adjust the throttles to stay on the back of a wave. It's been a long time since some serious inlet running on the NC coast. I must say that I don't miss it. These are times when Moonstruck's 1000 HP can be a little comforting.

Fort Pierce Inlet can be a little dicey, but I have only come in that one in moderate seas. Still, Lou's eyes get very wide.
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Old 06-30-2016, 10:12 PM   #15
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I can't out run a wave at 7 knots so I was happy to learn about slowing down to let them pass. I have yet to encounter a big following sea. Came through an inlet with some decent size waves once and that wasn't too bad. They weren't breaking waves however.
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Old 07-01-2016, 07:39 AM   #16
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Surf riding they call it. I call it scared-to-death time. Been there on the delivery run of my Phoenix 29 from Pt Pleasant to Cape May, NJ. The forecast that said 5-10 NE was really 15-20 NE. 3-4 ft following seas started growing bigger as we traveled south. I was able to keep up with the waves but just barely. Speed was swinging from 15 to 23 knots. The waves kept growing until we were looking up from the FB to the crest. Pulling back the throttle to let the big ones pass under was working until a big wave would not pass under. We were now surfing down the face with a breaking top right behind the transom. Pushed the throttles up to full throttle. Staying ahead of the breaking top but the bow pulpit too close to digging into the wave in front. The boat was yawing to port with me giving starboard rudder. Then it got worse real fast. The port prop (in tunnels on a Phoenix) sucked air. The boat spun hard to port, leaning hard to starboard. Time went into slo-mo. With both hands now turning the wheel hard to port while trying to hang on and no more hands to pull the throttles back, we continued the turn into the wave crest at WOT. We crashed through the top and fell off the back of the wave like falling off a roof. I yanked the throttles back to idle and headed NE into the waves until we could check things out. We made it ok. Everything in the cabin was on the deck in piles. I thank God the helm chair was through-bolted into the cabin roof. We broached 3 more times on remainder of the trip exactly the same way.
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Old 07-01-2016, 07:45 AM   #17
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Remember one day on our 42' crew boat trying to get out through a pass with 10-12' swells stacked up. Got halfway through when the guy running the boat decided it was too rough. While on top of one swell he quickly swung the boat 180 degrees and started heading in riding the backside of the swells. The boat normally runs about 16 knots but we were barely keeping up with the swells. Kinda scary but he knew what he was doing.
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Old 07-01-2016, 07:52 AM   #18
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Surf riding they call it. I call it scared-to-death time. Been there on the delivery run of my Phoenix 29 from Pt Pleasant to Cape May, NJ. The forecast that said 5-10 NE was really 15-20 NE. 3-4 ft following seas started growing bigger as we traveled south. I was able to keep up with the waves but just barely. Speed was swinging from 15 to 23 knots. The waves kept growing until we were looking up from the FB to the crest. Pulling back the throttle to let the big ones pass under was working until a big wave would not pass under. We were now surfing down the face with a breaking top right behind the transom. Pushed the throttles up to full throttle. Staying ahead of the breaking top but the bow pulpit too close to digging into the wave in front. The boat was yawing to port with me giving starboard rudder. Then it got worse real fast. The port prop (in tunnels on a Phoenix) sucked air. The boat spun hard to port, leaning hard to starboard. Time went into slo-mo. With both hands now turning the wheel hard to port while trying to hang on and no more hands to pull the throttles back, we continued the turn into the wave crest at WOT. We crashed through the top and fell off the back of the wave like falling off a roof. I yanked the throttles back to idle and headed NE into the waves until we could check things out. We made it ok. Everything in the cabin was on the deck in piles. I thank God the helm chair was through-bolted into the cabin roof. We broached 3 more times on remainder of the trip exactly the same way.

Holy crap! So in this case instead of trying to outrun the swells could you have slowed down? Like they mention in the video?
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Old 07-01-2016, 09:36 AM   #19
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Several years ago saw a video of a highly-experienced helmsman who was tossed off the flybridge when the boat broached (but did not turn over) due to a large wave from a bar at the entrance to the harbor, He died due to falling on the boat before hitting the water.
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Old 07-01-2016, 09:44 AM   #20
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Several years ago saw a video of a highly-experienced helmsman who was tossed off the flybridge when the boat broached (but did not turn over) due to a large wave from a bar at the entrance to the harbor, He died due to falling on the boat before hitting the water.
Mark, I believe that you are talking about the incident a couple of years ago at Jupiter Inlet. Both St. Lucie and Jupiter inlets along that section of coast can be mean. That was an experienced captain with a capable boat. That's why they call them accidents.

Inlets increase the pucker factor.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/slideshow/...ncounters-wave
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