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Old 06-03-2016, 05:10 PM   #21
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Our local rule of thumb is to avoid anything less than "square" seas. 4' in 4sec is square, and that is rough. 4' in 8sec is tolerable. 4' in 3sec is miserable Pamlico sound snot.
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Old 06-03-2016, 07:13 PM   #22
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dhays, Point Wilson on a big ebb with the afternoon westerly of about 25knots coming in the Straits. Lots of boats have gone down right there. We actually were losing freight off the barge one afternoon right there headed for AK on the tug. It gets real snotty there real quick. I have a photo somewhere of my uncles small tug in Lake Washington during a storm that looks like open ocean! See if I can find it.
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Old 06-03-2016, 08:01 PM   #23
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I haven't read this whole thread, so my comment is not spurred by any previous comment, but is instead based on what seems to be an almost universal human trait. Whatever the sea conditions are, they are likely to be remembered / reported has having been much worse. So when you hear people say anything like, "I don't know about you or your boat, but I am comfortable up to 8', and I have been out in 12' without a problem, and even 20' is doable", their numbers are probably inflated by a factor of 3 or 4.

I have owned about 13 boats of all different sizes and types. On my current boat (64', stabilized, 100,000 pound displacement), I will stay home if the forecast is for more than 4' seas / swell (unless the swell period is 10 seconds or longer, then 4' kind of disappears).

Bottom line, gradually develop experience and let experience be your guide.
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Old 06-03-2016, 08:17 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by MYTraveler View Post
I haven't read this whole thread, so my comment is not spurred by any previous comment, but is instead based on what seems to be an almost universal human trait. Whatever the sea conditions are, they are likely to be remembered / reported has having been much worse. So when you hear people say anything like, "I don't know about you or your boat, but I am comfortable up to 8', and I have been out in 12' without a problem, and even 20' is doable", their numbers are probably inflated by a factor of 3 or 4.

I have owned about 13 boats of all different sizes and types. On my current boat (64', stabilized, 100,000 pound displacement), I will stay home if the forecast is for more than 4' seas / swell (unless the swell period is 10 seconds or longer, then 4' kind of disappears).

Bottom line, gradually develop experience and let experience be your guide.
Spot on!
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Old 06-03-2016, 09:02 PM   #25
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Bottom line. Only do what you are comfortable with. If it says 10 they most likely lied; it will be 15. Have a back up plan. Turning around is not a bad thing and cocktail hour will start earlier. This is a hobby that everyone on the boat needs to enjoy. If I am doing a delivery and the boat is sound I don't really care. If my wife and the puppy are on the boat the schedule does not exist. Two foot waves in the Albemarle or Pamlico or the Neuse make significantly different waves in the ocean look like a carousel. If you have something to prove to yourself or the Admiral have at it then sell the boat afterwards. Otherwise, just have fun. I used to tell newbie sailors that if you think about reefing...reef. Anyone who second guesses you they can kiss your a$$.
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Old 06-03-2016, 09:13 PM   #26
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duh tuh duh tuh. The worst conditions in the San Francisco Bay/Delta/Estuary is when strong tidal currents are opposite the wind. The resulting steep, frequent waves resulting in my boat "hobby horsing" with spray shooting over the pilothouse. Worse-case scenarios in eastern San Pablo and Suisun Bays, often causing me to reduce speed from my normal 6.3 knots. Current and wind in same direction: copacetic.
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Old 06-03-2016, 09:30 PM   #27
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I get a kick out this method of determining waves. Let see, 4' high, 5' apart and coming at oh say 4 secs apart. This is getting overly technical by lots! How about this? Its pretty lumpy out there today! Honestly, in all the years I worked on tugs and fishboats, I never heard anyone deliver such news as that. Silly.
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Old 06-03-2016, 09:41 PM   #28
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This is very good advice everybody, thank you for sharing. I recently got in over my head heading between islands in Baja, a crossing of about 20 miles. The forecast was for 5 knots, it was considerably more in reality. Aboard my new-to-me trawler, we were taking green water over the bow repeatedly. I don't know how big the waves were, or how far apart, I just know it was hairy, and that I don't want to do it again. When we reached the anchorage and settled in, I spoke with a nearby boat that had SSB radio, and so, better weather reports than we did. The gal aboard told me that there were winds of 25 knots, gusting to 30+! Quite different from my earlier forecast.

If I had the same conditions again, I would turn around and live to fight another day. BTW, the boat handled the waves and weather much better than I did!

Cheers, Bill
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Old 06-03-2016, 09:49 PM   #29
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I took this series of pix while northbound at Milbanke Sound in BC some years ago. The SB ship I figure was close to 300' long and much bigger than we were. I took these pix from the PH which was nearly 20' off the water. On the last pic all you can see is the top of the ships mast. Some of these swells were over 20' in height. Most probably 12-16', wind gusting over 60 knots. I don't know how many secs there was between the waves, LOL.
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Old 06-03-2016, 11:18 PM   #30
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Currently sitting in Wrangell, Alaska waiting for weather and have been for four days. Clarence Straits has been in the 30-45 kts for the last two days. Big drop to 10 kts predicted tomorrow and then on Sunday back to the wind being too much for me were I not through to Ketchikan tomorrow (12-13 hour run).
Too many chancy pass voyages over this route and have learned my lesson well. I agree with the seasoned comments. Its Margareta time somewhere so scoot to a harbor and wait it out.
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Old 06-03-2016, 11:23 PM   #31
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Clarence Strait can be mighty tough going when it blows. Wise to lay low and wait it out.
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Old 06-03-2016, 11:27 PM   #32
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[QUOTE=Montenido;448735... BTW, the boat handled the waves and weather much better than I did!

Cheers, Bill[/QUOTE]

That's not unusual.
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Old 06-03-2016, 11:48 PM   #33
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Quote:
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I took this series of pix while northbound at Milbanke Sound in BC some years ago. The SB ship I figure was close to 300' long and much bigger than we were. I took these pix from the PH which was nearly 20' off the water. On the last pic all you can see is the top of the ships mast. Some of these swells were over 20' in height. Most probably 12-16', wind gusting over 60 knots. I don't know how many secs there was between the waves, LOL.
Holy shit...I would not want to be in that!
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Old 06-04-2016, 12:02 AM   #34
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It wasn't too bad on a 120' 3000 HP tug with two barges behind, more or less running before it. This particular tug was a very fine sea boat.
https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3427/...588911a8_z.jpg
click the link for pic
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Old 06-04-2016, 12:52 AM   #35
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I get a kick out this method of determining waves. Let see, 4' high, 5' apart and coming at oh say 4 secs apart. This is getting overly technical by lots! How about this? Its pretty lumpy out there today! Honestly, in all the years I worked on tugs and fishboats, I never heard anyone deliver such news as that. Silly.
The T in TF doesn't stand for tugs. What may seem silly there is a well established professional practice in yachting and other recreational boats. Having a real means of quantifying things is helpful. Wave height and period are available today from many sources. I can know what to expect before I get out there. And "pretty lumpy", I don't want. That can mean something different to everyone. I don't want to hear "rough." While you might have had a tight community on tugs where it was clearly understood, you also had boats capable of handling far more than those here. We would go out in conditions many here wouldn't, but it's boat dependent, experience dependent, and having a good understanding of what conditions are. To someone on a tug it might be silly, but to a pleasure boater it's critical.

I know that 4' at 8 seconds is mild to me, but 6' at 4 seconds isn't pleasant in most boats. When we got to the PNW, we saw an entire different type wave pattern. Our first day out it was 10' swells at 13 seconds. I was a bit hesitant but soon realized what that was really like. I travel to different areas and interpretation of conditions might be very different. However, wave height and interval is consistent everywhere.
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Old 06-04-2016, 01:25 AM   #36
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The T in TF doesn't stand for tugs. What may seem silly there is a well established professional practice in yachting and other recreational boats. Having a real means of quantifying things is helpful. Wave height and period are available today from many sources. I can know what to expect before I get out there. And "pretty lumpy", I don't want. That can mean something different to everyone. I don't want to hear "rough." While you might have had a tight community on tugs where it was clearly understood, you also had boats capable of handling far more than those here. We would go out in conditions many here wouldn't, but it's boat dependent, experience dependent, and having a good understanding of what conditions are. To someone on a tug it might be silly, but to a pleasure boater it's critical.

I know that 4' at 8 seconds is mild to me, but 6' at 4 seconds isn't pleasant in most boats. When we got to the PNW, we saw an entire different type wave pattern. Our first day out it was 10' swells at 13 seconds. I was a bit hesitant but soon realized what that was really like. I travel to different areas and interpretation of conditions might be very different. However, wave height and interval is consistent everywhere.
You are correct and I accept your polite admonishment in the spirit in which it was given.
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Old 06-06-2016, 09:35 PM   #37
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I get a kick out this method of determining waves. Let see, 4' high, 5' apart and coming at oh say 4 secs apart. This is getting overly technical by lots! How about this? Its pretty lumpy out there today! Honestly, in all the years I worked on tugs and fishboats, I never heard anyone deliver such news as that. Silly.
I agree with BandB....maybe that's why I spent 2 careers assisting and saving commercials and fishermen art sea....

Most of the pros I have worked with definitely got serious about the technicals when the seas got serious.
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Old 06-06-2016, 09:59 PM   #38
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I have found the wave height and period to be a pretty good rule of thumb (ie as per Ski In NC).

In flying there is a great phrase: 'better to be down here wishing you were up there than up there wishing you were down here'. Can be applied to boating in the horizonal plane.
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Old 06-13-2016, 04:37 PM   #39
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Just ran a 16 mile off-shore Predicted Log contest off the San Diego coast. The wind waves and the swell came from two opposing directions. While the wave heights were not too bad, the conflicting seas made for an uncomfortable, wet ride. The Sicilian had her hands full tryin' to keep the boat on course. We had a GB in front and behind us, and they were wallowing the same as our Nova sundeck. Not a nice day.
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Old 06-26-2016, 01:05 AM   #40
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as promised. This is my uncles tug in Lake Washington some years ago during a wild storm near the 520 bridge. He said it was blowing near 100mph.
Picture was taken while streaming on TV, KIRO news in Seattle. Uncle is trying to remember what storm and what year this was but probably in the 60's or early 70's. Hope the pix shows up. Tug is an ex army small tug of about 45'.
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