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Old 04-02-2018, 11:25 AM   #1
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Night Speed

In open water, what is your cruise speed at night
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Old 04-02-2018, 11:28 AM   #2
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6.5 knots.






Of course, that's the same as our daytime cruising speed....
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Old 04-02-2018, 11:29 AM   #3
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depends on the boat and waters.....
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Old 04-02-2018, 11:34 AM   #4
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Between 8 and 9 knots if everything is good, visibility, sea state, etc. Slower if conditions are not good. Accident rates go way up at night per BoatUS studies. I don’t go any faster than I want to hit something. Also slow speeds give you more time to react.
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Old 04-02-2018, 11:42 AM   #5
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Same as during the day, 6-7 knots. We’ve had to slowdown when the seas have increased at times.
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Old 04-02-2018, 12:56 PM   #6
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Even off shore, no one around for miles, I never went faster than 7-8K at night even when I had boats that could go much faster than that.
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Old 04-02-2018, 01:58 PM   #7
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I'm mostly in the PNW. There are many logs, pot fishing, and probably still some debris from the Japanese tsunami. I try to make my trips with night stops. I solo a lot, but even with other people on board, it's hard to find people with good watch standing practices. I constantly am looking for debris and buoys. But others not so much. One of my friends managed to run into a big log in daylight. I have a monel plate over the bow (on a wood boat) or someone else would be writing this reply. I cruise at 10 knots during the day and will also run that speed at night with a good moon if I'm on watch. Otherwise about 6-7 knots. The only common long runs I do that includes night running is across the Gulf of Alaska.
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Old 04-02-2018, 02:19 PM   #8
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I have always wanted to make a night cruise, but the crab traps in my boating area are numerous--many make there way into the channels. I'd rather not make a late night dive cutting barnacle encrusted line from a prop.
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Old 04-02-2018, 05:03 PM   #9
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I'll do short trips with a return at night and cruise at 7-8kts, but I won't plan an overnight trip where we spend the night cruising.
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Old 04-02-2018, 05:15 PM   #10
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In open water I cruise at the usual 6 knots. No crab pots, logs or debris to worry about. There is always the rare chance of hitting a whale or possibly a semi-submerged sea container, but the odds are small.
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Old 04-02-2018, 05:54 PM   #11
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usually 6 knots at sea, sometimes a little faster inland.
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Old 04-02-2018, 06:09 PM   #12
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Depends on the visibility. I've run at 30 knots on plane at night. But not often!

Things that affect visibility include the phase of the moon, weather and sea state. There are plenty of hazards out there. If you can't see 'em you can't avoid 'em. But if you can, you'll find that night running focuses your attention on what's really important.

I've had helmsmen who steer in a wide circle to avoid something (like a lobster buoy) that's not even along their route during the day. Take them out at night a few times and they learn to ignore those.

Also, NO LIGHTS on board, and no "headlights." Preserve your night vision and you'll be amazed how well you can see. Wreck it by blasting on a spotlight all the time and you won't see a thing. Point the spot well away from the decks and rails, and only for a second at a time, if you must use it to pick out a buoy or something.
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Old 04-02-2018, 06:18 PM   #13
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Whales in SoCal are definitely a collision hazard, but agree the odds of hitting them are small. Another good reason to go slow I suppose. Greys are moving because they are on their migration routes either up or down the coast, but Humpbacks can be found resting in place. We came very close to a large Humpback while traveling fast about 10 miles offshore and luckily didn't hit it. It let us know his presence with a couple pectoral slaps, then back to rest time just under the surface. We swam up to it, got about 75 ft. away, and it never moved. They are very aware of their size in relation to other creatures, and make it clear that they are not afraid.
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Old 04-02-2018, 08:01 PM   #14
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Have run hundreds of trips on my charter boat that either started or ended at night. 10 knots was as fast as I would go. Hit a few things in the dark, but nothing that ever left a mark.

Do very little traveling in the dark with the trawler. Go 7 knots, same as during the day. With the trawler, the odds of hitting something at night are extremely low, simply based on percentage of use at night. If I was crossing oceans, it would be a different story.

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Old 04-02-2018, 08:30 PM   #15
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When we are running up or down the west coast we will run around the clock. First we have to work our way out to 500’ depth to avoid the crab traps. We run 10kts in day light and then we try to slow to 7kts for night. 7 often turns into 8. We have only ever hit one thing in the night, never knew what it was and it didn’t wake the sleeping or leave a mark. With the Puget Sound and Inside Passage we try not to run at night and if we do end up running in the dark we slow down to 6.5 because of all the logs. Fortunately night running is 10 pm to 4 am during the summer.
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Old 04-02-2018, 08:45 PM   #16
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Open water no difference between night and day unless the weather gods chime in.
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Old 04-02-2018, 09:02 PM   #17
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Have done a couple of overnight crossings. Same as daylight speed— 6.5-7 knots. I actually kind of like cruising at night. It’s interesting getting to watch the sunrise on a crossing.
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Old 04-02-2018, 11:01 PM   #18
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We don't slow down when off shore, maintained 9kts and a sharp eye on the radar. In the delta it's a different story, with windmills blinking their red lights that look the same as the channel marker blinking red lights, you have to slow down to make sure you're headed to the right mark.
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Old 04-03-2018, 12:14 AM   #19
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FLIR seems to help a lot. My experience with it though is limited. Any first hand comments?
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Old 04-03-2018, 12:41 AM   #20
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We did night crossings of Hecate Strait both ways in northern BC at 6.5 knots without incident. There was almost no traffic and I kept the radar on short range, constantly tuned; I made a point of glancing at the radar every minute or so to pick up potential targets. Interestingly we saw a meteor hit the water and explode - and then heard it a few seconds later - so close!

I am considering installing a spotlight on the bow. Most of the Canadian Coast Guard 47' patrol boats use a spot light when doing night transits with the hope of picking up logs in the water. But then we probably wouldn't see the meteors . . .
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