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Old 02-16-2021, 07:53 PM   #1
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We got waked...

We were waked in San Diego Bay by four Navy Dauntless patrol boats in succession, and took a beating. We were making eight knots and they were all ahead flank, passing us on our port quarter. No physical damage but it upset the Sicilian who had the con. E-mailed the Navy PIO, and got a response the next day. Let's see what happens.
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Old 02-16-2021, 08:16 PM   #2
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We were waked in San Diego Bay by four Navy Dauntless patrol boats in succession, and took a beating. We were making eight knots and they were all ahead flank, passing us on our port quarter. No physical damage but it upset the Sicilian who had the con. E-mailed the Navy PIO, and got a response the next day. Let's see what happens.
Don't you hate that. Everything gets thrown around. I always used to keep a weather eye out for that, especially as in our bay, with often narrow channels and little room to move, and which magnifies wakes.

If I saw fast boats approaching, I'd assume they wouldn't do the decent thing, all too often the case, so I'd always bear away, and then turn bow on in idle and just wait for the planers to pass. Always appearing to be blithely unaware of the havoc they can cause, because it all feels sooo smoooth to them up in their flybridge, doing 20kn plus..!
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Old 02-16-2021, 08:31 PM   #3
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Don't you hate that. Everything gets thrown around. I always used to keep a weather eye out for that, especially as in our bay, with often narrow channels and little room to move, and which magnifies wakes.

If I saw fast boats approaching, I'd assume they wouldn't do the decent thing, all too often the case, so I'd always bear away, and then turn bow on in idle and just wait for the planers to pass. Always appearing to be blithely unaware of the havoc they can cause, because it all feels sooo smoooth to them up in their flybridge, doing 20kn plus..!
Out of curiosity, what would you prefer us faster boats to do? Generally I just trim way down for a moment when passing while on plane. I lose 3/4 of a knot and flatten my wake significantly. To make less wake by slowing down, I have to be doing less than 7 kts (which often means not passing).
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Old 02-16-2021, 08:53 PM   #4
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Out of curiosity, what would you prefer us faster boats to do? Generally I just trim way down for a moment when passing while on plane. I lose 3/4 of a knot and flatten my wake significantly. To make less wake by slowing down, I have to be doing less than 7 kts (which often means not passing).
To be honest, I don't know. I hear what you are saying about the practicality of coming down off the plane to pass being not really feasible, but in more open waters there is usually space to give us slow-pokes a wide berth and reduce the wake to much less by the time it hits us, and giving time to at least turn from full beam on. The rules say to not pass on the plane closer than 30metres, I think.

The real problem is when, like I described in our bay with lots of channels, there is not the room to do that. Hence the tactic of the slow boat turning into the wake wave bow on, at idle speed, or nearly so anyway.

Actually funny though it may sound, and it would be frowned upon anyway, but giving a brief blast on the horn would help. Because it would alert a slow boat ahead that you're coming though, and give time to take evasive measures.
The worst scenario is when you are caught unawares, and unable to adopt the tactic I just described, so that all hell breaks loose, because you take, what by then is quite a large wave, beam on.

I believe from comments I've seen on this subject, that many call up on VHF to warn of the proposed overtake there in the US, but this convention is virtually never followed over here for some reason. In over 16 years of boating out here in Moreton Bay I never heard such a warning of an overtake given over the VHS, which I usually had on ch 16, the recognised calling channel.

Maybe that is something our boating fraternity should push for more strongly..?
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Old 02-16-2021, 09:20 PM   #5
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Under the US Inland Rules, an overtaking vessel is required to sound one short blast if overtaking the other vessel on it's starboard side, or two short for port. International Rules it's two prolonged blasts followed by the same signals. Or do it via VHF. So you should sound the horn even though the other guy probably won't know what it means. At least you woke him up and he knows you're coming. Hardly anyone does it though.
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Old 02-16-2021, 09:32 PM   #6
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I think I was passed by those same boats on Saturday. It was a bit if a roll. But many other boats were out there as well causing lots of wakes. Wakes are part of boating . It doesn't bother me unless I am at an anchorage and am waked by a 'large wake". again dinghy wakes don't bother me at anchorage either.
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Old 02-16-2021, 11:00 PM   #7
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I cruise in a 42 GB EU trawler. In response to your question about what to do?
If you can, give a wider berth. Put a little more distance between you and a trawler, which tends to roll.

What is frustrating to me is when another vessel, whether approaching or overtaking, does so too close to make adjustments. If there’s room please take advantage of this & give a wider berth.

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Old 02-16-2021, 11:11 PM   #8
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My boat on plane throws less of a wake than slowing down and plowing the water. The problem is that when on plane on a smaller wake footprint, to the other boats who aren't aware of this phenomena you appear rude. But if I slow down my wake is actually worse.
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Old 02-16-2021, 11:20 PM   #9
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My boat on plane throws less of a wake than slowing down and plowing the water. The problem is that when on plane on a smaller wake footprint, to the other boats who aren't aware of this phenomena you appear rude. But if I slow down my wake is actually worse.
Yes, with a truly planing boat, this is true, but with most larger vessels being semi-planers, not so much...

However, I agree that unless they come right down to hull speed, it doesn't make much difference just slowing a bit. So, that's why giving the widest possible separation is best - that or warning that the pass is on, so they can take the sort of evasive preparation I alluded to in my post #4 above.
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Old 02-16-2021, 11:26 PM   #10
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When we were coming up the Tenn-Tom waterway my captain made a serious point to slow down to no wake EVERY time we saw a smaller boat (mostly Jon boats), no matter how far off. I asked him if that was really always necessary when the river was wide. He just showed me a photo of where someone had shot a crossbow through the hull once.

I agreed completely.
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Old 02-16-2021, 11:29 PM   #11
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Totally understand the problem. If at all possible the best solution is putting more distance between you and the other vessel. Distance gives the slower trawler ( or sailboat) time to react and take measures to steal into the wake. Too close and there’s no time to quarter the wake.
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Old 02-16-2021, 11:32 PM   #12
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Under the US Inland Rules, an overtaking vessel is required to sound one short blast if overtaking the other vessel on it's starboard side, or two short for port. International Rules it's two prolonged blasts followed by the same signals. Or do it via VHF. So you should sound the horn even though the other guy probably won't know what it means. At least you woke him up and he knows you're coming. Hardly anyone does it though.
I think if you read the COLREGS closely, you will see that these overtaking rules apply in narrow channels which San Diego Bay is not.

In our local bays, when I am running along at my usual 16 MPH and see a slow vessel ahead which I will soon overhaul, I sheer off a quart mile or so and just keep going.

In narrow waterways, the standard practice is for the overtaken boat to courteously slow to steerage as the faster boat approaches. The faster vessel similarly slows just as it approaches the slower vessel's stern passing at just a tad over the slower vessel's near idle speed before accelerating once well clear ahead. Everybody is happy.
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Old 02-16-2021, 11:35 PM   #13
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It’s also good to remember that the captain of the vessel is responsible for the damage I could be caused by the vessel. there is liability involved. It’s important to understand The enormous energy that is transferred from the motion of the boat through the water and the water medium. This is the wake . A Normas Lee large mass moving it fairly high velocity and containing enormous amounts of kinetic energy.
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Old 02-16-2021, 11:54 PM   #14
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It’s also good to remember that the captain of the vessel is responsible for the damage I could be caused by the vessel. there is liability involved. It’s important to understand The enormous energy that is transferred from the motion of the boat through the water and the water medium. This is the wake . A Normas Lee large mass moving it fairly high velocity and containing enormous amounts of kinetic energy.
I was hired by a certified subject matter expert to run back and forth in my Grand Banks 42 near a moored vessel (well isolated from any other vessels and piers) to create the largest wake I could while he videoed the event. It seems he had been hired by the boat owner because a person had been seriously injured in a fall aboard as the result of some PWC operators purposely circling viciously around the boat. The case was not successful. So liability, yes, when it can be proven in court which I am guessing is not often.
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Old 02-17-2021, 02:56 AM   #15
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I cruise in a 42 GB EU trawler. In response to your question about what to do?
If you can, give a wider berth. Put a little more distance between you and a trawler, which tends to roll.

What is frustrating to me is when another vessel, whether approaching or overtaking, does so too close to make adjustments. If there’s room please take advantage of this & give a wider berth.

Kind Regards,

Kevin
I take the opposite view, if you're overtaking planing I like you to come by very close so the duration of the wake is tight and short. Of course if you're a very large fast boat and throwing a huge wake stand off! I will see it coming and maneuver to take it on the bow or stern (more so).

I think the duration has more to do with a bad roll than just the size of the wake, if I fall between them and roll it really tosses things around. It's nice to not have the chance to wallow before the next wake wave hits...
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Old 02-17-2021, 06:43 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by jgwinks View Post
Under the US Inland Rules, an overtaking vessel is required to sound one short blast if overtaking the other vessel on it's starboard side, or two short for port. International Rules it's two prolonged blasts followed by the same signals. Or do it via VHF. So you should sound the horn even though the other guy probably won't know what it means. At least you woke him up and he knows you're coming. Hardly anyone does it though.

I have heard it discussed that if the lead vessel does not respond, you are not supposed to overtake till agreement is reached.


That might be all day in some cases...
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Old 02-17-2021, 06:49 AM   #17
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I always try to keep a lookout aft for boats overtaking us (I bought a camera & designated screen specifically to look behind us but never installed it because I like the large rear view mirrors at each helm) and definitely try to make radio contact to coordinate the passing event.
While nobody likes to be surprised by & inconvenienced by a wake, and if I'm reading your post correctly, these boats were military? You know what? I'm not going to complain one bit if I happen to be on the waters where the military or law enforcement is operating, be it heading to a crisis or just training maneuvers. I guarantee the crew onboard were aware of your 8 knot speed and made the decision to keep on getting it , short and sweet. I wouldn't expect or want them to do otherwise. I also guarantee the young crew onboard was full of piss & vinegar & watched with amusement as you negotiated their wakes. I would've done the same ,back in the day. My point is, I've got no problem with our military owning the waters they are patrolling, and if they happen to tip my tea while they're doing it, I consider it a small price to pay.
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Old 02-17-2021, 07:12 AM   #18
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It would be nice is the overtaking boat would give a channel 16 warning, "Hang on to your wine glass."
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Old 02-17-2021, 08:40 AM   #19
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You’re right about an overtaking boat. The roll will toss EVERYTHING. It’s awful. That’s why I like the distance. It gives me time to turn bow in. One has to turn at least 90 degrees to accomplish this. It takes time.
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Old 02-17-2021, 08:47 AM   #20
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For those mentioning to give plenty of space, I agree. I always do when there's space to give (and if there's not, I'm often not on plane anyway). Whether I'm on plane or not, I go a bit nuts when someone passes needlessly close throwing a large wake.

With the mention of things like jon boats, anything small gets extra caution. There's always the mental assessment of whether there's a risk of injury, damage, etc. I'll often drop to dead idle for kayaks for that reason unless they're pretty far away or already coping with other waves from a similar direction and handling it well (in which case I'll still slow down, but maybe not quite to idle).
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