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  #1  
Old 11-18-2017, 12:03 PM
Gerry Zagorski's Avatar
Gerry Zagorski Gerry Zagorski is offline
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Location: Edison, NJ
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Default Fall Boating

This time of year the conditions can be really sporty and based on your location and direction of the wind and tide, conditions might be nice in some locations and evil in others. Point in case, I wanted to get out Striper fishing the other day and rather then fish the whole day, I waited for more favorable conditions...

On this particular day the wind was forecasted to change from SE to West. Even though the west was supposed to be on the stiff side and build to 20 to 25, I knew the Ocean tight into the beach would be fine. We timed our trip accordingly and navigated the bay during an outgoing tide knowing those would be the best conditions since we had the wind and tide in the same direction.

It was a little sloppy but not too bad as we were able to run at planing speed and stayed pretty dry. Once on the ocean it settled down nice as long as you stayed within a mile or 2 of the beach in spite of the 20 knot west winds. Any further out an it got sporty...

We fished around a bit and found some Stripers but overstayed our welcome a little too long... By the time we got the lines in and headed up the beach home, although the ocean was still comfortable we were loosing light and I knew we'd be in for a treat once we rounded the hook heading dead into 30 to 35 knot winds out of the west against an incoming tide....

Sure enough once we turned the corner of the hook and got into the bay, it got evil.... 4 and 5 foot tight whitecaps with the wind blowing the tops off them Pulled the throttles back and settled in for a long ride wet ride into the teeth of it...

Lessons learned:
- Timing is everything when planning your trip in conditions like we had this day. Not only time going out, but you eventually have to get back in... It would have been a less hairy had I timed it when the tide turned to slack or outgoing. West winds bucking and incoming made it tougher then it needed to be since the waves stack up and get really tight.
- Don't overstay your welcome... Running in daylight conditions is one thing running at night in conditions like that is not fun.
- Our boat is a tank and if I was in something smaller and less capable I probably would have waited it out.
- Make up your mind and be prepared to go for it or wait it out because a lot of times, there's no turning back. Once you commit and are in the thick of it sometimes making a turn to try and head back could be the worst possible move. It's one thing to run dead into the seas but yet another to be exposing your boat to a beam sea when you make the turn.... If however your forced to make the turn, time it as best you can between the waves and make it quick!!
- You also need to make sure you are making enough way to maintain steering and control the boat.... Yes you want to slow it down but not to the point where the seas are dictating your direction instead of you.... This is a bit more unnerving in a following sea but even more important because following seas could swamp the back of your boat and if you're not going faster then the seas you can loose steerage.
- Horsepower is your friend... While your boat might be OK in normal running conditions, when it gets snotty you'll may need extra to give you better maneuverability. Point in case, I've seen waver runners run inlets and dance on top of waves while boats 4 times there size struggle... What does the wave runner got that they don't, power and maneuverability. Every hull has a max horsepower rating and you want to be at at least 75% of that rating... While you might not need the power most days, you'll really appreciate it when you need it.
- Don't panic and stay calm and don't do anything stupid!! Staying calm requires familiarity, experience and confidence. You need to be familiar with your boat, know it's limitations and be confident in your own ability and that all comes from experience. If you're new to your boat or perhaps to boating plan to try and avoid conditions you haven't encountered yet. Even with the best planning, you'll get caught out in it one day and this is where your experience will come in....

Have a safe fall everyone and be sure to plan your trips with the winds and tides in mind....And don't forget, you not only have to get out, you have to get back in too....
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  #2  
Old 11-20-2017, 11:15 AM
Capt. Frank's Avatar
Capt. Frank Capt. Frank is offline
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Default Re: Fall Boating

Great advice!
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  #3  
Old 11-21-2017, 01:55 PM
exilenj exilenj is offline
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Default Re: Fall Boating

Great post Gerry. Thanks for taking the time and writing that.
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  #4  
Old 11-21-2017, 09:58 PM
squan63 squan63 is offline
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Default Re: Fall Boating

Great read. your article should be in that boating manual
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  #5  
Old 11-22-2017, 11:40 AM
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Capt. Frank Capt. Frank is offline
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Location: Suffern NY / Sandy Hook
Posts: 2,058
Default Re: Fall Boating

Re reading a missing ingredient. PATIENCE. Yes it's going to take along time to get back at this speed and that's that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry Zagorski View Post
This time of year the conditions can be really sporty and based on your location and direction of the wind and tide, conditions might be nice in some locations and evil in others. Point in case, I wanted to get out Striper fishing the other day and rather then fish the whole day, I waited for more favorable conditions...

On this particular day the wind was forecasted to change from SE to West. Even though the west was supposed to be on the stiff side and build to 20 to 25, I knew the Ocean tight into the beach would be fine. We timed our trip accordingly and navigated the bay during an outgoing tide knowing those would be the best conditions since we had the wind and tide in the same direction.

It was a little sloppy but not too bad as we were able to run at planing speed and stayed pretty dry. Once on the ocean it settled down nice as long as you stayed within a mile or 2 of the beach in spite of the 20 knot west winds. Any further out an it got sporty...

We fished around a bit and found some Stripers but overstayed our welcome a little too long... By the time we got the lines in and headed up the beach home, although the ocean was still comfortable we were loosing light and I knew we'd be in for a treat once we rounded the hook heading dead into 30 to 35 knot winds out of the west against an incoming tide....

Sure enough once we turned the corner of the hook and got into the bay, it got evil.... 4 and 5 foot tight whitecaps with the wind blowing the tops off them Pulled the throttles back and settled in for a long ride wet ride into the teeth of it...

Lessons learned:
- Timing is everything when planning your trip in conditions like we had this day. Not only time going out, but you eventually have to get back in... It would have been a less hairy had I timed it when the tide turned to slack or outgoing. West winds bucking and incoming made it tougher then it needed to be since the waves stack up and get really tight.
- Don't overstay your welcome... Running in daylight conditions is one thing running at night in conditions like that is not fun.
- Our boat is a tank and if I was in something smaller and less capable I probably would have waited it out.
- Make up your mind and be prepared to go for it or wait it out because a lot of times, there's no turning back. Once you commit and are in the thick of it sometimes making a turn to try and head back could be the worst possible move. It's one thing to run dead into the seas but yet another to be exposing your boat to a beam sea when you make the turn.... If however your forced to make the turn, time it as best you can between the waves and make it quick!!
- You also need to make sure you are making enough way to maintain steering and control the boat.... Yes you want to slow it down but not to the point where the seas are dictating your direction instead of you.... This is a bit more unnerving in a following sea but even more important because following seas could swamp the back of your boat and if you're not going faster then the seas you can loose steerage.
- Horsepower is your friend... While your boat might be OK in normal running conditions, when it gets snotty you'll may need extra to give you better maneuverability. Point in case, I've seen waver runners run inlets and dance on top of waves while boats 4 times there size struggle... What does the wave runner got that they don't, power and maneuverability. Every hull has a max horsepower rating and you want to be at at least 75% of that rating... While you might not need the power most days, you'll really appreciate it when you need it.
- Don't panic and stay calm and don't do anything stupid!! Staying calm requires familiarity, experience and confidence. You need to be familiar with your boat, know it's limitations and be confident in your own ability and that all comes from experience. If you're new to your boat or perhaps to boating plan to try and avoid conditions you haven't encountered yet. Even with the best planning, you'll get caught out in it one day and this is where your experience will come in....

Have a safe fall everyone and be sure to plan your trips with the winds and tides in mind....And don't forget, you not only have to get out, you have to get back in too....
__________________
Capt. Frank
Tow boat captain/salvor
50 ton USCG Master
NJ & NY Boating Instructor-
Vet & Senior Discounts w/ Free lunch, $20 West Gift cards
Big time crabber
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  #6  
Old 12-31-2017, 11:09 AM
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PeteyHD PeteyHD is offline
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Default Re: Fall Boating

I don't own a boat but this sounds like solid advice. A lot can change in 20mins out there. Thanks for sharing Captain.
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