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Old 16-06-2015, 07:38   #16
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Re: Power boats and the ICW

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Originally Posted by jaybird1111 View Post
So, more common, is the 'not knowing what horn signals mean' thing.
Yep, to be sure, that too.



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Recreational vessels less than 20m (65.6 feet) in length are not required to have VHF radios....

Sure, but "prudent" and "not required" are two different things. Since my glass is usually half full... I usually assume a guy in a 30'-ish or larger boat may have thought to be prudent and may have acquired a radio. Given that fewer seem to know horn signals, radio discussion seems more likely to be understood. If the boat ahead would answer the hail...

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Old 16-06-2015, 09:09   #17
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Re: Power boats and the ICW

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I've seen too many large pieces of debris floating in the ICW to be happy traveling at night if I don't have to.
Well, perhaps I've just been lucky, but other than a couple of stretches such as the run from Great Bridge to Pungo Ferry, or the lower reaches of the Alligator River, or perhaps the Myrtle Beach - Waccamaw section during a flood, I think the risk of running the Ditch after dark are often overstated... I don't recommend it as a rule for those making their first trip, but a great deal of the ICW can be safely navigated at night in the right conditions, in my opinion...

But not from inside a full cockpit enclosure, which of course rules about 50% of the Snowbird fleet out... :-)

After hours is definitely the fastest way thru the gauntlet of bridges south of Norfolk, and I'd rather run the last half of the Alligator-Pungo Canal on a perfect evening like this, than to be practically blinded by the glare of the setting sun a couple of hours earlier...


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Old 16-06-2015, 10:12   #18
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Re: Power boats and the ICW

Maybe I'm lucky, but 90 percent of the time I can communicate with the overtaking skipper via VHF. And that's the key to a great pass on the ICW. It takes teamwork. If you're in a sailboat and are being overtaken by a power boat, you have to slow down as well. If you maintain 6 knots, well, because you think that's already slow enough, then you're probably gonna get waked. Why? If you maintain 6 knots and the power boat is off plane, it's going to take forever for him to pass you. We may be talking about only a 1 or 2 knot boat speed difference. His recourse is to speed up a little in order to get by quickly. In doing so, he throws up a larger wake and wakes you. You get pissed at the power boater, but in reality his larger wake is partly your fault.

I see this all the time on the ditch. If you slow down, we're talking less then 30 seconds if you time it right, now he's moving past you at 5 or 6 knots and not 1 or 2. I'll do this for another sailboater as well. If he's a knot or so faster then I, I'll slow down to get him around me quickly and everybody's happy.

If there is enough searoom for a safe, fast past then I'll tell the skipper to stay on plane. Since we're in a cat we can take some wake and not be bothered by it. Of course, when you're in the Wrightsville Beach section of the ICW, you're gonna get waked, no two ways about it. Some of the most rude and inconsiderate skippers I have ever run across reside in this section. Be warned...
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Old 16-06-2015, 10:18   #19
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Re: Power boats and the ICW

I have found that by reducing my speed by a noticeable amount say from 5 knots to 2 knots, SOME of the power boats will pass at idle speed, and thus not redecorate my galley.

I do this as I am approached and try to make the change easy to notice. The courtesy of a no wake pass is really appreciated.

Of course there are others who either don't care or are incredibly ignorant.
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Old 16-06-2015, 10:24   #20
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Re: Power boats and the ICW

I find it is also helpful not to take your own half out of the middle!
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Old 16-06-2015, 10:47   #21
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Re: Power boats and the ICW

I am much more bothered by those who pass extremely close. Those are the big wakes!

Except in the most narrow parts of the ICW, it's possible to put over 100ft between two passing boats. And if there's oncoming traffic, no one should be passing anyways.
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Old 16-06-2015, 10:47   #22
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Re: Power boats and the ICW

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Originally Posted by Sid at SailAway View Post
Maybe I'm lucky, but 90 percent of the time I can communicate with the overtaking skipper via VHF. And that's the key to a great pass on the ICW. It takes teamwork. If you're in a sailboat and are being overtaken by a power boat, you have to slow down as well. If you maintain 6 knots, well, because you think that's already slow enough, then you're probably gonna get waked. Why? If you maintain 6 knots and the power boat is off plane, it's going to take forever for him to pass you. We may be talking about only a 1 or 2 knot boat speed difference. His recourse is to speed up a little in order to get by quickly. In doing so, he throws up a larger wake and wakes you. You get pissed at the power boater, but in reality his larger wake is partly your fault.

I see this all the time on the ditch. If you slow down, we're talking less then 30 seconds if you time it right, now he's moving past you at 5 or 6 knots and not 1 or 2. I'll do this for another sailboater as well. If he's a knot or so faster then I, I'll slow down to get him around me quickly and everybody's happy.
Having spent my fair share of time running fast boats in the Ditch, it's astonishing how many sailors still don't seem to understand this... Things might be a lot less contentious on the Waterway, if everyone had the opportunity to make the trip at least once on a 60' sportfish or motoryacht, and once on something like a 28' Westsail... :-)

Running a fast boat, I prefer to use horn signals rather than the VHF for a routine pass... With virtually everyone sporting tenders on davits these days, for one thing it's often impossible to call most sailboats by name until you're right on top of them. And, running @ 25 knots, the closing speed is so quick, you can often have your hands full managing the wheel and throttles, not a good time to get into an extended - and often needless - conversation without a hands-free VHF mic...

Still, sometimes no matter what you do, how polite your pass or how minimal your wake, you'll still get that 'Grizzled GLARE' from beneath a Tilley hat - simply because you happen to be running a stinkpot, I suppose...

:-)
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Old 16-06-2015, 11:29   #23
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Re: Power boats and the ICW

Operating on the ICW at night is obviously whole new subject but I think like most things it all comes down to personal limitations, equipment limitations and exactly what part of the ICW you are on. I try to avoid the Georgia ICW day or night.
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Old 16-06-2015, 19:10   #24
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Re: Power boats and the ICW

This was last winter between the Alligator River and Morehead City. I left Coinjock at 4am on December 8th and didn't pass a single boat in either direction.


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