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Old 15-06-2015, 09:57   #1
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Power boats and the ICW

One of the first things you become aware of as a boat operator is your wake. Like what it look like at various speeds. What happens to your wake when you slow down. What it looks like going fast. So...Since I just finished a 3 day trip from MM205 to 0 on the ICW I am once again wondering why powerboats slow down to pass sailboats. Especially something in the over 30 foot category.
Obviously they think they are being courteous but a planing hull operating just off step can double the size of the wake.
And...Since their planing hull is now operating at maximum inefficiency it takes them forever to pass. If they would have stayed on step and flown by the effects on my sailboat would have been totally benign. Instead I am forced to wallow in the barrage of endless waves while being serenaded by the moaning engines struggling to maintain forward motion.
Often when I see a power boat approaching I will call and tell them to keep the speed up. Sometimes that works sometimes it just causes confusion. Like I'm trying to trick them or something. Oh well Guess they get points for thinking they are being courteous.
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Old 15-06-2015, 10:09   #2
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Re: Power boats and the ICW

Me too....been there done that.... I wish they would just keep planing right on past. They try to be nice and slow down creating that huge wave ....then those of us in a sailboat or trawler roll terribly while they idle by.
Not really their fault though, the loud mouth speed gestapo have been after them for years.
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Old 15-06-2015, 10:40   #3
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Re: Power boats and the ICW

Well, if it makes you feel any better, that's powerboats everywhere, not just the ICW.
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Old 15-06-2015, 11:56   #4
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Re: Power boats and the ICW

There must have been no 50' sportfishers that passed you. Yes, their wake will be less when totally on plane than when partially on plane, but it will still be enough to throw you into the bank or on to the rockpile ledge (yes, I've seen this happen several times). In my opinion, displacement speed is the only safe speed for larger power boats to pass slow boats close-by, but sailboats and trawlers should slow down to let them pass and get back on plane.
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Old 15-06-2015, 12:15   #5
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Re: Power boats and the ICW

Yes , good point, the big guys throw a helluva wake when not flat out.
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Old 15-06-2015, 15:58   #6
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Re: Power boats and the ICW

Works better if the passee goes to dead slow, and I pass at idle (about 4.5 kts, assuming no opposing current or wind).

Happy to do that if the passee will answer the radio to discuss.

Passing anybody at 20 kts in close quarters isn't something I want to do... especially because that stand on boat might forget to stand on. (I worry about that, the most.) If the radio doesn't work, I just have to try to divine what the passee might prefer... and it ain't gonna be fast and close, but it might rock the boat.

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Old 15-06-2015, 16:26   #7
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Re: Power boats and the ICW

power boats always crack me up when they slow down just enough to generate a 4' wake .. they have no idea what idle speed really means
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Old 15-06-2015, 17:34   #8
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Re: Power boats and the ICW

passing is a challenge because every pass can be different depending on the boats, the space available, is a turn coming up, etc..etc..


the only good pass is one that is agreed upon by both parties.


so many passes are made without contact by both power and sail that it can be frustrating for the people who do care and understand.


yes...power boaters can be frustrating and clueless...so can sailboaters....


best advice is passers should call and negotiate and those being passed should be listening and have a decent plan for passing they can live with that is reasonable.


I tell everyone to blow by unless the pass has to be within 50 feet or so...at 6.3 knots...slowing down all the time is just too time consuming.
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Old 15-06-2015, 17:39   #9
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Re: Power boats and the ICW

When I am on a slow trawler or a sailboat I always try to wave them on at full speed so I can turn right into their wake, bounce once or twice and follow right in their wake....not in the rockpile of course where nobody should be speeding by, but in most places I find that even when I call them, motion to them to keep it up and bring it on...they still often slow down making it more difficult.???
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Old 15-06-2015, 19:59   #10
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Re: Power boats and the ICW

Yes I was passed by several 50 plus foot sportfishing boats and two Westport 112s. Happily most of the sport boats stayed on the throttle and like Paul I turned into their wake fell behind and didn't spill a drop of my martini..
Since I watch traffic and look ahead I wouldn't let myself get caught in a passing situation with rocks or skinny water close by. I adjust my speed as needed to not get caught like that. And even though I often call in the blind to suggest staying on step I don't call and discuss passing. Mostly when traveling the ICW I move at night and sleep during the day. If the bridges are opening night time is the best time. No traffic!!
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Old 15-06-2015, 20:04   #11
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Re: Power boats and the ICW

Please tell more about your experiences running the ICW at night???
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Old 15-06-2015, 20:53   #12
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Re: Power boats and the ICW

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentOption View Post
-----
Mostly when traveling the ICW I move at night and sleep during the day.----
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.
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Old 16-06-2015, 06:03   #13
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Re: Power boats and the ICW

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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
so many passes are made without contact by both power and sail that it can be frustrating for the people who do care and understand.

Yeah, that whole "not answering the radio hail" thing is fairly common.

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Old 16-06-2015, 06:35   #14
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Re: Power boats and the ICW

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Yeah, that whole "not answering the radio hail" thing is fairly common
So, more common, is the 'not knowing what horn signals mean' thing. Recreational vessels less than 20m (65.6 feet) in length are not required to have VHF radios....
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Old 16-06-2015, 06:39   #15
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Re: Power boats and the ICW

Biggest take away from this I think is if we want them to be courteous and give us a slow pass to not wake us, it's sort of incumbent on us to slow to idle to allow them to pass.

As a former Sportfisher type, I can tell you I'd not pass on plane as it was just too fast to be safe, if in the pass a small boat suddenly appeared from behind what I was passing, I could easily have run them down.

No wake zones are often as much about speed as they are about wake for instance
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