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Old 12-11-2006, 04:29   #1
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Unhappy boat generated waves

Yesterday as we headed back up the CT River to Deep River we were almost swamped by a large power boat. The Boat was moving at full speed and passed me on the stbd side in a narrow stretch of the river. It happened so fast there was not much I could do. Our boat is a 40 ketch, full keeled and almost 30K pounds and the wave hit us in such a way that our boat was tossed from side to side almost violently. This is my first year in the river, in the sound I would have tried to maneuver around but here I could not. Any suggestions as what I could have done? I would have thought that the capt of that boat would have understood that he was throwing up a huge wave and could cause some boats real issues.

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Old 12-11-2006, 04:59   #2
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Big wakes, small minds

The larger the wake that a boat generatates the more inefficient the hull. This means more of the engines power is used in generating the large wake rather than being used to drive the boat forward. This costs dearly in fuel consumption and engine size needed for a given size of vessel. In other words the boat is expensive to purchase, and is expensive to operate for it's size. The type of person that throws money around like that may not be the type of person to understand that what he purchases affects the environment and how he uses that purchase affects others around him. One of the unpleasant aspects of boating I am sorry to say.


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Old 12-11-2006, 05:09   #3
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Welcome to inland waterways! We have a ketch, 30k, 6' full keel so we don't run inside much but when we do I can tell you one thing.

When you get passed like that it will be in very shallow water, close to a piling with your motion being towards that piling.

Steerage is always a b** when this happens and we usually 'grab traction' when we come back into the water. I usually call the SOB on VHF and remind them that they are financially responsible for any damage caused by their wake.

Physially, I've not found much other then heading into the wake to minimize roll. Once we were passed in a similar way by one on each side, lifted 30,000 pounds right out of the water. Fully. It was like a roller coaster ride.
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Old 12-11-2006, 05:09   #4
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All captains are responsible for the wakes they make and the damage done by them - it's the law. There are people on the water that feel they can go where ever they want and if it is a problem for you then you can get off the water. They are not the majority, but they are out there. Size or type of boat is never a determining factor. I've had near misses by 50 ft sail boats and 50 ft trawlers. Just remember many commercial vessels are constrained and it's up to you to give way.

Quartering them would be your best choice if you could. In narrow seaways you just have to keep watch. Responsible people throttle back a bit and / or steer wide if they know they are throwing a big wake. When they don't look like they will, then it's up to you.
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Old 12-11-2006, 05:23   #5
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Mike and Paula,

If the vessels were passing each other the best approach is to slow and turn into the wake the minute he's passed. I always keep an eye open for overtaking boats because they tend to sneak up on you. Again turn into the wake, you don't need a lot of room. Into the wake, over the couple of waves and then back on course again. On the ICW most boats slow when passing. If being overtaken I slow the boat when the overtaking vessel is on my transom, the overtaking vessel (if run by a competent skipper) then cuts right back and slides by. ICW etiquette is that the boat being overtaken slows right down and the overtaking vessel does likewise while passing. Unfortunately many of the skippers don't know how to do this properly and either slow down too soon or don't cut the speed back enough. I always tell them to bring it right up to my transom and I'll slow down. Properly done you don't lose a lot of time . Some delivery skippers on sportsfish have this down to a "T", some don't really care and tear on by, some do care but don't know how to do it properly.

The other boat should have slowed down but there's not a lot you can do. You sometimes hear a lot of cursing on the VHF and threats of "you know you're responsible for your wake" but this seems to have no effect. Sometimes we'll get on the VHF and warn boats ahead of us that an idiot is coming down. There are calls to the CG and the Sheriff but I've never heard of this having any effect. You just have to keep your eyes open and be prepared. There's a lot of idiots out there.
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Old 12-11-2006, 05:28   #6
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Unfortunately this is all too common.

Get the boat name and hailing port. Cal the USCG on channel 16 and report him. Maybe he will hear the conversation and realize there can be repercussions. If you have damage, certainly report it. He is responsible for his wake.

I do the ICW more than I would like and the further south you go the worse it is. Boca Raton and Broward counties have recently passed no wake laws (Broward on weekends only) and they are enforcing it. Hurray!

It’s a shame cannons are no longer fitted on sailboats.

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Old 12-11-2006, 05:46   #7
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"Itís a shame cannons are no longer fitted on sailboats."

Yeah. I've been working out plans for a remote controlled submersible log.

Good for waterski boats buzzing you at anchor, too :-))

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Old 12-11-2006, 09:56   #8
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Get the boat name and hailing port. Cal the USCG on channel 16 and report him. Maybe

Unfortunately, most of the idiot jerks who fall into this category probably aren't even listening to the VHF. They're more likely the type who thinks VHF is one of those machines into which you insert a tape.

The best solution is to do what's already been posted and accept it as a "cost of doing business while boating".
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Old 12-11-2006, 10:58   #9
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This type of behavior is not limited to the ICW by any means. One of my gripes about where I summer Shiva (Dering Harbor, Shelter Island, NY) is that the way out to "destiniations" involves a few miles course where you have to fetch a few buoys. Of couse most boats try to do this in the shortest couse and motor vessels, in particular, in the greatest haste. So it is very common on a lovely weekend to have scores of power boats steaming full speed, pushing up enormous wakes and even on receiprocal courses in this area.

Sailing through this slop is close to sickening (can be sickening). These wave makers are so incredibly inconsiderate and seem to always choose to cross your bow as well.... when a choice is possible!

And they know that they are doing mischeif since it is quite obvious as sails flog and waves pour over bows on even the calmest days... when without these waves one could be gently sailing and actually making some way instead of slamming into waves, hobby horsing and violently rolling from side to side. They often wave and smile too as they do it.

It is the rare boat that will slow down to kill their bow wave and they are usually large professionally crewed yachts which are out numbered by the rude owner operators.

Dealing with these power boat wakes is probably the single largest complaint I have about sailing in those waters... and something you virtually never see in the Caribbean, for example.

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Old 12-11-2006, 11:38   #10

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Troll a couple of homemade paravanes on polythene lines. Nice dark ones, not the bright yellow ones. If Captain Oblivious happens to run them down and loses his prop...Send him the bill for your new paravane.

"Yessir, he just ran over my fishing lines."
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Old 12-11-2006, 13:18   #11
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The larger the wake that a boat generatates the more inefficient the hull
Seaclusion, you have your cause and effect reversed: it's "the more inefficient the hull, the larger wake that is generated."

The size of the wake doesn't affect the shape of the hull, but vice-versa.
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Old 12-11-2006, 13:44   #12
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The larger the wake the smaller the private member.
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Old 12-11-2006, 17:57   #13

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We have that problem most weekends. Boy have I been tempted to scream "RAMMING SPEED" . Some of these "Sport fisherman" throw incredible wakes. I steer wide of them when they are overtaking and then back and over the much more subdued wave.

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Old 12-11-2006, 19:11   #14
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Not All Power Boaters do this..

This is not something that all power boaters do! We live in an area that is not great for sailing, but many sail boats call the local marinas home. Those boaters have to motor up river at least a half day to get to sailing friendly waters and most will travel a full day to get to Kingston. When we are on the river, we often pass sailboats motoring. We give all of them a wide berth and when we can not, due to a narrow channel, we slow down. When going on vacation the past 2 years we have had to go through Kingston and we use even more caution when nearing boats under sail, understanding how a wake can affect them.

It is unfortunate that you can not teach common sensen and courtesy to others. However, I don't think fouling lines and destroying props, possibly on someone who is giving way in a respectful manner is the solution.

Just please don't lump all power boaters into one group that would do such careless acts.

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Old 12-11-2006, 19:34   #15
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It seems around these parts that about half of the power boaters I am neutral on. Of the other half it is split more or less on the ones I could see on fire and the ones that go out of their way to be couteous.

I had taken my girlfriend and father sailing year before last. My girlfirend got sick so we were heading back in. She was forward sleeping in the v-berth. While we were still under sail I heard honking and saw two power boats (these of the 28~30 foot Bayliner cabin type things) coming out of the creek off to the right of us on plane. My first thought was we had two different boats drunk and racing each other. Once the second boat passed the first he turned and headed straight at us. I started falling off and giving way because, frankly, I figure it was better than colliding. I was just about ready to gybe when they suddenly veered off and all the drunk idiots onboard yelled a happy "WOOOOO". I swear they were not much more than a boat length off me.

I invited them to come back and discuss it.

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