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Old 13-08-2018, 13:05   #1
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Break your wake!

Please read carefully before reacting! paragraphs 1 through 9 to state the case.



1) I believe the every person should have the right to experience the adventure and enjoyment of venturing out onto water regardless of their financial status or choice of the type and size of water craft they decide or are able to own.


2) In the jurisdiction of Canada there are laws under ‘The criminal code of Canada’ specifying penalties of fines and jail time for swamping small craft and endangering life through the careless operation of water craft. On an international basis Regardless of whether there are laws in place of not? There is a basic principle at play called ‘seamanship’ that the person at the controls of a large powerful water craft should not operate it in a way that swamps and soaks passengers in a smaller boat such as a dinghy.


3) Practice in the use and operation of dinghies, powered by sail or outboard is a fundamental part of pleasure boat cruising. Right from the beginner learning how to board one from a dock to the greater challenge of egress at a vessel at anchor, they are a fundamental part of ‘The cruising life’.


4) Persons using this mode of transport should expect to be able to arrive alive, safe, and dry under normal circumstances without having to deal with the threat to their safety being caused by an ignorant operator of a larger vessel.



5) By definition, most of us have ‘come up through the ranks’ as children introduced to the boating life by our parents, while others have diligently taught themselves theory through reading literature plus watching videos on the internet produced by accredited organizations.


6) Unfortunately the standards of licensing and testing for competence in the non-commercial maritime realm do not yet seem to equal those normally applied to comparable sized vehicles used in air and land transportation.


7) Thus the sad commentary is that any idiot with enough wealth or credit can avail themselves of a powerful watercraft and with all engines on full throttle; career around the coastlines of the world. Creating three very steep wake waves and swamping small boats.



8) In this jurisdiction it is not illegal to drink alcoholic beverages on a boat: It is only illegal to be intoxicated. Right! Prove that out on the ocean more than a few yards/meters from land. Remote from law enforcement supervision I believe It has been reasonable to assume that in many instances alcohol has played a part in the lack of inhibitions & charged up excitement for the quest for speed has fueled the disregard for harbour speed limits and small craft safety of SUP’s, Kayaker’s, canoeists, and small dinghy operators.


9) The boating safety video’s sanctioned by The Government of Canada quite rightly advises dinghy operators to turn towards and cross the steep wake waves, (which in one case also swamped our outboard so that it would not restart and We had to be towed back in by another boat) unfortunately that same set of instruction video’s does not include advice to large power boat owners/


Now I did not write this preamble to gripe, but rather to ask IF there is a power boat owner out there somewhere with an interest in photography/drone operation, who could experiment, photograph and document the principle. That while on approach to a small craft, especially if on full plane; The throttles should be rapidly closed, This will cause the hull to continue to glide forward past the small craft, So that after passing it; when the throttles are once again progressively opened, will speed the power boat upon its way with minimal loss of time and speed. Yet leave the small craft in a calm pool of water.



In English experience I have heard this called “Break your wake” The small craft operators request for consideration indicated by a slow movement of outstretched arm moved like a bird’s wing. (NOT intended as a greeting!)
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Old 19-08-2018, 18:24   #2
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Re: Break your wake!

I am sure that the nature of a boats wake is very specific to hull type and trim, but most planing boats that I have experience with have their least wake when they are operating at full speed, or at very, very slow speed. Whenever we were operating different power boats at full speed and on plane and then abruptly throttled down the boats tended to quickly stall as to speed and then transition from planing mode to displacement mode and proceed to toss up a much larger wake.

There might be a very short period where the wake would be made more modest during the instant transition from full power plane to displacement but I am not sure one could time such so as to provide minimum wake on an approach to a small craft.

I have been wake tossed abruptly by a large US Coast Guard cutter when it was quickly headed out of San Diego harbor in the channel. It's wake was huge and caused our motor boat to spin a full 360 degrees, then its wake rolled up the stern of a sailboat and flooded the cockpit and dumped water down the companion way, and a bit further along it capsized another small boat. The radio waves became extremely heated as that USCG cutter headed out rankling and endangering many small craft. I watched one boat took out their flare gun and shot a couple of rounds at the Coasties, one across its bow and the other directly at the bridge deck, bursting on their glass. Another much smaller USCG boat came to the rescue of the small craft that their larger cutter had capsized.

Seen far too many instances of wakes causing difficulties and damage.
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Old 19-08-2018, 18:51   #3
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Re: Break your wake!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Montanan View Post
I am sure that the nature of a boats wake is very specific to hull type and trim, but most planing boats that I have experience with have their least wake when they are operating at full speed, or at very, very slow speed. Whenever we were operating different power boats at full speed and on plane and then abruptly throttled down the boats tended to quickly stall as to speed and then transition from planing mode to displacement mode and proceed to toss up a much larger wake.

There might be a very short period where the wake would be made more modest during the instant transition from full power plane to displacement but I am not sure one could time such so as to provide minimum wake on an approach to a small craft.

I have been wake tossed abruptly by a large US Coast Guard cutter when it was quickly headed out of San Diego harbor in the channel. It's wake was huge and caused our motor boat to spin a full 360 degrees, then its wake rolled up the stern of a sailboat and flooded the cockpit and dumped water down the companion way, and a bit further along it capsized another small boat. The radio waves became extremely heated as that USCG cutter headed out rankling and endangering many small craft. I watched one boat took out their flare gun and shot a couple of rounds at the Coasties, one across its bow and the other directly at the bridge deck, bursting on their glass. Another much smaller USCG boat came to the rescue of the small craft that their larger cutter had capsized.

Seen far too many instances of wakes causing difficulties and damage.
When did this happen? It would be interesting to read contemporaneous accounts. This would have been newsworthy.
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Old 19-08-2018, 19:28   #4
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Re: Break your wake!

I try not to let wakes bother me. The way I see it, if I am unprepared to cross some A-hole's wake, I am definitely not prepared for what mother nature may have planned for me.


Just my way of dealing with it, when possible.
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Old 19-08-2018, 20:38   #5
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Re: Break your wake!

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Originally Posted by coastalexplorer View Post
6) Unfortunately the standards of licensing and testing for competence in the non-commercial maritime realm do not yet seem to equal those normally applied to comparable sized vehicles used in air and land transportation.
I am guessing the licensing requirements for the operation of a road vehicle in Canada must be MUCH more stringent than ANYWHERE else I have been... Everywhere else I go I seem to find a larger percentages of bad and dangerous drivers on the road than on the water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coastalexplorer View Post
7) Thus the sad commentary is that any idiot with enough wealth or credit can avail themselves of a powerful watercraft and with all engines on full throttle; career around the coastlines of the world. Creating three very steep wake waves and swamping small boats.
Yes, so sad. Lucky we are that not every body can get an automobile driver's license. We should be so happy the government keeps so many idiots and rich people who could just buy a car off the roads.
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Old 19-08-2018, 21:56   #6
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Re: Break your wake!

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Originally Posted by Orion Jim View Post
When did this happen? It would be interesting to read contemporaneous accounts. This would have been newsworthy.
Let see I was a young teenager then, now I am 61. Thus, late 1960's or very early 1970's. I recall it was one of the larger type of USCG vessels, which I believe they call a medium endurance cutter, around mid-200 feet in length. We never learned what their big hurry was but they were really cooking and did not stop even though they had capsized a craft. But some of the CG Cutter's crew ducked when the flare was shot at and hit their bridge deck and others of the crew in the rear of the cutter were pointing at the boats that were in distress due to their large wake and running about trying to figure out what they should do to help. I recall a lot of horns being blasted by the pleasure craft, much cussing and unkind words on the radio, which I am sure the Coast Guard heard the entire litany of heated call outs. And abundant use of hand gestures.
That was before there were Stand Your Ground gun laws and I don't know if those apply to maritime situations when you are shooting at the Coast Guard vessel. Well at least a highly visible signal was directed their way. Bang against the thick glass.

The small USCG boat crew responded immediately as they too had to deal with the large cutter's severe wake and pulled the two persons from the water whose boat had capsized and they gathered up their gear that remained floating and then towed the small craft towards a harbor. A few small power boats that were in bound, turned around when they saw the cutter coming their direction and laying out a huge wake. The small power boats were able to travel fast enough to stay ahead of the cutter and thus ahead of the dangerous wake. I don't know if there was any regulations as to speed of travel or excess wake formation in the San Diego harbor. We had just returned from a day of fishing near the Coronado Islands off Tijuana, my brother's friend owned and was skippering the power boat, about 25 feet in length with twin 150 HP outboards, and I remember him powering down and turning into the wake and saying S**T, Hold on! then we were tossed and rotated in a complete circle by the curl of the wake. I ended up falling onto the floor and banging my head against a fishing tackle box, bad bump, but no cut. My brother, an officer in the Air Force was really angry and I think he made some calls to the Coast Guard, as he felt that civilians had been placed in danger and property damaged.
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Old 26-08-2018, 15:26   #7
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Re: Break your wake!

Quote:
Originally Posted by coastalexplorer View Post
Now I did not write this preamble to gripe, but rather to ask IF there is a power boat owner out there somewhere with an interest in photography/drone operation, who could experiment, photograph and document the principle. That while on approach to a small craft, especially if on full plane; The throttles should be rapidly closed, This will cause the hull to continue to glide forward past the small craft, So that after passing it; when the throttles are once again progressively opened, will speed the power boat upon its way with minimal loss of time and speed. Yet leave the small craft in a calm pool of water.

When I'm canoeing, some of the worst wakes I've encountered have been from craft that slowed down in a genuine but counterproductive attempt at courtesy. For most boats, the greatest wake is at speeds just above hull speed.



I don't believe it's a good idea to close the throttle and try to glide past someone. I've operated larger power boats that throw a significant wake. It's the hull that makes the wake, not just the propeller. Abruptly cutting power changes the angle of attack of the boat and causes the wake to catch up with the stern, and applying full power could cause the boat to behave unpredictably or the prop to cavitate.
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Old 26-08-2018, 15:35   #8
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Re: Break your wake!

A video of proper procedures for a rapid stop from planing.

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Old 26-08-2018, 15:47   #9
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Re: Break your wake!

Quote:
Originally Posted by billknny View Post
I am guessing the licensing requirements for the operation of a road vehicle in Canada must be MUCH more stringent than ANYWHERE else I have been... Everywhere else I go I seem to find a larger percentages of bad and dangerous drivers on the road than on the water.



Yes, so sad. Lucky we are that not every body can get an automobile driver's license. We should be so happy the government keeps so many idiots and rich people who could just buy a car off the roads.



Required in Canada: https://www.boat-ed.com/canada/studyGuide/10119901/


https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafet...erator-360.htm



Not very comprehensive,but at least it's an attempt. Len
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Old 26-08-2018, 17:29   #10
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Re: Break your wake!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Montanan View Post
Let see I was a young teenager then, now I am 61. Thus, late 1960's or very early 1970's. I recall it was one of the larger type of USCG vessels, which I believe they call a medium endurance cutter, around mid-200 feet in length. We never learned what their big hurry was but they were really cooking and did not stop even though they had capsized a craft. But some of the CG Cutter's crew ducked when the flare was shot at and hit their bridge deck and others of the crew in the rear of the cutter were pointing at the boats that were in distress due to their large wake and running about trying to figure out what they should do to help. I recall a lot of horns being blasted by the pleasure craft, much cussing and unkind words on the radio, which I am sure the Coast Guard heard the entire litany of heated call outs. And abundant use of hand gestures.
That was before there were Stand Your Ground gun laws and I don't know if those apply to maritime situations when you are shooting at the Coast Guard vessel. Well at least a highly visible signal was directed their way. Bang against the thick glass.

The small USCG boat crew responded immediately as they too had to deal with the large cutter's severe wake and pulled the two persons from the water whose boat had capsized and they gathered up their gear that remained floating and then towed the small craft towards a harbor. A few small power boats that were in bound, turned around when they saw the cutter coming their direction and laying out a huge wake. The small power boats were able to travel fast enough to stay ahead of the cutter and thus ahead of the dangerous wake. I don't know if there was any regulations as to speed of travel or excess wake formation in the San Diego harbor. We had just returned from a day of fishing near the Coronado Islands off Tijuana, my brother's friend owned and was skippering the power boat, about 25 feet in length with twin 150 HP outboards, and I remember him powering down and turning into the wake and saying S**T, Hold on! then we were tossed and rotated in a complete circle by the curl of the wake. I ended up falling onto the floor and banging my head against a fishing tackle box, bad bump, but no cut. My brother, an officer in the Air Force was really angry and I think he made some calls to the Coast Guard, as he felt that civilians had been placed in danger and property damaged.
Memory's a tricky little sucker.

Sadly the medium endurance cutters from the 1960s (210s) were still in service throughout my Coast Guard career (recently retired), and I deployed on them so very familiar from hundreds of landings flown up the wake to the flight deck. The entire story sounds highly unlikely. First, the wake from that ship, regardless of speed, wouldn't cause that kind of damage. The biggest wake the thing puts out is pretty mild, for example this picture is one at full speed (https://www.globalsecurity.org/milit...-shipphoto.jpg).

Second, people don't fire pyrotechnics at anyone without an intent to cause significant bodily harm. Let alone at a large armed law enforcement ship with a bunch of smaller ships from that same agency around. Because they're pissed at a wake. Seriously, this just stretches all credulity. I admit I wasn't around in the 60's, so it could be that some of those involved in this story were on some serious mind altering substances that weren't commonplace in my era.
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Old 26-08-2018, 18:19   #11
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Re: Break your wake!

The turbulence created by propellers is small compared to the the wave form generated by the water passing around the hull. If you tow a boat fast, it will generate roughly the same size wake as if it was powered.

Chopping the throttles and "gliding" will only reduce the wake if you you do it long enough to slow the boat to a no wake speed.

The size and steepness of the wake varies by hull form, bow angle, how much of the hull is immersed and speed. Most boats have speeds where their wake is reduced but this can only be found by experimentation - which requires an owner who cares.

Here's a fairly technical discussion of wake formation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wake
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Old 26-08-2018, 18:36   #12
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Re: Break your wake!

Nice cutter, but I don't think that was the type of ship, I don't recall it having a helipad and as I recall, it was longer. But then all big boats look big when your in a 25 footer.

Examples below of images of large wakes from coast guard vessels. Large being relative, these are huge when one is in a small craft, operating in an otherwise smooth channel.

Yes, shooting flares across the bow to non-subtly garner attention is one thing, but popping off one directly at anyone is crazy nuts, obviously the guys were not calm minded boaters, probably had a few too many beers on their outing on the hot day. Seeing it was like: Whoa!! Their flare HIT the cutter.
Anyway the small coast guard boat and crew was put into action resolving the larger cutter's wake related accident. I have no idea if there are / were wake constraints in the San Diego Harbor Channel but given the number of small boats in that shelter water there probably should be.

Click image for larger version

Name:	Picture of coast guard wake.jpg
Views:	18
Size:	116.5 KB
ID:	176198

Click image for larger version

Name:	Cutter with wake.jpg
Views:	19
Size:	182.0 KB
ID:	176199


Link to a Getty image of the wake from a 110 foot coast guard cutter, which would be a much smaller cutter:

https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/n...ure-id73449061
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