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Old 30-05-2013, 15:28   #1
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Watch Your Wake!

Today I received that special compliment that all those powering a sailboat strive for. While motoring along at my brisk 6.5kts in the Intracoastal Waterway I received the radio call from a marina to, "Watch your Wake!" I did look back with pride to see my typical 4 inch wake lapping against the floating dock and thought to comply and slow down. I actually think that a 14' outboard that flew by earlier was the source of the disruption, but I'll claim the disturbance. Over my five decades of operating a sailboat I've been cautioned to slow down on only two previous occassions. There's something rewarding for the operator of a sailboat, wether under power or sail, to be told that you're going too fast! Especially, as the owner of a non-performance cruiser, I was honored to be asked to slow down. Who else among the sailors has recieved such an accolade?
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Old 30-05-2013, 15:34   #2
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Re: Watch Your Wake!

Shortly after being continuously waked by a long string of sportfishing boats going full throttle through a manatee zone in Florida I was pulled over by the marine patrol for having an excessive wake while traveling at my usual 6 knots under power. Now where this guy was hiding in the mangroves there is no way he didn't see that string of wakers go blasting by him oblivious to manatees or common courtesy. I will give him this, he let me go when I angrily pointed out that I was probably the only boat on the ICW going less than 15-20 knots with a wake less than 3 feet high!
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Old 30-05-2013, 15:35   #3
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Re: Watch Your Wake!

Just curious... where were you located?

On the other hand of that, I am tied up to a dock that is right past an inlet on the ICW (Ponce Inlet) and right between a narrowing of markers. On the weekend I can barely do anything on the boat due to consistent high wakes.
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Old 30-05-2013, 16:20   #4
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Re: Watch Your Wake!

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Originally Posted by mikepmtl View Post
Just curious... where were you located? ...................
Hey, I'm no stranger to obnoxious wakes, but I'm just not accustomed to being able to produce one! My impressive wake was when passing the Barefoot Landing at North Myrtle Beach, Sout Carolina.
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Old 30-05-2013, 16:30   #5
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Re: Watch Your Wake!

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Just curious... where were you located?
I can't remember exactly where, but it was somewhere between Jupiter Inlet and St. Lucie Inlet. I have reported excessive wakes a few times, when they rose to dangerous levels, and the Coast Guard refuses to do anything unless you can report and document damage or injuries, and to do that you need evidence and you need to bring it into their office. Near Ft. Myers beach one time we took green water completely across the deck of our high-freeboard 38-foot motorsailor to the point our V-berth was completely flooded and we had inches of water over the floorboards. There was a marine patrol and the CG nearby and they did nothing when I reported it.
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Old 30-05-2013, 17:10   #6
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Re: Watch Your Wake!

The worst wake I ever encountered was heading out the Chesapeake approaching the Bay Bridge Tunnel early in the morning in the Spring of 1971. I was at the helm of a 110' converted WWII sub-chaser/mine-sweeper. The owner and other crew member were sleeping after the night out from the Potomac and we were crusing at 12 knotts. With the dawn's light I saw a Sea-Land container ship over taking us from the port quarter with the entire bay, for as far as I could see, scalloped with the extending waves of his wake. I woke up the captain/owner to ask him if he wanted me to turn into this wake. Before looking, he reminded me that I was on a 110' boat without a need to turn into a wake; but after looking, he ran out to remove some loose items from the deck as he told me to go ahead with the turn. After the spray washed the deck and our wheel house we turned back to course in time to see the wake wash clear across the causeway before it entered the tunnel. I've never seen anything like this since, but I sometimes imagine such a surprise comming to me on a calm night in one of those shallow bays like the Chesapeake where these events can be agumented.
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Old 30-05-2013, 20:51   #7
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Worst wake these days, is consistently from "picnic" boats. A blue hull means I can drive like an @hole! They all do it.
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Old 30-05-2013, 21:49   #8
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Re: Watch Your Wake!

Worst wake I ever crossed was from a surfaced USN submarine coming out the San Diego channel while I was heading in. Ferocious!

As far as my sailboat goes, I need to slow down to <6kts in a no-wake zone. At 7-8 knots I throw a pretty good wake, and at 9 knots I can do serious damage.
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Old 30-05-2013, 22:06   #9
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Re: Watch Your Wake!

Same here, but heading South into Admiralty Inlet near Port Townsend.
Flat water, no wind and nobody in sight but a ICBM nuclear sub on the surface.
The sub's crew and we did a high five (pre 9/11) about 100 yards apart and promptly our boat (Lord Nelson 35) did a faceplant with green water over the bowsprit and housetop.
Interesting, only ONE wave. Huge, and then nothing.
After that, they really put the hammer down.
They did a horizon job in minutes.
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