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Old 13-08-2018, 12:30   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Minnesota
Boat: Tartan 3800
Posts: 4,999
Motorboat wakes

Last weekend there wasn't any wind so I decided to motor up the river.


Wakes from smaller and moderate size power boats, anything up to around 25', don't affect me at all. I can just ignore them. Even if the wake hits us broadside or from the stern quarter, it's not big enough to affect the boat.


There are a number of twin engine cabin cruisers in the 40'-ish range on the river. They're usually around 10' abeam, have two decks, probably displace 20,000 pounds. Through the miracle of horsepower they can be driven up on plane to a speed of around 20 knots. The wake they throw is substantial. Ordinarily I turn into it, after they pass, and the boat takes it OK, the bow bounces 3 times and she settles back down. This is easy to do when they are passing in the opposite direction, and usually also possible if they are overtaking.



On Sunday I was in a group of several boats that were all waiting for lockage some commercial traffic. One of these 40' cruisers had misunderstood the lockmaster and thought he still had a chance to lock through and was pouring on the coal to make it to the gates. Overtook me a boatlength or two away at wide open throttle, and between the fact that I hadn't much way on, the presence of other traffic, and my surprise that he didn't stop when he reached the group of boats, I was unable to turn into the wake in time.


The wake caught us broadside and heeled the boat over hard, rearranging the groceries worse than too much sail on a beat, and knocking my passenger onto the floor of the cockpit hard enough she bruised her knee.


I politely mentioned the matter on the radio although in hindsight that was probably a mistake. There was no reply but the captain of the other boat did offer a halfhearted apology later while we were all waiting for the lock.


At this point, I'm putting this down as just one of those things that is part of the overall boating experience, and that there's nothing to be done about it. Would invite any comments or advice.
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Old 13-08-2018, 12:41   #2
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Re: Motorboat wakes

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Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
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At this point, I'm putting this down as just one of those things that is part of the overall boating experience, and that there's nothing to be done about it. Would invite any comments or advice.
That seems like you have just given yourself the best advice, for your enjoyment of your time on the water, your mental health and your blood pressure.

We know when we have returned to "civilization" when we start to hear some variation of "Thanks for the wake, a---hole!" constantly repeated on Ch16. The closer you get to New York City, the more often it is heard.

Yes, there are jerks out there. The best revenge is to smile and enjoy your day despite their behavior. You can get all bent out of shape and full of righteous indignation... and then same jerks will be there next weekend.
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