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Old 09-10-2003, 01:05 PM
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Default Small boats offshore

I am looking for advice from the unique group who head offshore in boats less than 24'. I would prefer the advice from captains who actually run their current boat offshore rather than those with larger boats. I think there are a lot of us out there and maybe we have some tips that would help all of us. I'll offer one tip to start things off:

One of the big differences I discovered this year after running my boat offshore compared to inshore was how much more mental and physical energy it demands. It sounds simple but,I recommend a good nights sleep before you head out and also heading back in while you are still sharp. Some of the things I got away with fluke fishing in the bay...no sleep, etc.. are dangerous when heading offshore.
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Old 09-10-2003, 01:09 PM
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Default Small boats offshore

I know I know.. my boat is 2' larger than what you are asking about.. but clarify "offshore"... how far do you consider offshore?...

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Old 09-10-2003, 01:15 PM
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Default Small boats offshore

I run my boat offshore all the time. And I am in SC, so to get out to the stream early in the season we are talking 60 miles 1 way. As long as you take the proper precautions(we all know what they are), you should be fine. I ALWAYS have a buddy boat though.

Good nights sleep is a good idea also.

PS- I run a Contender so I am usaully not sore at all.
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Old 09-10-2003, 01:53 PM
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Default Small boats offshore

I run about 20 miles routinely in a 19' Sea Pro CC. I really pick the days take al of the precautions and rarely go it alone.
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Old 09-10-2003, 01:55 PM
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Default Small boats offshore

BTW, I believe the previous post was my first on this site. I fish in-shore and near-shore in the Ga and SC waters.
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Old 09-10-2003, 01:57 PM
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Default Small boats offshore

1) go down the night before and get some sleep
2) do not drink while offshore
3) do not go out alone
4) file a float plan with the marina where you launch
5) don't try "something new" in the middle of a trip; try it next time after you've planned for it
6) always err on the side of caution- if it starts looking iffy, get back in
7) don't bring too much sh&t- keep the deck clear and everything stowed
8) use the one-third rule- 1/3 tank out; 1/3 tank in; 1/3 in reserve
9) don't bring all your buddies at once- three is max on my boat
10) keep your antenna up & radio on

mine's been 50 miles offshore- which was probably too far...but 30- 40 mi out is the norm

Pacific 19CC, Yamaha F100
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Old 09-10-2003, 02:00 PM
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Default Small boats offshore

I run a 24 Albemarle to the offshore grounds 40-50 miles and the Norfolk Canyon / 100 fathom line off Virginia. Canyons and other areas are up to 70 miles from my inlet which is just inside the Ches Bay (about 8 miles inside). Rest and no hangover is a good idea. Have a good crew who knows the drill and can help when needed. Have all the safety equipment you can carry. Epirb, sea anchor ditch bag with all of the necessary items, good electronics, etc...I don't always run to and from with another boat but I stay in touch with people throughout the day and I file a float plan with my wife.

Best advice, don't push it on an "iffy" forecast. It's not worth it.

Glenn
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Old 09-10-2003, 02:00 PM
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Default Small boats offshore

I run a 22' W/A 30-35 miles offshore and follow some simple rules:

1. If alone, wear a PFD and Ignition teether.
2. NOAA radio on at all times.
3. Triple redundancy on all safety equip.
4. Always keep an eye on the sky for changing conditions.
5. The first time you even THINK the weather MIGHT turn bad, run like Hell for home!
6. Plenty of fuel and extra gallon of oil.
7. Float plan.

Hope this is helpful.
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Old 09-10-2003, 02:13 PM
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Default Small boats offshore

I typically run 28 to 42 nm but have gone 60+ to the BlackJack Hole in my 24 ft Albemarle. The biggest problem with the 60 nmile trip is how long it takes. I have been caught in honest 5 footers every 5 sec with 20 to 25knt NE wind. You got to slow down to 15 to 16 knts for that which really makes for a long uncomfortable trip.

One thing you can count on is that sooner or later you are going to get caught in rough weather you weren't planning on. Better have a boat that can handle it. That day with the 5 footers had been forcast for 2 to 3 ft. Other than that the under 50 nm trips are a breeze.

Would be better if I had a hot rod twin OB type boat that could get me there in 30 minutes but I don't.

Oh yeah, I passed all the other boats on the way back in, in those 5 footers!

Hope this helps.

Hal
'Albemarlin'



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Old 09-10-2003, 02:17 PM
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Default Small boats offshore

Ditto above, add EPIRB, and enjoy.
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Old 09-10-2003, 02:33 PM
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Default Small boats offshore

I have a 21 foot center console that I routinely run 20-25 miles off the NC coast. I will go 35-40, but I pick and choose my days. All of the other posted info is good also.
I do recommend hand held back-up for your GPS and VHF. You won't talk back to the house that far out, but at least someone will hear you.


Take a kid fishin'!
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Old 09-10-2003, 02:37 PM
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Default Small boats offshore

SeaNote2...20 miles is a hell of a long way out for that 18 ft boat. I know, I have one. Call me wimpy or overly conservative, but you won't see me that far out. Too much can happen too fast and that boat just doesn't have the seaworthiness to handle much rough stuff. Hope your luck keeps holding up.....
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Old 09-10-2003, 02:39 PM
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Default Small boats offshore

i have a sea hunt 19'6 and run out to about 30 miles tops. never going out that's the problem it's the coming back. these boats usually too small to have radar. watch the sky and know where the rigs are (sometimes have to tie up.) squalls move fast. don't freak out when things turn bad- they will. carry a sea anchor. carry safety gear. your vhf doesn't have the range a bigger boats does- probably a whip antenna. in bad weather you aren't going to hit the coast guard from 30 miles.
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Old 09-10-2003, 03:34 PM
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Default Small boats offshore

AMR72, Though I'm curently "involved" with a large Hatteras, and have personally owned boats ranging from 18' to 31', I thought I'd respond, as I've spent 8 seasons running a single outboard powered Wellcraft 248, often taking it 60 miles offshore. That boat took me out to the Hudson Canyon and back, safely, several times.

Here's a few tips;

Choose your crew wisely. You can't depend on someone who is likely to do nothing more then drink beer all day!

Also, make sure everyone onboard is aware that running offshore in a small boat is a team effort. You can always use an extra pair of eyes to help you scan for signs of fish, or hazards.

Make sure your friends are willing to listen to you. Nothing's worse then having someone aboard who insists on doing their "own thing".

Something that's often overlooked. Don't carry more then you need, in tackle, ice, bait, or fuel. Extra fuel is nice, but there is a point of diminishing returns, where the extra weight just kills your milage. I found by trial and error that my Wellcraft had an ideal weight/range/safety ratio, and I always tried to keep it in it's sweet spot.

If possible, find out if anyone at your marina is planning on going out to the area you intend to fish, and ask if you can follow them out, or at least stay in contact with them. Preferably someone with more experience, and a larger, better equipped craft! This is why I ran offshore with a single, always knowing that help was just a short ways off.


We've corresponded in the past, so you know how to get in touch with me. If you ever need some pointers, drop me a line.

[This message was edited by Fubar512 on 09-10-03 at 05:43 PM.]

[This message was edited by Fubar512 on 09-10-03 at 05:53 PM.]
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Old 09-10-2003, 03:52 PM
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Default Small boats offshore

21 foot boat single Yamaha. Farthest offshore I've gone is around 70 miles. 30-60 is common, to me anything less than 30 is "inshore".

Best advice is probably pick you days carefully weather-wise. Its just not that fun to beat your way offshore on crappy days. I've done it plenty of times and it gets old. Like AGULHAS said, "don't freak out when things turn bad."

One thing I don't agree with is the "if it starts looking bad, run home philosophy." Squalls suck, and unless it is really hot I don’t like getting rained on, but if you run every time the weather starts looking nasty you will spend more time running than fishing. (At least that’s how it is in the northern gulf.)

Dream Weaver Fishing Team
21 foot Cape Horn
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Old 09-10-2003, 04:03 PM
  #16    
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Default Small boats offshore

If you're the captain and wait until you're tired and exhausted before heading in from offshore, you've probably waited too long. Be smart.

Drifter

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Old 09-10-2003, 05:13 PM
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Default Small boats offshore

I also run offshore in my 23 ft boat. I pick my days and plan days in advance Allways take safety gear and have a back up for each!!!! we run 60+ miles every time we go. and have not had any problems.


23 Donzi W/A Twin 140 johnson 4 strokes
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Old 09-10-2003, 05:20 PM
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Default Small boats offshore

there are days when ANY boat would do fine,
and days when nobody is safe out there....i
think the length of the boat, per se, is not
as cogent as the fitness of the people (mentally
and physically) and the fitness of the boat
(maintenence of all systems, fully equipped,
and well "sea-trialed" beforehand)....one doesnt
see deaths and coast guard activity offshore
concentrated on any size of boat....the great
majority of deaths are within a mile of land!!!
if you want an ideal primer, make a long
run, i.e. the 80-100 miles, you plan to do,
but do it ALONGSHORE where inlets, towing, and
general help are right handy....my guess is,
if you have two hundred mile trips off only
2-5 miles , you will know if you and your boat
are ready........................dan
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Old 09-10-2003, 05:23 PM
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Default Small boats offshore

i run anywhere from 15-20 miles in my 19ft stamas you just have to pick your day wear your life jacket keep the vhf and the national weather service on all the time and just be causious and i never go farther than i am capable of going remember it might be a nice easy ride out but it can be a long scary ride in if it gets nasty
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Old 09-10-2003, 05:25 PM
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Default Small boats offshore

1800 cc Maycraft. I pick my days. Try to buddyboat. Float plan, go out early so I can return early before afternoon storms, 15 miles tops without a buddy boat.
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