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Unsafe Seas

Old 07-14-2019, 07:53 PM
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Default Unsafe Seas

Just curious to how big of seas you guys with boats in the 26' range are making you stay at the dock. Ive recently upgraded from a Sailfish 216 to a Sailfish 2660 and haven't been out in anything bigger than 2' chop in the 2660 and it was a breeze compared to the 216. I know there are factors like the wave period etc etc.
Old 07-15-2019, 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by RAMRODNEY View Post
Just curious to how big of seas you guys with boats in the 26' range are making you stay at the dock. Ive recently upgraded from a Sailfish 216 to a Sailfish 2660 and haven't been out in anything bigger than 2' chop in the 2660 and it was a breeze compared to the 216. I know there are factors like the wave period etc etc.
there are so many factors

not only wave height and period but currents, wind, wind direction, overall weather forecast, actual weather, operator experience, boat build/quality, passenger tolerance, etc

i have gotten beaten up plenty of times in 30-40 foot boats.

i hear its a world of difference once you jump to 50+ feet

Last edited by mystery; 07-15-2019 at 12:25 AM. Reason: UALITY
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Old 07-15-2019, 04:18 AM
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Most everyone eventually learns the hard way. Then you will know when to tackle the honey do list, or work on the boat. Stay safe. 4’ in any 26’, almost any period, isn’t much fun.
Old 07-15-2019, 04:19 AM
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Boats can typically handle more than people.
Old 07-15-2019, 04:31 AM
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I have the 2660 and generally don't go out if it's better than 3'. Since your outta Ramrod, Hawks Channel sucks with an e or se wind that's better than 12knts when your going straight s offshore. I forced myself over the reefline on a horrible day last summer due to seeing frigate's on mahi, and it was true 5's (got four decent ones). It handled it but not fun at all, that boat isn't big enough to ride in that sea state, especially when it's confused. The pro's of the boat is it very rarely pounds, lands soft even when your sure it's gonna slam. The con's are that it does ride wet on a quartering or beam sea with any type of wind. Overall I really like the ride, good luck with it.
Old 07-15-2019, 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by mystery View Post
there are so many factors

not only wave height and period but currents, wind, wind direction, overall weather forecast, actual weather, operator experience, boat build/quality, passenger tolerance, etc

i have gotten beaten up plenty of times in 30-40 foot boats.

i hear its a world of difference once you jump to 50+ feet
Got beat up in The Carolinian (>50) off Oregon Inlet many years ago. Only two of the whole fleet left the dock. We left with Tony Tillett and got the living Chit out of us. We DID kill YFT that day, though.
Old 07-15-2019, 04:41 AM
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The reason so few people get hurt is that boats can take far more than the people on the boats can. Lots of stupid decisions can be covered up with a solid boat and a working motor.

The question is really what you and your crew can take, which is why this is difficult to answer.
Old 07-15-2019, 05:00 AM
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Like mentioned before, boats can take more than people.
I don't venture out often then the seas get to 3'+. But in Long Island Sound its usually a tight chop.
I just don't enjoy getting pounded and rocked for hours.
Old 07-15-2019, 05:56 AM
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Just because you can doesn’t always mean you should, a lot can happen that can suddenly make the biggest of boats seem small, especially when you take black water over the bow, been there, boat was good and drained good (28’CC), but looking back should not have put myself in that position, seas were 3’ or so then all of a sudden a really big one came along, the wind was steady out of the NE, so that was a big variable that I should have factored in that I didn’t
Old 07-15-2019, 06:52 AM
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2' chop can quickly turn to 4' chop when the tide changes on the bay.
Old 07-15-2019, 07:02 AM
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IMO, within reason, speed is more dangerous when the weather doesn't cooperate than the size of the boat. Just slow down and you can go in bigger seas. I use to go dolphin fishing all the time in my old 21' Pro-line in 3-4' seas 15-20 miles offshore that most always turned into 5-6' by the afternoon out of Ft Pierce. It would take a little longer, an hour or so, to get out there and back in, but never had any issues other than the occasional person getting seasick.

But then I bought a WC, which I highly recommend if you fish in 3'ers regularly
Old 07-15-2019, 07:13 AM
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1st, it becomes unfishable. This occurs when two hands are required to hold onto the boat at all times, making it impossible to work your gear. 2nd, it becomes unsafe when the seas are so large, steep and/or breaking, that green water is coming over the bow and the scuppers are having a tough time draining the cockpit quickly enough.

Miserable precedes each of the above. Why would anyone go out when they knew it was going to be miserable? 1 and 2 occur because shit happens and you got caught in it.
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Old 07-15-2019, 07:30 AM
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Coming out of port Everglades inlet got caught in 6’ ers. Caught because I couldn’t turn around right away for fear of capsizing so I had to continue heading until I could time a gap between waves to come about.

This was a 24 ft Sea Ray.
Old 07-15-2019, 07:35 AM
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We recently took a 2360 sailfish out...Forecast was 2.5@8 with a NE wind@10..I stared at my feet for the 3hour ride out getting soaked..It was definitely more than forecast. We made it out and back...It was wet and miserable. The boat definitely handled it better than we did... Honestly you will probably have to find out the hard way what your limit is..
Old 07-15-2019, 07:42 AM
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I went by the wind forecast more than the seas. If its blowing 20+, I stayed in. Use windfinder. It seems no one can agree on wave heights. One guys 4' is another guys 2' chop. I didnt get out the tape measure, but in my 27, being in 4' wasnt horrible. 5'-6' was scary, slowed me down to 6 knots. Over 6' could stuff the bow and capsize the boat.

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Old 07-15-2019, 07:53 AM
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3-5 sucks. It’s fishable and not unsafe in the right boat, but that phrase gets thrown around on this site way too much by people who obviously don’t spend a lot of time on the water. Fished 3-5s on Friday on a 39 Seahunter, a big ass boat, and it wasn’t a walk in the park. 30+ mile runs thru legit 3-5s is a beating and personally I don’t see much reason to go out and fish it that chit anymore.

Im sure there’s plenty of guys here who have fished 3-5s on a 25 footer but they’re lying to you if they tell you it’s easy or a fun time.

4-6 is a straight pounding even in a big boat when you’re trying to rig baits, manage tackle, or otherwise just run the pit. Anything 6 or better is useless to fish in.

Of course if you run a seakeeper all this goes out the window

(assume this is all med to short period 1-1.5x forecasted wave height)
Old 07-15-2019, 07:54 AM
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I focus on wind speed, wind direction and what the tide is doing...and try and balance that equation with what depth you’ll be boating in.

Speaking of depth:

I boat up in British Columbia: There are places where a 4 foot swell that wouldn’t normally get anybody’s attention come in from 300 feet of depth from the NW and stacks up on a 25 foot shelf that extends 1/2 mile off the headlands. They come onto that shelf at 4 feet, then meet a rebounding 8 footer that has bounced off the headlands and is going back out to sea. They call this dynamic the clapotis effect.


You just absolutely do not want to be in that spot where those two waves meet, ESPECIALLY on an ebb tide flowing south to north...

Tidal effect can really get your attention, especially when there’s a boomer flood or a boomer ebb stacking up against wind in a constricted area. The seas can turn into a boiling cauldron and trying to keep your boat “into it” has no meaning because, well....you’re in it.

I got caught in a SE blow, maybe 25 - 30 knot winds in a 22 foot boat a few years ago. Waves stacked up against that wind and due to tide, were going straight up and down....limited period between them....I recall free-falling off the tops of cresting ten-footers, blue water pounding the wheelhouse glass. It lasted for a couple of hours before I made it into a bay for protection. I got a genuine case of PTSD from that event.

Got home, promptly went out and bought a 24 footer, then the next summer, got caught in a similar event and I was just as skairt....

As mentioned above, the boat will take way more then we can....the question is....how much more?




Old 07-15-2019, 08:33 AM
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When the NOAA posts small craft advisories
Old 07-15-2019, 08:43 AM
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If you have to ask this question on a forum, and can't make the determination yourself you should probably stay in at anything more than 2'
Old 07-15-2019, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Kack View Post
If you have to ask this question on a forum, and can't make the determination yourself you should probably stay in at anything more than 2'
yes you are right I can’t make the determination because I have never had a boat this big so I do not know what’s it’s capable of, thank you for your input

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