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New boat. First time taking it in the ocean. Any tips?

Old 04-16-2020, 02:51 PM
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Default New boat. First time taking it in the ocean. Any tips?

Hey guys! I bought a 20' Sea Hunt Center Console with a 150 Johnson Ocean Pro a few months ago. I've taken it around the sound a bunch of times but I'm planning on taking it in the ocean soon to try to catch some Bonito and Spanish. I plan on picking a calm day for the first time just to get my feet wet, but I figured I'd see if anyone has any tips or recommendations. I'm sure it will be fine but never hurts to ask, thanks!
Justin

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04-16-2020, 03:06 PM
seadoc
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Red right return.
Old 04-16-2020, 03:06 PM
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Red right return.
Old 04-16-2020, 03:13 PM
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Good question. Just for peace of mind, while observing the inlet, I have a mate (son, daughter, brother, etc.) pull a hatch cover and check the bilge water level and run through a simple pre-inlet check. It's more to force thoughtfulness and spacial awareness on everyone's part than anything else. It's also a confidence builder should something go awry. Electrical, engine, etc. problems are not high pressure emergencies when the air is staying in the boat and everyone feels prepared and like they did their due diligence.

Also, I avoid having people and property on board who would not be able to fend for themselves should calamity fall. That is a huge stress relief.

You might also try jumping some huge waves, beating the boat badly, and generally participating in semi-destructive behavior prior to going out the inlet. A shake-down run.

Due to work, we find ourselves "fishing out of desperation", which means we don't get to cherry pick our days. Stated differently; we often crest the inlet in hateful conditions, and then struggle to pretend to fish for several hours. Preparation is critical.

The carb'ed OcenPro's are hands down THE best 2-stroke every produced IMO.


Old 04-16-2020, 03:24 PM
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SeaTow / TowBoatUS membership - pretty cheap as boating goes . ck tides and winds . east coast - usually east wind with an out going tide makes inlets at there worst generally .
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Old 04-16-2020, 03:28 PM
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Check the weather, then check it again from another source. Sometimes NOAA will call for 2-4, which turns out to be 4-6. Look at the inlet before trying to run it. Since I have no idea where you are, or what inlet you plan to exit and enter, I can’t give any advice on running it, except: remember, the inlet is always worse on a falling tide, and you really need to put a waypoint in your GPS in The middle of the channel, between every set of bouys. That way you can get back in, even if it get nasty.
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Old 04-16-2020, 03:28 PM
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Set your GPS to lay down a track. Set a couple waypoints that will get you back home in less than ideal circumstances.
KNOW you have way more fuel than you will use.
Life jackets
Kill Switch
Have working, required safety items--strobe, flares, VHF radio and cell phone with charger.
Let people know when you plan to return.
Old 04-16-2020, 03:36 PM
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If it feels wrong or over your comfort level, don’t do it.
Old 04-16-2020, 03:44 PM
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Ck bilge pumps , have a compass . 20' CC - that will work . Have you checked / changed the the fuel/water separator filter . The inline prime bulbs get old . clean up the battery contacts and ck batteries . grease trailer hubs / ck lights . Do you have the right size ball
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Old 04-16-2020, 03:44 PM
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EPIRB is always a good safety item (even in case of a health emergency onboard).
also if the inlet gets too rough due to onshore breeze vs outgoing tide, it's usually smoother outside of the main, deep channel- just be careful.
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Old 04-16-2020, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ed d View Post
Ck bilge pumps , have a compass . 20' CC - that will work . Have you checked / changed the the fuel/water separator filter . The inline prime bulbs get old . clean up the battery contacts and ck batteries . grease trailer / ck lights .
Yup just put new fuel water separator in and replaced bulb. Battery looks good but gonna give full charge before taking it out. Just installed new lights too.
Old 04-16-2020, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by saltydog235 View Post
If it feels wrong or over your comfort level, don’t do it.
Yup that's the plan, gonna be ultra conservative first couple times out just to be safe.
Old 04-16-2020, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Js121786 View Post
Yup just put new fuel water separator in and replaced bulb. Battery looks good but gonna give full charge before taking it out. Just installed new lights too.
Nice , sounds like you got your head on . I think your looking good . An anchor with rode so you can anchor up if something goes wrong . I don't have one but those PLB's (Personal Locator Beacon) are fairly cheap if you don't have the cash for an EPiRB .
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Old 04-16-2020, 04:02 PM
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plug!
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Old 04-16-2020, 04:48 PM
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Test your bilge pump and float switch. Make sure you know where your thru hulls are and how to access the seacocks.
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Old 04-16-2020, 04:56 PM
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Have you ever taken a Boating Safety class?

Going through an inlet into an ocean isn't like canoeing in Tennessee.

Be safe.
Old 04-16-2020, 04:59 PM
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Stay to the bay until you get the hang of the boat. The ocean can be a different animal unless it’s the Chesapeake bay, then some days it’s worse than the ocean. Life jacket
Old 04-16-2020, 05:03 PM
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VHF radio with GPS position and a MMSI number.
Old 04-16-2020, 05:10 PM
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Are you new to boating or just a new boat?
Get some seat time with your new boat , or new experience before going all out there.
Can you surf or drop in on a wave with trim and throttle?
Not easy to explain but important for your safety.
Old 04-16-2020, 05:15 PM
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Look for a light offshore wind the first times. Buddy boat would not hurt. Which inlet?
Old 04-16-2020, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Js121786 View Post
Hey guys! I bought a 20' Sea Hunt Center Console with a 150 Johnson Ocean Pro a few months ago. I've taken it around the sound a bunch of times but I'm planning on taking it in the ocean soon to try to catch some Bonito and Spanish. I plan on picking a calm day for the first time just to get my feet wet, but I figured I'd see if anyone has any tips or recommendations. I'm sure it will be fine but never hurts to ask, thanks!
Justin
Welcome to the forum Justin. What kind of safety, signalling and survival equipment do you have?

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