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What do you do when bad weather is between you and where you are headed or dock?

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What do you do when bad weather is between you and where you are headed or dock?

Old 05-15-2015, 07:56 PM
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Default What do you do when bad weather is between you and where you are headed or dock?

Locally we have had bad pop up storms. One place sun and a few feet down bad rain.
Whats the right move when bad weather pops up between you and where u are headed to dock or going?
Do you power through it, Anchor and wait it out, Dock or beach it someplace else..
Whats scary the rain we had tuesday May 11th popped up really fast on the river and was very localized about 6 inches in 2 hours.
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Old 05-15-2015, 08:02 PM
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If it were me I would stay under power and putt through it provided visibility wasn't an issue. If I couldn't see I would anchor in a spot away from any traffic areas. And if I saw waterspouts popping up in front of me I would turn around and run like hell!
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Old 05-15-2015, 08:09 PM
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The professionals tap into radar(I think even an iPad can do it - not sure) and figure where the weather head/swell is and go around it. I usually run the other direction.
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Old 05-15-2015, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Bugsbunnyboater View Post
Locally we have had bad pop up storms. One place sun and a few feet down bad rain.
Whats the right move when bad weather pops up between you and where u are headed to dock or going?
Do you power through it, Anchor and wait it out, Dock or beach it someplace else..
Whats scary the rain we had tuesday May 11th popped up really fast on the river and was very localized about 6 inches in 2 hours.
Hammer down!
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Old 05-15-2015, 08:17 PM
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Got caught like that last year. A quick spring front came through while we were headed out to Hospital rock. All I could do was point the bow into the waves and make slow headway. I don't think anchoring would have been wise. Only a last resort if I lost power. I do wish I would have thought to lower the Bimini top. I spent 2 hours ready to dive under the helm if it came crashing down. I can relate to the verse in the Edmund Fitzgerald song (when the waves turn the minutes to hours). Longest day of my life. When it passed we went on to the rocks and had a great trip. Best to watch the weather and err on to conservative side. If you do get caught have everyone including yourself don lifevests.
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Old 05-15-2015, 08:25 PM
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A weather eye is a developed tool. The answer to you question: It depends. Size of vessel, size of storm, direction of wind, intensity of rain, visibility, traffic - - the list goes on.

My slow lugger was 50' long - a very uncomfortable place to stay on anchor in heavy swells such as a thunderstorm, much more at ease underway headed into a heavy sea. Conversely, sitting at the Island with my Twin Vee anchored, isn't so bad if I just tuck in to the shallows.

There are times when it may be better to punch through a smaller squall, and times it may be better to stay put. Of course if you are underway and are a long distance from a protected harbor, you may be able to skirt around one - or it might be better to just slow down and plod through it. - -It just depends on the circumstances and what equipment you have. If you have spent as much time on the water as I have, you have probably learned like me by making the wrong choice a few times. I have regretted the decision to punch through and regretted sitting at anchor as well.

Just use your head and you will eventually develop the knack for getting it right most of the time.
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Old 05-15-2015, 08:32 PM
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Heavy rain at 6 inches in one hour means anchoring and riding it out not good. The bilge pump better be good.
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Old 05-15-2015, 09:48 PM
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I ain't worried about the rain, I'm worried about the lightning.
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Old 05-16-2015, 01:09 AM
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Rain is not going to hurt you, Jesus, be bad to get the boat wet!
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Old 05-16-2015, 03:56 AM
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stay underpower
at anchor you have much less control
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Old 05-16-2015, 04:01 AM
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There are a few variables and unknowns in your question such as the body of water you are traversing, the size of the boat, the kind of boat and the magnitude and direction of the storm's movement.

Do I run through a thunderstorm on a lake in my open 16 foot skiff versus my walkaround with hard top and curtians? Likely. Same scenario on a bay or nearshore in the skiff? I would run away from the core of the storm.

I grew up in central Florida where afternoon thunderstorms are the norm May to September. Boating requires almost for the captain to be a meteorologist. First, do your best to not put your crew and boat in this position to begin with and if the forecast calls for thunder greater thann50% coverage perhaps dont go out at all especially in an open boat.

With that said I have been caught at places like Silver Glenn Springs by some big storms which have turned Lake George on the St. Johns river into a dangerous mess for small boats or runabouts. If weather approaches I will try to move away from it especially a thunderstorm.

So if your dock is south and the thunderstorm is moving toward you and the dock and you can go north for a bit, go north. On the ocean I will try to go around a storm before punching through it. If it is just rain and no lightning I will either run through it or wait it out.
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Old 05-16-2015, 04:27 AM
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If it between, I would hang out until it passes. I am not sure I would knowingly run into a storm if it could be avoided. The storms your talking about tend to be very short lived, but also can be pretty violent. Been there done that, noted to self not to do again.
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Old 05-16-2015, 04:43 AM
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Know your boat. Understand who is with you, and conditions they can deal with. Sit and examine the storm, and if it is moving, which direction and speed.

Here in S.Fla. storms are generally localized, fast moving and intense. I generally ran around them, but I have been forced to run through. My Seacraft Master Angler 20 has so far been tough enough to challenge some pretty bad stuff. I don't like anchoring and waiting, and I am often beyond anchoring depth. If I am in anchor depth I generally have a short run to safety.

This does not apply to all areas. Guys 20 miles off the coast on the West Coast have different considerations, and there are probably more situations that warrant anchoring.
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Old 05-16-2015, 04:56 AM
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I was caght like that last summer in a centerconsole headed to my canal I couldn't outrun it was almost bling by the rais gps and slow didn't want to hold the wheel or t top with the lightning kust plugging along soaked
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Old 05-16-2015, 05:02 AM
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Keep under power and keep your bow into it. If you have a sea anchor that's also a good option. Personally I wouldn't anchor in a storm especially if the seas are confused.
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Old 05-16-2015, 05:07 AM
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I try to avoid weather issues like the plague, that being said, I have no set rule, I assess and reassess as these things blow over. If I can outrun it I will, seek shelter in a cove a better option? I will. If I get caught in it I usually put the bow into it and back off the throttle.

I'll never forget the day I was out with my buddy, we had storms passing to the north of us and to the south of us. We were anchored up and suddenly our antennas started "sizzling", we dropped the antennas and our rods in the rod holders started "sizzling", we pulled anchor and ran like hell. We were told we were experiencing "St. Elmo's fire" and were ripe to get hit by lightning.
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Old 05-16-2015, 05:15 AM
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if you anchor, make sure to let out ALOT of rode if not almost all of it and you should be fine. A properly anchored boat can handle much more than you would think.
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Old 05-16-2015, 06:48 AM
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This is why I am getting Sirius Marine Weather
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Old 05-16-2015, 06:54 AM
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If there is lightening, run

if not then jog into it, make headway but slow enough you can still see where you are going.

If you can not get away, and there is lightening find as protected of an area you can. Get everything as low as possible and hope for the best.


We run around, run from and have to ride out strong storms several times a year in the Gulf Of Mexico. Radar and weather helps, but there are times you are just caught and got to make the best of the situation. Most of the strong storms in the summer are moving fast and will be past you in 30 minutes are so. But there are days when the weather is forecasted to be good, yet there are strong thunder storms popping up one after another.
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Old 05-16-2015, 06:56 AM
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I'd keep fishing until it went away.
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