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Thread: Hewescraft Open Bow in rough waters

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    Default Hewescraft Open Bow in rough waters

    Hi.
    I fish saltwater, and sometimes get into some pretty rough stuff when a 25-30 mph wind kicks up. I have been looking at purchasing the hewes ocean pro, 22ft, but only one thing on it bothers me... the open bow! I've taken green water over the hull many times, but always in a closed-bow boat.
    Can any of you tell me if I'm getting silly if buying an open bow boat when I'm in rough waters alot???

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  2. #2
    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    I guess it depends on where you are running out of a lot. I have ran my old 20' Sportsman all over PWS and Homer with hardly any problems. Yes I've taken green water over the bow when I got into more than I should have. But then again, I have done the same thing in my new 260 Alaskan too. I'd say the 22 Ocean Pro is probably one of the most universal ocean boats out there. Nice and wide with plenty of room. If you are south central, you won't have any issues as long as you learn to read the NOAA forecast and watch the weather. The open bow drains a lot quicker than you think.

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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    That open bow will drain by the time it is nose down and going for another drink. It is amazing how fast those drain. The ocean pro is a very nice boat and would be a great choice for the salt up here. I run a 21' Tjet in the salt and have an open bow. I have never carried water in the bow for more than a few seconds. I dont put the drain plug in my anchor hold to allow all the water that may be filling it up to drain also. After a few green water dips of the bow I am usually looking for a nice place to hide!

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    Old Crab - I think your concerns are valid. When I upgraded to a newer boat, I inquired with the coast guard regarding critical safety factors to consider for an ocean boat. They indicated that a closed-bow is a key safety feature. I have since upgraded from my 22' Boulton (open bow) boat to a 26' closed bow - and yes, I definitely feel safer. And I was just reminded of this last Friday while traveling through the Sound under a small craft advisory - no way would I have felt safe in an open bow. Just my 2 cents - others likely have different thresholds for safety. I agree some of the open bows drain quickly, but is just takes 2 waves......

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    I have never understood the theory that an open bow boat will sink if the bow is full of water. Guess it all depends on the design, how much water they can possibly hold, and the waves action you are dealing with.

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    The open Bow on an ocean pro does not even hold that much water, I don't feel unsafe at all with it. I felt much more uncomfortable walking up the gunnel on a closed bow boat to set or retrieve an anchor than I do with a small open bow on an ocean pro. Just don't push the envelope and you will be fine.
    Responsible Conservation > Political Allocation

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    Member nahmint's Avatar
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    x2 with Hoose35
    Safety was a big reason I chose Hewes. And access to the bow through the door & around the gunnel & getting to stuff on the roof by standing on the gunnel were/are important to me.
    I've taken green water too, and not by choice, but the boat handled it well & I was more concerned about getting into better water too.
    I use a tip that I found on one of the forums that works well for me. I have a securely lashed rubber box in the open bow & it also greatly reduces the volume of water that can land it that area. I can still open he door and the scuppers are clear.
    We boat year round on the west coast of BC... both on inshore waters and offshore.
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    Member Mort's Avatar
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    I've not taken much water over the bow, but it's a valid concern. When I had my safety check from the USCG Aux this spring, they suggested opening up the scuppers a bit. I will likely have them enlarged later this season. I've never had a problem taking water in through the scuppers, so enlarging them seems like a good idea with little downside. Maybe just a little extra safety margin.

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    Member DMan's Avatar
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    I had an Ocean Pro and loved it. It's a great boat for the size.

    As far as the open bow. It absolutely needs bigger scuppers!!! But that only helps when you can actually get out of the water enough to drain it. The OP is going to hold about 500 lbs. of water on the bow when it's full. I have been out when it turned to snot and taken multiple hits of green water over the bow and I could notice the bow get heavy and take longer to bounce back out. I took six waves in a row once and by the second wave the bow had enough weight on it that the following waves sent more water over the bow than normal because the bow was sitting lower in the water effectively creating more downward pressure on the bow and it increased with each wave because the bow never emptied. As soon as I got through that set of 6s it cleared through a few smaller ones and then I turned around! One or two hits of green water isn't a big deal but when they keep coming the bow can't shed and the pressure from more water conning across is noticeable.

    There is also something else I learned. The firewall isn't always closed from the bow completely. My boat had two triangles open to the bow up under the dash in the corners. I learned this after the experience I mentioned above and I had water running around the floor in the cabin. I sealed those holes up!

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    Member Queen of Kings's Avatar
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    On a friends Hewes River Runner, he took water over the bow, BUT he kept a dirty boat and had thrown empty water bottles in the bow, Hummmm? the scuppers couldn't drain!!! He franticly was reaching into the bow feeling for the blockage to drain. finally got them out while fighting a rough sea and made it back ok! Lessson to learn here!!!!
    2003 220 Hewescraft Sea Runner 115 Yam'y, Soft Top "Schmidt Happens"

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    dman - what did you cover up the holes with?

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    Member nahmint's Avatar
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    Good topic... great input... And, the issue is a real concern.
    I should have also added that the box I chose to fit in the bow has a secure lid on it and I use it for storage space as well. I would estimate that it reduces the volume of water that can occupy the space by atleast 75%... so the bulk of the water coming over the bow simply splashes across the space.
    '08 Hewescraft 220 Searunner ht/et
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    Member Gerberman's Avatar
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    Some friends of mine have made, aluminum covers that bolt in place to cause the water to not get into the "hole". It is shed to the sides. it is a simi closed bow I guess/

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    Member DMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    dman - what did you cover up the holes with?
    I actually used some of the spray in insulation foam. It worked pretty well and I just checked it every season.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMan View Post
    I actually used some of the spray in insulation foam. It worked pretty well and I just checked it every season.
    Same here.

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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    The size of the scuppers is key to fast drainage. Another point to help reduce the chance of filling your bow is the way you hit the wave. I know we all know how to run our boats but how often do we run them when it's getting crappy? We tend to be a little rusty since we try not to be in that kind of water. When I get stuck in big water I use reverse a lot to slow the boat down on the back side of the wave and keep the bow from sticking too deep in the next wave. It might take a little longer to get back in but at least i'm still floating. If you are real concerned about filling your bow you could have Alaska tent and tarp make you a cover that could be snapped in place during rough water travels. When I ran a 19' Northriver I would take water over the bow and fill the back of the boat up with the heavy spray. With two bilge pumps running I was lucky to keep up with it. My Tjet had a fish deck that keeps 95% of the water out of the boat and sheds the water off the back.

  17. #17
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    You guys have to realize that its not one or two waves braking over the bow and filling you up that are going to sink ya, its usually a chain of things that go wrong, you fill the bow, the scuppers(the tiny holes they like to call scuppers) plug up or are under water cause the bow can't float the weight, you open the center door to try and clear the holes and another wave or water rolls into the cabin shorting something out or worse yet the engine dies, rope stored on the bow washes out and into the prop and the list goes on. I've had the you know what scared out of me enough times, i hate those big waves that go by you hissing and with foam blowing off the tops of them and they NEVER travel alone you go over the first one then the next one fills you up and the third(sneaky) one blows your windows out !!
    If it were my boat with a bathtub in the bow i'd cut 4" drain holes in it and use those plastic pipe plugs they sell at home depot to plug them if i had to or just make some rubber flaps to go over the holes so the water wouldn't spray into the holes when running.
    Always remember that the bad happens a thousands times faster than the good.

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  18. #18
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    I have a 26 hewes and Have taken a couple waves over the bow with No problem.... Scupper and the bildge pumps will do the job....
    main thing is not to panic. Like Potbuilder said."chain of things that go wrong" Don't panic. This is probaly most important thing here. Causes allot of people to make panic decisions and that end up costing them.... No your boat and know your limitations....
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  19. #19
    Member nahmint's Avatar
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    Potbuilder and Alaska Gray... X2
    .... and you smack a log ...and bull kelp wraps around your prop.....
    that's just the way it happens. And we hope we can reduce the risks by having our boats and ourselves prepared before we push away from the dock.
    "Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond there we are all part of the food chain... and not always at the top of it!" (I borrowed this from another forumer and its stuck in my brain...)
    '08 Hewescraft 220 Searunner ht/et
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  20. #20
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Open bow=extra fishing space!!!!!!!
    My two cents you'll end up liking the open bow. I really enjoy mine. Many days I just lay back on the bow and soak up the sun with a rod in my hand...
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

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