Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: What would you do: Handling a following big wave in a 26 foot tin pilothouse.

  1. #1
    Member Maast's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska, United States
    Posts
    510

    Default What would you do: Handling a following big wave in a 26 foot tin pilothouse.

    Situation; yesterday evening returning from Knight island - 3 foot following seas on my starboard quarter with the occasional 4-5 footer in there for fun.

    We're chugging along fairly comfortably at an average of 23mph. Little bumpy but not uncomfortable - occasional jolt. I'm going about 5-8 mph faster than the waves are.

    Suddenly two waves traveling at slightly different angles combine right in front of me and make a deep trough underneath me and a tall, broad, and steep (30ish degree angle at least) wave is at my bow, the boat hits it and slows down to 15mph with a jolt and a spray of water, then we start clawing our way up the wave.

    Then I hear my revs suddently climb and I can feel my prop slip & start cavitating and I lose most of my forward thrust.

    So, my question for those of you who run larger boats on the salt - how would you handle the situation?




    What I did was turn the wheel 20 degrees to starboard to reduce my angle of attack and chop power until I felt my prop start to bite again, then increase power as the boat got moving again.

    I did it without thinking about it, just reacted - its the same way I handle big (relatively) waves in my little 17' tin boat out on the salt.

    Dont know if it was the best thing to do so I thought I'd ask the question here. It occured to me afterward that I could have just held my direction and power and the boat would have recovered speed on its own.

    The passengers had no idea something unusual had happened other than a slighly larger jolt, they continued talking about their day.

    BTW, great day of fishing; 7 kings, 2 silvers, & 5 who spit the hook (3 of my guests havent got the set-the-hook-with-a-yank and pull-up-and-reel-down technique yet)

    Thanks!
    2696 Sea Raider Pilothouse
    "Dominion"

  2. #2
    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Chugiak
    Posts
    1,425

    Default

    My question 1st is why did you cavitate...because of the wave angle or how did you some how aerate the prop???? Maintaining same throttle position may not have allowed the prop to recover as quickly as it did. Changing direction may be ok as long as it does not put the boat sideways in the wave.

    Normally I stay same direction and throttle back. I back down on the throttle when riding down a wave and power up when climbing. If I find a large wide trough I will ride there as long as possible. Always make sure you leave yourself enough room with obstacles to make safe course changes.

  3. #3
    Member HuntKodiak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Kodiak
    Posts
    684

    Default

    Did you crest the wave which brought your props out? You didn't mention that, but like Maast, I'm trying to understand your situation that caused the cavitation.

    I also don't like turning the boat while in following seas unless I've really got the timing figured out. In your case, it sounds like you were dealing with some confused seas, and while they weren't terribly large, a following wave like the one your ran up on could make you test the power of your motors to correct your stern back into alignment with the seas. That said, I too like to keep my boat running perpendicular to the waves. In larger seas that cause you to occasionally surf down the steep face of a wave, the pucker factor increases, and you better have your right hand on the throttle ready to use as much power as needed should your boat start to turn. In following seas I run with my right hand planted on the throttle, and I work the throttle more than I do in any other sea state.

    Of course, instinct caused you to react the way that you did, and I doubt anything we say will change your instinct. So, I'd suggest you just know what could follow a reaction like yours so your mind is ready to respond quickly should your boat start to get sideways.

  4. #4
    Member Maast's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska, United States
    Posts
    510

    Default

    I was still climbing out of the trough so I'm pretty sure my prop was still submerged.

    I think my prop started slipping because the forward speed no longer matched the prop speed. Kind of like when you hammer the throttle from a standing start, the prop starts spinning suddenly and is slipping until the forward speed of the boat matches the angle of the prop blades.

    Basically, I think the boat stalled like an aircraft stalls; loss of lift, in this case loss of lift at the prop.

    It was actually easier to hit the waves at an angle, I was able to keep a better speed and ride then instead of hitting them straight on and dropping into every trough and then clawing my way back out each time, this was good because my course was taking me along at an angle to the waves.
    2696 Sea Raider Pilothouse
    "Dominion"

  5. #5
    Member fullbush's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    2,674

    Default

    Maast you have outboards right? One advantage of having an engine room over outboards is the weight is lower in the boat. I do know from the experience of crossing the bars in the Copper for 30 years, I'll never be comfortable doing it and these boats can take a lot more than we think. W/ that said, I cavitate just when I get to the top of the wave, right before I crest it and begin to surf down the other side. Its a major pucker factor climbing a wave and watching the GPS go from 9 kts to 30 in 5 seconds flat as I surf down a 20 footer! I have broached before on more than one occasion completely rearranging the contents of the house needless to say. I must say it would be a whole new realm w/ outboards though. Sounds like you handled it like a master, I'm pretty sure its instinct and nothing anybody can coach from his living room easy chair. My advice on any rough seas travel would be to get the weight as low as you can. I know I have a tendency to be a much better Christian when I'm in the slop

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •