Advice for first time on ocean
My girlfriend and I have been teaching ourselves to sail on the Columbia River for about 6 months now and we are considering taking our first day sail out on the ocean. We've done a ton of research on crossing the bar and that is a whole topic on its own, so let's leave that issue aside for the moment. Our boat is a 1972 Newport 27 and one of my concerns is where the transom is cut out for the outboard motor. Should I be concerned about getting swamped by large waves from behind due to the transom cutout? My naive optimism says, "hey, at least the water can also drain out the transom very quickly." Another area in which we could really use some advice is in dealing with the swell. Obviously it will be new to us since we have only sailed on the river. When we look at forecasts and try to decide a good day for the first trip what should we consider a "forget about it" amount of swell? When I see a forecast of swell at 12ft that sounds a little frightening, but then again I guess if the period were long maybe it wouldn't be dangerous and would instead just be sea-sickness inducing. Thanks for any advice.