Join Date: Jul 2002
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
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Powerboat Cruising info needed
It''s good to hear you are finding the feedback helpful but I don''t see in your replies an awareness of what seems to me to be the critical issue: taking a smaller powerboat offshore in areas that routinely have very difficult weather & sea conditions and routinely lead to loss of life in small powered vessels. To the extent you''re asking for input on whether your plan is viable, it strikes me you would want to look more at the nature of your passage plan and -initially - less at trying to sort out the boat.
A couple of suggestions:
1. Since you''re in the Bay Area, stop by the commercial docks and talk with some of the fishermen who work out of there. Show them pics of the boat in which you have an interest, describe its history and construction, and ask them about a summer cruise either S around Conception or N past the great capes to Puget Sound. Talk a bit about your estimated SOA and the length of time you''d need to be out there, how rapidly they see the weather systems change, how good the f''cast data is, and how they cope with the tougher stuff on their 60-80'' steel fishing boats. You might also ask them if they or any of their friends have had similar experience on passages like the ones you plan. Listen thoughtfully to what you hear.
2. If you tend to skip past them, read the USCG summary that Latitude 38 publishes each month, drafted by the CO of the SF base there. Weed past all the lost sailboarders and lost Delta ski boats and zero in on the weekend fishermen who are just doing day trips out of a protected harbor but end up being rescued or lost altogether near your home waters. Look past the individual cases to root causes, reflect on how your (small) boat will be handled differently by your (small) crew when the external forces and critical boat systems (pumps, engine, fuel & electrical systems) combine in unexpected ways.
3. Pick up a set of pilot charts or the NOAA coastal pilots for the Pacific Coast and do some ''worst case'' reviewing of what history tells us about the range of conditions out there.
4. Pick up a copy of VanDorn''s Oceanography & Seamanship - half theoretical, half based on real world experiences, much of it aboard power boats - and use it as a primer and learning tool. I think you''d find it useful since it helps move past the ''cookbook'' answers to issues like drogue size, anchor rode choice, etc. by offering impirical data from which you can work up your own answers.
If this all sounds overly dire and pessimistic, then consider you might benefit by a fuller understanding of setting off on a small boat across some big water.
You''re quite right to point out not all powerboats are the same (which BTW applies to sailboats, as well). But smaller powerboats share some common traits and common risks offshore...in those waters, especially.
BTW the word I think you were looking for re: passive roll restraints when underway is ''paravane''. ''Flopper stoppers'' at anchor can be any shape; anything horizontal and rigidly supported & restrained will work but can generate huge forces. I''ve built wood framed stoppers with wire cage screen that restrained dive suit flappers, and also used solid aluminum sheet thru which a HD 3" PVC pole was rigged (it broke the spin pole fitting). It doesn''t sound like either the nature of the boats you''re looking at nor the costs you want to incur will permit a paravane system with outriggers that would function without breaking offshore.