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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #21  
Old 08-01-2011
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We all have a story to tell about an outrageous wake. We left a neighboring port one afternoon and were amazed at how the big powerboats jam the throttles forward when they exit the busy no wake zone. A fifty footer digs a heck of a hole in the water and all that water has to go somewhere. After experiencing this nonsense firsthand, we were just a couple miles away from this port when we heard the Coast Guard responding to a call about a 17 foot speedboat being capsized from one of these wakes. We were not surprised.

I've noticed that when these big boats leave the scene of their mayhem, they advertise the name of their boat and their home port in really big letters. I find that very considerate of them. Especially if one of my family members has been thrown across the cabin into the chart table. If there are only 3 marinas in that port that can accommodate a boat of that size, and the marinas are only a half hour drive by car......well, I'm just sayin'.
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The longer this thread runs, the more I am becoming an advocat of flare pistols and paint guns (dayglow green of course).
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  #23  
Old 08-02-2011
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remember that alot of boats produce bigger wake when not on plane. in my experiences alot of those boats will slow down thinking they are doing you a favor but actually make more wake.
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Old 08-02-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulladh View Post
Just wondering, how do you all define a dangerous wake?

I have frequently rode through wakes from both pleasure and commercial craft, sometimes 8ft crest to trough, on the beam, on the bow and in between. Not pleasant but I would not call it dangerous.
The wake is considered an extension of the boat. Whatever damage it does, regardless of the size of the wake, the boat attached to it (and therefore the boat's owner) may be held responsible:

From USCG Navigation Center


"10. What are the regulations concerning wake effects, wake damage, and responsibility? Regarding one's wake, vessels over 1600 Gross Tons are specifically required by Title 33 CFR 164.11 to set the vessel's speed with consideration for...the damage that might be caused by the vessel's wake. Further, there may be State or local laws which specifically address "wake" for the waters in question.

While vessels under 1600 GT are not specifically required to manage their speed in regards to wake, they are still required to operate in a prudent matter which does not endanger life, limb, or property (46 USC 2302). Nor do the Navigation Rules exonerate any vessel from the consequences of neglect (Rule 2), which, among other things, could be unsafe speeds (Rule 6), improper lookout (Rule 5), or completely ignoring your responsibilities as prescribed by the Navigation Rules.

As to whether or not a particular vessel is responsible for the damage it creates is a question of law and fact that is best left to the Courts. For more information, contact your local Marine Patrol or State Boating Law Administrator."
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Old 08-02-2011
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DR

Chapter 10 I assume applies to most commercial vessels. The commercial vessels on the Delaware travel at a speed that is probably appropriate for conditions, but the wake just outside the shipping lanes can be dramatic, probably also influenced by change in water depth and shore line condition.

With a few minutes to prepare if I am keeping a watch as I should, turning the boat to receive the wake at about 45deg off the bow is good enough. If i am in the shipping lane and too close to the commercial traffic it is my fault not the fault of the tug or freighter.

Pleasure power boat traffic, if I keep an appropriate watch requires the same adjustment of bow to wake front. Most power boater will slow down but as Otter observed coming off plane can produce a larger wake.

In no wake zones or within a marina big wakes are only produced by big A-holes.

I have experienced many unpleasant wakes but not anything I would call dangerous.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulladh View Post
DR

Chapter 10 I assume applies to most commercial vessels.
The second paragraph, and where I italicized it, applies to smaller vessels.

You're correct about being in the shipping lane. All boaters are responsible for avoiding collisions and damage so if you put yourself in a bad position, some of the fault will be yours.

By "coming off plane" you mean the act of coming down? It seems to me that if a power boater causes a larger wake coming off plane, shouldn't he or she make sure that they've throttled back in plenty of time before it becomes an issue? Maybe that means beginning the no wake leg way before other boats have to but it seems that would be the responsible thing to do. It's also about knowing your boat's characteristics.

I'm still smarting from the power boaters passing us at full speed in the narrow channel heading to St. Michaels, MD. Amazing lack of courtesy.
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I have traveled the long narrow channel from Eastern Bay to St. Michaels, not really an option to turn the bow onto a wake without running out of channel.

The shoal waters outside the channel just make for a larger crest to trough.

We blow-boaters are content with getting to our destination eventually but the stink-potters want to get there now. Is there a middle ground?
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One thing you can do when you see a powerboat about to overtake you is to slow down to about 2 or 3 knots. If you stay at 6 or 7 knots, you're asking him to be in the low teens to make a pass. Which makes a huge wake. A knowledgeable powerboater, (they exist), will wave a thanks for letting him make a pass at a lower wake speed of around 7 knots.

Most large boats on plane at 30 knots will create less wake than one dragging it's arse in the water at 12, so he may be doing you a favour by blowing by you.

One other thing, and while it's not an excuse, it does point out some frustration that large cruisers may have. Getting up on plane uses a lot of fuel. If a large power boat owner has to do that every 10 minutes, well you can see how frustration mounts.

You might want to google displacement/transition/planing speeds of powerboats. It will give you a good idea of of you can help give a powerboater a decent passing window.

Another thing, monitor 16. While most sailboaters think stinkpotters don't use radios, most cruisers think blowboaters don't either. So someone has to be right.
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Suggestion, this weekend stroll over to our power boat neighbors with a six-pack of good beer discuss how we can make each others days on the water more pleasant.
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A number of power boat captains I have talked to say that on the ICW they monitor channel 9 and channel 16 offshore while we monitor channel 16 evrywhere. This seems to be part of the problem.
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