SailNet Community

SailNet Community (
-   Seamanship & Navigation (
-   -   Dangerous Wakes Revisited (

phillips_jim 04-30-2002 12:59 PM

Dangerous Wakes Revisited
What can be done about the dangerous wakes large boats on or near plaining speed are doing to us slowing moving vessels?
I operate my sailboat on the Intercoastal Waterway in SE Florida in confined waters and have experienced and hear on the VHF radio other boaters asking for a "Slow Pass". Most (9 out-of 10) will slow but others continue on like they don''t care what their wake does to you. Some have even laughed as they passed. I and my wife have been injured and little can be done even if you report it to the Water Police. What value is there in having laws that say "You are responsible for your wake" if no one can prove who did the damage? The police know of the problem but don''t do anything about it, even if they see it happen and in most cases they are no where around. If you file a report nothing is done about it except you get to keep someone in the government employed.
I usually don''t advocate taking the law into me own hands but the practice of "Waking" must be controlled. What laws are there for protecting yourself and property on the water?
Can anyone help?

tsenator 04-30-2002 01:07 PM

Dangerous Wakes Revisited
If you think you get repeat offenders. Or it looks like their wake is going to cause property damage. (Your boat and land owners). Then you could SHOOT THEM !....With a videotape recorder (lol)...;-).

Boaters are legally responsible for thier wakes. Take the tapes to law enforcement and see what they do (or home owners where docks are getting trashed) and hire a laywer. Maybe those thoughtless boaters will think twice next time. Maybe some lawyers could add to this.

scnicklefritz 05-01-2002 02:49 PM

Dangerous Wakes Revisited
I was helping deliver a 60'' power boat up the ICWW a few years back and the captain was in a hurry to get to the marina at Hilton Head, SC, before nightfall, on our way north.

We were about a mile or 2 away from the marina, he''s going too fast and people on shore are yelling at him/us to slow down because their docked boats are bouncing all over the place.

He ignores them and us and keeps steaming almost full speed ahead. Two local guys get into their boat and catch up to us and start yelling at the captain to come back and look at the damage he''s caused.

The captain is trying to navigate, drive the boat, respond to these guys yelling at him is now getting very distracted. He runs the boat aground very hard and we are stuck!

He then loudly mutters something about getting his gun from his cabin loud enough so the 2 local guys can hear and they take off laughing at him/us.

It was not a pretty sight. Fortunately we ran aground (contradicion of terms, there) at low tide and were able to back away without a tow, in about an hour.

The captain was very much in the wrong and unfortunately didn''t go back to appologize and didn''t offer restitution for any damage. This is hard to understand but this guy did everything his way, and rarely took advice from anyone.

Later, I saw him do something like this when he was behind a sailboat in a narrow channel leaving Mystic, Conn. and thought the sailboater was delibertly blocking him.

Bizzare behavior!!!

I gave the captain the nickname, "Dangerous Dave".

Fran49829 05-02-2002 06:18 AM

Dangerous Wakes Revisited
I sail a little Freedom 21. On open Lake Michigan why in the world does it seem like so many 30 foot plus power boats go out of there way to get closer? Is it because they can''t believe such a little boat can be out there? I would think 200 yards would be close enough but some come within 50 yards. "Hang on dear, a big wave is coming".

MaryBeth 05-05-2002 02:46 PM

Dangerous Wakes Revisited

FIrst, sorry you are constantly having such problems. I know how it is. I did not at all blame the guy who was actually arrested last year or year before, can''t remember, when he pointed a starter''s pistol at a jet ski enthusiast who had been tormenting him.

Videotaping seems to be an excellent idea. And if the police won''t pay attention to the tapes, then perhaps the environmental societies all thru southern FL will!! It made me so sick during one trip south because 8 of the 11 manatees I logged had huge gashes across their backs, most likely from props. And at least every few miles in southern FL, you are going through a protected area, yes?

Or another idea along the same lines would be to take photos of the offenders in the commission of their stupidity and enlarge and then post them at local marinas. You''re bound to find the one they belong to, if they do, sooner or later. And if they trailer, they will be at least known as people to watch out for. Surely it isn''t libel if it is only a photo of someone actually breaking the law, with no derogatory comments involved.

Just traveling through, I had no idea that reports to the Marine Police went unnoticed.

Years ago, delivering a 45 footer up the Erie Canal we were surprised one morning by a man screaming and cursing at us. Seems that even in our almost imperceptible wake, his little fishing boat had hit his dock. We turned around and got as close as our draft would allow. By the time we went on our way, we had found out that he had to come out of his house every time a boat came by. He didn''t know what fenders or mooring whips are and he had no protection at all on his little dock. He was very, very apologetic when we left, and very grateful for the old, almost ratty fender we tossed him to tie to his dock until he could set up something else. So it does pay to try at least to make things right. We never would have imagined the story - it was a very nice section of the canal, and the guy lived in a very pretty two-story house - but still, he was tired of having to come out each time to check on his boat when there was really no need, probably, if he had any protection at all. Poor man, he''d had the boat 8 months and we were the first people who had stopped.

Best of luck to you. Stay safe!! Don''t be taking pictures and fall overboard when the wake hits!!


jmayton 07-26-2011 02:12 PM

some need sinking
We were making an overnight run on our O’Day 40 to Santa Barbara Island off the coast of California and were just about five miles off the west end of Catalina when I spotted red/green lights holding a steady relative bearing headed towards my port quarter. I tried to hail the vessel on 16; no go. I could see the bow wave getting larger so I adjusted my course to port by 15 degrees; still a steady relative bearing. I turned on the engine and put the prop in gear to speed up a bit. No change in bearing. I put the spot light on the main sail, revved the engine to max RPM without affecting a change his bearing. It seemed like he was trying to run me down. This 50 foot power boat came with in a few yards of my stern, drenched us, filling the cockpit with his wave, and sped away. My Brother-in-law was just coming up through the companion way curious as to why I was yelling profanities when the wave hit, knocking him to the cabin floor. The wake bounced our stern so high out of the water that the prop was spinning in the air and made an awful sound. Needless to say I really wished I had an RPG or anti-tank missile on board that night; I would have used in without regret.

landmineop 07-26-2011 02:34 PM

There have been times when the thought of a flare gun fired into the offending wheelhouse has had emmensely favorable consideration on my part.

Boasun 07-26-2011 03:41 PM


Originally Posted by landmineop (Post 754707)
There have been times when the thought of a flare gun fired into the offending wheelhouse has had emmensely favorable consideration on my part.

If you do that, use a white or green flare to attrack his attention. Red is for distress only.

Over where the oil field boats are working, they will give you a slow bell whenever you ask them too. Also they slow near any marinas, anchored boats and the weekend warriors out in their bass boats.

Good manners is a sign that your parents brought you up right and good manners are returned in kind.

Rozz 07-26-2011 04:59 PM

crap, this is a problem here too. on this past 4th of July, i had two 70+ tripple deckers pass me within 30 sec on bothsides around 15ft from either side. i swore my mast was going to hit the second boat from the wake on the first!!! i was cussing them out.... they thought it was funny....took all i had to not pop my flare in through thier open slidding glass doors

jrd22 07-26-2011 05:26 PM

Doesn't sound like the situation has gotten much better since 2002 (original post).

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:05 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
(c) LLC 2000-2012

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome