Surfing & Broaching - SailNet Community
Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 10 Old 08-07-2008 Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Milford, ct
Posts: 62
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 8
 
Surfing & Broaching

The other night I got the urge to do some sailing and headed down to the marina to take her out. "Her" is a new-to-me, 1985, 26 foot Seafarer, 4' keel with keel attached ruddr, Edison wheel steering and an 8hp yanmar inboard. Leaving the harbor (Milford,CT) at low tide presents some problems due to Gulf Pond emptying into the channel which is at low tide only about 25 feet wide with 8 foot depths. This channel runs out to the "sea" buoy and so is about 1/4 mile long.


Transiting the channel, I determined that the wind and surf conditions were such that single-handing was going to be more of a chore than I wanted at that point (20-25 mph winds/2-3' surf, some breaking). Unable to turn around until I cleared the channel, and finding myself halfway to Charles Island, I figured I'd just motor around a bit to recharge batteries (the boats & my own ). Everything was fine until I started to head back to the channel and harbor.

The wind (unusually) was from the ESE and was pushing the surf right down the channel. Motoring in (2800rmp about 6mph) I found that the smaller waves would catch me up and pass under the boat but that the bigger ones would actually cause her to 'surf' for a bit. At one point I was hit with a bigger than usual set of waves which caused the bow to drop and pushed the stern hard to port. At the worst I was about 30 degrees off course to starboard and sliding down the wave . I immediately chopped power and turned back to port fearing a broach -she rocked pretty violently for a bit but it appeared I did the right thing.

Once that set of waves went past, I eased the power back up to about half speed and tried to keep in time with the wave sets coming by. My question then is/are . . .

Have you ever been in a similar position and what did you do?

Fair Winds

John Kimberly
SV Puppy Feet II
jkimberly is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 10 Old 08-07-2008
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 4,192
Thanks: 50
Thanked 38 Times in 37 Posts
Rep Power: 15
     
Have I ever been in a similar situation. Yes

What did I do. Enjoyed a fun ride.

I love surfing but it doesn't happen to often.

You just have to pay real close attention to the helm.

If you were at sea with huge following seas, then that might call for a different strategy but under power with 4 or 5 foot waves shouldn't really be dangerous. But then again I don't know the area or channel that you were in.
knothead is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #3 of 10 Old 08-07-2008
Senior Member
 
jjablonowski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Bristol, Rhode Island
Posts: 390
Thanks: 1
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 8
 
Quitting sooner

You mentioned that, halfway out, you wanted to turn around but the channel was too narrow.

Using prop walk, you can turn around within your own boat length.

Here's an animation that's helped me become more confident in handling under power: Sailing Lessons, Sailboat Docking and Anchoring. Boat is similar to yours.
jjablonowski is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #4 of 10 Old 08-07-2008 Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Milford, ct
Posts: 62
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 8
 
Quitting Sooner

I use prop-walk all the time to dock, mine has a pretty nice "swing the stern to port" motion that is really handy. Unfortunately with the wind blowing the way it was. plus the surf, I was afraid that turning around in that manner would present other, more difficult choices (like being broadside to the wind & waves) so I chose to just run out, turn and head back.

Thanks for the link to the animation, though.

jk
jkimberly is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #5 of 10 Old 08-07-2008
Senior Member
 
Boasun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 3,070
Thanks: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 10
   
Have had this happen to me on 180 ft supply boats and a 210 ft Fishing vessel.

1600 Ton Master, 2nd Mate Unlimited Tonnage

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Maritime Instructor
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

S/V Rapture
Boasun is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #6 of 10 Old 08-11-2008
Living & Cruising on Dana
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: on my boat
Posts: 574
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 10
 
Wind & waves...sounds like the usual thing to encounter when on a boat. If they are not to your liking, maybe you should check the weather report and local conditions at your marina before you depart, at least until you get more confident handling your boat.

Your pleasure is my business !!!
________________________
Robby Barlow is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #7 of 10 Old 08-11-2008
Senior Member
 
denby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Dead Sea, some times called Long Island Sound
Posts: 2,527
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 12
       
John,

I'm also in Milford Harbor. Are you sure it was the waves pushing you around and not the current from the pound? Low tide is tough do to the pound emptying out and my 30 ft. boat has been bounced around a bit.

Dennis
O'Day 302

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Be careful or i will do what the voices tell me to do
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To get the most from Sailnet, follow the link in
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
's signature.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Hey stuffit "Get a life"
denby is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #8 of 10 Old 08-12-2008
formerly posting as eryka
 
wingNwing's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: aboard s/v Cinderella
Posts: 1,123
Thanks: 5
Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Rep Power: 8
 
Going head on to waves is nearly impossible in a small sailboat like yours, since the wave kills forward momentum and taking them at an angle is best . Certainly turning around in a narrow channel is not recommended. Continuing out to smoother waters before returning to port was a good call.

While boat steering is compromised in a following sea due to the wave catching the boat and pushing the rudder to port or starboard, most displacement boats handle more of these forces than their drivers due to righting moment (the keel weight resisting broaching) except on large breaking waves which are uncommon in shallow channels.

Controlling the boat's direction of movement can be corrected somewhat by anticipating the way the wave wants to push and turning the rudder to avoid that force. This takes some practice but can restore confidence as the driver gets the feel of the boat.

Considering both surfing and broaching there is another problem to consider that no one seems to have mentioned yet. Surfing the boat to stay ahead of the wave you are riding to avoid the following-wave-steering-problem can be fun and scary. But, if the boat is allowed to run down the wave slope at a great speed and catches the preceeding wave it may bury the bow in the preceeding wave and stop short. This may cause the boat to pitch pole which is turning the boat over end for end. Although uncommon in shallow channels, it's something to be aware of.
wingNwing is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #9 of 10 Old 08-13-2008
Courtney the Dancer
 
jrd22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: San Juan Islands., WA, USA
Posts: 3,885
Thanks: 4
Thanked 22 Times in 21 Posts
Rep Power: 15
 
Sounds like you did the right things. You don't want to turn the boat broadside to relatively large waves in a narrow channel so continuing out was the only thing to do. Coming in you might have had a bit too much throttle, but you were there, I wasn't. Chopping the throttle and steering through the big one sounds right to me. Bottom line, you made it so you must have done something right.

John
SV Laurie Anne

1988 Brewer 40 Pilothouse

jrd22 is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #10 of 10 Old 08-14-2008
Senior Member
 
imagine2frolic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,830
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 7
 
And you are a lot wiser, because of this. I wish I had the internet when I began, or a mentor. I read everything I could, and still do. That's why I am on several sites!
imagine2frolic is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.


User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Anonymous surfing isn't always smooth sailing (The Charlotte Observer) NewsReader News Feeds 0 09-17-2006 04:15 AM
New Award-Winning Film on Surfing and Sailing Legend Woody Brown Now Available on DVD (PR Web) NewsReader News Feeds 0 09-14-2006 04:15 AM
Working Nantucket: Surfing ? passion and vocation (Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror) NewsReader News Feeds 0 06-23-2006 10:15 AM
USA. Planet X Group hits the water with longboard Surfing Championships @ BYM Sailing News NewsReader News Feeds 0 04-20-2006 07:15 PM
At sea. Aviva Challenge: Surfing speeds at last for Dee Caffari and Aviva @ BYM Sailing News NewsReader News Feeds 0 04-09-2006 07:15 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

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