Pontoon Boat Capsizes off NJ - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-28-2015 Thread Starter
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Pontoon Boat Capsizes off NJ

This is really sad, but what were these people thinking taking a pontoon boat out a NJ inlet?
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post #2 of 6 Old 11-28-2015
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Re: Pontoon Boat Capsizes off NJ

My first thought was maybe a catamaran, but I googled it and, yup, a pontoon boat.

Nice day, warm weather, light wind, lots of folks went out on the Delaware from my marina.

I'm presuming they were novices.

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post #3 of 6 Old 11-29-2015
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Re: Pontoon Boat Capsizes off NJ

Sadly, not the first time someone has done something stupid near Manasquan Inlet, and it won't be the last...

I came in late one afternoon this summer, after a pretty sporty ride up from Cape May... Headed out were 3 morons on rotomolded sit-on-top kayaks, none wearing PFDs, and a styrofoam cooled shock-corded on top of one... I called the CG station, just to give them a heads up...

Obviously, these people were unaware of the effects that a strong ebb current can have at the mouth of the inlet, even on a relatively flat calm day... No surprise, this occurred right about dead low tide, when the current would have been ripping between the jetties, one can still easily get standing waves through there in otherwise tame conditions... The fact that many surfers were out that day, still indicates that there was still some amount of swell running, despite the flat appearance of the water in the pics...

More information here, from the ASBURY PARK PRESS:

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post #4 of 6 Old 04-24-2016
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A bit old but, this is my area and I've sailed that Inlet for 20 years commercially and for pleasure. This guy has been doing this for years and I'm surprised it hasn't happened earlier. That inlet absolutely rips and has has a major refraction with the swell and standing 5 ft chop that can easily swamp sea worthy vessels that get a bit sideways. So much so, that inside the inlet and within the shelter of a cove there's surfable waves still up to 5 ft when conditions allow. Even on my boat I try to catch slack tide when possible and will wait till the surge slows a bit before attempting it.
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post #5 of 6 Old 04-24-2016
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Re: Pontoon Boat Capsizes off NJ

They have been marketing pontoon boats heavily lately, putting bigger and bigger motors on them, and making them bigger. The new designs have a fair amount of fiberglass to make them look more like a speedboat, rather than a back yard deck floating on two tubes. They are still just pontoon boats. All the marketing makes it look like they are rather seaworthy. Worse too is the marketing of the new designs makes some people think the older designs are just as seaworthy. If I lived on a small lake I would love to have one, but would never use one on open water.
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post #6 of 6 Old 04-24-2016
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Re: Pontoon Boat Capsizes off NJ

I wouldn't want to be on one in Barnegat bay during a storm let alone the ocean.

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