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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2002 13' Boston Whaler I keep on the Lafayette River in Norfolk. I've been using it for the last few years to fish and cruise around the Lafayette and Elizabeth Rivers but this year I'm trying to get a bit more serious with my saltwater fishing. Do you think this boat would be safe enough for two guys to take out into the bay?
 

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I owned one for about 5 years, not on the bay but it saw a lot of action and some pretty choppy water. Pick your days, watch out for waves coming over the transom. Mine only had a 25hp on it, if you have a bigger engine like 40hp four stroke it'll be a bigger issue. If your back is strong and you don't mind a little spray, pick your days, be careful and you should be fine....
 

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I had one and it is OK on a nice day. HRBT would be fine and up to the CBBT on a no wind day. Biggest thing in my mind is to carry safety gear and USE IT!! Did you read about those 3 guys the other day up a river flip a boat near shore and one drowns???

A friend a long time ago told me that he would rather be in a small boat with someone that knows what they are doing than a larger boat with an idiot....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the help! Yeah come to think of it I guess I wouldn't be taking it out past the HRBT. I was also thinking about using it to fish Lynnhaven Inlet but it would probably just be easier to trailer it over there.
 

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don't forget about Rudee Inlet and when the season starts again further up to the southern branch of the Elizabeth River.
 

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I grew up in a 13' whaler with an 18 hp in the Lafayette; still have it. A friend who is a rabid Lafayette fisherman uses the 13' whaler and kayak and does great all the time. Here's my take:
It will safely handle stuff you shouldn't be out in; stay seated. But if your engine conks out you are dead meat.
Don't go at night. have a good and properly rigged anchor with chain, and bright signal lights no matter what time of day you start.
Try Western Branch--it might be a wet run across on a windy day but lots of water when you get there.
HRBT is good for the whaler but it gets real choppy on the Norfolk side out to the island. Channel gets rough on a tide-opposite-wind. However it is often less choppy on the Hampton Bar. The outside of the jetty by the carriers can be nice but when the current runs can get sloppy.
Consider trailering to Little Creek for the CBBT. As a kid, we fished for spot in August out there; kept the boat anchored at a YMCA camp where Chick's Beach is. Dad would take another grown-up or 3-4 little guys. By coming and going from Little Creek you don't risk a long run against adverse condition. And an incredibly long run to begin with anyway.
On the prevailing SW wind in the summer, cross to Craney Island, stay in the lee and then across to the MMBT. I remember getting into bluefish at Craney when I was about 6 in the whaler.
When I was about 13 a friend, unbeknownst to his parents, drove his 13' whaler from Churchland to Fisherman's Island and back. He'd borrowed 2 more gas tanks from friends and neighbors, and had spent a couple weeks figuring his miles per tank, route, etc. All around 1970, before GPS, internet, performance charts, etc. He would have gotten away with it except his dad saw star fish in the boat and got suspicious.
And there was a guy whose whaler conked out or ran out of gas out there, in the path of a freighter, which could not, and did not, stop. We now know that whalers remain afloat after conflict with ship's bow wakes, and we need not repeat the experiment.
You might also enjoy trailering over to Back River; lots of protected water and you can ease out into the bay and see how it is.
 

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Heck! You only live once!

Set you sights and a good compass heading on the Chesapeake Light Tower, pack some sandwiches & drinks, extra bait, and report back here on what kind of day you had.

All kidding aside, use common sense and stay within your skills and you'll be fine.
 

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If you need to ask ....then definitely NOT. Dont take the chance conditions change quickly and if you have prepared narrowly for a good day and conditions go south your in big trouble. If you do try it at least wait untill the water temps are at summer levels.
 
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