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Never been in more than a 4-6' sea aside from a poor choice at the inlet or 2.Its just a matter of time before anyone who offshore fishes is going to get pinched.Whats the readers digest on your approach to getting caught in a storm or unsuspecting sea of 6-8' plus.What if they are big enough to have to climb even,whats the preferred approach.Broad question but im serious.Knowing proper technique could save you and your crew or me and mine?In a panic its easy to make a bad decission.Experienced thought?Thanks
 

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I am not a captain nor certified in anything but I'll try to help you out. When I went to the Coast Guard Auxuilary course about 30 yrs ago they said to take the waves head on at a 45* angle. Use enough horsepower to get up and over the wave, NEVER allow your boat to slide backwards down the approaching side of the wave. Once you top the wave ease off the power so you don't race down into the trough and bury your bow in the water. Also, after about 3 waves watch you don't go flying over a wave and become airborne. In trailing seas NEVER go slow so that a wave can catch you and break over/into your stern. Try to ride the wave on the backside at the same speed as the wave. IMPORTANT- use your horsepower to control your boat, you stay in charge not the wave. Good Luck, Bob
 

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It is not just height of wave / swell but how far apart. I've been out in 10 foot swells that were 100 yds apart and ran 30 knots in my 27 Grady.

Been in same boat in 3- 4 footers about 10 feet apart and had to back down to about 16 knots - just on plane.

Got caught out once in some serious snot - 25-30 knots from north ( F.. the weatherman's predicted 10-15 ) and had to run into Chincoteague , Va inlet instead of Ocean City , Md and run back through intercoastal. We could run along in the trough on west course and sorta side step the waves much better then facing 7-8 knot crawl on NW course.

Your best bet is to try to keep bow into waves - even if it means running a slight zig zag pattern. One reason to plan on 1/3 fuel reserve - sooner or later you'll need it.

Other option is to follow a larger boat - hanging back about 100 feet +/- and slightly down sea ( off center ) . You'll find a sweet spot where it is much calmer water - best to be in contact by VHF - just in case they slow suddenly.

I try to run just fast enough so boat does not pound. Often just 2-3 knots slower means a much better ride - and really only adds 1/2 hour or less to trip.
 

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We got caught at the 40 line last year, tight 6+ hitting us beam. Slow and steady. Max was 12 knots without dropping off the waves. Got to the 20 line and it later down.
 

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It is not just height of wave / swell but how far apart. I've been out in 10 foot swells that were 100 yds apart and ran 30 knots in my 27 Grady.

Been in same boat in 3- 4 footers about 10 feet apart and had to back down to about 16 knots - just on plane.
Does anyone know how period translates into distance between crests? I remember from high school physics it has to do with wave speed. How far apart are 9 second waves?
 

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My recommended rule of thumb:

Divide the period in seconds by the wave height in feet. If the quotient is less than two, it will be snotty.

e.g. six feet at 15 seconds is 15/6 = 2.5, and not a bad ride. But three feet at five seconds is 5/3 = less than two and not a good ride.
 

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My recommended rule of thumb:

Divide the period in seconds by the wave height in feet. If the quotient is less than two, it will be snotty.

e.g. six feet at 15 seconds is 15/6 = 2.5, and not a bad ride. But three feet at five seconds is 5/3 = less than two and not a good ride.
Excellent tip! Thanks!
 
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