Like Tree0Likes

First Time Offshore-- What's Safe Water?

Reply
Old 06-11-2005, 12:40 PM
  #1
Registered
Gold Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Phoenix, AZ
My Boats: 1999 Mariah Z302
Posts: 25
Question First Time Offshore-- What's Safe Water?

Come Tuesday I will be heading offshore for the first time! I have a 30' Mariah that I will be crossing 30+ miles of Pacific Ocean to go to Catalina Island (off California), and I'm worried about the current conditions: 20 mile winds, 7-8' waves with a period of 8-11 seconds. That seems pretty dangerous. I have searched all these forums for advice and discussion on wave height and 'heavy water' but found nada. I know this is a really vague and difficult subject-- but what would be wave heights that I should NOT attempt the crossing? I have boated for about 25 years, but Arizona does not have any lakes big enough to give me experience with waves of any size. I would like to take advantage of the incredible amount of expereince on this site-- any suggestions or observations would be GREATLY appreciated!
norton is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2005, 01:01 PM
  #2
SORE MEMBER
Platinum Member
 
Wobble's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: 2950'49.74"N 95 5'17.55"W.......TEXAS
My Boats: SeaDoo RXP & RXP-X, Stryker Equalizer 28, Eliminator Daytona Jet
Posts: 6,709
Default Re: First Time Offshore-- What's Safe Water?

Don't know that area, but my advice would be to take someone who has done it before or even better follow a boat thats made the run before.

3-5 footers can get real old after a while. Obviously don't go if there is small craft advisory. The smoother the water the more pleasant the run. 1-2 footers make for nice fast water.
Wobble is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2005, 01:13 PM
  #3
Charter Member # 430
Charter Member
 
kcgbjc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Orange County, So Cal!
My Boats: None, sucks!
Posts: 288
Default Re: First Time Offshore-- What's Safe Water?

I definitely would wait for a weekend when a few of us are going. I have had my 28' Eagle out on a smooth day (by smooth, I have no idea what the swell measure was). It was beautiful!

Every weekend there are a few guys going out who are more than willing to give you a few tips as well as hang with you. The guys I run with are all awesome that way.

And . . . I have made a decision at this point to not be out there alone. There is just too much that can happen. Get a good waterproof radio, GPS and you should be able to get anywhere you want while keeping in touch with who you need. Get some towing insurance (BoatUS or SeaTow) if you plan to hit the big blue more frequently.

And don't listen to amatuers like me unless you double check the facts. I have been in many times, but only driven a short time in the ocean so my experience is limited. However, I do always err on the side of safety. Hell, I was supposed to be out today, but chose not to due to the weather.
__________________
Chris Johnson
Armed Forces Racing
www.armedforcesracing.com
kcgbjc is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2005, 02:28 PM
  #4
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
 
H20 Toie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Channel Islands CA
My Boats: Got nothing
Posts: 1,462
Default Re: First Time Offshore-- What's Safe Water?

I'm going out sunday the 11th if anyone is interested.
H20 Toie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2005, 03:44 PM
  #5
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 9,495
Default Re: First Time Offshore-- What's Safe Water?

1. There's no such thing as "safe water" no matter who you are. Experienced boaters can drown themselves and their families and friends just as easily as inexperienced boaters. The water doesn't discriminate.

2. Experience increases your odds. Go with someone as a passenger before you take off on your own- I wouldn't advise you setting off into the ocean in a 30' boat in 8 footers following someone else. What are they going to do? Throw life rings and call the coasties is about it.

3. Boating courses by the Coast Guard are a must if you have only been a lakes boater.
Chris Sunkin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2005, 05:45 PM
  #6
Registered
 
CPPerformance's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Rohnert Park, CA
Posts: 958
Default Re: First Time Offshore-- What's Safe Water?

You've touched on a subject that is very near and dear to my heart. I've spent thousands of hours on the water in everything from 8 foot row boats up to 400 foot ships. I've seen flat calm seas 1,000 miles offshore turn into hurricane force winds and 60 foot seas in a matter of an hour. I've searched for and picked up more corpses from waters all up and down the east coast and great lakes than I care to remember, so when I hear about safety issues like this I tend to cringe. I'm a retired Coastie with more than 30 years in the marine business in one form or another. The last thing I care to read on here would be about another "Accident".

I would suggest that you read this article on Rough Water Seamanship.

The simple fact is that the vast majority of boats sold today are designed for creature comforts, not rough water performance. The number of boats around that have good rough water capabilities are few and far between. Those boats that are designed for rough water performance can and often will outperform the capabilities of their skipper and crew, the Coast Guards own 44 foot Motor Lifeboat is a good example of a boat that can take Extreme Heavy Weather, the limiting factor is the crew and their experience. That's why they run a Heavy Weather School at Cape Dissapointment to train their Coxswains and give them the necessary experience and confidence to survive what Mother Nature may throw at them.

Good Luck and Safe Boating!
CPPerformance is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2005, 06:15 PM
  #7
SORE MEMBER
Platinum Member
 
Wobble's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: 2950'49.74"N 95 5'17.55"W.......TEXAS
My Boats: SeaDoo RXP & RXP-X, Stryker Equalizer 28, Eliminator Daytona Jet
Posts: 6,709
Default Re: First Time Offshore-- What's Safe Water?

CP,

Thanks for your years as a "Coastie" .

I spent 7 years offshore Building Rigs, pipelines and other structures. I always felt safer in waters under US jurisdiction.

I have seen an Ocean going tug founder. 150' Crew boat lose all it's bridge glass and numerous other nasty situations that were for the most part caused by unexpected weather.

Galveston Bay is plenty big enough for my 29' single, thank you.
Wobble is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2005, 09:30 PM
  #8
Charter Member # 430
Charter Member
 
kcgbjc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Orange County, So Cal!
My Boats: None, sucks!
Posts: 288
Default Re: First Time Offshore-- What's Safe Water?

Always nice to know we have experts available! I will definitely check the suggested sites! I have a lot to learn.
__________________
Chris Johnson
Armed Forces Racing
www.armedforcesracing.com
kcgbjc is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2005, 01:43 AM
  #9
Registered
 
CPPerformance's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Rohnert Park, CA
Posts: 958
Default Re: First Time Offshore-- What's Safe Water?

Wobble....Working the Offshore Oil Rigs in the Gulf demands a great deal of respect. Thats a tough and dangerous job that most people could not handle or make the sacrifices involved.

What I forgot to mentionin the post above, is that Norton that started this thread, also deserves a great deal of respect for having the common sense and intelligence to ask for advice before taking a trip like this with his limited offshore experience.

Some of the advice above about making this trip with someone more experienced and/or with other boats in a group is definiteley the way to go. When it turns nasty out there, that is no time to learn what to do or not to do....you only have a second to make the right decision, and if you make the wrong decision, Old Man Neptune will bite your A$$ and never give you a second chance.

Remember the SEA/Water/Ocean, whatever you choose to call it never looses the battle against Man and machine, it only agrees that if you show a certain amount of skill and fortitude that you can come back and fight it another day. That may sound like a Cliche, but it is and always will be a FACT.
CPPerformance is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2005, 07:14 AM
  #10
Registered
 
bouyhunter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Apache Jct. AZ
My Boats: 24' Pantera
Posts: 5,646
Default Re: First Time Offshore-- What's Safe Water?

CP - Well said.
It seems like you need to have respect for the water, and once you show your respect for the water, it will also respect you.
bouyhunter is offline  
Reply With Quote
Reply

Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
seafordguy
Cigarette
34
04-16-2007 06:46 PM
The Menace
General Boating Discussion
13
03-15-2006 07:09 PM
SCARABSPORT
General Boating Discussion
3
02-16-2006 09:30 PM
MANITIE
General Racing Discussion
12
01-15-2004 02:44 PM



Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not 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 Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:19 AM.


Copyright 2011 OffShoreOnly. All rights reserved.