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Looking for "SeaDoo for Dad" - 108' Sunseeker

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Old 09-09-2009, 10:33 PM
  #161
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I used to have a 17 ft'er and if a duck swam by I was grabbing on to something.


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Old 09-09-2009, 10:55 PM
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Responsible for you Wake

Three weeks ago I was in Cape May, NJ on vacation. I decide I was going take the family's 15' Boston Whaler out to the middle of the Delaware Bay by myself and catch Flounder/Fluke.

I leave early in the morning (6:00 AM), and I am now at Brandywine Lighthouse in the middle of the bay fishing. A large cruiser like, Sea Doo for Dad, is coming up the bay. Keep in mind the Delaware Bay is probably 20-30 miles wide where I am, I cannot see land. The Captain/driver starts to come in my direction, at me, throwing a huge, huge wake. I have my life vest on, I start the boat to take the wave at the bow, instead of the wave hitting me broadside and capsizing me. It would have, no doubt. I took on a bunch of water but that was no big deal to me, I hand pumped it out.

Even though my Whaler is unsinkable, I would have been royally f*cked, if the boat was upset. The cruiser just kept motoring. After that an empty tanker (ship) cruising out the bay was my next super-sized wave to contend with. I can understand the passing ship, but the cruiser wave was way out of line, he came right at me. Immediately afterwards I thought of the Sea Doo for Dad mess and wondered do any of the Captains realize that they are responsible for their wake? I see the large cruisers in the C&D canal making huge waves and there are small boats getting blasted by these waves.

I realize that I am in a small boat in the middle of the bay, but none the less. Where is the courtesy, or concern for the safety of others. My $.02

PS:

The large waves didn't really bother me that bad, what bothered me is I came home fishless, none I caught were bigger than 18" New Jersey minimum lenght for Flounder (Delaware is 18 1/2"). And the Delaware Police where patrolling the Bay and gave me a ticket. A salt water fishing license is required in Delaware. Once I was in the shipping channel I was considered to be in Delaware, not New Jersey according the officers. Drifting due to the tide from NJ to DE is not considered an "act of God." Furthermore the Delaware Police (marine) did not like my almost 18" Flounder, it was actually 17". The Police kept my flounder and gave me a ticket for $61.50 for an undersized Flounder. That was an expensive Flounder, guess the cops had fish for lunch, he wouldn't give my fish back to me. For $61.50 I thought I could keep the fish, oh well, live and learn.

Last edited by Smarty; 09-10-2009 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 09-09-2009, 11:19 PM
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I have been in a boat, very small to start with, since circa 1964. In all these years, I have seen maybe a dozen cruisers TOTAL give a chit about their wake. But it's not just cruisers. Many skippers of all size boats carry on close as if nobody mattered.

I know one thing for sure. It matters to them when you do it to them. Once they're at anchor, it seems to be a pretty big deal. The personal stories speak volumes.

But whatever. I always go out of the way, or slow/speed to small wake posture when encountering a smaller vessel. You really can't change them, but it works for me.
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Old 09-10-2009, 08:10 AM
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After this, I no longer hesitate to signal another boat if they are throwing an unnecessarily large wake. Whether by VHF, hand signals or air horn, I let them know. A lot of them actually do slow down; I guess many are just not paying attention, or don't "get it". The bottom line is that, if no one complains, nothing will happen. Sure - they might ignore you if you signal them, but if you don't signal them, they will never react.

The USCG is my biggest disappointment in all this. They just don't seem to care. If I ever find myself in this situation, you can bet I'll be rasiing HOLY HE!! on channel 16 until somebody does something. For those of you who don't carry a VHF onboard - get one. One of the biggest issues in this whole mess is that the USCG was contacted by cellphone, rather than VHF, and therefore didn't take it seriously. Now it seems that their attitude is "Oh well - it's too late now".
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Old 09-12-2009, 02:22 PM
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It's official - the USCG is out of the picture, stating that "it's not in our jurisdiction". It would have been nice if they had said that on July 5th (two months ago). They say it should be handled by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. I'm not sure if the DNR ever got involved, so it looks like there will be no charges filed - the operator gets off 100% scott-free. Nice.
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Old 09-12-2009, 02:59 PM
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find someone to take the case pro bono and make them suffer or start a fund to pay someoine I will chip in Sucks they dont man up and take care of it owner should have come down said sorry to everyone and paid damages and this topic would have been a thing of the past
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Old 09-13-2009, 01:14 PM
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Chuck,

On July 8, 2009 I posted the the Maryland DNR codes for this offense; call up the Maryland DNR, or go there in person and file the complaint. Reckless, or minimum Negligent operation against the Captain.

Post from July 8:

Chuck and John,

Sorry to hear about this, that is just ridiculous. John, I hope your wife is feeling better.

"Responsible for your wake" - that owner should be charged with the Maritime equivalent of reckless, and have his operator privileges suspended (there was personal injury to others, and that is bullsh*t). This is the law in Maryland (look below).

This from the Maryland DNR (Maryland's Marine Police):http://www.dnr.state.md.us/boating/s...ionvessels.pdf (page 7)

Reckless and Negligent Operation:
Law prohibits negligent or grossly negligent operation of a vessel that endangers lives and/
or property. The U.S. Coast Guard for this offense may impose a civil penalty under federal laws. The operator may be subjected to a fine of up to $5,000 and/or imprisonment for up to one year, or both. The Maryland penalty is a fine of up to $500 for the first offense.

Some examples of actions that may constitute negligent or grossly negligent operation
include but are not limited to:
1. Operating in a swimming area.
2. Operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
3. Excessive speed in the vicinity of other boats or in dangerous waters.

Code of Maryland Regulation law pertaining to this type of violation:http://www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/idq_files/search.idq

08.18.01.05. 05 General Operation of Boats.. A person may not operate or give permission to operate any motorboat or any vessel in a:. A. Reckless manner to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person; or. B. Negligent manner to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person.

Hopefully this will help some of the parties that were injured.
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