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Lets say you own a 23FT CC calling for seas 2-3, winds 10-14 would you consider 25 miles out. I know there are other variables but in general is this consider no concern, normal or above average concern. Ok to go, maybe or absolutely not.
 

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I'd probably do the close-in spots, three barges, etc., but for a 25 mile trip you'll get the crap beat out of you in 2 to 3's and the chop in between with those winds.
 

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To me wave period is more of a factor than wave height. 2-3ft with a 2 sec wave period will beat your teeth out. 2-3ft with a 6-8 sec period is doable. as stated above 2-3 is usually 3-4, and if you have to ask don't go.
 

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Plus, this time of year with northerly winds, the first few miles will make you think its all OK. Once you get further out and the full effect of the wind kicks it, you will regret going. If you go anywhere this time of year, I would strongly suggest wearing PFD's all the time. The water may still be warm but the wind will chill you significantly if anything happened and you got wet
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks guys, keep teaching I want to know all I can.I have taken some courses but hearing it from those that have done it is much better. I have been going out about a year.I have a 23ft sea hunt cc.
 

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Bases on your question I believe it's safe to say that your offshore experience is somewhat limited. The only way to get practical boating experience is to actually go boating under various conditions. I'm not saying head out to the deep blue sea but you may want to fish the bay and even try inclose spots outside the pass. this way you will start to gain experience at the helm under more adverse conditions. It's also a good idea to have someone with you that has some experience at the helm, it's easier to learn from someone else than the school of man that scared the crap out of me.

Your experience and confidence levels go hand in hand. Keep in mind that your boat must be kept in a well maintained condition as well. On a poorly maintained boat, discrepancies that aren't apparent on flat seas may become life threatening under more adverse conditions.
 

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Bases on your question I believe it's safe to say that your offshore experience is somewhat limited. The only way to get practical boating experience is to actually go boating under various conditions. I'm not saying head out to the deep blue sea but you may want to fish the bay and even try inclose spots outside the pass. this way you will start to gain experience at the helm under more adverse conditions. It's also a good idea to have someone with you that has some experience at the helm, it's easier to learn from someone else than the school of man that scared the crap out of me.

Your experience and confidence levels go hand in hand. Keep in mind that your boat must be kept in a well maintained condition as well. On a poorly maintained boat, discrepancies that aren't apparent on flat seas may become life threatening under more adverse conditions.

X2

Capt John Ward
Seatow Destin/Pensacola/Orange Beach
850-492-5070

www.seatow.com
 

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The boat itself should be easily capable of 2 to 3 or larger seas. Question is, can you handle it? We have all went out slick calm and came home getting a beating before. When it is so rough its hard to stand up, it makes for a bad day of fishing. Unless its the last day of Snapper season and you have to go even if its 5 to 7, or worse.:thumbup:
 

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My belief that we should hone our maritime skills as much as we possibly can is mostly in case of emergency and need. Most of us have gone out in a CC and ran far offshore at almost blistering speed because it was flat as a pond only to have it kick up in the afternoon and have to motor home at a snails pace of 7 knots or less running against ahead seas at 2 - 4 feet or more.

It's best to have at least some previous experience with heavier weather than none at all and having to learn by hands on do or die, especially when your frame of mind might not be at it's best. The passes magnify conditions which makes them a good learning environment and a hazard as well. Remember last year when 5 boats were swamped trying to get back in the East Pass? Not only do you have to navigate the heavy seas to get home but when you get there, then you have to be able to judge the wave direction, height, speed, wind and adjust your boat speed and angle of approach to surf in without plowing in and turning broadside to the waves.

Short of a captains course that has actual time on the water the best thing is to learn from experienced buddies and by exposing yourself to various conditions as you continue to gain proficiency and hone your skills. The only thing worse than lack of experience in a bad situation is bravado over confidence.
 

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My belief that we should hone our maritime skills as much as we possibly can is mostly in case of emergency and need. Most of us have gone out in a CC and ran far offshore at almost blistering speed because it was flat as a pond only to have it kick up in the afternoon and have to motor home a snails pace of 7 knots or less running against ahead seas at 2 - 4 feet or more.

It's best to have at least some experience with heavier weather than none at all and having to learn by experience especially when your frame of mind might not be at it's best. The passes magnify conditions which makes them a good learning environment and a hazard as well. Remember last year when 5 boats were swamped trying to get back in the East Pass? Not only do you have to navigate the heavy seas to get home but you get there, then you have to be able to judge the wave direction, height, speed, wind and adjust your boat speed and angle of approach to surf in without plowing in and turning broadside to the waves.

Short of a captains course that has actual time on the water the best thing is to learn from experienced buddies and by exposing yourself to various conditions as you continue to gain experience and hone your skills. The only thing worse than lack of experience in a bad situation is bravado over confidence.
 

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I agree with Kim 100%. I always chose the rough (within reason) angle coming into the pass to gain experience. This taught me two things: how to handle rough uncooperative seas and what to avoid once I gained experience.
Slowly gain your confidence at the helm, and as stated above, keep your rig in top shape.

My fuel water separator developed a pin hole while we were 20 miles out. The easiest fix was to bypass it. This left the fuel line draped over the transom. Seemed harmless enough. Heading in, it kicked up to 3-5'. No big deal. We hit the pass and came face to face with 6-8' washing machine conditions. No rhyme or reason to the swell direction. We were coming through pretty smooth (relatively speaking). The guys were a bit nervous, but I felt very comfortable at the helm. When all of a sudden "poof" the motor just dies. Now I'm nervous. Quickly, one of the guys sees the fuel line pinched in the transom door with the ice chest pushed against it. He clears the line and ties it up to prevent a repeat. I turn the key and off we go.
That same day, a wave swept over a 21 cc and took two occupants into the water. They were pulled out by the same boat, but damn that's scary.
 

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With regard to surfing in on waves, that not the correct way. If waves are traveling ther normal 15-18 knots, all you need to do is stay off the face of the wave. The safest place is in back of the wave thats moving in the same direction as you are, keeping in mind not to go over it. Just let it pull you along. With a boat that can do any speed faster than the wave, the throttle is what gets most people in trouble. So if the wave are coming into East pass or Pcola pass or Pedido pass, all you need to do is get between a set and follow it in. The calmest place is the trough between two waves. It doesnt get any flatter than there. Just takes practice.
 

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Would you go......

Thanks again. Keep teaching I'm listening.
www.ndbc.noaa.gov closest buoy to Pcola is 42012, Orange Beach buoy.

On the NOAA site, if you read the not so fine print, it says wave heights (for the wave height data) is the "significant wave height", which is defined as the average of the highest 1/3 of the waves in the measuring period.
It also says individual waves can be twice that height. Forecasts follow similar logic. So, if it says 2-4, do the math and decide how 4-8 might feel. Definitely does not mean it will be all 8 footers, but, it only takes one. My experience is, it trends more toward the high end of the range give, and you will see some at least at the high end. As noted in previous posts, experience is invaluable. Get ya some.
 
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