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Small boats in waves and chop

Chapap

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Can anyone learn me on how small is too small to go into the bay and gulf? Even small swells just seem so big. Would a bass boat survive in 2’ swells? It seems like the nose of those things would get shoved into a wave. Really, most boats even half mil fishing boats) seem to have such a low bow that it’s not really cut out for the water they’re intended for. I also find it amazing that PWCs stay above water at speed. The have mere inches of hull above the water line in front.

specific question. Would a SeaDoo Sportster be torture in the bay with moderate swells?
 


racsan

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Well the boat might be ok- but youd be in for a hell of ride! Better to have something with some weight to go through the waves rather than ride them. Wood or fiberglass hull. My body sure couldn’t take that kind of a beating any more, thats for sure.
 

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Displacement boats are best in swells, like sail boats, they sit down in the water

Deep V hulls for other boats and pleasure craft

The lower the hull extends below the water line the better it will be in rough water, deep draft
Shallow draft "feels" every wave

A wave extends below the water the same as above, so a 2ft swell is a 4ft wave
That's why waves "break" on the shore, the bottom of the wave hits the rising ground under the water and its slowed down, so top of the wave falls forward, "breaking" on the shore

So if the lower part of the hull is below the wave, it will be more stable, it pushes the wave left and right, splits it
But if you "plane" the boat, go fast enough so boat lifts up higher out of the water, it will get less stable as the waves can now push the boat up, and let it drop vs boat splitting the waves

Seadoos are shallow draft, so will be a rough ride, but you can run parallel to the waves, and jump over a wave to get where you want to go instead of fighting the waves head on

You could say its like riding a motorcycle on a washboard road, but motorcycles have suspension to absorb some of the bumps, seadoos do not, just your legs and your A$$
So more like riding a Harley Hardtail on a washboard road, lol
 

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Hull shape has a lot to do with it. IIRC most bass boats have a flatter hull for stability at lower speeds, that will make them ride rough in heavier seas.

And the draft is kind of a fickle thing to go by. A lot of topweight will do nothing to help ride/stability despite making the boat ride lower in the water. I don't think most personal sized watercraft really can get enough draft to make much if a difference.

IMO... when in Rome do as the Romans do. How many bass boats do you see in the gulf?
 

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I have owned a few bass boats and currently have a 2019 triton 18 ft boat with a 175. It is not meant for big swells off the coast, let alone salt or brackish water.

You need a skiff or similar to even begin to get in that sort of water.

Bass boats are made for shallow water, for the deck to be close to the water surface, and of course speed lol.

I've been in some rough water with lots of wind and on plane a bass boat will handle more than you think, but I would not want to fight waves from the ocean or similar.
 
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racsan

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isnt it funny how fisherman on the shore try to get the lure as far out as possible, yet the ones in a boat are trying to be as close to the shoreline as possible. (mostly the bass boats)
 

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youtube haulover inlet
 

Chapap

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youtube haulover inlet
Lol I’ve run across that a few times. That’s part of what made me come up with the question. The big boats do better than the small ones, but not nearly more betterer than I’d think they would… some of them at least
 

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Well if you are diving into a wave with an open bow................................
 

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Lol I’ve run across that a few times. That’s part of what made me come up with the question. The big boats do better than the small ones, but not nearly more betterer than I’d think they would… some of them at least
I youtubed it, IMO there is way to much going on there to pin anything down to hull shape...

A lot are probably not weighted the best (either lots of people on the bow or lots of engine hanging off the back), some are downright overweight (lots of people everywhere) and some are trying not to get ran over by some other amateur in a bigger boat.
 

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18 foot will be a rough ride in the gulf, no matter what hull shape.

my dad had boats when i was a kid. we had a 19 foot open bow glass master inboard for skiing and a 29 foot trophy3 cabin cruiser for scuba diving. my brother and i were allowed to the take the 19 footer anywhere we wanted, anytime we wanted, so we would always try and take the intercoastal to the channel and go to the beach to get chicks. it was rough anytime the waves were big enough to be seen. the ski boat was a single v, not even a twin or tri v.

the cabin cruiser was nice in the deeper water because the length and depth of the boat. but it still would sometimes be so rough that it was scary because the boat would get thrown up and down so much. even with the size of that boat, dad decided we would only go diving on pretty decent days so we only went a couple times a summer.
 

Chapap

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I’m just surprised at how little distance there is between the “nose” of the boat and the water line. It seems to me like you’d want more to punch through taller swells. A half mil fishing boat only has like 4’ which doesn’t seem like much when 6 foot swells (trough to peak) are not uncommon. I’m guessing that buoyancy is exponential as the hull is submerged…so that’s the reason. If you’re going fast enough to submarine, you’re doing it wrong… but it’s still scary to see the nose get so close to the water line.

Of course my Hobie 16 had inches from nose to water line and that boat could go out when seas were too high for anything smaller than a “ship.” Of course I didn’t consider it a successful sailing day unless I pitchpoled a couple times.
 

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I’m just surprised at how little distance there is between the “nose” of the boat and the water line. It seems to me like you’d want more to punch through taller swells. A half mil fishing boat only has like 4’ which doesn’t seem like much when 6 foot swells (trough to peak) are not uncommon. I’m guessing that buoyancy is exponential as the hull is submerged…so that’s the reason. If you’re going fast enough to submarine, you’re doing it wrong… but it’s still scary to see the nose get so close to the water line.

Of course my Hobie 16 had inches from nose to water line and that boat could go out when seas were too high for anything smaller than a “ship.” Of course I didn’t consider it a successful sailing day unless I pitchpoled a couple times.
I think being close to the water line is desired for fishing boats, to make fishing easier, and designing that to work is what makes em so spendy. Unless we're talking tuna boats, they are tall and huge. They are all purpose built. At least you know exactly what you will be using it for...I would base my search on that. Have you looked into the "smaller" Boston Whaler boats?

I think the only multi use type of boat is called a "roundabout"...they can used for fishing, skiing, exploring etc....but as with most things that do it all, it does none of them very well.

There are definitely many factors to what makes a boat handle rough waters, but size does matter. That's why I have always been intrigued by those lil inflatable swift water rescue boats handling raging currents. They are badass.
 

Chapap

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A lucky note to add:

A bud of mine had a 21’ hurricane for years. He just upgraded to a 24’. He said the new boat handles the waves exponentially better.
 

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