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Old 06 August 2019, 04:37   #1
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Far from shore

Just wondering do any of you ever suffer from the fear of being so far from shore?
Albeit i'm a newbie and not scared of a long paddle or row certainly not afraid of the boats capability to handle the chop.

But has it happened to any of you that your engine just stopped and you could not restart?

Being a sib i'm sort of guessing no one carries a spare outboard, or is it just as i say break the oars out and get on with it.

Cause I have a thought here given the right wind direction which is a big maybe.
I have a sail that worked well on my kayak, and would certainly assist in my paddling back to shore.

Or is it the case i'm being daft and should not be venturing out that far from the shore.

Yesterday from Granton to Inchkeith was i think according to Google 3 miles.

Is this to far? i don't have ship to shore radio but did constantly check that i had phone signal.

Again sorry for most likely a daft questions but i have a thousand more, I am trying to control myself lol.
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Old 06 August 2019, 05:13   #2
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I think we are all a bit nervous the first couple of times in any boat
Id get a radio & SRC to be on the safe side .........
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Old 06 August 2019, 05:15   #3
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Being out in an empty sea, out of sight of land, is one of the great pleasures of boating imo.
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Old 06 August 2019, 05:48   #4
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I'm never nervous on the sea but always aware just how small a SIB is as you venture further out.

Phone is better than nothing but now portable VHFs are so good (as in good battery life, compact, waterproof and floating) and not that expensive I'd think of getting one and doing the course.

Popping a sail up on the SIB isn't something I plan to do but I do always take the wind direction into account planning passages or days out... to see if it will assist taking us back to a degree of safety if the outboard failed or if it would take us further into danger.

To cover the breaking down thing...

Most important ensure your engine is properly serviced... you have clean fuel with correct fuel mix... and enough fuel to use the rule of thirds (third out, third back, third reserve). Carry a basic outboard toolkit inc a plug spanner and a couple of spare plugs (particularly with a 2-stroke).

If that unrepairable breakdown happens as mentioned good to have phone and radio. Good to have anchor, chain and sufficient rope to at least hold your position while deciding what to do.

A SIB is not the best to row so consider the oars as a way of influencing the direction of travel to the least dangerous location rather than busting a gut trying to get to an unachievable location.
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Old 06 August 2019, 05:49   #5
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I would add re OB reliability. I've only had three years of 4-stroke experience with two brand new ones but before that 50yrs plus of being on the sea with 2-strokes.

I've had them smoke a bit, run a bit hot, misfire, cough, not sound right, stop because someone's standing on the fuel line, steering cables snap on remotes, break a whole blade off the prop.... but never once a total failure that needed rescue or oars.
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Old 06 August 2019, 05:57   #6
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Went across the Pacific earlier this year; that certainly honed the senses in terms of what if something goes wrong. Being able to get help in the event of a problem is the key; as per the above, get yourself a decent handheld VHF (and do the RYA VHF course so you know how to use it and you're legal) so that if you do get into trouble you can call the coastguard and they can come and rescue you. Don't rely on your phone!
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Old 06 August 2019, 05:59   #7
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I do carry the toolkit plenty of experience of the 2 stroke when we had the quad bikes and ventured off the beaten path, never had a complete failure they're. and i'm particular on the fuel/oil mix i don't guess i measure. I'll look up the radio aspect of things unless you can direct me to an appropriate post for a bit reading/learning.
Thanks again
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Old 06 August 2019, 06:03   #8
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https://www.rya.org.uk/courses-train...Pages/src.aspx

https://www.marinesuperstore.com/mar...held-vhf-radio
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Old 06 August 2019, 06:09   #9
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Thanks Tim,
I'll have good read appreciated.
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Old 06 August 2019, 06:17   #10
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If I'm solo, experience deteriorating conditions or off shore I stuff one of these in my pocket, https://www.marinestore.co.uk/Mercha...xoCbi8QAvD_BwE
You never know.............
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Old 06 August 2019, 09:39   #11
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Originally Posted by Pikey Dave View Post
Being out in an empty sea, out of sight of land, is one of the great pleasures of boating imo.

Perhaps not for the OP who is totally new to powerboats, has no formal training, and is using a 3.3m sib with a 6hp engine!

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Originally Posted by Fender View Post
If I'm solo, experience deteriorating conditions or off shore I stuff one of these in my pocket, ...
You never know.............

Ok, let’s keep some perspective. The OP bought his outfit for less than 4x the price of that, if he was getting a PLB would likely get a VHF first, and most people would suggest a powerboat course, and the SRC course first... we are quickly running him up a rather hefty bill. Now his current intended use is in the Firth of Forth in good conditions. Effectively he will have visibility of land on three sides N,W,S. I’m not suggesting he cut corners and would encourage him to go and read the “what kit for my SiB” thread, and prioritise the anchor (I doubt its practical to carry sufficient depth for the whole FoF on a 3m SIB) and a vhf. I’d prioritise the PB2 over the SRC course. The PLB would be at the very end of the shopping list for what the OP is currently planning.

OP - even in perfect conditions trying to do any maintenance on an engine that is afloat on a SIB is very hard and risky. If you start to have problems I’d prioritise getting ashore ASAP. And then personally would probably look to return by road until you were confident any issue was sorted. If you are a mile out I think you will struggle to row your sib unless wind and tide are cooperating and I doubt any jury rigged sail will do better. At that point you at least want to let the CG know you have a problem. If you do that by VHF a friendly local may offer you a tow.
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Old 06 August 2019, 10:53   #12
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Originally Posted by Pikey Dave View Post
Being out in an empty sea, out of sight of land, is one of the great pleasures of boating imo.
Have to agree with PD.
There are a few things I really enjoy,
...the smell of the land blowing out to sea...
...a rain storm - really seems to freshen up the boat !!!
... the dynamic of horizon shift in a swell....
... small boats and big journeys....

look after your kit and it will look after you,
do your prep - weather, tides, safety kit, passage plan...enjoy !
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Old 06 August 2019, 11:04   #13
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Originally Posted by Poly View Post
Perhaps not for the OP who is totally new to powerboats, has no formal training, and is using a 3.3m sib with a 6hp engine!
To be fair, my reply was aimed at his opening question "Just wondering do any of you ever suffer from the fear of being so far from shore?" without any of the subsequent qualifiers. "So far from shore" is relative, in poor vis you could be out of sight of land in a couple of hundred metres or it could be 20 miles in good vis.
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Old 06 August 2019, 11:08   #14
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I'd get a plb. You're boating in fairly sheltered waters and if it's reasonably calm you should be safe. Even if you loose power you'll be safe, that is, you're not gonna die. Your phone will call the coastguard.

But, you're also in a main shipping channel, you're small so difficult to see and the wind kicks up quickly in the Forth and it can turn rough at short notice. Also, the wind is predominantly westerly and it's tidal so shit could easily happen.

So the wind gets up, the waves are now a meter high, you've got wind against tide and a tanker is coming your way and gonna add another 2ft to the waves. If you end up in the water a mile from shore you'll be pleased to have that PLB. Some mobile phones are water proof, could be a good next phone purchase.

Don't let me put you off though!
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Old 06 August 2019, 11:20   #15
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>>>I doubt its practical to carry sufficient depth for the whole FoF on a 3m SIB

Yep that's one thing about Scotland, you can be just minutes from launching and out of SIB anchor depth. Round the SE coast where we go for days out 10Nm offshore you could lean over and push an oar into the sand some places.
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Old 06 August 2019, 11:42   #16
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Ok point taken.
But I would not go out in adverse conditions or forecast for adverse conditions. Granted things can change quickly, and I'm not planning on going 20 miles or even half that off shore. But I have done on a sea kayak in a group. It was a general question just curious to see if anyone had that slight fear of it happening. It's bound to have crossed people's minds as it did mine.
As i said I did have a phone with me and consistently checked that I had signal. If I didn't we would have turned around. My phone is in a sealed pouch that is watertight, and also on me . But again I know things can happen.
We fall in ok. We wear at least wet suits. And obviously life jackets. But again I know the unexpected can happen . We could see both sides of the fourth when heading out, also the shipping lane as far as I'm aware is on the Fife side. Apart from the the big cruise liners that sit in between Inchkeith and Newhaven harbour where they're passengers are ferried into.
Admittedly I was thinking this is maybe to far given I'm a newbie. But also they're were a few sail boats kicking around within waving distance. That left Granton harbour same time as us.
As I say I am new to the motor boat thing, but I'm not new to the water. Whether that be sea or river. And have been taught always expect the unexpected. Hence the original question does anyone suffer from that fear.
That was me expecting the unexpected. Lol.
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Old 06 August 2019, 11:58   #17
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P.s coastal trips will do us . Until which time we have the experience/correct gear/larger engine and confidence in all the equipment.
But would love a jaunt to the Isle of May.
That'll be on the to do list. And hopefully with an accompanying boat or 3. Lol.
But all and every piece odf advice is really appreciated . And I'm spending all my time if not tinkering with boat mainly washing it, and reading the amazing posts on this forum , which I will continue to do on my endeavour to gain knowledge and experience. From you all.
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Old 06 August 2019, 13:39   #18
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Originally Posted by Poly View Post
Ok, let’s keep some perspective. The OP bought his outfit for less than 4x the price of that, if he was getting a PLB would likely get a VHF first, and most people would suggest a powerboat course, and the SRC course first... we are quickly running him up a rather hefty bill. Now his current intended use is in the Firth of Forth in good conditions. Effectively he will have visibility of land on three sides N,W,S. I’m not suggesting he cut corners and would encourage him to go and read the “what kit for my SiB” thread, and prioritise the anchor (I doubt its practical to carry sufficient depth for the whole FoF on a 3m SIB) and a vhf. I’d prioritise the PB2 over the SRC course. The PLB would be at the very end of the shopping list for what the OP is currently planning.
A PLB / EPIRB do have there place, maybe not the most important bit of kit for the OP but one I choose to carry, in fact I rate them very highly - if you end up swimming a handheld VHF has limited scope. The RYA recommend they are an essential piece of equipment if you ever plan to cruise out of VHF range - which isn’t that far with just a handheld. https://afloat.ie/power/ribs/item/22...-by-coastguard
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Old 06 August 2019, 14:36   #19
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....But I would not go out in adverse conditions or forecast for adverse conditions. Granted things can change quickly, and I'm not planning on going 20 miles or even half that off shore. But I have done on a sea kayak in a group.
I came to power boating from kayaking too but kayaking in a group is a safer prospect in many ways than single boating, if one paddler capsizes and doesn't roll up there's still others in their boats to give assistance and pop the paddler back into their boat.

I'm mindful of an incident in the Forth a few years back where two folk were out alone, the weather deteriorated and they ended up in the water, iirc one got ashore but the other one died. A PLB might have had them both saved.
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Old 06 August 2019, 14:46   #20
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+1 for all the comments about communications.

Mobile phones do not use a frequency designed for distance, so a radio is a huge advantage. As already linked - a PLB is a superb addition.

But also, again in support of previous post, the freedom and joy of being out there is one of the greatest pleasures. Enjoy it for what it is. Once I am 20nm from the nearest land I try and make a point of stopping and take it in.
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