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Old 25 August 2001, 02:52   #1
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Inshore?

:o I can see from reading items in this forum that I've only got a little one! Probably the smallest one here, at 3.4m (see my profile). However this suits me for many reasons, most of all I like the flexibility of being able to launch without a slip from places that trailered boats can't get to. My 'boating area' is up in the Scottish Highlands (I have fisherman's cottage on the Moray Firth where the sea is at the bottom of the garden) where there are many small bays, lochs and interesting places to visit. I do not intend sailing to Norway or racing the boat so I feel that my boat suits my requirements.

I only began boating last year (2000) and am therefore still being very cautious. My boat is class C 'Inshore' - voyages in coastal waters, large bays, estuaries, lakes and rivers, where conditions up to and including force 6 and significant wave heights up to and including 4m may be experienced. Sounds a bit extreem to me!

Anyway, just what do they mean by 'inshore'? How far out would it be safe to go? What are the practical limits of a boat like mine? Am I too small for this forum??

Regards, Keith Hart
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Old 27 August 2001, 02:14   #2
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Hi there, I see that my posting 'Inshore?' has received 30+ viewings but no replies. However 'Forum Changes' has received loads of replies

Could it be that, 1) I am considered too small to be worth bothering about, 2) no one knows the answers to my questions 3) my questions were not clear enough.

I find it difficut to accept 1) and 2) So here we go again:

Just what are the capabilities of a 'C' Class boat at 3.4m with a 15hp engine? What exactly does 'Inshore' mean?

Help

Keith Hart
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Old 27 August 2001, 06:29   #3
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Well, I'll speak to you Keith!!
Not that I know the answers to you questions necessarily.
"Inshore", as far as the weather forecast is concerned normally relates to no more than 2/3 miles offshore.
You have a small boat with a low power engine. You do not say what safety equipment you have but in general, if I were you, I would stick to the 2/3 miles mentioned max. and definately only go out when the weather is not only calm(ish), but plans to stay that way. At the first sign of bad weather, GET BACK TO SHORE NOW. If you start to get waves over the transom or the sponsons you may fuse your electrics, lose engine power or worse. In any case, 15hp will not power you and the boat against any form of bad weather.
I suspect you dont have a radio? You must tell someone ashore of your plan, and stick to it.
You also sound new to boating. If so just gradually expand your own "envelope" of experience and capability. Nothing quite like "doing it" to find out whats possible or not. Basically if you feel REALLY nervous and apprehensive-go home. If you feel frightened it's too late!
No, you are not too small to be on rib.net!!
Why don't you join BIBOA as well, and meet up with other ribsters in your area?
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Old 27 August 2001, 07:16   #4
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Thanks Brian your reply is much appreciated.

I have a hand held marine radio, my eldest daughter Karen, (the one in the photo) has a BSc (hons) in Marine Biology and an MSc in Environmental Management, she is a qualified diver and also happens to have the necessary certificate to use the radio. It is great having her in the boat - she is a wealth of information about the marine environment. We also carry a mobile phone and ALWAYS inform the boss (my wife) where we are going and for how long.

We have full lifejackets, rope, and a small toolkit. I do not carry a compass as we have no INTENTION of going out of sight of land. Do you think that I should get a hand held compass?

The furthest I have been offshore so far is about 1 mile. We are very close to the Cromarty Firth and we go out there quite often. There are a lot of these type of places up on the coast of the Highlands where there are great views and secluded bays etc that suit a smaller boat. There is plenty of room to use the boat but a 90 degree turn in any direction would bring you back to shore very quickly. It is this 'inshore' exploring that appeals to me. I am going to take the boat across to Kylesku next month. I have been in touch (through boatlaunch.co.uk) with a local fisherman who has advised me about the local conditions.

There are many local fishermen up in our village (Hilton of Cadbol) and I have taken advice from them about local conditions etc.

I must say that I like your advice 'if you feel nervous go back, if you feel frightened it's too late!!!' - Great.

I brought the boat and engine etc. brand new last August. I was worried about buying 2nd hand as I wanted to be sure everything was reliable. The engine is a Mariner 15hp (260cc twin cylinder) 2-stroke. It is the largest engine that the boat is certified to use. Being an inflatable the boat is light, is has an inflatable hull and planes easily. I am confident that the engine is strong enough to tackle anything that the boat is capable of. I certainly take your point about only going out in good weather that is likely to stay that way.

The location of our Highland home (we actualy live in Birmingham) is ideal, the sea actualy comes up to our front garden (see photo - 'view from the bottom of the garden'). The village is on a peninsular so if the wind direction is wrong for taking the boat out in the Moray Firth we can go into the Cromarty Firth, if that is too rough we can pop over to Portmahomack.

I have the application form for BIBOA and will send off this week. I want to organise a 'gathering' of 2,3 or 4 smaller boats so we can go exploring together up in the Highlands (safety in numbers etc.).

All advice much appreciated. Anyway I'm going to stay here and keep the voice of the small boats loud and clear.

Keith Hart
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Old 27 August 2001, 07:38   #5
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My oh my. Your location certainly looks idyllic!
On the point of a compass. Yes, get a handheld. You may not go out of sight of land, but what about fog/seamist?
Dont tell me you would see it coming.Suppose your daughter was down diving?What would you do? Leave her??
A handy tip. I had an inflatable once. They are light arent they? If you take your boat's cloth coverall with you and your engine doesnt start for some reason, using you oars as support, put up your boat cover as a crude sail. You can sometimes even use the engine shaft as a simple and feeble rudder. The boat will slowly pick up any wind speed and propel you along. Sounds incredible, I know, but I promise you it does work.
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Old 27 August 2001, 07:57   #6
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Keith

As you have seen, the Recreation Craft Directive has a fairly loose definition of Inshore. It seems strange to me that a boat with this rating is reckoned to be OK in what are undeniably large waves in high winds!

With a RIB or inflatable you are unlikely to sink, and assuming you wear a lifejacket you are unlikely to drown. To work out what is safe (or sensible) you need to consider the worst case scenario which is likely to be a complete loss of power for one reason or another.

So what would happen? Would you be able to get back to shore under your own power? Would you be lown offshore, or onto rocks? How far away from help are you? Would you be able to summon help? If you couldn't contact anyone, how long until a search is initiated? Would they have a good idea where to look? How reliable is your source of weather information? How long would it take you to get so safety if the weather turns bad -- bear in mind that in this size of boat if the weather gets nasty it will take a long time to get anywhere and your fuel consumption will increase dramatically.

On your own in a remote area the safety envelope is much smaller than cruising in company in a well populated area. Finding another boat to cruise with will make a huge difference to what you can tackle.

It sounds and looks like you have got an ideal place for exploring in your boat. Don't be put off by what may seem a long list of "things to go wrong" as most of them are things that should become second nature very quickly. They all apply (to differering extents) in all boats wherever you cruise.

Brian's advice about turning back early is good. Something else to consider is to head upwind first, so you are returning with the wind. It's very easy to misjudge how long it will take to get back against the wind!

Yes, do get a compass. In low visibility it is incredible how quickly you can lose your sense of direction. Silva make a good one that can be mounted on the tube as a steering compass and removed to use as a hand bearing compass when needed. Why not get a GPS too? It may sound like overkill, but they are only 100 and can make life much easier!

John
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Old 27 August 2001, 12:05   #7
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Now we're cooking on gas!

Thanks Brian and John, this is just the stuff I was after. I will certainly get a compass. Okay so I don't intend to get out of sight of land but I take your point, mists etc. Infact when we were out in the Cromarty Firth in March (see photo of oil rigs posted in gallery) it was damned cold, there was ice in the Firth! It started to snow so we went straight back in at the insistance of Karen (eldest daughter Marine Biologist etc....). 5 minutes after getting out of the water...Blizzard. From fine calm day to blizzard in 10 minutes! So compass is the next purchase (at least I can justify that expance to the boss). Do you have a website for 'Silva'?

You've hit the nail on the head about worst case scenario John (the voice of experience no doubt). My greatest worry is power failure, which is why I purchased a new engine. The local fishermen often take a small spare engine if they are going way out in their smaller boats, unless others are going as well. I like Brian's idea about the temporary sail. So far I have only gone out as far as I feel I could row back in again. One of the locals who is over 80 yrs old, goes out almost daily to his lobster pots, in a small boat without an engine! If he can row out and in, then I hope I could.

I have to say that I have already sussed out that the safest thing to do is start off against the wind and come back with it. I must say that a class C boat like mine in up to and including 4m waves!!! Not on your nelly! But I suppose that they mean this as an extreem example.

Anyway it would seem that I am okay if I stick to fair weather within a couple of miles of the shore and I should be perfectly safe in the large sea lochs that are in plentifful supply up here. Of course having an easily transportable inflatable boat it is easy for me to set up and have a go in one bay/loch and then to get it all into the estate car and drive a few miles down the coast to another area.

I really am keen to get some others in simmilar boats to mine together up in the area. I will be looking to do this through the BIBOA or this forum.

By the way I have bang up to date charts for my area, and have just sent fot more of the West Coast. I also got the Admiralty book on chart symbols.

Thanks for the advice, just what I was looking for.
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Old 27 August 2001, 12:18   #8
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The Silva web site is at http://www.silva.se/ and the compass I was talking about is at http://www.silva.se/marine/prod_com/mul_70une.htm

John
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Old 27 August 2001, 16:32   #9
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Forget about the C category, Its just eurocracy. Use your boat using your common sense and dont go out in a force 6!
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Old 28 August 2001, 14:21   #10
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Keith,

I can tell you that you are not the only one who has a small boat and is reading this forum frequently. I have a Zodiac Touring Mk 2 C and Merc 15 outboard, the same engine that you have, I guess.

All opinions you reseived were great. I thought the same questions about EC categories, etc, last summer.

I use my boat in west coast of Finland and that size of the boat and eng. is very suitable for inshore trips. The boat can take much more rough conditions than I can.

Because of the pretty flat hull the ride is rough if waves get bigger. Well, in Finland, I think we have much different shape of the waves than it is in GB.

I have plan to buy a real RIB as soon as my budget allows it!

In Sweden they call an inflatable boat as a SIB (soft inflatable boat). It's pretty suitable for conventional inflatables.

RIB & SIB

Jari
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