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Old 16 August 2010, 01:14   #1
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Boat/Ocean conditions

I am looking to purchase a Zodiac 12 man pro and wondering what kind of ocean conditions this type of rib can handle. ( ie..wave height and wind ) I know the experience of the operator has to be considered, but all things being equal, has anyone had this type of boat out in rough conditions and how did it handle?
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Old 18 August 2010, 06:27   #2
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I would imagine somewhere in the paperwork and or on the boat will be a 'CE Category' specifying the limitation of the craft, I have added the stats below. Most boats of that size would be C or possible B at a stretch. Just bear in mind the boat can generally take more than the crew!!

Category Significant Wave Height Beaufort
A- Ocean Exceeding 4m Exceeding 8
B - Offshore Up to & including 4m Up to & including 8
C - Inshore Up to & including 2 Up to & including 6
D - Sheltered Up to & including 0.5m Up to & including 4
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Old 18 August 2010, 07:58   #3
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Originally Posted by Mbryant View Post
I would imagine somewhere in the paperwork and or on the boat will be a 'CE Category' specifying the limitation of the craft, I have added the stats below. Most boats of that size would be C or possible B at a stretch. Just bear in mind the boat can generally take more than the crew!!

Category Significant Wave Height Beaufort
A- Ocean Exceeding 4m Exceeding 8
B - Offshore Up to & including 4m Up to & including 8
C - Inshore Up to & including 2 Up to & including 6
D - Sheltered Up to & including 0.5m Up to & including 4
I'm fairly sure it is CE cat C. However this isn't overly helpful in knowing the boats capability because:

1. its cheaper for a manufacturer to rate it a C than B, so if his core market aren't bothered about it being rated B why bother even if the craft is suitable.

2. the capability of the craft will depend very much on the skipper (good skipper can safely manage a poorer craft better than a poor skipper in a great boat).

3. survival and comfort are not the same thing. e.g. you wouldn't want to be sitting on the tubes in 4m waves in a F8 on a 5.5m zodiac for long, but assuming you didn't fall out you would probably survive it. So the boat might be fine for 2 people but not for the full 12 its rated for. (Indeed some manufacturers produce different ratings for different numbers of people as this also affects loading/balance)

4. wave heights and wind speeds aren't particularly easy to describe on paper. Its possible to have high winds and no waves. Low winds and big swell. Short chop or breaking waves. Comfort and capability are different in each. Indeed the difference between heading into and heading with the waves is huge.

When looking at CE ratings - bear in mind that "significant wave height" doesn't mean the biggest waves you'll find nor does it mean that every wave is that big. It is the average of the third of the biggest waves. About 1/10 waves will be bigger than the significant wave height and its not uncommon to get waves double the height.
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Old 20 August 2010, 04:09   #4
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Originally Posted by able archer View Post
I am looking to purchase a Zodiac 12 man pro and wondering what kind of ocean conditions this type of rib can handle. ( ie..wave height and wind ) I know the experience of the operator has to be considered, but all things being equal, has anyone had this type of boat out in rough conditions and how did it handle?
Don't bother looking for a CE plate on your boat - it's a European thing! As Polwart says it's a vague guideline and can only ever be that as conditions are hugely different for individual cases.

Get some training on your own boat if you're not sure - I'm sure a good instructor will show you haw capable the boat is!
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When a boat looks that good who needs tubes!!!
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