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Old 29 September 2014, 07:46   #1
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Chop Chop

Now, Before we start I know that a 4.7 meter Avon is not what you call ideal for a choppie solent but out we went on Sunday at 12sh from Portsmouth Harbour to Cowes into a fairly choppy situation but because of my inexperience could not find a good angle to make the ride slightly comfortable... Have any of you old sea dogs got any tips or direction on how to approach best choppy waters with a smallish boat ? cheers Huib
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Old 29 September 2014, 09:06   #2
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don't go "as the crow flies" either cross the solent more directly and stay closer to the island or hug the mainland and cross closer to cowes.

No need to pound into the waves, usually one side or the other is smoother, need to look at wind direction and comparable tide flow.

A Northerly component to the wind will favor the mainland side and a southerly component will favor the island side as a general rule
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Old 29 September 2014, 09:56   #3
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I found the ride on my(4.5m) Adventure quite slammy at times.

It was a good boat and I took it out in some quite horrid conditions, but it always got me home.

With the shallow hull and big tubes it almost had 'sib' handling characteristics, no reason not to go out though.!

I found slow was good, but needed to fit doel fins to keep the bow down- at an expensive of a few knts top end.

Generally stayed at home if I saw F4-5 on the weather stations.

I'm still learning with the famous Solent Chop, went out last weekend in what I had predicted to be fairly calm conditions- very choppy the first half of the day-flat calm in the afternoon.
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Old 29 September 2014, 10:18   #4
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Stay in the Bridge tavern? Alan P
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Old 29 September 2014, 10:31   #5
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I think all Ribs below 5.5 meters slam onto the waves and been out with 20 mile an hour winds and its fine... Just trying to get some advise on angles etc and how to work the waves
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Old 29 September 2014, 11:30   #6
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Are we talking about waves (swell) or chop (wind driven waves)?

Swell is usually not too bad, as there is a definite pattern (although it may vary with respect to height - the period generally remains about the same.) You can usually find a reasonably sedate line through it by varying speed, trim, and/or angle of incidence.

Chop is a different matter. Generally a very short period, not too big, but no pattern to speak of. Depends on how organized (or disorganized) it is, but often the only thing you can do is slow down.

Note that both are caused by wind and fetch (the length of time that wind has been in contact with the water surface), but swell is a long term effect (which means it has time to normalize into a pattern) while chop is short term (it's the onset of swell generation, and has yet to settle into any coherent pattern.)

jky
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Old 29 September 2014, 11:52   #7
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We are talking chop jky....
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Old 29 September 2014, 12:19   #8
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The Solent chop is particularly short and steep which can make it very uncomfortable in a small RIB.

You may find that nothing you do seems to make much difference, although Starovich's advice of tactical route planning is sound.

It can be better in a larger RIB as the extra length allows you to keep on top of the chop instead of hitting each wave. This needs a bit more speed though which can make things tricky when you hit the inevitable bigger wave or trough.

Sometimes even in a bigger boat it can be challenging to get anything like a comfortable ride. Other boats always seem to look like they are running better than you are, but don't be deceived, they'll be getting battered too!

Sometimes I wonder why the Solent is so popular with RIBs. Some days Alan P's advice is best.
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Old 30 September 2014, 07:44   #9
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Thanks Guys... I think I can ride the waves but John is right that its a short chop which I feel at 4.7 meters not a lot can be done.... Slow down a bit and nudge to the IOW..... I agree a bigger rib will do better and will stay on the look out if a goodun comes up and can tempt me to replace Gladys
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Old 01 October 2014, 08:47   #10
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As an aside the 5(?) of us that were o nthe stirlign crusie proved that sdhort isnlt necessarily bad - as 3 of us (an SR4, Me at 5m & a 6.?m) popped out of the shelter given by the Kinkardine bridge and the firth widened (so the average wavelength of the mess changed there was only ever one of us having a comfortable(ish) ride.

One thing that can also work (but very wavelength / shape dependant - especially in a smaller rib) is to open up and literally skip from wave top to wave top. If you get it right it;s brilliant, but it is incredibly hard work & you cannot afford to loose concentration at all as you need to be feathering your throttle second by second to launch you to "fly" the trough or slow you so you land on a wave top rather than the face of the following one. (you need to keep your eye on the wave you are on, the following & certainly one if not two the other side of that one.

And if the wavelength s wrong, "tack" through them - by changing the angle you hit them at, you change the effective wavelength, BUT run the risk of being thrown sideways & / or getting soaked.

+1 for the passage planning. I have waypoints up both sides of the lochs where I used to go out in an 11' Dell Quay dory.....
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