Originally Posted by SeaSkills
It's not quite that simple. You can cope with large waves relatively comfortably if the distance between them is great enough and you have a big enough boat. It's when the wavelength shortens and the angle of slope becomes steeper that large waves become more of a problem, and the problem comes to the smaller boats first. Generally speaking, size does matter here
The biggest problem comes from breaking waves. As the wave breaks it releases considerable amounts of energy. As a very simple rule of thumb, if a breaking wave has a height about the same as the beam of your boat it is more than capable of rolling you over. Even big boats get knocked down by breaking waves.
There is a bit of a foolish myth amongst some people that RIBs have such fantastic seakeeping abilities that you can do anything you like. Obviously that is not true - failing to respect the sea always leads to problems in the long run.
There is a lot of good advice on this forum, but the best advice is just not to be there ... especially to keep away from breaking water.
Very true! When I was out in the surf, i was not too concerned, i Slowed to about 10-10 knots to look down and check the plotter for hazards, while heading up weather a breaking wave turned the boat sideways and threw it hard enough i head butted the throttle to almost WOT!! That was my wake up call!!!!
Unlike my situation I think there will be times when pressing on IS the only option, for eg if the nearest safe haven is 2 miles infront V 15miles back the way you came??? and I still not sure i would know what to do to get her through it. My boat is very capable, im a average driver, in general I know my limits, i plan a course and weather, i understand throttle and trim control BUT still not sure how to handle large but short breaking waves
Windfinder showed me that the frequency of the waves were 2to3 seconds appart, with the wind heaping them up!!! PS BEST weather web site ive ever found