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Old 26 June 2017, 00:00   #1
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Took my 14' out in 25mph winds in the Pacific, RIB needed?

So this was an interesting experience in the Pacific. I'm somewhat new to boating but I'm very adventurous and wanting to explore.

I planned on a 7 mile trip from harbor to harbor and left in the morning. I checked the weather and the forecast was for a beautiful day with 1-2 swells at 15 seconds. On my 7 mile journey down, it got a little rough. Was exciting but nothing too crazy. Saw a ton of dolphins! On the back, I was fighting what seemed to be 6 foot swells in 15-25 mph winds. White caps everywhere. Took me an hour to get down, 2+ back. I wasn't fearful, but told myself this probably wasn't smart when I'd fall off the backside of some of these waves.

I had a terrible time getting to plane on the way back, and even if I could I'd bounce around and after 5-10 seconds it was lost. I realize I should have probably been more careful but did not expect that weather. I also didn't see anyone out past the harbor except large sailboats, so that probably should have been an indicator.

So while I think my SIB would be awesome in calmer weather, maybe a lake, today is a perfect example of why I would prefer a RIB. For multiple reasons.
  • Am I right in just assuming that RIB's with an actual V hull and more weight will fair better in the ocean?
  • I thought about 1000 times how I wish I had a wheel instead of a tiller. I could brace myself much better. Also a place to grab on to (other than the rope) to keep my body in the boat. My hand was tore up. I know lots of people sit on the floor, I just find that incredibly uncomfortable.
  • I also found that I would brace myself with the tiller in my left, rope with my right, causing me to either change directions or throttle and that would take me off plane if I hit a wave. But honestly, some of the waves I was hitting at 20 mph was just nuts. Didn't help my fingers would get slammed between the tiller and seat as well. The sea received lots of my 4 letter words.
  • Also, this is really going to shine on my inexperience, but I was 1000 feet off the coast and felt like the waves we're breaking and pushing me in. Is there a defined distance to prevent this? I know this varies depending on the locale, I get that. But with more severe weather, it there some recommendation?

In short, planning is a freakin awesome feeling. Grin from ear to ear. However, I was chuggin at 5-7 mph all the way home in those swells. Seriously considering a 14'-15' RIB in hopes that some of my concerns would be minimized as I'm not a guy that likes to hang around the harbor. We have beautiful islands off the coast of CA and want to explore.


Thoughts?

And a virtual beer to you if you managed to read all of this. PS, I was loaded with safety gear.
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Old 26 June 2017, 02:11   #2
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wind against tide will soon whip up into large waves and at 2m in most boats on the plane it will be a rough ride its all about driving to the conditions i recently went out in force 5-6 off shore winds but keeping in the lee of the land i got some flat water but in the rough down to displacement speed.in certain conditions you can tack at an angle to get a better speed but you have to know what you're doing and react to broaching a wave. but you have learned some important lessons more that you need to study the area ask the local fisherman what are the best/ safest winds to go out in. SIBS are great little boats in the right conditions as are all boats.
happy future ventures
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Old 26 June 2017, 03:05   #3
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First well done on getting out in breezy weather but it does seem better study of weather and tides could have prevented the difficult return run.

Re RIBs.... yes a deep V RIB and much more power will be in a different class coping with a difficult sea.

Re tiller being hard work and getting knocked about.... Sounds like you were pushing far too hard... or perhaps at the wrong times. When we are out in heavier weather I'm on and off the throttle plus changing angle to the waves all the time to give my crew the softest and safest ride. This can be a problem with a setup like yours with a large shallow V SIB and minimal power so when you are forced off the plane it takes a few moments to get back up again.

Re the breaking sea pushing you in... As Jeff says wind against tide can be completely different to wind with tide so if the tide turns while you are out conditions can instantly change from quite easy to very difficult. Also if you are near land and the tide starts to go out making it more shallow this can make the water rougher. So more study and planning needed regarding your specific area.

But yes you are right.... get going on the plane and it's huge fun.

Edit: Did you ever change for a lower pitch prop?
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Old 26 June 2017, 04:29   #4
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Get yourself a copy of the best SIB book out there and a must for anyone into these little rubber boats, Dag Pike oldie but goodie 'Inflatables' - superb sections in there on handling these boats in rougher water. I have read and read it over, just a great all round read.

Flagged it up years ago...

Dag Pike - Inflatables

...and it was hard to find but there are a glut of copies on Amazon for peanuts now:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-li...469155&sr=8-16

Not much to add to Fenlanders post - but *always* plan for the weather to change (we're in the UK so it's a sure bet), tack across big waves to increase the wavelength and turn or power away from the bigger breakers. Weight up front (trim in) for head sea, weight back (trim out) for following sea...etc

As I say - read Dag Pike - it's all in there.

A RIB (*proper* deep V) like a Searider will laugh all day at conditions that make even the best SIB drivers think twice.

Having said that - being out in the UK in a force 5 or more with an Aerotec and reading and challenging the waves and coming out on top is pretty invigorating and fun stuff too.
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Old 26 June 2017, 04:51   #5
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another one of his is the complete RIB manual published 2013
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Old 26 June 2017, 12:20   #6
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As you learned, SIBs can handle it, but operator fatigue is high.

18-21 ft (5.5m to 6.5m) is ideal for most near shore and offshore operation.

Wear gloves, remove the seats, and crouch on your knees. Gluing some EVA foam to the floor to provide some shock mitigation would be advisable as well.

Try not to sit on anything, or all of the shock will pass in to your spine where it is least comfortable.
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Old 26 June 2017, 12:47   #7
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Thanks for the thoughts guys.


-I'll take a look at some of those books.
-I did not change my prop. I discovered if I WOT immediately it eventually gets on plane. If I gradually wind it up, the back end just sits in the water.


Ironically, I was sort of tacking as some of you had mentioned here. I'd try and take angles to maximum time between waves. Going against at an angle and then riding them at an angle.


I think I just need to get out there much earlier as well to avoid the winds. I just drove by the beach and it looked like glass at 9am. I'm thinking maybe a 7am launch may give me ample time to mess around. I've been in tons of boats, but never a RIB so I don't know how they perform in the water. Not sure if they rent in Southern California. Would be interesting to see the difference between the 2.


Ironically, my dad and I looked at an AB Oceanus (13 or 14) last weekend that we liked. He likes to fish, I like to explore, so we thought it was a reasonable balance between the 2 of us. My cousin recently purchased a Zodiac 750 Pro Open, which looks like a beast. But way too big for me, need it to fit in the garage.
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Old 26 June 2017, 12:51   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jlomb436 View Post
Ironically, my dad and I looked at an AB Oceanus (13 or 14) last weekend that we liked. He likes to fish, I like to explore, so we thought it was a reasonable balance between the 2 of us. My cousin recently purchased a Zodiac 650 Pro Open, which looks like a beast. But way too big for me, need it to fit in the garage.
Pro Open 550 has a folding console and will fit in a standard depth & height garage if the trailer has a folding tongue.


It has a lot of factory rodholders for fishing too. And a factory cooler mount. Lots of storage.

But, also will cost a lot more than your SIB did...
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Old 26 June 2017, 14:02   #9
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Before you splash your cash get more from local knowledge get out more in your boat, small boats are great fun there's no fun in any boat if your'e thrown about all day
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Old 26 June 2017, 16:04   #10
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Pro Open 550 would be awesome I bet! But $40K I don't have. Maybe if a nice used one popped up I'd be over that. They do look cool too. PLus they have large internal tanks, something I'd like for the islands.

I'd love to rent a RIB, so I'll start looking around to see if that's doable. I think there is a rent-share similar to Air BnB for boats in the states.

Ironically, there is a place in town that could potentially be the most popular inflatable boat place in the states. Inflatable Boat Specialists.

https://www.inflatableboats.net/zodi...a-four-stroke/
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