Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
 
Old 24 January 2018, 09:42   #1
Member
 
Country: Ireland
Town: Dublin
Make: Redbay 7.4S
Length: 7m +
Engine: Suzuki Df250A
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 265
Nightime Boating in high speed boats?

Can I ask those of you who operate ribs during the hours of darkness what rules of thumb you use regarding boat speed?

Whilst a lifeboat crew have a reason (and training) to travel without delay I'm wondering what limits "normal people" apply to be able to recognise sea state/avoid punishing passage in rougher water.
Even allowing for your night vision being maximised by reduced ambient light I see it as a challenge.

If any of you have experience I'd love to hear what you think and do.
__________________

__________________
Iron Dials is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24 January 2018, 12:08   #2
Member
 
Pikey Dave's Avatar
 
Country: UK - England
Town: South Yorks
Boat name: Black Pig
Make: Ribcraft
Length: 5m +
Engine: DF140a
MMSI: 235111389
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 9,919
RIBase
Nightime Boating in high speed boats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Dials View Post
Can I ask those of you who operate ribs during the hours of darkness what rules of thumb you use regarding boat speed?



Whilst a lifeboat crew have a reason (and training) to travel without delay I'm wondering what limits "normal people" apply to be able to recognise sea state/avoid punishing passage in rougher water.

Even allowing for your night vision being maximised by reduced ambient light I see it as a challenge.



If any of you have experience I'd love to hear what you think and do.


Last summer in Croatia, Mick & I had cause to make a 25nm night passage to pick up Mickís daughter from Zadar airport. We were in unfamiliar territory & neither of us had much experience of night-time boating, but at the time needs must. We had to pass between several un-inhabited / unlit islands. There is very little in the way of buoyage or lighthouses in the area. To cap it all, Iíd left the SD card with the Navionics chart for the area, back at home on the kitchen table.....what could go wrong??
A call to my daughter back in the UK had her collecting the SD card from home & dropping it off with Micks daughter, so far so good.
We did the run to Zadar from Dugi Otok in daylight, making sure that the trails were enabled on the plotters on both boats. We made a point of ensuring that we stayed well clear of the coast/islands & made a note of any fishing gear, pots etc, dropping waypoints where necessary. Iíd already plotted a course on Navionics on the IPad & made a note of distances & bearings & times to turn at given speeds.
We picked up Hannah (and the chart card) in Zadar & set off back to base, the first couple of miles was the worst until the night vision kicked in. You need to turn off all un-necessary lights & dim down the instruments as far as possible, even the reflection of our own nav lights off the console was annoying. Now I had the chart card, I could overlay our outward track onto the chart & just follow a reciprocal course. We used the few lit buoys that do exist, as waypoints to check that we were on course & that the GPS wasnít telling fibs. The night was very clear & we had the benefit of good moonlight. The sea was mostly calm apart from a lumpy bit just outside Zadar. Once you relax & get in the groove, it was actually very enjoyable & we bowled along at around 20kn.
Probably not the text book way of doing things, but nobody died & we enjoyed the experience.
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0340.jpg
Views:	180
Size:	229.7 KB
ID:	123204
__________________
Rule#2: Never argue with an idiot. He'll drag you down to his level & then beat you with experience.
Rule#3: Tha' can't educate pork.
Rule#4:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unkIVvjZc9Y
Pikey Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24 January 2018, 12:17   #3
Member
 
Country: UK - Scotland
Make: HumberOceanOffshore
Length: 8m +
Engine: Volvo KAD300/DPX
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 5,429
18 knots max for me. The boat is planing satisfactorily and can handle most sea states at that speed and the motion is soft enough to ride by feel when not able to prepare by viewing the sea surface and wave patterns. Also, the hull is moving fast enough to displace seaweed and minor debris to the sides. This doesn't take into account hitting a log with the drive but we just keep fingers crossed at that one.

Since one cannot read the waves for steering then, mostly, the boat needs to keep course by the helm following a compass bearing or a plotter course, neither of which is particularly precise so, for me, at this speed the auto pilot performs very well and is a considerable help.
__________________
JW.
jwalker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24 January 2018, 13:40   #4
Member
 
Ribochet's Avatar
 
Country: UK - N Ireland
Town: Rostrevor
Boat name: Ricochet
Make: Redbay
Length: 7m +
Engine: Twin F115 Yams
MMSI: 235083269
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 930
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Dials View Post
Can I ask those of you who operate ribs during the hours of darkness what rules of thumb you use regarding boat speed?
Ask an Irish Sailing Association (ISA) Advanced Powerboat Instructor in person

https://www.sailing.ie/wp-content/up...ertificate.pdf
__________________
Maximum Preparation - Maximum Fun
Ribochet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24 January 2018, 14:13   #5
Member
 
Country: UK - Scotland
Make: HumberOceanOffshore
Length: 8m +
Engine: Volvo KAD300/DPX
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 5,429
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ribochet View Post
Ask an Irish Sailing Association (ISA) Advanced Powerboat Instructor in person
Ah yes, and you'll get an Irish response!...but how fast is safe?.....That was the question...
__________________
JW.
jwalker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24 January 2018, 15:30   #6
Member
 
Ribochet's Avatar
 
Country: UK - N Ireland
Town: Rostrevor
Boat name: Ricochet
Make: Redbay
Length: 7m +
Engine: Twin F115 Yams
MMSI: 235083269
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 930
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwalker View Post
Ah yes, and you'll get an Irish response!...but how fast is safe?.....That was the question...
Why you feel the need to bring Nationality into this thread I've no idea
I quite simply identified an option for the OP which would potentially give him or her a full and detailed answer to their question, in person, from an Internationally recognised expert that lived and operated close to the OP
__________________
Maximum Preparation - Maximum Fun
Ribochet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24 January 2018, 16:08   #7
Member
 
Highland Haggis's Avatar
 
Country: UK - Scotland
Town: Edinburgh
Boat name: Excel Chalanger
Make: Highfield 380 Excel
Length: 4m +
Engine: 25 Yamaha 25Suzuki
MMSI: 235919522
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 471
There are many factors that have to be accounted for where you are weather conditions sea conditions how well you know the area and most of all how your crew feel last thing you want to be doing is 30knts and bang youíve hit a log or submerged rock remember things always seem very different at night
__________________
Highland Haggis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24 January 2018, 16:27   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,934
Always went about at 18 ish knots in dark but I only do that in places I know.

The biggest problem round the clyde (apart from debris, I passed a full size fridge freezer about 6" under water last summer on way back from ailsa craig) where I usually sail is some bawbag fisherman uses black buoys for lobster pots. They are usually between cloch lighthouse and kip marina if anyone is reading this and sailing at night about here or if you are the fisherman.....change the colour!!!!!

Once myself and last tango came back in a pitch black stormy night and there was a nice big marker buoy off largs marina. I assume someone left it out from dingy sailing club as an oversight but couldn't see it until on top of it literally, Was a huge thing about 6ft tall I guess.

The point I'm making is even knowing the waters is no guarantee something isnt in the way so go as fast as you are comfortable and no more would be my advice.

P.s don't be tempted to look at your phone...bye bye night vision.
__________________
Xk59D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24 January 2018, 17:16   #9
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Poole
Boat name: El Mono
Make: Ribtec 9M
Length: 9m +
Engine: Yanmar 315/Bravo III
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 656
I'm similar - basically minimum planing speed if possible, conditions allow, and visibility is enough, which tends to mean 15-18kn for me. If visibility is very clear, there's good moonlight and I'm in a known channel with no fish pots, etc., I might touch on 20kn, but very rarely go any faster than that at night.

Obviously speed will have to be adjusted to the conditions/visibility as required - if it's tipping it down with rain which is hampering the vis, I'll slow right down as needed. The same if sea state is particularly lumpy - given you often can't really see the waves to steer, if I have any doubt I'll come off the plane and proceed at displacement speed.
__________________
paulbrown22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25 January 2018, 11:35   #10
Member
 
Last Tango's Avatar
 
Country: UK - Scotland
Town: Denny
Boat name: Hebridean Storm
Make: Coastline
Length: 6m +
Engine: Mariner F150
MMSI: 235107505
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,598
Entire APB commercial practical assessment is carried out in the dark so it's perfectly reasonable practice.

Bit of planing, keep the speed down (18kn is a good target) might need to go a couple of knots faster in a bigger boat to keep it on the plane.

Important......nav lights on all others off......they'll only screw your night vision and cause confusion to other boats.
__________________
Last Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25 January 2018, 15:12   #11
Member
 
Daibheid's Avatar
 
Country: Ireland
Town: Cork
Boat name: Excalibur
Make: Excalibur + Zapcat
Length: 6m +
Engine: Merc120TDI,Tohatsu50
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 286
The classic answer "It depends.." applies here. I've done night passages in brilliant moonlight when high speed was compatible with the excellent visibility. But generally it's a case of minimum planing speed and you have to get your night vision working which can take much longer than you think and then preserve it by avoiding the chart plotter and even nav lights. Throw a jacket or towel over the whole lot if possible and steer on compass only or other external reference and only using the instruments occasionally - commensurate obviously with the distance you are from potential hazards. If you can plan a course that takes you conservatively well out to sea of hazards so much the better because darkness can be incredibly disorienting and making mistaken assumptions about land features and lights is much easier to do than you'd expect
The best bet I've found is to shroud the chartplotter and if you have someone on board have them monitor it and then you as the helm takes responsibility for the patch of water in front of you with your nightvision optimised.
If it's so dark you cannot see much in front of you, imagine a floating shipping container or unlit fishing boat in the water in front of you and adjust speed appropriately. I would never travel at planing speeds based on what the chartplotter shows to be clear although some people do just that.
It can be exhilarating when done safely in decent conditions. I've experienced incredible phosphoresence on a few occasions and you'll only get that if your're transiting at night.
If you want to take a more direct appraoch, I've a twin headlight until from my old GSXR 750 that I toyed with the idea of mounting in the bow and some of the new LED lights available do open up the possibility of headlighting the way ahead. But my experience of using lights at night is you can achieve a distant view but your ability to see something low in the water is very limited by reflection/glare/chop and you can see absolutely nothing outside of a narrow cone again limiting you to a fairly low speed.
__________________
Daibheid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04 February 2018, 15:59   #12
Member
 
Country: Ireland
Town: Dublin
Make: Redbay 7.4S
Length: 7m +
Engine: Suzuki Df250A
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 265
Thanks guys for all your replies.
You're all singing off the same sheet I think i.e. Common sense applies.

*You could say an "Irish answer", which would be a nice way of saying there is no hard and fast answer. I just wanted to know how people who are "experienced in the dark arts" approach it.


**FWIW Irish sailing Association(ISA) has rebranded as Irish Sailing (IS), an unfortunate choice of initials in todays world.
__________________

__________________
Iron Dials is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:30.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.