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Old 20 February 2024, 18:30   #1
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Waterline length and Solent Chop

Wonder if anyone has thoughts on ‘optimal’ waterline length for Solent. I currently own a lovely 6m Ribeye which we’ve been very happy with. Except on those sunny days when xc weather says it’s flat calm and then the sea breeze kicks in against tide. At that point 6m can struggle to maintain 12 knots. Assuming a good v hull, does a cobra 7 cut it? Clearly, big is ultimately best to solve this problem but would like to keep costs from running away. Wondering where others have found the right compromise.
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Old 20 February 2024, 22:18   #2
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Why does the current Ribeye only manage 12kn in those conditions - the engine doesn't have enough power, or you find it a bit slammy? I thought most 6m Ribeyes have a reasonably deep v, so I'm slightly surprised it can't cope in moderate conditions.

We used to have an Avon Adventure 620 which is definitely more on the medium v side, but we found it beautifully balanced with the Yamaha 115hp four stroke and took it out in all conditions year round between Weymouth and the Solent and never had any issues keeping speed on with careful driving and use of trim. My 9m diesel Ribtec was a whole different world given the size, weight and very deep v hull, but most decent 6-7m hulls should be fine for the Solent - despite the common rumours there's nothing overly special about the "chop" there compared to anywhere else along the coast!

I obviously don't know your background but before throwing money at changing boats is it worth getting an experienced Ribber or instructor from a local RYA centre out on your boat for a few hours in those conditions to see how it handles and whether changes to driving style, trim, etc, could help as opposed to just a bigger boat?
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Old 21 February 2024, 09:42   #3
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aside of speed I know what your talking about - I owned a Cobra 6.6 and a friend owns a Cobra 7.6. We have used them together on many occasions in the western Solent. His 7.6 will catch the "next wave" more often than not and it lead to a much softer ride, but not necessarily slower just more comfortable. If you are down to 12 knots maybe get a lesson?
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Old 21 February 2024, 20:39   #4
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Our 5.45 handles the overrated Solent chop ok, just as it handles the Corryveckan/Alderney race/Point du Raz/Portland race/Humber chop/caernavon Bar etc……
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Old 21 February 2024, 21:40   #5
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Our 5.45 handles the overrated Solent chop ok, just as it handles the Corryveckan/Alderney race/Point du Raz/Portland race/Humber chop/caernavon Bar etc……
But your 5.45 is a RIBCRAFT is it not.........
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Old 21 February 2024, 23:04   #6
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Before this turns into a Ribcraft love in….

Sometimes you need to slow down and “drive to the conditions” although 12kts seems an in between speed to me, neither planing or properly in displacement.

If you want to develop your rib driving skills (apologies, you may have lots of experience) you can either:
1) get an instruction session with a properly experienced powerboat instructor who is confident and capable in challenging conditions
Or
2) read a few books (it’s all in the throttle application) and scare yourself til you figure it out.

I would have thought a properly balanced 6m ribeye would be able for the challenge.
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Old 22 February 2024, 08:56   #7
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Rather than the type of boat I believe its the person at the Helm who makes all the difference, clearly Pikey Dave was born a floating GOD! Take last year on the Solent, the Tattenger festival, Cowes week, The Fastnet race, all had cancelations or the fleets we're decimated due to sea conditions. Even the Islands 4000 tonne car ferry's were cancelled due to the 'Overrated Solent Chop', bet the passengers wished they had PD as Captain

When the Island is cut off, nothing is moving across the Solent, wind howling and the inconsequential chop is at its worst maybe PD can bring his little Ribcraft down south and show us how its done
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Old 22 February 2024, 10:41   #8
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Take last year on the Solent, the Tattenger festival, Cowes week, The Fastnet race, all had cancelations or the fleets we're decimated due to sea conditions.
If you skip forward to about 10mins in this video of the Fastnet 2023 you'll see some footage of the overrated Solent Chop:

https://youtu.be/8UL8nyjs7r4
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Old 22 February 2024, 21:28   #9
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I have had 6.5, 7.5 and 8.1m. For me the 7.5m was optimal as it was still manageable on a trailer and had a great level of comfort.

In reality as I went up boat size I travelled faster. Red funnel in the 6.5 American boat was like Mount Everest at 10mph. In 7.5 Scorpion it was a doddle at 25-35mph. Now my 8.1...... �� invisible at any speed. That said the 8.1 is a handful to trailer with single engine and rather big when I refuel in Tesco.

Boat hull shape is more of a factor for short sharp chop than just physical size. A nice sharp bow rather than a constant v deadrise would always feature in my boat choice for snotty spikey seas. Obviously the driver will have an impact too but a great hull will often make an average driver look good.

The Solent chop is a myth. It' should be called Solent wash, the chop is simply other boats wash in a contained area. Winter mid week days are lovely and calm off calshot
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Old 26 February 2024, 13:02   #10
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Boat hull shape is more of a factor for short sharp chop than just physical size. A nice sharp bow rather than a constant v deadrise would always feature in my boat choice for snotty spikey seas. Obviously the driver will have an impact too but a great hull will often make an average driver look good.

The Solent chop is a myth. It' should be called Solent wash, the chop is simply other boats wash in a contained area. Winter mid week days are lovely and calm off calshot
Deadrise / hull shape will obviously affect ride, however hull length has a huge effect on a crafts performance in seas, compare a 9m spanning wave crests to a 5m having to drop into every trough....

All sea states can and are are found in and around the Solent, inc chop ( overrated on not )
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Old 27 February 2024, 01:17   #11
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Cal-Mac ferries regularly get cancelled due to conditions, as do Dover-France ferries. Bad conditions occur everywhere, not just in the Solent. It’s nowt special except in some people’s heads.
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Old 27 February 2024, 09:27   #12
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For what its worth I agree with Paulbrown22 in that some experienced tuition on your own boat would enable you to get the throttle / trim settings right and get on top of it all. Initially it takes some degree of courage but it becomes more comfortable than wallowing around at slower speed. Its all about balance and confidence.
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Old 27 February 2024, 12:10   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pikey Dave View Post
Cal-Mac ferries regularly get cancelled due to conditions, as do Dover-France ferries. Bad conditions occur everywhere, not just in the Solent. It’s nowt special except in some people’s heads.
So I guess all the above areas are' Overrated' according to you?

I agree, peoples minds can be funny things, like having a dig about the Solent at every opportunity...................Mr PD you need to let it go

A interesting observation from John Kennett regarding the OP's topic, thread was called 'Chop Chop'

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.

https://www.rib.net/forum/f8/chop-chop-64877.html
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Old 06 March 2024, 20:21   #14
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A trip out with my harbour master mate in his small personal rib is a testament to driving ability and navigation skills I am not gifted with, despite my nearly 30 years leisure experience and a touch of rib racing. Experience is key. So is hull length, hull shape and budget. I'd rather drive a 6.5m scorpion than a 7.5m flat bottom boat (insert generic rib make name) ����
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