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scottjen26

Overtaking other boats

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So went out today with friends, first time really on our own without an experienced boater on board. Getting a little better at docking and maneuvering in close spaces, but still nerve racking...

Windier than it was supposed to be, lot of chop, but the boat cut through it pretty well. I found that by keeping the trim down more than usual it seemed to cut through a little better, not sure if that's correct or not...

I ended up coming up behind another boat slowly, I figured we were heading to the same creek and restaurant. I wasn't sure if it would be rude to blast past him, and he kept looking back and wasn't sure why, maybe just to keep his eye on me. So I slowed down a bit and followed in his wake for a while. Got bored of that, and decided to turn to port and cut across his wake. Apparently I didn't turn quick enough or sharp enough, and as I went across the wake the boat leaned quite a bit left, scary for a second or two. I think it was because I was turning left/port and the wake rolled me in that direction as well. Probably the wrong thing, but I gave it more throttle and then straightened out a bit and got out of the wake and the boat righted itself quickly.

So a few questions:

- Is it possible to completely roll or capsize the boat doing something like that accidentally? Or is there more tolerance or natural buoyancy than I felt in that few seconds?

- What is the right protocol in overtaking a boat? Not sure what the proper minimum distance is laterally when passing, also didn't want to look like a jerk blowing by him (my boat is faster than yours), especially since we did end up going to the same place

- Assuming if following behind in someone's wake, if you want to exit to pass you should hang back more than I did, so you have little or no wake to deal with and it's also wider so more time to turn perpendicular?

Thanks!

Scott

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You are going to get a lot of feed back on this, my bast advice is.

Buy the book, ( Chapman Piloting And Seamanship ).

And go out and practice-practice.and you will soon know what she can do.

No 2 boats preform the same, even if they are the same boat. Denny.

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I often follow boats and take advantage of the smooth water between their stern wake however, IMHO if you get too close to easily avoid a collision should the lead boat slow down, then you are too close. If I have a boat in my wake, I am always checking on their position should I need to make a move or change of course and speed. I get edgy if they are too close.

As for crossing wakes, since my boat is small, I reduce speed and turn in the wake at 90 degrees from the wake trough. I go fast enough to keep the bow high and once i have crested the wave, i sharply increase speed to avoid a nose dive into the next wave. The USCG has specific rules for boats that are overtaking other boats but as a rule, try to pass on their port, and make sure that you have ample distance between you so that the boat being overtaken has a clear understanding of what you intend to do. Your boat is large enough that while you may have been uncomfortable with your angle, you were not endanger of a capsize, which is very hard to do.

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Yup, lots of feedback. i would also recommend taking the Coast Guard boating class on line. you will learn alot about "stand-off" and "over taking" vessels. in your example the boat in the lead is the stand off vessel (they maintain their course), you pass to the port side. The basic rules for the 3 common collisions are:

1. following a boat - as stated above

2. head on to each other - both boats steer to starboard

3. at a right angle (approaching an intersection) - the boat that has the oncoming boat to their starboard side is the give way boat and they are to move to the starboard.

lots of other rules but those are the basic ones.

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Like driving a car.

Same problem if the other person is too pushy or do the right thing. Defensive driving, beats visits by your lawyer telling you he will collect. Get well soon.

As the nurses adjust the traction weights.

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Thanks guys! A few clarifications / comments:

- I love to read and research and have done a ton of that already to prepare for this. That being said, reading is one thing, doing is another. As an example, I've watched so many videos on docking in different conditions etc., but when I'm out there with no one to help those videos don't seem to help, experience is king

- I do plan on taking the boating safety class, actually I want my wife and kids to do it as well. We were trying to go to a live class but the schedules are tough so will probably just do it online. Will check out the piloting book as well

- I actually did try and overtake the lead vessel on the port side, just lucky though since that's where I wanted to go... :) Also read last night about using radio or horn to signal intentions.

I was really just more worried about what I think was a mistake when turning out of the wake, and also following distance. I think I was back far enough, but not sure what "too close" is. And when I turned out of the wake, I definitely feel like the middle of the boat rolled over the wake while I was turning left and the two combined into what felt like a dangerous angle. Again, I'm guessing the boat could handle it, but not sure, and if anything for passenger safety it sure felt like we were leaned over at a pretty good angle.

Scott

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My following distance is ALWAYS far enough back that if someone or something falls off . I still have time after doing a quick scan of my instruments & a look around.

Have seen stupid dog owners have dogs fall or jump in the water while on & off plane speeds. They are wrong for not leashing the dog or keeping it in a closed room. But that would not make me feel good because I was right.

Prep for the worst & hope for the best while someone drives carefully.

I normally follow another boat about 20' on either side of his centerline wake. That eliminates running over anything from the boat ahead.

Best one is a anchor line sliding out alongside & to the rear in the wake.

Of course A following boat tangled it.

I do boat where tons of Rental boats & cruisers boat.

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i always feel that if you are thinking you may be too close you probably are. sometimes its unavoidable but the remedy is in your hands with the throttle & wheel. It would take a lot to capsize your boat from just another boating wake when you feel the chine catch a wave and roll it is unsettling and can jerk the wheel a bit too. So yeah, that happens

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Taking water into a boat can be easier than most people believe. Stuffing a bow or stern just takes the wrong place & angles

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Hey your boat looks just like mine! :D Haven't gotten a text from you in a while. It would be good to hear from you sometime.

If you go through the Newbies section and check out some of the threads I opened since I took the USCGAUX course and the handbook they give you I keep with me in the boat all the time and have used it frequently. I scored an 82 and that son of gun son of mine scored an 84! :) He was the last to finish kept everyone waiting. Anyway, a lot of info on quartering your boat through waves on many of those threads since I basically went through exactly what you are now except last year. So if you do have the time to take the course like Denny suggested, that would be the best thing you could do as a newbie.

There's also a thread of when I got pulled over by the coast guard that is full of excellent and good to know info we might've already talked about it but check it out. You can find it under the search function it's called "Got pulled over by the US coast guard today" or something like that and because of that book and the course, we had everything they asked for and we even impressed ourselves and when both my son and I pulled out the card, they were all set.

So yeah, be careful out there, there's no question about it and even if the 276 is almost 29 feet, it gets bounced around easily I'm sure you've noticed. Anyway, safe boating.

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Little situation i had this fall. I was following a boat in his wake. He was going 25 and I was probably going 32. As I got closer I passed to his port side. When i got beside him he stopped suddenly. I started feelling light bumps and stopped my boat. Turns out I was hitting the bottom and he bottomed out completely in 2 feet of water. Had I kept in his wake there was a good chance I could have rear ended him. Scared me pretty good. I wasnt close but I was close enough. Broke my skeg and bent my enertia prop. Could have been worse.

Side note. That evening my buddy shot that area about 75mph in his 800hp warlock. Says he hit a stump. The boat jumped in the air and spun sideways. Banged up him and two girls pretty good. Ripped his outdrive in half. I had to swim a ways from my boat to his to help out. I wasnt getting cloase to that area again. Lower unit was found next day in a foot of water. This is a lake we have been boating for years. Middle of the lake but they let it out for the fall. No alcohol involved.

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Last season was my first year owning my own boat. I wasn't highly experienced, but wasn't totally new to them either. I did the Coast Guard safety class but also hired the teacher to spend an afternoon with me on the water. It was the best $$ I've spent on training. Having him first show me and then give me feedback on things like docking, lines, etiquette, and wakes was way, way better than watching youtube or reading books. He also impressed on me the importance of "local knowledge." Meaning knowing where unmarked hidden sh** is underwater, what the currents at different islands will do with swimmers, what areas low tides make unpassable (which may be important since you're in Jacksonville), etc. It accelerated my learning immensely, and I highly recommend it. A few months into the season last year, a guy died in the Charleston harbor after hitting a sand bar (at WOT, at night) that wasn't an issue at high tide when he went out - he probably simply followed his chart plotter track back in but without any local knowledge. I'm not a paranoid safety freak and I want to enjoy the full power of the boat, but I also have a strong desire not to be a dumbass. So yeah, learn all you can. :D

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There's also a thread of when I got pulled over by the coast guard that is full of excellent and good to know info we might've already talked about it but check it out. You can find it under the search function it's called "Got pulled over by the US coast guard today" or something like that and because of that book and the course, we had everything they asked for and we even impressed ourselves and when both my son and I pulled out the card, they were all set.

I read that thread! And I got pulled over last 4th of July because apparently my definition of "idling" through a no wake zone was different than theirs. But I produced all the safety gear and documentation that they wanted, which was in the same drybox as the Coast Guard guide, and they saw that. I ended up with a warning, and I'm sure that's the reason why.

Funny how those seeing blue lights coming up behind you creates the same feeling in a boat that they do in a car.

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Scott,

You are supposed to ask permission with horn signals before you pass another boat. The rule is that if you want to pass someone you blow your horn one short blast if you want pass him on his right side, and he is to acknowledge your request (before you pass him) by blowing the same single short blast. If you want to pass him on his left side then you blow two short blasts and he is is to acknowledge the same way with two short blasts.

The guy was probably looking back at you because it's nerve racking to have someone following you. He may have been wondering if and on which side you were going to pass him. Learn the horn rules and it makes life a little easier. Recognize that the boats you overtake probably don't know the rules themselves which is difficult. You could always try hailing the boat on VHF 16 too. Again, another rule that most people fail to follow is that all vessels underway are supposed to be monitoring channel 16 at all times. They don't. So when all else fails, give the boat you're overtaking a huge amount of space between you and him and it will dramatically reduce effects of wake on both vessels, as well as keep tempers tamped down.

NEVER follow someone at high speed. For all kinds of reasons the lead boat may have to stop suddenly.

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Yep, I learned about the horn blasts in the safety class I just completed. A little confusing because like you said if the boater ahead doesn't know about them, you don't know if not returning the horn means they don't want you to pass or they just don't know. In any event I'm sure as I gain experience and get used to busier traffic it will all become second nature. Still a lot to learn, but as you and others said, safety first!

Scott

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It is a courtesy to toot & toot back. As stated. Many do not know. Heel. The Homeland Sec. USCG do not toot when passing at WOT. They are strictly on patrol roaring up & down the river. Huge freighters pass each other in The St. Lawrence River with Pilots on the bridge. No toots. Lots of good IDEAS from 1925 that are not used today.

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I read that thread! And I got pulled over last 4th of July because apparently my definition of "idling" through a no wake zone was different than theirs. But I produced all the safety gear and documentation that they wanted, which was in the same drybox as the Coast Guard guide, and they saw that. I ended up with a warning, and I'm sure that's the reason why.

Funny how those seeing blue lights coming up behind you creates the same feeling in a boat that they do in a car.

Yeah that's why I posted the thread to help people and warn about what we went through. The interesting thing was that we were in a little cove trying to get out of it and the boat in front of us was slowing to a halt and actually aggravating us we couldn't understand why until one of the girls in the back whispered "Coast Guard is out there looking for someone". So we were like Ah, ok, but honestly I didn't care and they slowly crawled out of there and we were behind them and they got us. I can just picture them in the other boat laughing calling us "suckers" but honestly, it was a good experience since we were prepared, did absolutely nothing wrong and they were just routine checking and by the end of it you saw the thread I was taking pictures of them and they were posing and we were joking and all was good. Just do the right thing and I'm glad you got away with just the warning. Good stuff. I just despise the ones who think they're all that and especially the ones that followed me and were scoping me out for a while, it was very obvious and I was alone heading for the fuel dock to get her filled up for all the guests we were taking out and then just like that they disappeared. That crap I can't stand not to mention the guy at Boston Harbor who wet way out of his way to try and claim I crossed his bow. Yeah, 1 mile ahead! lol jacka$$. :)

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