Aluminum Boat for saltwater use?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by h2oOOZLE, Jun 1, 2004.

  1. mat1226

    mat1226 Active Member

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    Not knowing exactly how that boat sits in the water, I think you probably have a fine boat. I have just gone from a very old, very narrow 14'Applebee to a 14'Valco.

    A 15.5' boat used with good common sense and you will have great fun. With a person in the bow, or second seat, that boat will probably trim well, er sit good in the water.

    Have fun and use good judgement, no prob.
     
  2. Mike Croft

    Mike Croft New Member

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    you bet taking water over the stern is something for concern. Every boat in history that ever sank took on water from someplace. You can carry a five gallon bucket if you are by yourself and put sand (remember sand sinks) or water (if it has a lid) in it and set in the bow. I have also used driftwood. A fishing partner will work too, to trim out your boat.

    you need to get into the practice of setting a mental alarm that goes off every fifteen minutes (hard to do if the fishing is good but your life can depend on it) You stop and take fifteen secs to evaluate the weather or if you are at Neah Bay the fog bank.

    You don't need a lot of seamanship skills inside Puget Sound because you can't get fatally lost nor is there enough reach for the sea to make up like it can off the coast. That is why there are no swell inside Puget sound. That is not to say that it can't get ugly. The most important thing you can do is say it is time to go home. Judge the rate at which the weather is deteriorating and the time to the take out and give yourself a little extra.....then RUN. If you can't make it don't be afraid to pull your boat up on the shore. I have had to do this. No one has said it but you can't do that with a Boston Whaler even though a whaler is better able to handle those conditions. Trust me no place safer than above the high tide line.

    You must ask yourself what would you do if you GPS died and the fog set in. Learn to navigate with a chart and your depth sounder.

    In 1972 while commercial fishing I got caught in a blow off of Coos Bay Oregon. I was in a molded plywood wooden boat (God Bless wood) and watched the sea go from flat calm to heaving seas over twenty foot tall and breaking to boot. The storm sank 9 boats and killed 11 men. Every boat that sank was over thirty feet in length. If I had not been in a direct down wind line to the mouth of the jetty it might have been twelve guys that died that day. It was so bad I had to tie myself to the steering station. I spent six hour knowing i was going to die. When I finally made it back to safety it took two days before I could sleep. I must have had a gallon of adrenilin pumping through me. If you are out on the water long enough you will get the holy crap scared out of you. It is inevitable. If you survive it , it will be the best thing ever for your seamanship abilities because you will never ever want a repeat.
     
  3. sportsman

    sportsman Active Member

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    "You don't need a lot of seamanship skills inside Puget Sound because you can't get fatally lost nor is there enough reach for the sea to make up like it can off the coast. That is why there are no swell inside Puget sound. That is not to say that it can't get ugly". It not only can get 'ugly', it can and has gotten very deadly. What can be a pleasant day fishing on the outgoing tide, with a SW 10-15mph can get nasty in a hurry when the tide starts to flood. 3-6ft. standing waves come up in a heartbeat and you best know how to quarter waves properly. We lost a 50ft. Purse Seiner in the middle of the night in the early 80's making the run from the locks to Apple Tree. All hands lost, one mayday only, blowing 25-30. Know your boat and your abilities as well as your limitations. When in doubt, run for cover, even if that isn't where you launched!
     
  4. mat1226

    mat1226 Active Member

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    I'll be darn, but there seem to be quite a few old ex-commercial guys on this site.

    Worst enemy to the man on the water in Puget Sound, IMHO, is wind against the tide or wind against the current.

    It is something all of us who frequent the smaller boat need to be aware of also. The run home can be relatively small in distance but if the tide turns and the wind is against the current it can be way more than our little boats or even bigger boats can handle.

    Mike is right. Put it on the beach if you can, just don't panic. Look for a lee behind an obstruction or Island, have a good anchor and use it, many options to thinking you have to get home on time. I lost four good friends an hour out of Bellingham and to this day I think part of the reason was they all thought they needed to get one of the guys to his day job.

    Stay on anchor or as Mike says put it on the beach. Seamanship is mostly good decision making.

    Mark
     
  5. Mike Croft

    Mike Croft New Member

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    The best place to see the worst wind against the tide phenomenon is the mouth of the Columbia. If you want to test your mettle (and your luck) fish bouy ten. There you have current going east and wind and tide going west. It will define ugly for you.

    It has fish like the Hoodsport hastchery on Novemeber 1, they are everywhere but I still rate it one of the ten worst fishing spots in the Northwest. Fish there and watch a real live Coast Guard rescue every day.

    Mike Croft
     
  6. Denny

    Denny Active Member

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    Mike, just for clarification for me, but isn't the current going west (the Columbia, which flows west), and the wind and the tide coming in from the ocean (the ocean on the west side of the state, but as the tide comes in, it floods in to the Columbia) . . . ?

    Amn I bass-ackwards on this, or . . . ?

    Hey, by the way, I don't get to this site that often, yet I don't recall you chiming in on a topic like you're doing on this, and I know I'm not the only person who is appreciative of you sharing your substantial insight and perspective.
     
  7. Mike Croft

    Mike Croft New Member

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    You are absolutly right it is my mental dyslexia at work. Once the tide turns the east moving tide powered by the wind runs into the west flowing river. when the tide and the river both go east the bar is pretty nice. In fifteen minutes it can turn and build into real ugly water. Off shore there is another current that is quite strong flowing south about three knots. We used to call it the hill. If you fish south then you have to climb the hill to get home.

    The best thing about Commercial fishing. Actually the only good thing about commercial fishing was the ability to fish as many rigs as you could put over the side. Hootches come in all the colors that our flies do. I could compare colors at differnt times of the day and under differnt lighting and at differnt depths. There are times and colors for kings and silvers and they vary from overcast days to the time of day.

    I am now avidly opposed to the commercial fishing industry. There is no fishery that they have touched since they started fishing with powered craft that they haven't pushed to the brink.

    I committed great sins as a commercial fisherman and I am sure I will have a special place in hell that sportsfishermen never go.
     
  8. Mike Croft

    Mike Croft New Member

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    I guess I am stuck on this topic. One of the signs that you don't need much in the way of seamanship skills here in the sound can be seen in the boats that they build here. When I first moved here I was shocked at how many really small boats had flying bridges. This is the land of top heavy boats.

    Without naming any specific boats a lot of these would go turtle in real seas.

    Two of the companies that made good looking boats were Tiderunner and Sea Dory. I am not sure about the newer ones but the older ones had a flat bottom. in rough seas you'd swear someone was behind cutting out your kidneys.
     

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