35' Henriques Maine Coaster "tailwalking" problem on a following sea.

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by dkolb1, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. dkolb1
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    dkolb1 New Member

    Does anyone have any experience or suggestions on how to reduce lateral stern movement on a following sea? The boat is a 35' Maine Coaster. It is a single screw with a large keel. The boat has a blount bow. (downeast style) The boat is a 15 knot boat. I am not sure if the bow digs into the next wave then slows down and momentum then causes the stern to move around or if the bow just tries to follow the troughs of the waves.
    Some thoughts that I have had are:
    1) Too much weight forward. Move engine back.
    2) Apply rails (possibly Smartrails) to the bow to try to keep the bow from going into the next wave as deep.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  2. bilgeboy
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    bilgeboy Senior Member

    Are you sure trim tabs are not down? ( If you've got them. ) I would think a 15kt boat would have them, as you must be in the semi-displacement to slow planing type of hull.

    Just a guess. That's the symptom I have with tabs down in following seas, and is downright scary. 90 deg turn in just over a second...

    If not tabs, something else on the stern "catching" the wave? Might be a cheaper fix than installing any new equipment.

  3. dkolb1
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    dkolb1 New Member

    Mike, Thanks for the reply. The boat is not equipped with trim tabs at this time. The boat has a fairly large rudder and a propeller guard that runs from the keel to the rudder. That is all that is underneath the stern.
  4. Corpus Skipper
    Joined: Oct 2003
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    Corpus Skipper Hopeless Boataholic

    I see you're from my neck of the woods! Most boats will have this problem in the Gulf. Our short steep sloppy seas virtually guarantee it. Especially running 12-15 knots when the wind is howling, the seas are running nearly as fast as you, causing the boat to get stuck in the trough, then a wave comes from another direction, trying to spin you around. Maybe a little more rudder area would help? But the Henriques's wide beam and deep forefoot will cause this problem, just like most other sportfishermen. My 26' Chris Craft does it too:( . Just gotta be careful!:D
  5. mmd
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    mmd Senior Member

    The problem is an effect of hull shape which is, unfortunately, somewhat difficult to fix. I do a lot of work with these types of boats. As the type developed, fishermen wanted more and more deck space to carry lobster traps, and more and more speed, with the end result of the sterns being very wide, square, and very hard bilged. To maintain course in a cross-breeze, they have a deep forefoot and fine entry. This all combines to create a hull that is susceptible to broaching in a following sea.

    The problem you are experiencing is made worse by increased draft - these types of hulls were never intended to be very heavily loaded. When loaded correctly, the transom should be just kissing the water surface, not submerged by more than an inch or two. Make all efforts to lighten your boat so that she sits on her lines.

    You may be able to make her more mannerly by shifting weight aft, but don't go making major modifications until you experiment. Clear out all unneccessary stuff from the forward accomodations (reduce weight), reduce tankage to minimum (reduce weight and change trim), and place a few hundred pounds of water jugs across the transom - lashed firmly in place, of course! - (change trim) and go do some sea trials. If this helps, consider relocating tankage and stores aft before you start shifting your engine.
    1 person likes this.
  6. Outbound44
    Joined: Feb 2006
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    Outbound44 Junior Member

    Is the boat pre 1990?
  7. dkolb1
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    dkolb1 New Member


    Yes, It is a 1984 model hull. Also wanted to say thanks to all that replied.
  8. Douginkeylargo
    Joined: May 2006
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    Douginkeylargo New Member

    35 Maine Coaster

    I ran one of those with a single Volvo on the FL east coast. Unequivically, it was the worst boat I was ever in in a following sea. It was almost dangerous going in the inlet. Doug
  9. longliner45
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    longliner45 Senior Member

    corpus is right ,no lobster boats in the gulf, MMd is right also ,smallar boats with bigger payloads is choice for offshore gulf fisherman who is forced to go further and further,,,,longliner
  10. tom28571
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    tom28571 Senior Member


    What is your preferred method of handling in down wind conditions? I hear about running on the back of the waves but that seems impossible to do in shallow water, short period waves. I find that running at a lower speed than the waves works best to keep from surfing ahead into the next wave. I run an outboard so have good steering power and have never had a broach on my boat. Some of the boats I see with sharp, low buoyancy bows and wide flat sterns look like trouble. There seems to be a tendency to only think about speed in flat water behind some of the designs.

    For running inlets with breakers, either have a boat designed to do that or don't go there.
  11. yacht371
    Joined: Aug 2005
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    yacht371 Yacht Designer

    The worst condition for steering is a following sea where the boat is going a little slower than the waves, and the distance from crest to trough is nearly the same as boat length. The water flow in waves is circular (view from thw side of the wave) so when you have your stern on the crest and nose in the trough the water at the crest is moving forward, while the water in the trough is moving backwards. Solution? Go a lot slower than the waves to retain control, or if the waves are not to big, go quite a bit faster than the waves. In this case, a following sea effectively becomes a head sea.

  12. Ceileidh
    Joined: Dec 2004
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    Ceileidh New Member

    Henriques Maine Coaster 35 handling in following sea

    What you describe sounds to me like a broaching tendency caused by the following sea overtaking when to bow buries. Does this typically happen when entering an inlet or crossing a bar where the seas are short and steep? If so, probably the solution is to adjust speed to match the wave speed and ride the back of one. Or, do you mean that this happens in normal operation running down seas unaffected by shoaling?

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