fishing offshore in a rowboat.

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by coopscraft, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. JosephT
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    JosephT Senior Member

    Nothing against rowboats, but they can swamp rather easily. Considering the northern waters hypothermia crosses the mind. I would suggest borrowing the ideas of other surf fishermen and consider a sit-on-top fishing kayak. Big waves or not you'll never swamp it. If you fall off just climb back on. Lots of compartments to secure your gear as well. Hobie has a good line of them, but there are others. They come in pedal & paddle models. Lots of fishermen further down the coast use these.

    http://www.hobiefishing.com/mirage/mirage-pro-angler-14/

    If you consider a rowboat I would suggest trimming it out like a whitewater canoe (infatable bladder bags, spray deck). The goal being to minimize & displace any water that may come on board and keep you afloat come hell or high water.
     
  2. MoePorter
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    MoePorter Junior Member

    Agreed 100% - Another point to the historical resource photos is they are centered around the wonderful protection of Cape Kiwanda...most of my dory & kayak beach launching has been in Washington & BC. I'm not pushing beach launching - but coastal fishing is something I know a great deal about & access to areas with low fishing pressure is driving my suggestions about beach launch capabilities - plus it's really fun...

    JosephT has some excellent advice, if you go towards beach launching.Moe
     
  3. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    It all depends on what you call "surf". I am not au fait with what would be the typical conditions faced by the OP, but I see little sense in taking unnecessary risks in ice cold waters for a spot of recreational fishing. The surf lifesaving movement in Australia abandoned rowed surfboats as a rescue craft decades ago, but still race them at carnivals, even with a bunch of five super-fit and highly practised young fellas in charge, and especially the "sweep" (the guy steering the thing) needing to be quite skilful, these things routinely broach, swamp, and capsize. It is usually on the run back to beach things go wrong. If things go awry, there is always the IRB to pick up the crew. Fact is few people who used rowed dories to run surf would not have taken up the much safer option of a powered craft when they became available.
     
  4. JosephT
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    JosephT Senior Member

    Yeah just got back from Australia a couple of weeks ago and really checked out their wooden surfboat history. They are beautiful wooden craft that are quite strong...crews of 6. They use these boats for surf race events that celebrate the history of surf rescues. They have largely been replaced by modern rescue boats (e.g. gas powered zodiacs & other small rescue boat with better seaworthiness). By chance, while I was down there a local fisherman in a small boat overturned near King George Sound and drowned. He was apparently alone in his boat. Local officials noted the winds picked up and the small boat likely encountered problems in the rough water. It was found flipped upside down & the fisherman drowned (found later floating). The area is also loaded with Great White sharks so he's lucky he wasn't dinner for those hungry critters.

    Wake up call!

    The Pacific Northwest has plenty of dangerous coast line and I would highly advise scouting the best boat & fishing areas with safety being the #1 considation, and good fishing spot being the #2 consideration. No question a safe harbor or sandy beach launch is the way to go. Steer clear of the cliffs & inlets with confused seas. Risking your a$$ for fish just isn't worth it.

    Fair winds,

    Joseph
     
  5. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    Joseph T has sage advice. A lot safer and less expensive coastal fishing sport might be surf fishing. Standing on a nice beach or solid rock is a damned sight safer (and more comfortable) than braving heavy surf in a human powered boat. Not the same bragging rights maybe, but it is not possible to brag at the local pub when you had drowned yesterday.
     
  6. coopscraft
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    coopscraft Junior Member

    looks like launching in surf requires at least two of the following, a lee shore, a kayak, a surfboat, a motor, a team of highly skilled athletes, an unusually calm day, a deathwish.
     
  7. coopscraft
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    coopscraft Junior Member

    Perhaps a sail could bring some of these areas within range of the jetty?
     
  8. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    Not necessarily in that order. There are also probably some forms to fill out, taxes to be paid, notification of and permission granted by the proper authorities,
    possibly Homeland Security clearance and the planets must be in alignment.
    Be prepared for a short stretch in the penitentiary and when you get out your wife will have left and taken the dog with her.
     
  9. MoePorter
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    MoePorter Junior Member

    It's your admirable desire to fish under oar/sail power on the rough Oregon coast that's causing all the fuss...
    To summarize:
    1. It's routinely done safely & enjoyably from kayaks - mostly because their excellent carrying mobility allows you to get the boat to protected launch sites, also the modern kayak culture, technologies & techniques make the risks manageable - generally meaning wetsuits in a surf zone as a start.

    2. Assuming you are as interested in catching as you are in fishing you need a boat to get to the fish - a moving target if there ever was one. The kayak fishing model is very successful because you can go where the power boats can't. For the coastal reef fish often the paddle is well under a mile so you can take advantage of brief weather windows and in a couple hours on the water catch a limit (10 in Calif) of nearshore rockfish. It's the most dependable, productive fishing I've ever found...fish tacos anyone?

    3. Sticking to trailer launch ramps - generally located for the convenience of outboard powered planing vessels - will generally involved long slow travel to fish holding water - even if it's just along the jetty. In Oregon the jettys are at river mouths so you've got river & tidal flows & wind interacting with each other in sometimes unpredictable ways. And the jettys are accessible for small boat & shore fishing so they tend to get a lot of fishing pressure.
    So as a general thing fishing jettys is so-so. However all fishing is local and local knowledge is the most valuable fishing tool there is so if you have a port in mind with the right conditions for rowing/sailing back fishing PLEASE send me a private message! (I wonder if Depoe Bay or Port Orford would work?)

    4. Is it possible to scale up kayak fishing to a larger more comfortable boat and still retain enough of the kayaks launch mobility to make the project worthwhile? I think that's the question - and it comes down to what two people can pick up - at least enough to help big wheeled kayak/canoe carts cross the tough spots. So that's one possible approach.

    5. If that would be just too small or physically demanding ...you're "stuck" with a trailered boat. I'd think along the lines of a Drascombe type with sail, oars & small outboard. I think that would give you the motive flexibility to deal with the geographic limitations of launch ramps. Plus you could trailer it up to the Inside Passage in BC and really have small boat fun...Moe
     
  10. Skyak
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    Skyak Senior Member

    I have been reading through this thread and have a few comments -late now it seems you have reached some conclusions.

    About the surf barrier of 4 ft and greater, I would suggest that you start with a one man boat to develop your skill until you are an expert crossing through the surf. There is no advantage to a two man craft unless they are a skilled team -which you do not have.

    When world gives you surf -go surfing!

    http://www.clcboats.com/shop/boats/surf_boats/matunuck-stitch-and-glue-surf-kayak-kit.html

    Take a look at the the surf kayak. Even if you are not interested in surf for fun, it shows you what kind of craft is needed to master these conditions. Skilled sea kayakers launch in 4ft surf with no problem in 17 ft hulls. The important measurement is displacement and surface area relative to the thrust that can be generated for control. There are loads of SOT sea kayaks outfitted for fishing. One important point I would make is that you should forget about making your first an "open boat" -complete cover with skirt or a self draining cockpit only.

    After you have mastered the surf single-handed you could build a big double-end peapod to add crew. I would suggest you consider another alternative -a second kayak. The two of you would punch through the surf independently and lash a crossbeam between the boats when you want stability or to fish together. The bigger boat has only one advantage I can see -the ability to carry very heavy loads -and many disadvantages getting in and out of the water.
     
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  11. coopscraft
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    coopscraft Junior Member

    Thanks all good advice. That is the direction I'm thinking but perhaps with a little more beam. Then later if interest remains build a bigger boat for palagic fishing. There are so many boats and so little time to build them!
     
  12. coopscraft
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    coopscraft Junior Member

    Yes, catching is important. Perhaps a light rowboat with a surfkayaks unsinkability would be more comfortable. Say beam42 wlbeam 30, length 17 ft with lots of rocker and foam filled compartments?
    Then paying close attention to seamanship. I could use a hand cart to bring it down the beach.
     
  13. MoePorter
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    MoePorter Junior Member

    That's a great idea - I'd think glued lapstrake would be light & I think it's the best looking. Maybe dry lockers instead of foam although the hatches are fussy to build watertight. Or as has been mentioned flotation bags like in whitewater canoes - that would be lightest I think & would make the interior more adaptable to less demanding uses. A techno approach would be to do parts of the hull as a structural sandwich - thus making the flotation foam do some structural work. One thing for sure the lighter it is the more it will be used...
    Skyak has an interesting thought that calls for careful study -
    Moe
     
  14. Skyak
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    Skyak Senior Member

    I noticed the inverse relationship between weight and use in my own fleet but Phil Bolger made it a cornerstone of small boat design long ago. I have a 14ft Polk kayak that has just one advantage over the other half dozen hulls in my fleet -it weighs ~26lb. It is the least comfortable, ugliest, slowest, most fragile, most difficult entry and exit ... but looking back more than half my time on the water has been spent in that one hull! It's 150yds from where it hangs overhead in the garage to the river behind my house and it makes all the difference between going out for a few hours and not going at all.

    Flotation is a fine attribute, but in the surf zone the boat will be unmanageable after shipping just a few cubic feet of water. Self draining or deflecting is what I would want for crossing though breakers taller than my boat. I have seen shore boats with covers over the front, like tents to keep from shipping water.

    My biggest fear about surf is hard heavy things being in the same curl with my fragile body. If I was returning in a peapod to find 8ft surf, I would secure everything in the boat (cover it completely if possible) throw a line ashore, jump off and bodysurf in, then try to pull the boat in as fast as I could between sets.

    No mater how improbable, I just can't afford the chance of a boat full of water grinding over me. With that in mind I have been thinking about kedging through the surf (actually for hauling up river rapids but might work for surf too). Would it be possible to zip right through the surf zone with a device for throwing and reeling in a small anchor? A "kedgapult"? Something with energy storage to toss the anchor and real the line back in in a hurry. The advantage would be efficient precise thrust independent of water speed or direction, and directional control with no chance of broaching. How far is the crossing and how deep is the water past the breakers?
     

  15. coopscraft
    Joined: Dec 2013
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    coopscraft Junior Member

    oregon coast;668264]I noticed the inverse relationship between weight and use in my own fleet but Phil Bolger made it a cornerstone of small boat design long ago. I have a 14ft Polk kayak that has just one advantage over the other half dozen hulls in my fleet -it weighs ~26lb. It is the least comfortable, ugliest, slowest, most fragile, most difficult entry and exit ... but looking back more than half my time on the water has been spent in that one hull! It's 150yds from where it hangs overhead in the garage to the river behind my house and it makes all the difference between going out for a few hours and not going at all.

    Flotation is a fine attribute, but in the surf zone the boat will be unmanageable after shipping just a few cubic feet of water. Self draining or deflecting is what I would want for crossing though breakers taller than my boat. I have seen shore boats with covers over the front, like tents to keep from shipping water.

    My biggest fear about surf is hard heavy things being in the same curl with my fragile body. If I was returning in a peapod to find 8ft surf, I would secure everything in the boat (cover it completely if possible) throw a line ashore, jump off and bodysurf in, then try to pull the boat in as fast as I could between sets.

    No mater how improbable, I just can't afford the chance of a boat full of water grinding over me. With that in mind I have been thinking about kedging through the surf (actually for hauling up river rapids but might work for surf too). Would it be possible to zip right through the surf zone with a device for throwing and reeling in a small anchor? A "kedgapult"? Something with energy storage to toss the anchor and real the line back in in a hurry. The advantage would be efficient precise thrust independent of water speed or direction, and directional control with no chance of broaching. How far is the crossing and how deep is the water past the breakers?[/QUOTE]

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0afKAV-01u0&desktop_uri=/watch?v=0afKAV-01u0. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OUvic8WmgYc&desktop_uri=/watch?v=OUvic8WmgYc the second link is sheltered pacific city. The first is more typical.
     
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