What Length?

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by fisherman, May 15, 2004.

  1. fisherman
    Joined: May 2004
    Posts: 7
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: hawaii

    fisherman Junior Member

    Could anyone please tell me what min.-max. length of a boat would I need to have if I were going up sea in 4-8ft. seas trolling at 7-10kts. and I want the waves to be hitting the hull at around the forefoot area? The reason why I ask this question is that I am currently on a 38 footer, and while going up sea, the waves are hitting the boat at around the bow pulpit area. So sometimes we have to back off on the throttles let alone mentioning that its a very wet ride with a lot of bow to stern pitching.I am looking into getting a boat of my own, so I wanted to know what min.-max. length could I get away with to solve my multiple problems that I have? I want to start my own sportfishing charter business, so I need a pretty comfortable(minimum pitching) ride so that my customers can relax and do not get sick! (they do not have sea legs like me!) So if anyone can tell me what min.-max. length before I have to make the next jump to a longer min.-max. length of a boat would I need to solve my pitching/ stuffing the bow in the next wave/ backing off on the throttle problem? P.S., What would the next min.-max. length be?
  2. tom28571
    Joined: Dec 2001
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    Location: Oriental, NC

    tom28571 Senior Member

    Are you fishing in the Molokai Channel? I've been there in a 20 foot sailboat and the waves were very large but no particular problem at 4 to 5 kts. A longer or shorter boat may have been worse.

    I'd suggest that you study what others in your area are doing and what local designers recommend. Local "Carolina Sportfishermen" boats work in very rough water off the Outer Banks of NC but might not be best for your area. You are looking at mostly trade wind waves that are large but regular compared to more erratic conditions here and what might be good for one area might be terrible for the other.

    In short, you need much more than boat length information.
  3. Eric Sponberg
    Joined: Dec 2001
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    Location: On board Corroboree

    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    Tom's advice is probably pretty smart--see what the locals recommend. One cannot recommend an absolute min.-max. length because there are too many variables involved, the biggest one of which is that all waves are different, hour to hour, day to day, and the course and speed of your travel at that moment. It all depends on the conditions. Other factors are the size of your wallet (what can you afford to buy and maintain) in conjunction with the income that you expect to earn? By far the easiest ways to avoid stuffing the bow are to change course slightly to take the waves at a different angle (which changes the period of encounter and the vertical angle of impact of the water on the bow) and to back off on the throttle. You cannot expect any boat to be able to take all rough conditions all the time. Prudence on the part of the skipper is as important as the design of the boat. He (she) has to know the limits of the boat and the limits of his passengers.
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