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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 01:58am - Jul 3,05
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Location: south chicago/NWindiana

Post Posted: 08:12am - Dec 2,18 
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CAN WE TALK ABOUT SAFETY TOO MUCH?

I SAY NO!

Important decision to think about and the right choice could save your life.



You will only have 3-10 seconds to make the decision before the next wave comes in and then the boat capsizes and you are in the 40 degree water so NOW is a good time to give it some thought. This goes along with my recent post about bilge pumps. Sooner or later it happens to everyone that spends a good deal of time on big water fishing. You may be the guy that only goes out on the good days, but the problem is weather changes fast and the weather man if often wrong.



My day was about 20 years ago we had left out of Calumet Harbor (Chicago) and heard reports on radio of good Coho action in front of Pastrick in East Chicago, Indiana. It was a nice sunny day with SW winds at about 5-6 mph. So we fired up the 200hp Evinrude on the 200 Four Winns Horizon for the 8 mile trip. The ride over was a pleasant, water was cold but sun was warm. We had a nice top on the boat and a cover on the open bow with extra snaps for added security or so I thought. The Coho action was fast and furious and after about 2.5 hours we filled our box, pulled lines, and headed home. What a surprise we had when we rounded the corner at the second light and found the wind had switched to NW and picked up 10-15mph. Waves where a 6-8 and building Life vest went on immediately. After about 20 minutes of trying to find the right angle and speed to make way back west. Waves began breaking over the bow and about every fifth wave hit the windshield. So hard it unsnapped the canvas top from the windshield ripped open the bow cover and deposited what seemed 400 gallons of water in the boat and on my lap. We where instantly soaked and the boat took on an immediate squat.



Now the decision is this:

Option #1: Take the best angle into the waves regardless of the direction we really need to go. Then power on and trim up to keep the bow as high as possible to give the pump time to catch up. With an 800 GPH pump and what seemed like 400 gallons already in boat a quick guess would be 30 minutes to pump out the boat, this would be eternity in these conditions. Because this boat had a 25" extra long transom, high freeboard aft, and the front end was crippled with the bow cover ripped we went with option #2.



Option #2: Whip a 180 turn, trim the motor all the way down to give the boat a little stern lift, throttle up, and surf the waves back trying to match boat speed with wave action. I had to be extremely careful not to skate down a wave and stuff the bow into the preceding wave, being ever watchful of the unforgiving 5th wave. The whole time watching the bilge pump output. As soon as the water was pumped to the point where it was below the floor, the back of the boat began to come up. We got our wet posteriors back behind the break wall and headed to the nearest port. We made a couple phone calls for some for some dry clothes and a ride back to the truck and trailer from the marina where we launched.



At last, we and our gear were on dry land and all was well with a great new respect for changing conditions on the lake and being prepared for the unexpected. The fun is over if someone gets hurt!



Moral of this story; Be prepared, keep a exit strategy in mind and never have a boat on the Great lakes with ONLY one bilge pump.



Honda Cat

World Cat 270HT

4 - 1500 GPH bilge pumps

2 in each hull section







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Frank aka honda cat
Master Captain USCG 50ton
Great lakes and In shore salt water
After its all said and done.... ITS ALL ABOUT THE FUN!

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Last edited by honda cat on 10:13pm - Dec 2,18, edited 1 time in total.
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Location: Naperville, IL __ Boston Whaler Conquest w/twin Mercs

Post Posted: 06:08pm - Dec 2,18 
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Maybe I'm miss understanding you because I really hate to disagree with you but with option 2 of turning and riding the waves back was likely the best option but you suggesting trimming your motor down with a following sea is a big no no. Yes the heading back with the waves at your stern was likely the best course of action but If you crest the wave or the wave your riding gets absorbed by surrounding waves you will be down in the trough are likely to stuff the bow and roll. Trim up and keep bow high and ride the back of the waves.



Here is a example of what it looks like when you ride bow down.




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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 01:58am - Jul 3,05
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Location: south chicago/NWindiana

Post Posted: 08:02pm - Dec 2,18 
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Great Lakes COMPLETELY different than salt especially inlets where tides are involved > my recommendations are based on over 1/2 a century of MY OWN experience on Lake Michigan with boats that probably where not the best choices for the day that started off nice and turned on ME

as always any one and every one is more than welcome to disagree

as always thanks for posting lets keep the discussion going

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Frank aka honda cat
Master Captain USCG 50ton
Great lakes and In shore salt water
After its all said and done.... ITS ALL ABOUT THE FUN!

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 07:27pm - Jun 23,13
Posts: 428
Location: Palos Park

Post Posted: 10:55am - Dec 3,18 
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There is a ton of those videos from Jupiter and other problematic inlets. Love watching those!

Planes don't crash because one mistake is made, they crash because a series of mistaked get made. Same with getting in trouble on the water, be prepared for the worst, and have a plan for when(or if) it happens.

Bad time to think about how well your life jacket will keep your head above water when you are getting wet up to your neck.

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Joined: 08:50pm - Feb 2,08
Posts: 429
Location: yorkville

Post Posted: 07:28pm - Dec 3,18 
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Years ago-Bay Denoc,late November-My buddy and I having a great time trolling for walleyes.I notice all the boats around us leaving early,oh well.We fish into the night.
Felt the wind pickin' up,start heading back in my 17 ft. lund tyee. The waves grew to 5-6 ft. and not friendly.Turns out a major snow front changed direction and we were in the path.
We plugged in a floodlight to guide us,it blew the main fuse,lost my lights,depthfinder,bilge pump,all except the main engine.I tell my buddy go thru the windshield and get the life jackets in the bow hatch with the waves coming coming over the front.
White as ghost,he looks at me-The air temp. is 25,water temp. 32,were not gonna last more than 10 minutes.
Bad enough screwing up and risking your own life,heart wrenching when you realize you may take someone with you as well.
I took the waves at an angle to keep the bow from diving into a wave,so happy to see the light for our launch site,only to find the bay and launch frozen.Broke the ice with no problem with the extra 500lbs. of water in the boat.Ditch shovel in the 4x4 helped me get sand and dirt to put on the launch.By the the time we got to motel 6 in. snow on the ground.
Windy city-you are correct.
I made a series of mistakes-
I did not check for a weather report on the radio when the other boats left.
I did not get the life jackets ready ahead of time (no more dark colored,yellow or orange).
I did not make sure what my electrical system could do.
I did not have a back up plan with topographic maps in case I needed to send the boat to the nearest shoreline.
A little bit a skill and a lot of luck got me thru this one,will not happen again-

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 01:58am - Jul 3,05
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Location: south chicago/NWindiana

Post Posted: 08:07pm - Dec 3,18 
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gaff wrote:
Years ago-Bay Denoc,late November-My buddy and I having a great time trolling for walleyes.I notice all the boats around us leaving early,oh well.We fish into the night.
Felt the wind pickin' up,start heading back in my 17 ft. lund tyee. The waves grew to 5-6 ft. and not friendly.Turns out a major snow front changed direction and we were in the path.
We plugged in a floodlight to guide us,it blew the main fuse,lost my lights,depthfinder,bilge pump,all except the main engine.I tell my buddy go thru the windshield and get the life jackets in the bow hatch with the waves coming coming over the front.
White as ghost,he looks at me-The air temp. is 25,water temp. 32,were not gonna last more than 10 minutes.
Bad enough screwing up and risking your own life,heart wrenching when you realize you may take someone with you as well.
I took the waves at an angle to keep the bow from diving into a wave,so happy to see the light for our launch site,only to find the bay and launch frozen.Broke the ice with no problem with the extra 500lbs. of water in the boat.Ditch shovel in the 4x4 helped me get sand and dirt to put on the launch.By the the time we got to motel 6 in. snow on the ground.
Windy city-you are correct.
I made a series of mistakes-
I did not check for a weather report on the radio when the other boats left.
I did not get the life jackets ready ahead of time (no more dark colored,yellow or orange).
I did not make sure what my electrical system could do.
I did not have a back up plan with topographic maps in case I needed to send the boat to the nearest shoreline.
A little bit a skill and a lot of luck got me thru this one,will not happen again-


thanks for posting!!

good stuff we don't have to make the same mistakes to learn from them

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Frank aka honda cat
Master Captain USCG 50ton
Great lakes and In shore salt water
After its all said and done.... ITS ALL ABOUT THE FUN!

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 01:58am - Jul 3,05
Posts: 2593
Location: south chicago/NWindiana

Post Posted: 06:48am - Dec 5,18 
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story of a spare motor
was test running a boat on the cal sag eng quit would not restart we always take a 2'3 with on these test runs looked up and 200 yards away coming down on us fast was 6 barges two wide 3 deep front barges where MT good 20' up in the air no way tug captain could see us threw the 2.3 over transom started it up and got us out of the barges way. I have had boat quit on me before on these test rides but never any thing like this case of the worse timing possible not kidding literally saved our lives


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_________________
Frank aka honda cat
Master Captain USCG 50ton
Great lakes and In shore salt water
After its all said and done.... ITS ALL ABOUT THE FUN!

Image

 Profile WWW  
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