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Rough Water Seamanship


by David Pascoe

Many times when we receive a number of emails on a particular subject we will respond with an article like this one. In this case, the subject is boat handing in rough water.

A number of emails addressed the issue of losing control of the boat while running with the seas. Comments ranged anywhere from concluding that their boat had a dangerous defect, to whether they should have bought a catamaran, to whether they shouldn't be considering some other type of boat that will handle better.

Questions such as this point a problem that we've been long familiar with. That problem is a matter of the lack of fundamental boating skills among far too many boat owners. We resist the urge to chuckle at the question because  ultimately this is a serious issue. Taking a boat out into open water is serious business, one that requires a comparable degree of knowledge and skill.   more...


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I was surprized that there was no comment on the use of trim tabs. That's the first thing that I thought of. In following seas you do not want a bow-down attitude so the boat does not bow steer. With the tabs up, the bow will come up and handle better. This is also true for sailboats by moving weight aft in big following seas. Bruce2/5/2005 6:10:41 PM
Bruce Brooks
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