November 26, 2007
Rough Water Driving
When driving in rough water, the most important thing to do is to match your speed and direction to the water conditions through adjusting your throttle and steering accordingly. Though it may be a blast to keep the throttle on and wave jump, eventually you and the boat will get tired of it. Just as important however, if the prop is continuously leaving and re-entering the water the efficiency of the boat to make quick headway is greatly reduced.
There are several conditions that operators need to know how to handle. The first is driving upwind to weather or in a "Head Sea".
To do this it's important to first be sure your trim is adjusted all the way down in order to keep the bow down. This will minimize the amount of lift off the wave but also promote the best entry through the water which promotes optimal performance of the V hull to cut through the water.
Now, if you're driving in very large waves with some distance between them (distance between waves = wavelength) I've outlined some helpful tips. Once your trim is adjusted, you want to approach each wave so that you are driving up the face of it carefully easing off on the throttle as you approach to the top so as to not launch off the crest or top. Then, drive down the wave speeding up so that the bow will raise as the next wave approaches.
As you do this, you'll find the ride to be pretty fast and amazingly smooth. Driving into a head sea is actually all about throttling ON and OFF as you make your way through the waves.
With shorter wavelengths or short sharper chop the above method can prove almost impossible to accomplish so try using what I call the "Sailing Method" where you literally "Tack" upwind by driving the RIB at 30º to 45º to the waves. What this does is increase the perceived wavelength which allows the operator to adjust the throttle as described above. Though this will add distance to your trip the improved comfort and safety will be well worth it.
Posted by ribcraftusa at November 26, 2007 10:49 AMBack To Index