RUN­NING A ROUGH IN­LET

Sport Fishing - - NEWS -

Look for the safest line through the waves. Gaps in the froth in­di­cate ar­eas of rel­a­tively calm water. When head­ing out, main­tain enough speed to keep the bow high. If you go too slow, the bow will drop and you will nose into the on­com­ing waves. If you go too fast, you’ll get beat up.

Head into the waves and do not slow down, even if you take water over the bow. Main­tain­ing your speed forces any shipped water astern and out the scup­pers. If you slow down, the water will surge for­ward and push the bow down, pos­si­bly re­sult­ing in a cat­a­strophic swamp­ing and rollover.

When re­turn­ing, re­tract the trim tabs and main­tain suf­fi­cient throt­tle to keep the boat run­ning straight and in a po­si­tion on the back­side of a wave. Match the wave’s speed so the boat stays about mid­way be­tween the face of the wave be­hind you and the crest of the one ahead.

By all means, avoid over­tak­ing the wave ahead and surf­ing down its face. This can lead to cat­a­strophic pitch-pol­ing (flip­ping stern over bow). Also, don’t let a wave over­take you from astern be­cause this can swamp your boat or cause it to broach (rolling over as the break­ing wave catches the boat from be­hind and shoves it side­ways) — or both. Stay in the trough.

Keep your eyes peeled and your head on a swivel in these sit­u­a­tions to mon­i­tor waves be­hind and in front of you, as well as any­thing on ei­ther side. Some in­lets are plagued by con­fused seas — so-called potato patches — that can buf­fet a boat from side to side, as well as fore and aft. If you see a wave sud­denly break con­trary to the pat­tern, try to dodge it or ad­just your run­ning an­gle to mit­i­gate its im­pact.

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