View Full Version : rough water driving

06-12-2017, 10:03 AM
Yesterday the winds on my lake went from about 8 mph to almost 30 mph in an hour or two. Unfortunately to get back to the truck i had to head into the wind, so i ended up facing off against 2 ft white caps in my 08 LSV. After a 15 minute beating, i gave up and went to a different ramp, got a ride around the lake to the truck and drove around to pick up the boat.

What are some tips for rough water driving or is there just no hope for our smaller boats? My thought was to get the bow up to keep water from coming over the bow and go about 10 to 15 so it isn't super intense on the boat but any slower and the nose wouldn't have been high enough for when i rode down the wave and into the next. I tried all kinds of angles of attack and none seemed to work. The boat was pounding waves and water was spraying everywhere. I actually had concerns of the gel cracking from hitting waves or the boat getting too much water on board and sinking. It took some time for my adrenaline to calm down afterwards...

06-12-2017, 10:17 AM
At 10-15 you're not on plane, and that will beat the hell out of you.

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06-12-2017, 10:22 AM
I read on another forum guys with small fishing boats get up on plane and basically skip across the waves. That seems unstable to me but I'm used to small lakes and have never had to deal with larger waves

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06-12-2017, 10:29 AM
There are so many responses and varied opinions you can get from this. Here is a video from Lucky Peak just east of Boise from Sunday the 4th.


it's long but observe the Malibu, what did he do right in this situation vs. what did he do wrong?

First, if the water is choppy, all passengers should have a life jacket on.
Second, if you had any ballast bags full, empty everything as quickly as possible.
Third, get all passengers out of the bow. Move the weight back.

After that it's just getting through, in my LSV we would raise the wake plate up all the way to help get the nose up. Obviously I was not there and can't give details, but to me, 10-15 is too fast, try taking the waves from an angle rather than straight on, in some cases you're better off to find a cove or some protected area and wait it out, sounds like you did something similar and found a dock.

Back to the video, compare the Malibu to the Yellow Speed boat with 6 inches of bow rise.

06-12-2017, 10:29 AM
I have to plow as well. Last time I filled my hard tank thinking it would help cut through a little better. I couldn't really tell if it helped or not cause I didn't have to go far so it probably didn't fill much of it anyways. My Mondo beats the crap out of me sometimes though

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06-12-2017, 11:15 AM
There is only one right answer if you have to travel during high wave action and that first all occupants including the driver don life jackets, snap on the bow cover and drive the boat at a high angle of attack. The best answer is to find a protected cove and wait it out or do as you did and get the trailer. Things can get messy and there is no need to put everyone in a position that they never needed to be in.

06-12-2017, 11:48 AM
Hitting the waves at 45 helps a lot too.

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The General
06-12-2017, 02:12 PM
^^^ Stazi is correct. If you gotta head into the wind, you should maintain 45 degree angle and zig zag through the waves. My dad/grand dad call it "running off". I believe the proper term is "running the trough"

Best option if possible though is to find a cove or calm area and wait it out.

06-12-2017, 02:12 PM
Sheltering in a cove is best if you can wait it out. Also get passengers out if possible.

Otherwise, don lifejackets, drain ballast, then head out slowly at an angle to the chop. The boat will be constantly rolling and pitching, but you'll keep most of the water out of the bow this way if you don't have a bow cover. You might have to zig-zag a bit to get where you're going.

This is pretty easy to practice in calm water by loading your ballast, get to surf speed, then turn right around into your own wake and find the attack angle that keeps the most water out.

06-13-2017, 07:17 PM
Good advice here already. I haven't run into really rough waters with my lsv but I did once on lake Mojave in my tige. The swells had to be at least 3 feet and they were spaced perfectly so that i was taking on a lot of water over the bow. I set the wake plate all the way up to get the bow as high as possible and putted at about 8mph or so. That was the only way to keep from flooding the boat. And it was a rough 12 mile trip to the marina that day.

The only time I've run into any weather in my lsv was this year on lake pleasant near Phoenix. It was windy but the chop was probably only a foot or so. With the water that relatively flat the boat did best around 20-25 and it kept water from spraying everyone on board.

So I guess what I'm getting at is it depends on the situation. Always err on the side of caution and, as everyone has already said, if you get to the point where you're uncomfortable then find a cove and wait it out!

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