I read a post on someone wanting to by a 25ft boat to fish Diana/Hoover (approx 120nm offshore) and the comments replied were that a 25ft boat was kind of small for such a trip. I will soon be looking for a boat to do that kind of fishing and I was wondering what is the minimum SAFE size boat to do such trips? I always thought a 27- 29 ft boat with twin 250's should handle a trip like that in relative safety. Am I wrong? Any info or comments would be appreciated. Thanks Dan
1/24/03 12:41:00 PM
Nasty (220.127.116.11) from NORTH CAROLINA says tex...
...whatever size you have is going to be too small when the weather turns bad. That being said, if you go only on nice days a 27-29ft should have enough size. Fuel is another question, like Doug said. 120nm out and another 120nm back plus trolling or bottom fishing. Your look at 280nm to 300nm. If you get Optis of Fitchs you'll get around 2.5mpg with twins, maybe a little better. Your're going to need 150 gals just for fishing and another 50+ gals for safety.
Man that's alot of gas for 1 trip.
Can't you find somewhere closer to fish ? :) I thought the Big Rock at 50+ miles was a long trip. Your're talking 4+hrs on the way out.
1/24/03 1:04:00 PM
Ernest (18.104.22.168) from TEXAS says Imagine This
An unexpected storm comes up. All the weather reports said clear skys and 2 foot all weekend. You don't know about this new storm because the limited range of your VHF radio and radar. You are 120 nm from safety, the winds blowing 25, its raining, and you are looking at honest 6 foot head seas all the way home. Because of the conditions, you can only make 14 knots. Its going to be dark before too long. The bilge pumps are running contiuously. Lightning is cracking all around you. The CG boat is an easy 8 hours away and the chopper is 3 hours away. What do you want to be in?
A 29 ft deep v hull with a raft, Eperb, SSB and radar is very different than a light weight, bubble boat marketed as a 28, although that includes the pulpit and euro transom, no radar, raft, SSB, or eperb.
This is an inherently dangerous activity and you are betting the lives of yourself and your crew. My minimum, a deep v hull that can make 10 knots in 8 foot seas without question, radar, eperb, sea anchor, and raft.
BTW, except for the distance from shore, the foregoing only happened to me twice last summer on the Gulf. It is not a question of if, its a question of when.
1/24/03 1:59:00 PM
Br (22.214.171.124) from TEXAS says read please about foot on boat
HEy i didnt like the comments made for the safe boats today many of our boat dealerships our making so many different types of boats thats ver ysafe to fish offshore we own a 21/pathfinder and we fish the 24 miles rocks out of portoconnor all the time also my boat is a 18cajun and we go to the 529 sister rigs out of portoconnor and fish so yall shouldnt even complain
1/24/03 3:34:00 PM
Fish Hawk (126.96.36.199) from NORTH CAROLINA says Offshore...
Forget fishing 120 nm offshore in a 27-29 foot boat period. As someone said earlier you are taking your life and that of your crew in your hands. Trust me it's not worth it. Yes, if you think you have the fuel capacity and you have a beautiful day you could make the trip but it is not worth the risk. I lost 3 of my fishing buddies at sea trust me things that are unexpected can and will happen in any boat. As far as another poster said no the Opti's do not get 2.5 mpg. I know the facts on this. I am currently fishing a Jupiter 31 with twin 225 opti's and we have a fuel management system which indicates we are getting between 1.35 and 1.45 mpg in nice conditions. Before the Jupiter I was fishing a 26' Whaler with the same power and although it did not have the fuel amnagement system it used the same quantity of fuel that the Jupiter uses. I have spent most of my life fishing offshore and the only way I would fish 120 miles offshore even in this Jupiter which is a hell of alot of a center console boat is for a one time trip MAYBE.
1/24/03 4:14:00 PM
285exp (188.8.131.52) from ALABAMA says Darwin award
Can you take a sub 30 footer that far offshore? Sure. Sooner or later though, a storm like Ernest describes is going to come out of nowhere, and you're going to be screwed. I can't tell you the number of times I've gone out on a beautiful day with no bad weather forecast and ended up pounding my way through 6 ft or greater seas. My boat is 28 ft, 500 nm range, with EPIRB, radar, and a raft, and I'm not going to risk my friends and family going that far offshore.
BR, I hope your incoherent post was a joke, because if it's not, you are.
1/25/03 12:13:00 AM
Tom (184.108.40.206) from NORTH CAROLINA says Join the Navy
If you want to go that far offshore I suggest you join the Navy, add rod holders to the back of the ship, and troll while on patrol. Seriously, no boat is guaranteed to be “safe” in a storm 120 miles offshore, regardless of how long it is. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I'm guessing you've never been in a storm like Ernest describes or you would already know that. You don’t want to be there. If you break down or sink, 120 miles is a lot different than 40 or 50. Take the advice you are getting and find a closer place in to fish, or go ahead and learn the hard way. Just make sure you have a current will and have all your affairs in order before leaving.
1/25/03 4:28:00 AM
Whitey from MASSACHUSETTS says Must be more common down Eastt
The canyons off the North East coast lie 85-120 miles from the beach. 24' centers and walk arounds w/ twins are out there all the time. We make regular trips on my buds 33 Blackfin w/ twin diesels and I shake my head when I see these guys out there. I guess its a matter of ones own rational or irrational opinion on weather they are safe ?? I for 1, prefer the 33 as a minimum, and we pick and choose our days carefully!! Like the others, help is looong ways away. Be sure if you do go you have the best of equipment and safety stuff, and sat phone or sat radio at least.
1/25/03 10:35:00 AM
Capt. Tunaman (220.127.116.11) from TEXAS says Deepwater fishing
I suggest that you buy a boat that will suit the style of fishing that you will do most. If you plan on running far all the time get at least a 45' with SSB radio, life rafts, EPIRB, Twin diesels and at least 1000 gal of fuel capacity just for starters. If you plan on fishing closer in most of the time the Catamarans with twin outboards are a good choice as the 28' and up can carrie 250-300 gallons of fuel.
Bottom line is how much do you value your life. Help is usually a long way off and surviving depends on your vessel and safety equipment.
You might be better off to try hiring a charter boat that is set up to make those long runs. It might be cheaper in the long run to do that, than it is to purchase a boat, buy all the needed tackle, boat storage, and the maintenance and upkeep.
Hope you make a wise choice!!
1/25/03 1:51:00 PM
Nasty (18.104.22.168) from NORTH CAROLINA says Fish Hawk I agree...
...that it is too far out, but your wrong with the Opti's. Man you got a heavy boat. That Jupiter is 6690 lbs dry weight. That's why your not getting any mileage.
I also have flow meters and at 40 mph they read 8-8.25 gals each. That's 40 mph at 16-16.5 gph and 2.5 MPG. It's a 2001 Scarab Sport w/twin 225 Opti's. The Scarab weighs half of that Jupiter. Several Fountains and Intrepids are getting in the 2-2.5mpg range. I get over 5mpg trolling.
It ain't the Opti's it's the Jupiter. The Whaler is another heavy boat.
1/25/03 5:46:00 PM
Local Motion from NEW YORK says Why not practice...
...go out 30 miles by yourself during a small craft advisory (gonna happen eventually anyway), shut a motor down (simulate blown powerhead), disconnect one bilge pump (simulate broken), unplug your VHF (out of range anyway) and then go back home...all the while imagining you are out 4 times farther with other people you are responsible for and ask yourself if all this is worth a fish (or maybe skunked) in the fishwell. Do it in the afternoon to guarantee having to do it at night to get home on top of everything else, will make it more interesting. If something really goes wrong, then at least it is only yourself going into the water to feed the sharks.
1/25/03 8:28:00 PM
Jack (22.214.171.124) from ALABAMA says size boat
I sometimes fish 80 miles off Orange Beach in a 23' Seacat. It's got a pair of Honda 90's and 200 gallon fuel capacity. I might consider going farther if a buddy boat were going too. You have to be phisically and psychologically prepaired to spend 10 hours or more getting back to the beach when the weather turns sour. When all goes well it's still a 17 or 18 hour day on the water when going only 80 miles offshore. That's a long time in an open boat.
I'd say you need at least a 400 mile range to think about fishing 120 miles offshore. Liferaft, EPIRB, SSB and VHF, and file a floatplan and stick to it. If this is the sort of fishing you want to do regularly, then get an inboard diesel 35' or more.
One guys opinion.
1/26/03 3:50:00 PM
Bri (126.96.36.199) from NEW JERSEY says Another thing to think about!!!!
I am surprised none of the above posts talk much about the experience of the captain and crew!!!!!!!!!!I would much rather have an experienced captain and crew on a 27 center console than a bunch of rookies on a 33 Blackfin when the wind starts howling!!!!!!!!! Be safe and live to fish another day. Bad things happen no matter how much you plan!!! Like one of the above posts stated, Here in Jersey, 80 -100 miles is quite typical for tuna fishing, however, most of us go off shore in groups of 3 or 4 boats at a time with 3 or 4 people on each boat!!!!!!!!!!Just remember. Brand new engines fail. We have all bought bad gas. We have all had problems with electronics. Most of us spent more on rods and reels than survival suits. Most of us spent more on bait than food and water for the trip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IF YOU HAD TO ASK THE QUESTION IN THE FIRST PLACE, DO YOU THINK YOU ARE READY FOR THE TRIP????????????????????????
1/27/03 7:10:00 AM
Capt.Spike (188.8.131.52) from NEW HAMPSHIRE says Bri don't be an ars
That last comment was stupid. If you have to ask are you sure your ready for the trip? How lame. There is no such thing as a stupid question. Only a stupid individual chastising a guy for asking a question and trying to make him look bad. No matter what Texangators experience is he should be allowed to ask others opinions on something he's not sure of.
Whats worse, the guy that asks a question and you percieve from this question he shouldn't even consider the trip because of lack of experience, or some guy that assumes he knows everything and is out there in a boat that shouldn't be 20 miles offshore. Get real and let the guy ask his question without trying to make him look like an idiot for doing so. When did the great revelation hit you that you were ready to go offshore. Let me guess.......an angel appeared and gave you all the pertinent information you needed to make you an offshore Captain. No, I'll bet you asked questions and no one tried to make you look stupid for doing so.
1/27/03 12:40:00 PM
Tuna Pirate (184.108.40.206) from NORTH CAROLINA says Offshore fishing
Quick comment, anyone that has been off shore and got caught in a storm knows that in any kind of heavy seas your boat will most likely not be up on plane and as any fishermen in this situation can tell you fuel consumption rises very dramatically. That 200 gallons of fuel that was no problem for a good day may not be enough in those 6 ft swells!! My 2660 Robalo with twin Merc 200's burns about 22 gallon an hour on plane (34 knots) I'm comfortable going out 50 miles. If I lived in NY/NJ and was making canyon trips I would not feel comfortable with 200 gallons!!!
1/27/03 8:55:00 PM
Capt. Dennis @ AKELA (220.127.116.11) from TEXAS says What is a safe size?
I run a 74' Halter out to the area you mentioned and we think twice about taking charters out there even when the weather reports 3-5's. Yes, we have been out there in bad weather and it isn't fun on this boat either. I have also run crewboats and mini-supply boats that were 150'. When Mother Nature decides to turn the Gulf into her private jucuzzi, there aren't many boats that are designed for fishing that are really "SAFE". As stated in an earlier post, Experience is a big factor. I'd suggest going with a charter boat with experienced crew. Let them do all the work and you sit back and enjoy the fishing.
You can take a look at our boat at www.akela74sf.com.
Good luck in your decisions.
1/27/03 10:44:00 PM
Brad from CALIFORNIA says We are fortunate here in California.
If you choose your days well, it is nothing to run 75-100nm offshore in a small boat. We rarely get the squalls so the weather is fairly predictable if you know where and what to look for. Also, we have a series of islands in the south that offer good anchorage in bad weather.
Timing is one of the most common mistakes contributing to boating accidents.
Trips should be planned for a particular *WEATHER WINDOW* rather than a particular date!
I have to back Bri up on his last statement. Those who successfully run offshore, never ask that question. There can be no doubt that it reveals a lack of experience. i would suggest that texangator work his way off the beach in incriments. Take a few trips out to an 80nm destination before you extend your limits. Develope rituals and routines for every necessary activity. Test the accuracy of your weather sources. Be able to montor as many boat/engine functions as you can. Have adiquate communications.
Most importantly, be at peace with yourself on the open sea, in time everything elase will follow....
1/28/03 9:24:00 AM
capt (18.104.22.168) from MASSACHUSETTS says Brad from CAL you are....
Brad, based on your last sentence you obviously realize that you are an idiot flirting with death and disaster. You really think routinely running a small boat (24-28 feet??) 100nm offshore is smart? I call it lucky. I don't care how good a weatherman you think you are...you unfortunately will make a mistake or the weather will do something unexpected (which it often does) and you will have no margin for error in that size boat.
1/28/03 3:08:00 PM
Fish Hawk (22.214.171.124) from NORTH CAROLINA says Nasty....Get your facts straight
I'm not sure which one of the Scarab Sports you are running but the lightest one (29') weighs 7400lbs with the engines. My Jupiter weighs right at 7400lbs with the power. Where in the world did you get the notion that your boat weighed half of the Jupiter 31? Go the the Wellcraft website for the truth. Like I said I know the fuel economy of a boat that weighs that much 1.35 to 1.45MPG. Enough said.
1/28/03 7:04:00 PM
Brad from CALIFORNIA says capt, actual small boat experience is all i have to offer...
I know a lot of guys that run offshore have a certain aprehension about being that far away from land. The point of my last sentence is simple. If one is able to shed his fear and aprehension and learn to truly relish being offshore, he will automatically do what it takes to enjoy the experience again and again. He will learn the weather patterns and make INFORMED decisions on time-tables and destinations. He will do the proper maintenance on his boat to ensure that it is up to the trip. He will develope all the skills necessary to ply the waters safely, time after time. When it comes to running offshore, fear is every bit as dangerous as carelessness. It is definitely not for everyone!
Speaking strictly for myself, i have traveled over 80,000 miles of open sea in two skiffs. My first skiff was a 16 footer. My current skiff is a 19ft open wooden, flatbottom dory style skiff (tiller engine) that i designed and built back in 91'. Since then, i have traveled some 50,000 miles in the good skiff. In all of those miles, i have only needed assistance once (towing back from Catalina) and that was because of a faulty component on a new engine. Most of my trips are for 2 nights, once in a while, 3 nights. I have only been in severe weather on 2 occasions in the last 50,000 miles in spite of having spent 40-50 nights a year on the water since 91'. I haven't taken a trip less that 55nm from port since the mid 90's. My favorite destinations are 75 to 100nm offshore and i visit them on a regular basis, year around.
Being comfortable offshore is a state of mind, if you get in tune with it, everything else will follow...
There is nothing like the feeling of utter security on the wide open sea...
I ought to know~
1/28/03 7:08:00 PM
Bri (126.96.36.199) from NEW JERSEY says Hey Capt. Spike!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My first suggestion is, YOU, Capt. Spike, should be the guinea pig to go out with "texasgator"!!!!!!!!!!!! I never had to ask that question because I have been out that far dozens of times on other boats first. For those that don't know, I mate on a 35 Bertram and I own a 29 Phoenix. Both boats are fly-bridge diesel boats maintained to high off shore standards. I have had my captains license for almost 5 years and made my first fishing trip to the Hudson Canyon 20 years ago, when I was 12. I am fortunate enough to be able to spend 75 days a year on the water, each year, with 40 days or so 50+ miles off shore. Again for those that don't know, the Hudson is 95 miles from my dock!!!! There have been a half of a dozen boats, that I could think of, that have sunk in recent years attempting this trip.The smallest of which was 29 feet and the largest was in the mid fifties. None of these mishapps were in anything over 3-5 foot seas. One boat hit something submerged 50 miles off shore, another took a rouge wave while anchored. and another tangled the props in the anchor line and turned over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR EXPERIENCE!!!!!!!!!!! Go with someone else that is experienced and ask to run the show! And not just once!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Two years ago, a 36 Hatteras sank in 7 minutes!!!!!!!!!!!! In what the captain says were flat seas when the rouge wave hit!!!!!!!!!!!!Without the liferaft they would have died!!!!!!!! If it wasn't a matter of life and death, I wouldn't even respond to the criticizing post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!BRI
1/29/03 8:48:00 PM
Hawkeye (188.8.131.52) from VIRGINIA says Rough water
I got a very capable deep v 24'er and had to fight 35 miles of the roughest crap I have ever been in last year and the day started out slick calm. I could only make 8 to 9 mph in the roughest 8 to 10'+ and maybe 13 in the calmer spots 6 to 8'. Finaly got a break and followed a charter boat for the last 12 miles. Never want to go thru that again. I could not imagine having to fight that mess 3 times over. I got a lot of experience running smaller boats offshore and 120 miles is out of the ? for a 25'er.
1/30/03 6:13:00 AM
Capt.Spike (184.108.40.206) from NEW HAMPSHIRE says Bri
The guy just asked what size boat he should consider buying to make such trips. He didn't say he was gonna buy the boat and imediately run offshore. All I'm saying is give the guy a break. To many times on this board someone spouts off on how inexperienced someone else must be because he asked a particular question. This makes people not want to ask questions. What would you rather have on the water with you, a guy that asked questions and got answers or one that didn't and doesn't have a clue?
So you never had to ask that question because you were fortunate enough to get out on other boats dozens of times first. Good for you. Most of us didn't have that luxury. As for your credentials no one was challenging them so I'm not sure where that came from. Just give the guy a break and let him ask his questions. He obviously posted the question here because he doesn't have someone he knows that can answer it for him. Other than that you post most likely enlightened him to the need of an experienced crew and saftey gear. Just because he owns the boat doesn't mean he's going out their blind. He may be able to pick up an experienced crew/captain to go with him until he feels comfortable.
By the way Texangator, I'd love to fish those rigs in any boat that starts with a 5 in front of it.
1/30/03 8:08:00 AM
Joe Guthrie (220.127.116.11) from MASSACHUSETTS says Geez
Hey Bri, are you an emotional basketcase who thinks waaaaaaaaaay to much of himself all the time or is today a special day? Wow, all that "experience" hasn't taught you a darn thing-that people need to ask questions to help them get experience from those who have been there, done that. Your "experience" doesn't amout to a peehole in the snow compared to mine, so I guess that, based on your "logic", I can say that you haven't a clue. Get a grip, you self-aggrandizing jackweed.
1/30/03 5:33:00 PM
WilmingtonSkip (18.104.22.168) from NORTH CAROLINA says Not that I have any expierience in it but
I think the thoughts of the guy from Cali. may be a little off base. Running 70 mi. to an island is effectively only 35 mi off shore and thats if it from the closest land. I looked on a map and the islands around Catalina are only about 30 mi. offshore anyway meaning at any time you're only about 15 mi. away from a shore. This is much different than going 120 mi. straight out to see to a reef.
1/30/03 7:17:00 PM
Brad from CALIFORNIA says The Island of the Blue Dolphins
My favorite place at that island (where i go to swim) is about 82nm one way from my ramp. The island itself is about 50nm S/W of the west end of Catalina. The closest island to it is about 27nm away and lives in another world weatherwise... (much safer)
When i go a hundred miles, the closest island is only about 45nm away, but it belongs to the Navy and is strictly offlimits, there are no facilities for a boater whatsoever. Between closures for bombing etc, you are allowed to anchor in certain areas. There is a submerged mountaintop out there (100nm) called the Cortes Bank. The bank comes up to 30ft from the surface and has a plush kelp forest on it. I love that place on the edge of the open sea! (last stop before Hawaii) My favorite thing in the world is to take the good skiff out there (during a good weather window) and swim on the shipwreck in the kelp. It is particularily thrilling to swim at that incredible place at night. (don't worry, i always go alone so i'm not putting anyone else in danger:)
As i stated in my first post, having islands around makes the whole venture that much safer. (i think...?)
When this thread first started, i thought about those boaters that live near the great lakes. I was on a lake some years ago, and i didn't like it. Can you imagine being 40 or 50nm from land in FRESH WATER? Just the thought of that gives me the creeps. I ain't doin it, ever! 120nm is entirely doable, fresh water---no way!
(loves the sea)
2/1/03 3:02:00 AM
Old coastie (22.214.171.124) from FLORIDA says 378 feet
What size boat for open water? How about 378 feet, with twin Pratt and Whitney gas turbines! I spent a lot of cold, wet, and stressful days and nights looking for guys who thought that anything smaller than High Endudurace Weather Cutter was safe enough to be out in the deep blue.
After a two month Alaska fisheries patrol, I decided that commercial fisherman were the ballsiest poelpe in the world and that anybody fishing out in open water in anything less than a 150 feet was nuts.
Remember, when you go out on the water and get in trouble not only are you risking your life (which is fine) you are risking the lives of a lot other folks who have to come out looking for you. Sorry if this wasn't germane to the question but I just had to say something.
2/1/03 6:06:00 PM
Brad from CALIFORNIA says I agree 100%
Failure to be absolutely competent in every aspect of your boating practices will inevitably put OTHERS in danger, should you require their assistance. Conscience is the only mandate as there are no laws governing stupidity...
There is however, an obscure evocation known as the declaration of a 'Manifest Unsafe Voyage.' (MUV). If you see someone attempting to leave safe horbor in what you determine to be an unsafe vessel or under patently unsafe circumstances, anyone may declare it to be a MUV. There is no legally binding obligation on the part of the unsafe boater to heed your concern, but ANY authority will come and investigate the situation in the event of the declaration of an MUV.
I have done it on one occasion. I saw 9 people (including children) being loaded into a small (14ft), leaky craft. I told the skipper that what he was doing was unsafe and then called the harbor patrol. They came out and convinced the man to not go...
Don't hesitate to declare a MUV if you witness someone attempting a voyage that is obviously unsafe.
At the Wellcraft web site, you are looking at the 2003 euro transom POS that replaced the classic Scarab Sport design. They are much heavier and weigh about as much as your boat 7700lbs. Last year for the non-euro is 2001. I was comparing dry weight to dry weight, but it does look as though the Jupiter is with engines. Add another 1000 lbs for twin 225 Opti's.
My 2001 Scarab Sport w/twin 225 Opti's and 288 gals of fuel, 6 gals of oil and misc. fishing gear weighs 7860 lbs on certified scales. My flow meters read what they do and so does the GPS.
Have you had the high pressure rails changed per update ? Did they change the thermostats ? Spark plugs may be another reason for the low fuel mileage. Next time you're in for service have them check these items.
2/4/03 9:09:00 AM
Andy (126.96.36.199) from TEXAS says Offshore
Hey life is a gamble I hit I-10 in the morning and I promise you I would feel safer in my 22 ft hydrasport 100 miles out and 6 fter all the way home. I hve been caught out at the fogg is some bad weather the old boat would only do 5 knts full throttle and in the wake of a 28 fter and there have been a couple of times I wondered if I could make through the mouth f the Galveston Jetties. LIFE JACKETS LIFE JACKET
LIFE JACKETS. Kicker motor Kicker motor kicker Motor, Sea anchor Learn how to work on your engine no exceptions once you do you will know what tools to take. File your plan with somebody my wife knows if she has not heard from me by 10 pm somethings not right. Waves do get really big out that far. You might be btter served hauling the boat south the 120 miles then you can go about 20 30 miles out and still be in the deep water. If you plan on coming in after dark get the right equipment I promise you from expierience that its a bitch esp. out of freeport. Once your out that far size only increases your chances there has been small boats that have made it through hurricanes and big ships sink mysteriously. Luck expierience, good judgement all play as much a part as the size of your boat. My boat is named the "5150" which means (police code for)plum fn nuts so my advice is on the wild side. GOOD LUCK!
2/15/03 5:28:00 PM
Renegade (188.8.131.52) from NEW YORK says Use your head
Try running Jones Inlet on Long Island's South Shore with an outgoing tide and southwest wind and the ask youself if you'd want to do that for several hours or more, possibly in the dark. Enough said.
2/28/03 11:37:00 AM
Chip Herring (184.108.40.206) from SOUTH CAROLINA says Safe Boat Size
After reading all of these postings, I feel compelled to reply to your question. Everyone who has replied to you are trying to give you advice based on their past experiences-good and bad.
I have owned, worked on, built, manufactured, maintained, bought and sold, and currently own several boats right now, but my best advice to you is to charter several trips out to your destination with different captains. See what size vessel they take you out in and even be bold enough to ask if you could possibly drive the vessel while at sea to see if this is really what you want to do and possibly own. It is much cheaper to learn from experienced captains and crew than to learn from the school of sharks and rogue waves!
Also, you must be financially ready to give up a lot of your net worth to buy the boat that I have in mind-a 40-50 footer that would hold enough gas to get to-and-from my destination with plenty of reserve fuel(200+gals.)left over.
To give you one example of a trip that comes to my mind, I departed out of Little River, SC in a 31-Shamrock Sportfish with twin Cummings diesels and a tower and topped off with fuel up to the neck in the Fall to get the last run on some big kings holding offshore. The crew, my wife now and myself, the captain, my great friend Rick, and his dad, Mr. Fred the owner of the boat. We left the dock at sunrise in a 1-ft short-chop following sea. Rick says to me, "Its gonna be a wet ride in this afternoon" and points to the following sea-little did we know. We get about 30-40nm out, set lines and within 15 mins we are hooked up on a nice fat king. Rick leaves the helm and Mr. Fred is watching us boat the fish by the helm. Suddenly a rogue wave blindsides us almost flipping the boat over-taking water in the back and almost flipping me out of the back. We land the fish and make the decision to GET HOME. Radar shows a nasty storm coming our way, a cold wind is now blowing, seas building, and we are heading into the heart of it. Seas now 6-10ft and building every minute and waves I estimate to be 12-20ft tall in the trough just keep getting bigger. We are quartering waves at 15-20 knots, all of us freezing cold and in shorts and tees, thinking we are not going to make in alive. This lasts for several hours, zigzaging our way back to port...in the trough walls of water, on the crest whitewater and cold wind, after hours of this heading north we spot something on radar, something really big. A cargo ship heading to the ports in Wilmington, NC going in through Southport. About 45 mins later on the crest of a wave the ship appears, we crest its wake and fall behind it for the rest of the still nasty ride home.
We were lucky, very lucky. Now this was merely 30-40 miles out....multiply this trip by 3 or 4 and keep in mind the size of the seas intensify the further you are out and that will give you an idea of what kind of boat you need on a bad day.
Oh, and for the rest of the story, my wife, still fishes with me on calm days in sight of land, and my friend Rick and Mr. Fred, they sold the Shamrock and bought a 38 Blackfin Sportfisher that they need a ladder to get into and out of the boat at the dock(due to the high sides) with a nosebleed-high tuna tower and holds more fuel than my platinum credit card will allow.
I just hope some of this will help you in your decision.
3/10/03 11:25:00 PM
freddie (220.127.116.11) from CALIFORNIA says Vouching for Brad
Brad is a one of kind - a dyed in the wool enviro ex-sportfisher, who really makes the trips he described in his skiff. While he is an enemy to our right to fish responsibly under regulations (he is in favor of complete closures, and the the more the merrier), he has a lot of respect from us sportfishers in Southern California for his knowledge of fish and the sea, his photographic skills, and his lack of hypocrisy.
Yes, it is different going out 100 miles with nothing around, but San Nicolas Island where Brad goes after careful planning is out there - 60 miles from the coast, and without weather protection from Pt. Concepcion. I fish there only in the Fall in my 26 ft. pilot house diesel, and the Fall is when Brad makes most of his trips. It's the calmest time of the year. I would like to agree with those that said no fish is worth the risk. I regularly fish Santa Barbara Island which is 45 miles from my home port. Often there is no one else there. I ran into two guys on several occasions out there in a 20 ft open boat, and thought to myself that they were nuts. Well, one day they anchored up, and rogue wave turned them over and one died and the other got lucky. And a friend was recently killed when a breaching humpback whale landed on his boat out 60 miles from Morro Bay fishing albacore on the CA Central Coast, a brutal area.
Let me conclude with a quote from Justin Scott in his book the Shipkiller: "You can do everything right, strictly according to procedure, on the ocean, and it'll kill you, but if you're a good navigator, at least you'll know where you were when you died." Freddie
3/23/03 6:05:00 PM
Travis (18.104.22.168) from TEXAS says in reference to the guy who wants to go to the Diana/Hoover
I don't know what all of you are talking about, I have a good friend who runs out of Matagorda and has been fishing out of there for about 20 years. He is running a 25' Whaler with twin 115 Yamaha four strokes, and usually goes out to the Hoover/Diana several times a summer, the only time he goes offshore is if he plans on spending the night anyways. He used to fish commercially out of an identical boat and has been in all sorts of weather with the lightening striking around him at night. Matter of fact last year incountering a microburst at about 70 miles out with wind at about 60 mph but he just rode it out and didn't have any problem. Anyways just thought I'd lend a suggestion but remember be careful and "Know What Your Doing" cause the gulf doesn't play....
5/2/03 7:37:00 PM
Captwalt (22.214.171.124) from MAINE says Bigger is Better
I ran a 30 ft Lobster Yacht style Charterboat out of Glouester, MA for about 10 years and I would turn down trips quite often where people wanted to go Swordfishing 150 Miles Offshore.
Hell I only had a 3 foot draft full keel and I would not hink of going over 50 miles out in such a vessel.
Minimum 40 footer or better with at least a 4 to 6 ft keel. If you are planing on running out 150 Miles. Anything short of that Just make out your will and get lots of life insurance.
I currently have a 44 ft all welded Alum 49 passenger partyboat with a 3 foot swing keel and you wont see me out that far. You have to have Ballast for Stability!
5/23/03 8:20:00 AM
Bruce Prevost (126.96.36.199) from NORTH CAROLINA says minimunboat size.for fishing 120nm
I have a 25 foot Quest by OMC walk around, which holds 120 gallons of gas with a single 225 hp engine. I fish out of Morehead City N.C. so I fish the Big Rock, WW1 Wreck and U352 Wrecks a lot.We are talking any were from 25 to 37 nm out total fishing and travel time about 8 hours. I'am also talking two to four foot sea which my boat handles vary well in.Durning most of these day trips the engine
consumes about 35 to 40 gallons of gas I Figured about 140 miles a trip, this like I said in 2 to 4 foot seas. But the sea is cruel and seas can go from 4 foot to 8 to 10 foot in less the a hour and no further out then I go, I would never attempt 120 nm out in aboat the size of mine.
11/14/03 8:02:00 PM
dolphinslayer (188.8.131.52) from TEXAS says bri question
I am from port aransas, and have been fishing hoover diana since instalation, along with the other recent "floaters" my only question for you, knowing the fishing, is where do you expect to put the fish on a boat that small