Planning on a 6 hour boat trip this summer - FV 270 - any tips?

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  • Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond ✭✭✭✭✭ Holland, MichiganPosts: 4,659Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    From my haunting grounds on Lake Michigan, my best advise is to move with the weather/waves being acceptable to your crew and the boat.  Leave time to be flexible.  Remember in heavier seas you can consume way more fuel than 'normal' running.  As always, safety gear and float plan too!

    As for the Bravo-III heat issues, I have drive showers, still not sure they really do anything (just my .02).  I ran for 8 hours including a fuel stop last summer, no slowing down to dip the drive.  That was a nice 30 mph rate too. 

    2003 342FV "Black Diamond", 350 MAG MPI, 20P 4x4 Props, PC BYC, Holland, MI
  • skennellyskennelly ✭✭✭ ChicagoPosts: 1,396Member ✭✭✭
    similar to @bry1429 last year did a trip from Chicago to Saugatuk Michigan roughly 200 mile round trip in our 270.  I rented an EPIRB from boatus to be on the safe side.  Trip was great.  Had a period of time where waves got a bit large and sprayed over the bow, but didn't phase the boat just got us a little wet.  Can't wait for our next trip this summer.
    2002 - 270FV Mag 350 B3
  • Liberty44140Liberty44140 ✭✭✭✭ Bay Village & Marblehead, OH.Posts: 2,405Member ✭✭✭✭
    I continue to wrestle with drive showers. Wasn't a concern until we decided to do a 5 hour run this coming summer. It will be almost all in the Detroit & St Clair rivers so I've decided not to do the showers and we will just stop a few times to dip the drives and enjoy the view. Admiral would rather stop than see me add to the project list. I agree that I struggle to believe that once crap builds up they do anything but I know many folks swear by them so it really is a debate. Good luck on your trip! 
    Wine-N-Down -- 2006 342 Express Cruiser

  • J3ffJ3ff ✭✭✭✭ Posts: 1,885Member ✭✭✭✭
    the funny thing about a drive shower is I'll have no idea how to tell if it's doing anything or not... figured if my drive blows it up it would just be something else I can tell insurance I did to safe guard the drive.. I honestly dont think I could go more than 30 mins without slowing down to admire the view... I might even do long parts of the trip just going slow admiring the view.. just made a friend with a dock in RI, so might have to go spend a day there! 
  • 93Vee93Vee ✭✭ Posts: 78Member ✭✭
    I travel in the Boston area and go out in the bay quite often in a single screw. I find that planning with the weather and then backing it up with what is really happening lowers my anxiety. You probably already look at the automated buoys, but they seem to prove or disprove what to expect. The paragraph below is has describes the system pretty well.

    The NDBC operates a network of offshore automated weather buoys and Coastal-Marine Automated Network stations that provide hourly reports of marine weather to NWS and other agencies. The buoys, off the U.S. coasts and the Great Lakes, may be nearby or several hundred miles at sea. These stations provide hourly data to NWS forecast offices that are important to the preparation of forecasts and warnings. These data are also broadcast to the public over NOAA Weather Radio, and are posted on the Internet at www.ndbc.noaa.gov.
  • frodo13056frodo13056 ✭✭✭ Channahon, ILPosts: 212Member ✭✭✭
    I had a 2003 Rinker 270 before I got my 2008 320 - it was a good boat for Lake Michigan and easily handled 3-4 foot waves when the lake kicked up. It wan't a ton of fun but as long as you use your trim and keep your speed down, you'll be fine. As for the drive showers, there was a large discussion on the old forum about the use of drive showers or not. As already noted, the top of the Mercruiser Bravo 3 housings can get extremely warm which can easily degrade the lube oil. My "proof" of the effectiveness of drive showers occurred when I first got my 320 - bought it new in 2008 and did many runs from Chicago down to the lower part of Lake Michigan (Indiana) and back which was about 50 miles round trip. At the end of my first season, when I changed the gear lube, it was a bit discolored and was pretty smelly. That's when I bought drive showers - installed them in the off season and the following season I again ran down to the southern end of Lake Michigan and also did a trip to South Haven, Michigan (about 160 miles round trip). When I drained the gear lube at the end of that season, the gear lube looked almost brand new - very little discoloration and no "used gear lube" smell. 
    I'd also recommend that you create a "float plan" with a general outline of where you'll be and when and give that info to at least 2 friends - so if you don't report in within a predetermined time frame, someone will be able to alert proper authorities, etc. Not sure if your trip will take you out of cel phone range but if it does, then you'll most likely be out of radio range as well if there are not many boaters out and about. When crossing Lake Michigan, there are spots in the middle of the lake where there is no cel phone reception and boats are pretty scarce.
  • reneechris14reneechris14 ✭✭✭✭ Pawcatuck river CTPosts: 2,145Member ✭✭✭✭
    http://www.mysound.uconn.edu/apmet_all.html
    That will give you some data with CT waters.wave height and wind.
    Ledge light house is just south of new London/Groton area,probably like a half way point,I would travel on the inside of fishers Island  (north).then spot at Napa tree for lunch,and hour from there to RI.
    2005 Rinker FV342  Pawcatuck river,Ct
  • andydandyd ✭✭✭ Dana Point, California, USAPosts: 638Member ✭✭✭
    The open ocean out of sight of land still intimidates me a bit. Especially with hazy conditions where there is no clear horizon. It's a lonely feeling when you can't see any other boats. The ocean is over a mile deep a couple miles out from home port, yikes. Having two GPS systems is a good feeling since you are dependent on them to know where the heck you are and where you are going.

    Be careful around other boat traffic...I was too close to the wake from the Catalina Express ferry a couple years ago and got "air." The thump when the boat landed was not a good experience for me or my passenger, but, not to worry, the hulls on these Rinkers are really strong. Riding the swells is fun when you get the hang of it. You can back off the throttle and pick up speed as you glide down the wave. Fun!

    Andy
  • rasburyrasbury ✭✭✭✭✭ Sanford, FLPosts: 5,450Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    I just have no reason t go out into the ocean here i Fl, well maybe the gulf. We have miles and mile of protected intercostal and rivers so until I wear them out, I ain't going! I don't even fish so there just is no where for me to go.
  • Handymans342Handymans342 ✭✭✭✭✭ Posts: 7,581Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    It was only 50 feet deep in the gulf when we went to the keys. Ras, you could take your boat to the Keys!
  • rasburyrasbury ✭✭✭✭✭ Sanford, FLPosts: 5,450Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    That is on our bucket list....probably more interested in a Bahamas trip but who knows....have been through the keys via car and might be a more fun way to do the keys.
  • J3ffJ3ff ✭✭✭✭ Posts: 1,885Member ✭✭✭✭
    Just got back from a trip from Key Largo to Key west and back.. there's a few interesting places to stop by boat, but that's kind of it..   also been to the bahamas - just more of the same, warm crystal clear water... I'd say go Bahamas if you've never done it before.. 
  • rasburyrasbury ✭✭✭✭✭ Sanford, FLPosts: 5,450Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Geesh, what's wrong with clear warm tropical waters? Sounds pretty darn good to me! You must not drink enough!
  • J3ffJ3ff ✭✭✭✭ Posts: 1,885Member ✭✭✭✭
    rasbury said:
    Geesh, what's wrong with clear warm tropical waters? Sounds pretty darn good to me! You must not drink enough!
    lol - I wish I didn't drink enough. I meant that once you hit the keys, there isn't much of a change all the way down to Key west..  
  • jhofmannjhofmann ✭✭✭ ConnecticutPosts: 430Member ✭✭✭
    GPS is a great navigational aid, I have one mounted on the dash, and a handheld with extra batteries as a spare, but I would not venture out of sight of land without a good compass, a paper chart of the area, and the knowledge to use them. Long Island sound in the fog, haze, or dark can be quite intimidating.

    You can practice by plotting a magnetic course on paper to a location and steering by compass while verifying your on the correct course with your GPS.
  • andydandyd ✭✭✭ Dana Point, California, USAPosts: 638Member ✭✭✭
    Two compasses and charts are always on board. I wouldn't leave the slip without them. 

    Andy
  • J3ffJ3ff ✭✭✭✭ Posts: 1,885Member ✭✭✭✭
    I'm not planning on getting very far off shore.. no more than 5 miles.. part of the trip is going to be stopping places and checking them out :) 
  • andydandyd ✭✭✭ Dana Point, California, USAPosts: 638Member ✭✭✭
    To emphasize how important reading charts can be, there is a barely submerged island 100 miles west of San Diego called Cortes Bank. It is basically one of the Channel Islands like Catalina, only just tall enough for it's peak, Bishop's Rock, to protrude at it's highest 6 feet or so above the surface. It generates enormous waves, over 50' high that some lunatics think is fun to surf.

    In 1983 the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise struck Bishop's Rock and put a 60' gash in its hull and damaged a propeller. Imagine being the Captain having to explain that!

    Andy
  • J3ffJ3ff ✭✭✭✭ Posts: 1,885Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2017
    I appreciate the worry, the charting portion of my captain's license exam was Long Island Sound ;)  (Practice was the Chesapeake)  
  • Dream_InnDream_Inn mod Annapolis, MDPosts: 5,396Member, Moderator mod
    Point well taken about the charts.  I'm sure most of us have them and keep them aboard.  I have a set of laminated charts that I keep on the boat, near the helm at all times.  Funny how much easer it is to grab them at times for a quick look then zoom in or move around on the GPS. 

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

  • Glassguy54Glassguy54 ✭✭✭ Posts: 542Member ✭✭✭
    @andyd, I just googled Cortes Bank and watched a few vids of surfers taking on that monster. Holy Crap!!! Also, Surfline TV - "How Cortes Bank works" - very interesting.
  • andydandyd ✭✭✭ Dana Point, California, USAPosts: 638Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2017
    The definitive book on the subject is "Ghost Wave: The Discovery of Cortes Bank and the Biggest Wave on Earth." by Chris Dixon. Not only does he discuss the big wave surfers who first rode this wave, the book is also about rogue waves in general, a phenomenon that should be of concern to anyone who goes out to sea.

    The book also describes the plans of some guys back in the 1960's who came up with a crackpot scheme to moor a ship called "Jalisco" on top of Bishop's Rock. They were going to declare their new "island" the country of "Abalonia." Not sure what they were smoking, it was the 1960's after all, but of course the ship sank along with their dream.

    Andy


  • J3ffJ3ff ✭✭✭✭ Posts: 1,885Member ✭✭✭✭
    Okay, getting the trip finalized. Looks like the destination order will be:

    1st Night: Westbrook CT 
    2nd Night: Portsmouth RI
    3rd Night: Cuttyhunk Island (MASS)
    4th night (and for the week): Capecod

    At least that's the trip getting there - wanted to really stretch out the trip since it's the first long journey I've done and give lots of time for bad weather.

    The return trip may end up being just 2 days of travel, can stretch it to 4 if needed. 

    Not sure what the plan is for docking vs on the hook for the 1st and 3rd night on the way there.. guess it'll depend on availability, price and protected coves! If you're around let me know via PM, don't like publicly posting exact dates.. 
  • rasburyrasbury ✭✭✭✭✭ Sanford, FLPosts: 5,450Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Sounds like a great trip. My travels are never out of sight I land so no charts, mo compass...yet...and no certification yet. The next boat on the lottery....
  • J3ffJ3ff ✭✭✭✭ Posts: 1,885Member ✭✭✭✭
    Yeah me too as far as the lottery goes!

    Might be a silly question, but trying to calculate fuel. It's a 383 stroker.. I found this data..

    http://www.boattest.com/oem/497/engines/29500118/3


    So even though the data doesn't come from a 270, the Total Gallons per hour at the set rpms should be the same for any boat right? I'm hoping to keep the rpms right around 4000, cruising about 27/28 mph.. and then will add a couple extra GPH to that number so I've got a reserve.. 
  • WildboatingWildboating ✭✭✭ Posts: 957Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 2017
    How many people are on board?  Do your bilge pumps work well?  If I was going that far I would want an emergency pump with some volume to it.   We just had some 4+ swells and a loaded boat go down.   There are alot of stories going around about what happend but the bottom line is once he started taking on water he couldnt get it out fast enough..    They all were rescued.  This was in a 25' FV.   http://fox8.com/2017/06/26/dramatic-video-shows-boat-rescue-on-lake-erie/
    2003 Rinker 342 Fiesta Vee, 350 Mag MPI, Bravo 3 2.20:1 w/ 22p 4 x4 props

  • J3ffJ3ff ✭✭✭✭ Posts: 1,885Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2017
    Just me on board.

    2 1100gph pumps, the rear one is brand new, two high water alarms (one in the engine room, one in the forward bilge) a hand pump as well if needed, but the plan is to be on the horn with the CG FAR before hand pumping became needed..as the high water alarm is pretty much on the same level as the bilge pump float. I've also got the wooden pegs that you hear about people using to plug holes. 

    I just added a line to my to do list of wiring up a third hand held bilge pump that can be powered by a jump pack that I'm bringing along.  I figure that by the time that was needed, water would be down stairs over flowing into the cabin, a pump with a separate power source would be able to pump anything right into the sink and out.. if it gets much higher than that it'll be time to sit tight and wait for help to arrive. Also going to have a tube blown up and ready to go and a cooler full of ice and water sealed that would float, if the worst happens.  

    and of course will have a handheld vhf with GPS/dsc built in and fully charged... waterproof case on the phone, etc.

    Pretty sure I'll be okay even if the boat sinks...but you never know! 
    Post edited by J3ff on
  • skennellyskennelly ✭✭✭ ChicagoPosts: 1,396Member ✭✭✭
    @J3ff that's a long trip to do alone.  Sounds like you are well prepared.
    2002 - 270FV Mag 350 B3
  • J3ffJ3ff ✭✭✭✭ Posts: 1,885Member ✭✭✭✭
    Yeah, that's why I'm trying to break it up, never done a trip alone, kind of looking forward to it!! 
  • WildboatingWildboating ✭✭✭ Posts: 957Member ✭✭✭
    Sounds like you are prepared.  Nothing left but to get after it!  Sounds like a fun trip.  Make sure you know how to access your coordinates.   I am always shocked by how many people have no idea.
    2003 Rinker 342 Fiesta Vee, 350 Mag MPI, Bravo 3 2.20:1 w/ 22p 4 x4 props

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