185 in Atlantic Ocean?

Discussion in 'Mid-Atlantic' started by MD185SportGuy, May 27, 2017.

  1. MD185SportGuy

    MD185SportGuy New Member

    Mar 7, 2017
    Germantown, MD
    2012 Sea Ray 185 Sport
    Mercruiser 3.0 MPI
    Alpha One
    I have been doing some poking around and have been thinking about trying out the Atlantic Ocean - not too far offshore, maybe a mile at most. I would be putting in at Indian River Marina in Delaware near Rehoboth. I have a VHF, offshore rated life jackets and would be using the engine tether. Obviously all is weather dependent, but seeking honest opinions here on if this is a really bad idea or more of a proceed with caution. I'm well aware of by boat's capabilities and am not afraid of a little snotty weather. But also realize the Ocean can get out of hand quickly and that I am in a rather lightweight bow rider (with a tonneau for a little more protection in case God forbid the bow stuffs a wave).

    If people don't think this is a terrible idea, does anyone have any tips for how to handle the inlet, etc?
  2. NotHerDecision

    NotHerDecision Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 28, 2016
    Houston, Texas
    2001 Sea Ray 460 Sundancer
    2014 Seadoo 155 LTD
    2105 Seadoo 130 SE
    2013 Mercury Dinghy
    Cummins 6CTA 8.3L
    I'm sure you will get opinions all over the board but I will start with mine.... the boat itself could be made to handle it, a great captain, multiple bilge pumps...etc. but... I don't think it's smart and I wouldn't do it. The ocean can look beautiful, you've chosen a great weather day and all seems perfect in the eye of Neptune and so you go for it. The engine dies, a plug fails, weather comes in, a ship gives off a wake you can't handle,you just plain fall out.... it's not worth it.

    That really my opinion, can and has it been done? Sure multiple times, would I do it? Not a chance... if you decide to go, wear a life jacket and take a good PLB...

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  3. northern

    northern Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    West coast Vancouver to Alaska
    380 Aft Cabin 1989 GPS and Charts by Nobeltec
    Twin 454 strait shaft
    Calm water is nice and you can go fast. Freighters put out big waves and the frequency length is short. I never cut in front of freighters. I go behind. Once I cut in front of a tug pulling a log boom. He was going 8 knots and the length of the boom and tow line to the tug was probably 1,000 feet. I was about a mile from him when I started to cut in front as I got just before being in front one engine quit. A fuel pump failed. With 1 engines I safely made it by. After that I go behind big things. I cut behind a freighter that was doing 14 knots. I was half a mile behind him. He had 8 to 10 foot wake. We were fine but a lot of stuff fell in the boat. The front deck was level with the water when we got to the bottom of the first wave. The boat felt kike it hit a wall when we go to the bottom of the first wave
    Be careful if you go and wear your PFD if you go. If you can swim to shore you should be OK.
  4. blaster

    blaster Active Member

    May 23, 2011
    potomac river
    2010 sea ray 205 sport
    F150 5.4 xlt 4x4
    Mercruiser 4.3 mpi alpha 1.62
    That's a nasty inlet. If you choose to run through there into the ocean you should try to go during slack tide. If you are in a situation where you find yourself returning while the water is cranking be sure to keep the bow up and mind the throttle. The absolute worst part about that inlet is the volume of other boats stopped fishing or the big boats blasting through at 25 knots.

    Offshore there are several artificial reefs that reliably produce fish. Other than that there's not much to do out there. There's lots of room in Rehoboth and Indian River bay. Some good skiing and tubing spots too if you don't mind jellyfish. You can take the Rehoboth Lewes canal over to the Delaware bay. That's it's own monster as the Delaware bay can be very choppy.

    Weather and tides will be the determining factor. Some of those guys go 10 miles out in a Jon boat! You should be fine if you keep a level head. The coast guard is right there and they get plenty of practice in that area.

    I have been through that inlet 100's of times throughout the years and I've found it to be one of the more treacherous along the mid Atlantic coast. Just plan it out and be careful.
  5. Michael Mirra

    Michael Mirra Member

    Jan 18, 2017
    Rock Hall, Md
    360 Sundancer 2002
    8.1 Horizon X 2
    I have been ten miles out on my 17' bay boat several times. The worst part is always the inlet. One time the wind kicked up and chop got to about 3'. At no time did i feel in danger but it took forever to get back because i couldn't go much faster than 10 mph due to the waves. Its all about checking the weather first. If you don't feel 100% confident in your boat or boating skills then i wouldn't go.
  6. seasure1

    seasure1 Member

    Jun 20, 2016
    Long Beach Island NJ
    2007 SeaRay 290 Sundeck SLX
    twin mercruiser 350 mag bravo3

    Don't chance it. When you get a boat that is ocean capable and have been out numerous times with a experienced captain, then you are ready.

    The ocean can be a dangerous place, floating logs etc. If you hit something you are in the water.
  7. importmonkey

    importmonkey Opinionated Member

    Jul 9, 2015
    Middle River, MD
    2007 44 Sundancer
    QSC 500s
    Just curious...


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  8. lawndoctor

    lawndoctor Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2008
    Chesapeake Bay & Philadelphia
    2009 330 Sundancer & 2002 225 Weekender
    8.1L V-Drives & Bravo III 5.0L
    From your photo, it looks like you have a bow rider. When I had my old 195, which was not a bow rider, I had a situation in Sandy Hook Bay, almost to the ocean but not quite, where a big wave came on me fast. I think it came from the commercial traffic there. I had just enough time to shut the center windshield opening, and when the bow went into the wave the water level came up over the foredeck, halfway up the windshield. If I had not closed the windshield in time I would have taken on a lot of water, and maybe swamped. So I would be very hesitant to go anywhere far out with a bow rider, including the ocean.
  9. endless seas

    endless seas Active Member

    Feb 13, 2008
    1997 450 DA
    Cat 420
    I've been through the inlet several times and the one in OC can be awful. If you time it correctly (slack) tide you should be fine.
  10. skibum

    skibum Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2007
    Perry Hall, MD
    2005 Sundancer 260
    496 Magnum HO
    I've been out of the OC (MD) inlet 20-30 times on my stepbrother's Sea Pro center console. I'm not sure how big it is, but I'm certain that it is 18' or less. Never had any problems. We only did it when the weather was good and he always ran through the inlet with a decent amount of power applied.

    Just be smart about it and you'll be fine.
  11. scoflaw

    scoflaw Well-Known Member

    Aug 10, 2011
    cape cod mass
    1999 Powerquest legend 260 sx
    502 mpi Bravo 1
    Big difference between a CC with a self bailing deck and the OP's bow scooper
  12. BillK2632

    BillK2632 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jun 25, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    1999 185 Bowrider,
    Mercruiser 4.3, Alpha I
    I'm a lake boater, so not sure how much I can add - I've been out around Charleston a few times with friends and St Simon's Island Ga on a few fishing charters. My friends in Charleston had a big boat and a 16ft Boston Whaler - took that out in the ocean plenty of times, but on calm days. The few times we stuffed it in a wave, it was kinda fun, but that boat is made for it - it's sunny, hot, you get wet, the boat drains quickly and off you go. On the other hand, I've put the bow of my bowrider into a wave on Lake Norman, picture turning into your own wake while picking up a skier, small freshwater wave comes over the bow - it's a freaking mess in a bowrider, everything get's wet, the carpet, into the ski locker, upholstery, takes for ever to drain into the bilge and dry. I would not want that to happen with a big wave in salt water - 3 or 4 of those and you are in trouble. And no way would I go through Haulover inlet like we have seen in the videos. But, a nice day, calm inlet, calm ocean, I personally would probably venture out a bit - but that's just me. If I did it regularly I would get a boat better suited for it.
  13. MD185SportGuy

    MD185SportGuy New Member

    Mar 7, 2017
    Germantown, MD
    2012 Sea Ray 185 Sport
    Mercruiser 3.0 MPI
    Alpha One
    Im fortunate to live in one of the best places to boat in the US... I think the question for me is more of a "why not try it"
  14. MD185SportGuy

    MD185SportGuy New Member

    Mar 7, 2017
    Germantown, MD
    2012 Sea Ray 185 Sport
    Mercruiser 3.0 MPI
    Alpha One
    I get that. Part of the reason why I bought the 185 I have is the full fiberglass liner and no carpet since it does get used in the bay. I was out yesterday for a good bit in some 3-4 foot rollers. If it starts to get snotty I snap the bow tonneau on for a bit of extra protection - I did not have to yesterday though thankfully.

    No way would I ever tackle something like Haulover... some of those people are nuts. I have been contemplating my next boat though. I grew up in a water sports family, and we always entertained. I have figured out that I am much more of a cruiser/sandbar/dock bar hopper type of boater. I've always liked and wanted a cruiser - I think in the next year or two I may go and order a Sundancer 260 and move up. Having a bit of fun in the meantime with my 185 though.
  15. SeadawgVB

    SeadawgVB Active Member

    Jul 8, 2013
    Tidewater Virginia
    '03 Sundancer 360
    Twin 8.1s with V-drives
    My previous boat was an 18 foot open bow, most suitable for waterskiing on a lake. I have had it out on the Atlantic Ocean once or twice and this particular hull was not designed for the waves found in the ocean. I picked my days and would only venture out if flat calm. The purpose was porpoise watching and seeing the resort oceanfront from the water never had a issue.

    BUT one time where the Chesapeake Bay met the James River near the Naval station, two largeish waves randomly popped up directly in front of my bow with the wavelength just perfect to where my bow slid under the second wave and scooped a couple hundred gallons of cold water into the bow in the wink of an eye. I was being very attentive and could not prevent it. My kids thought it was "AWESOME", my wife looked scared witless and I tried hard not to show my true level of alarm!

    If too much water is on-boarded, the engine can quit and / or stability can be a huge issue.

    These guys did it on purpose, but you can get the idea:


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