BR to Bahamas

Discussion in 'Sport Boats' started by Woody, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. Woody

    Woody Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Nov 20, 2007
    N. Wisconsin/Lk Superior
    2005 420DA
    Cummins 6CTA8.3
    It's been quite a while since this was discussed. I was wondering if any of you took your bowriders to the Bahmas. If so how many of you went etc and how did the trip go. Is there anything you would do different next time?
     
  2. Four Suns

    Four Suns Head Pot Stirrer TECHNICAL Contributor

    Oct 4, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    2003 480 DB
    Zodiac ProJet Dinghy
    Yamaha 110vx WaveRunner
    QSM-11 Diesels
    Get a boat with an enclosed bow?
     
  3. Zeppi

    Zeppi New Member

    86
    Jul 3, 2008
    Fayettevville, NC
    2008 185 Sport
    4.3 180HP Alpha 1
    This is a good subject. Now I'm a total boating novice but are open bows to small for the oceans? I know my 185 is, but what is the smallest size boat a person could/would take out to sea?

    sorry about hi-jacking the thread.
     
  4. comsnark

    comsnark New Member

    Apr 10, 2007
    NJ Shore
    SeaRay SunSport
    5.7LX
    The problem Gary is highlighting is the amount of water than can come into the boat from over an open bow. Merely putting a canvas cover over the bow might not be sufficient to keep the boat from getting swamped if you plant your bow into a wave. or six.

    There are other issues as well. . .. .

    There was quite a nasty thread on this subject a while back. Not sure how serious of a discussion we can have on this topic at the moment.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2008
  5. Four Suns

    Four Suns Head Pot Stirrer TECHNICAL Contributor

    Oct 4, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    2003 480 DB
    Zodiac ProJet Dinghy
    Yamaha 110vx WaveRunner
    QSM-11 Diesels
    This all has to do with the design of the boat. I had an 20' open bow jet boat (just sold it this year) but the basic design is the same as most other bowrider style boats in that there is a hump in the back for the engine. The problem with this design is if you take a wave or two over the bow, you can swamp the boat and the water has no where to go but out some tiny little drain hole... or worse leak into the lower areas in the bilge/engine room.

    There are open bow boats that are fine with heavy seas but they are generally the sport fishing variety with a couple outboards strapped on the back. These boats are designed to self bail high volumes of water and can handle waves coming over the bow. The water basically can swoosh out the back. Many of them have doors for hauling in fish and they also allow water to run out the rear... and the deck is sealed... and the engines aren't down there....

    I've swamped my jet powered bow rider before.. but it was on a river and I did it by doing the "submarine" maneuver. You get going 50 mph and then slam the reverse gate down.

    Anyway.. I wouldn't take a bow rider out on an ocean crossing but some do it... anything over a 3' wave and swamping/sinking is a real issue.
     
  6. wish2fish

    wish2fish Active Member

    Dec 19, 2006
    Locust Creek, Ohio River mm 433
    2003 220BR
    5.0 MPI
    so a good set of life jackets is in order.:grin:
     
  7. Mr Salt

    Mr Salt New Member

    632
    Jun 14, 2008
    Cape May, NJ
    Raymarine/Raytheon electronics, Sat TV, Yacht Controller
    2003 Caterpillar C-12s Twin Disc Transmissions
    I can't believe anyone would take a Sea Ray bowrider to the Bahamas. Crossing the Gulf Stream can get pretty nasty with some big waves. I have a number of friends who take their center console fishing boats over to the Bahamas but as Gary points out the these boats are built for going off shore and have high free board and are generally 30 ft +, Sea Ray's do not have high free board so it would seem to me that a captain would not be exercising due care trying to take one off shore and through the Gulf Stream

    Mr Salt
    2001 540 CPMY
    Caterpillar C-12s
    Cape May, NJ
     
  8. jhild

    jhild New Member

    350
    Nov 2, 2006
    Cape Ann, MA
    1999 BW 18 Ventura /
    Sold: 2003 176BR
    Current: 135 OptiMax /
    Sold: 3.0L Alpha
    This subject is one of the primary reasons I sold my SR bow rider and bought my current boat. If you spend enough time on the water, eventually you WILL take a wave over the bow. Then it becomes a question of how you and the boat will handle the situation. As Gary and comsnark pointed out, a swamped, open bow sterndrive (with undersized bilge pumps to boot?) doesn’t leave you with a lot of options. Gotta love those scuppers.
     
  9. Taradise

    Taradise New Member

    170
    Sep 5, 2007
    Acworth, GA
    I've seen wave runners make this trip but that is a totally different subject. I have a 240SD that I plan to make the trip w/ within the next 2 years but I'm going with a group of big boats (just havent gotten things defined yet but it will be summertime when the seas have laid down)...I would like to think I could come up with a way of covering the bow with more than just the canvas.
     
  10. chuck1

    chuck1 Super Moderator TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 3, 2006
    North GA Mountains
    Looking For Next One
    Looking For Next One
    Taradise,
    I've tried to stay out of this one, get ready for a bunch of BS. Some people don't understand the concept of planing and think you would go out in 6' seas or when the weather is changing. With the right training, planning, weather and group not a problem.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2008
  11. Taradise

    Taradise New Member

    170
    Sep 5, 2007
    Acworth, GA
    EXACTLY! and you have to be flexible...if you get over there and cant get back on the day you planned you better be ready to 'wait it out'
     
  12. Four Suns

    Four Suns Head Pot Stirrer TECHNICAL Contributor

    Oct 4, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    2003 480 DB
    Zodiac ProJet Dinghy
    Yamaha 110vx WaveRunner
    QSM-11 Diesels
    This is one of Chuck's "buttons" that is fun to push.

    You'll probably make it just fine...

    Besides, I'm sure the weather guys are much better there than they are here. They can't predict the weather from 1 hour ago in this neck of the woods. The Gulfstream? In Florida? In the summer? I bet they have that prediction down to a very accurate science. Especially wave height prediction. Really... you can trust weather forcasts in Florida...

    You ever had your boat offshore before?
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2008
  13. chuck1

    chuck1 Super Moderator TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 3, 2006
    North GA Mountains
    Looking For Next One
    Looking For Next One

    :lol::smt043:lol:
    I was trying to not let you push it.:smt021
    :lol::smt043:lol:

    I'm telling. Wesley, Gary is playing with my buttons again.

    :lol::smt043:lol:
     
  14. Woody

    Woody Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Nov 20, 2007
    N. Wisconsin/Lk Superior
    2005 420DA
    Cummins 6CTA8.3
    I hope I didn't stir things up by asking. Back in the original Bahamas thread it seemed that some BR guys were determined to make the trip so I was just wondering how it went. It was that thread if I remember correctly that generated my first CSR post. After running my 270SD around on Lake Superior I have my opinion but won't repeat it now.
     
  15. Four Suns

    Four Suns Head Pot Stirrer TECHNICAL Contributor

    Oct 4, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    2003 480 DB
    Zodiac ProJet Dinghy
    Yamaha 110vx WaveRunner
    QSM-11 Diesels
    Why? That's exactly what the board needs... someone to post real world experiences... heck... the rest of us are just sitting in the library bored out of our minds.

    Post away!
     
  16. barryg

    barryg New Member

    959
    Jun 24, 2007
    Fort Lauderdale
    2005 320 Sundancer, Garmin 5208
    Twin V-Drives 350 Mags
    I went with about 20 boats in June from Fort Lauderdale to Bimini in an early (7am) crossing and even though calm seas and 1-2's were called for, when we got out into the Gulfstream, it was more like 3's and 4's and very uneven, and even in my 320 it was a rough ride over. Out of the 20 boats there was one bowrider that ventured out but turned around within the first 45 minutes. The trip back had seas less than 1' and we cut about an hour off the trip (and burned a lot less fuel!!)... If you can wait for those flat days then yes you can make it no problem, but as unpredictable as things are, I would not do it.
     
  17. Taradise

    Taradise New Member

    170
    Sep 5, 2007
    Acworth, GA
    I've had my 240SD 18 miles out in the gulf on a nice day - not a problem...
    Crossed the bay in Tampa with it...no problem (watch out for the 'rollers' from the barges)
    BUT was never in anything above 2 footers and that is really about as high as I would want to go in a BR off shore.
     
  18. Morpheus

    Morpheus New Member

    May 7, 2007
    Odessa, FL
    2006 SeaRay Sundeck 240
    5.0MPI Mercruiser w/ Bravo III
    This thread again huh. What Gary says is true and is the only reason I've not tried it and don't go far off shore with my boat.

    I'm sure all the bow riders are the same they do not drain worth a crap and guess where they drain to, the bildge right onto the engine (nice design) so you know what that means the only way the water is getting out is via your bildge pump I sure do hope you have a big/fast one.

    What's really funny to me is the 2 sinks in the 240SD drain over the side but the deck and lockers all drain to the bildge where you then have to turn on the bildge pump to drain.

    I found out the hardway on this and also that my automatic bildge wasn't working. Spent a week with the boat in the water during love bug season (messy) so every day I washed down the boat not fully realizing all the water I washed the boat with was going into the bildge and finally I a trip out it seemed like the boat was sitting low in the water and then I heard a belt sqeek so guess what I found when I opened up the hatch, HOLY MOLY a crap load of water all the way up to the bottom of the engine. :smt021

    Your bildge pump might take care of 1 wave over the bow but it's not gonna handle much more then 1 in a short period of time.
     
  19. chuck1

    chuck1 Super Moderator TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 3, 2006
    North GA Mountains
    Looking For Next One
    Looking For Next One
    Barry,

    Was it this trip you are taling about? Are you saying it was the Sundeck that went with you that turned back now?

    http://clubsearay.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9996&page=3

     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2008
  20. CSR_Admin

    CSR_Admin Administrator Staff Member

    Mar 10, 2004
    A BR is certainly capable of making the trip 99 out of 100 with reasonable planning. However, the boat is not designed to handle adversity in the open ocean should you encounter something unexpected. This pretty much sums it up. Plenty of big boats meet their fate doing that crossing for one reason or another. So there are safer things you can do with your time no matter what boat you are on, the cards are just stacked a little more against you in a non-self-bailing bow rider. If that's the only boat I owned and I wanted to go to the Bahamas I would do it by all means. I'd probably borrow an epirb and an alternative form of flotation too, like even a Seveylor raft. You can probably find a local place that rents liferafts and epirbs.
     

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