Before heading to the Pacific ocean for our first time (we live in Colorado), are there any classes we should take to make our trip more safe/ enjoyable? We will be on our 27 foot Azure open bow rider. Like I said, this will be our first time on the ocean and we know nothing about navigation or how our boat will react to the huge waves. However, we have been boating on Lake Powell of eight years.

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Categories: Dear UBI

2 Responses

  1. Derrick S says:

    There are NO classroom lessons that can prepare you for the open Pacific Ocean. You can take a "Seamanship" class to learn the basics of seamanship, but the only way to learn the Ocean is the school of hard knocks. The Pacific is very unforgiving and a Bowrider boat is the wrong kind of boat for it. Every boat that goes out into the ocean is pretty much a "Closed" bow boat. I own three boats myself. A Sport Boat, an Express Cruiser and a 60′ Motor Yacht. All operate and have a set mission in the boating world. My Sport boat NEVER sees anything but lakes and is used for wake boarding and water skiing. The Express Cruiser is trailered everywhere and can be used on the lake (our Base Boat) and open water fishing / cruising in the Pacific Ocean. The motor yacht is for long distance cruising (currently in Alaska) and Blue Water cruising.

    You’ll need to learn how to read a paper chart, find your position and plot a course. You’ll learn those basics in a Seamanship course from the US Power Squadron or the US Coast Guard Aux. NEVER bet your life on your GPS. They can fail and do fail.

    I’d tell you to boat the bays and coastal range of the Pacific. Never venture any farther than 5 miles out, and have at least Type 2 "Offshore" life jackets for everybody on board. You’ll also need an Emergency Signaling kit too. These will have flares, smoke devices and a flare gun. It’s required for any Ocean ventures.

    I live in the SF Bay Area and have gone out into the Pacific Ocean since I was 8 y/o. It’s a whole different world out there. I’ve completed a sailing trip to/from Hawaii, cruised to Mexico and now I’m in Alaska for the summer. Your boat is NOT engineered for the Ocean. Sorry, just a fact. I’ve taken friends that thought they knew boating and the ocean and have seen them cower out there and tell me to get them back to safe water.

  2. Capt. John says:

    I really hate being negative. I really do. I am just a born and raised positive thinker…
    But. . . your vessel is not a coastal or ocean going vessel. It is a "bow-rider" – which means one wave over your bow, one ocean swell too steep, and your boat is swamped. It will be instantly dead in the water, totally submerged, and only its required flotation foam will prevent it from not sinking to the bottom.
    I think you are going to be in for a shock… If you’ve been boating on Lake Powell, you need to be aware that Lake Powell’s waves at their largest, aren’t near as big as the Pacific coast line’s at their smallest.
    Now, the good news is, California has plenty of Bays and protected coastal areas that are fantastic – and that is where you will find the best, safe, boating area for your boat.
    I’m sorry, but you simply have the wrong kind of boat to be out on the open ocean.
    Think about it… They surf in California. There is no surfing in Lake Powell.

    Happy and Safe Boating,
    John

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