Don’t underestimate the power of a bass boat. Rough water isn’t much of a problem if you get the right gear and brave up.
In addition to requiring the Boat Safety Gear Bag (Available on Amazon) to secure your kit, you need a license and the right skills to drive bass boat in rough water.
Because it can be risky for beginners, and even professionals alike.
Getting a boating license is easier than the one required for driving a car.
What could be the possible reasons? Maybe driving a car seems to be more tricky than a boat.
But no time for arguments.
That said, a real boater is the one who had come across the rough waters. This article will help you to encounter the rough waters effectively.
Selection of Boat For Rough Waters
Selecting a boat suitable for the rough waters is crucial. The boat must hold an engine of 150 horsepower or even more.
Gunwales (side walls) of the boat also decide the fate of the people in it. If the gunwales are smaller — they could bury in water when making a hard turn.
520 rangers boat holds increased bow flare, soft ride seats and forwarded cockpit which make it better than other bass boats.
This boat’s more forwarded center of gravity prevents the bow’s lift when it hits a wave. If the bow rises too much the boat will fall back and stab In the next wave.
When floating through hard waters much is left on the boat performance. V-shape of the bow, trimming, width and the precise alignment are the decisive factors.
Before departing the dock it is best to check all the necessary gears.
Using 4 Blade Props
When departing the dock, leave 3 blade props there. Driving through rough waters is ideally fit with 4 or 5 blade props. 3 blade props do not provide sufficient thrust to the boat.
Insufficient thrust will lead to the failure of boat climbing on the face of a wave. Eventually, the boat will fall back into the water.
Use of stainless steel four blades 14 5/8” * 17” prop is the best in rough waters. This prop holds top speed/light 41.9 mph at 5,766 rpm. And top speed heavy 41.8 mph at 5,820 rpm.
These four blades prop is popular among the boaters because it really holds well in rough waters. This offers the best reverse and turns capability to the boat.
However, use of extra blade may cause an extra drag thus lowering the top speed. But it is negligible in modern and small boats.
Get on Top or Cut the Waves
Some boaters suggest trimming down to cut through the wave. They shot up a hole through the wave and then release the throttle way down.
Driving the boat on rough waters also depends on the boat performance, limits and the driver’s ability. Boat’s motor power, V-shape of the bow and the angles are also crucial.
So as long as you are comfortable with driving fast you can. But if you are not feeling comfortable then do not do it.
However, it is better to go zigzag. Turn the throttle to climb the face of the wave and steering to slide the side. Then float down the back side smoothly.
Gaps between the waves also have a lot to do. Sometimes gaps are 10 feet, sometimes 2-3 feet. So if you can time them right and read accurately then the zigzag method is a lot safe and fun.
This method will take a bit longer. But it will save your boat and the people in it.
Cruising the Rough Water
The first rule for driving on rough waters is to get out your boat to the safe bank. The protected bank is always opposite to the wind direction.
This will give you the least hard situation to run in, less disaster to your boat and the people in it. You could spoil in the middle of rough waters otherwise.
You can run in waves up to 2 footers at 20-40 mph preventing the props to blow out of the water. In waves higher than 2 feet you need to slow down and read the waves carefully.
As soon as you missed to read them sooner you could take one of them over the bow.
Running straight into the big rollers is an inevitable disaster. Instead, you need to run on troughs of the waves that is relatively smooth water.
Even though a big crest can push you back into the previous wave flooding out the motor and mashing the boat. This is how the 90 percent boats swamp down in rough waters.
It is a fact, that no matter how hard the wind is blowing there are some waves that do not follow the pattern. Instead, they raise all of sudden and can be dangerous.
Many boaters have this bad experience. Wave patterns usually follow the wind direction. But they can start rolling parallel instead of horizontal.
Bass boat has small gunwales (side walls). When waves roll parallel the water can fill the boat easily.
You can run the top of some small waves but not the higher ones. Sooner or later it will prove fatal. However, you can run the top if you can time them right and the waves have a steady pattern.
You can run the big stuff as well but the risk factor goes way up.
So, while floating on rough waters strictly watch the wave pattern. This will help you to live another day for fishing.
In most situations, you need not making hard turns. But when in rough waters you have to make some hard and sudden turns.
Hard turns can cause the passengers falling off of the boat. And if you are not an expert you could bury the gunwale or spin your boat.
Before making any sharp turn, make sure that the passengers are attentive and check all around to avoid any sudden collision with other watercraft.
Generally, the props rotate in the right direction, tilting the bow slightly to the left, even if though it is correctly aligned.
So, it is easier to turn the boat to the left instead of turning in the right direction. A cunning boat driver keeps the aspect in account while making hard turns in rough waters.
Go Slow and Steady
The fundamental rule for driving through the hard waters is to go slow and steady.
The faster you go the harder you face the situations. Speedy driving imparts less time to read the wave patterns and to time them accurately.
Define your direction and the angle effectively. Large rollers can blow over the boat before you can react.
In general, go slow, wisely, avoid punching through the waves and live to fish another day.
Put on Safety Gears
Everyone on the boat should wear life jackets that fit them properly. Safety gears have no concern with the fact that either you are a good swimmer or not. Falling off of the fast-moving boat can make you unconscious.
The boat driver should clip the kill switch with their wrist. If the driver falls into the water the cord will be detached automatically. Hence, the engine will stop immediately.
When on rough waters, the driver should tell all passengers to sit cunningly. Sudden rise and fall of the bow can cause the passengers to fall off of the boat.
Pack a Spare
When setting off for the rough waters, make sure to carry spare wears with you. Salty water stings the skin when dried up after wetting the clothes. These spare wears must include a coat and a pair of gloves as well.
In severe climate situations, when a boater is 30 minutes away from the shore, he or she might come back when the hypothermia sets in.
Harsh climatic situations can only be faced with the help of spare clothes and coats.
This will not only protect your skin but also cut the air resistance, running into your face directly.
Disconnect Electrical Equipment
Suppose you were caught by a storm which brought lightning with it, you need to turn off all the electrical equipment in the boat. The lightning in the storm may cause the short circuit or an electrical shock.
Unfortunately, a short circuit may lead the failure of electric supply to the engine and could even result in catching on fire.
Whether you’re a beginner boat or experienced, these tips can help you enjoy your ride in the open and rough waters. Above all, it’s always good to go with someone when you’re on tempestuous waters. “Everyone needs a helping hand sometimes,” echoed Michael Yanueu