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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Re: Big Waves.......Bassboats [Re: Ranger1] #13797422 12/07/20 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Ranger1
This thread is old

Therefore no longer relevant.


GOD is good!
Moritz Chevrolet - 9101 Camp Bowie W Blvd, Fort Worth, TX - Monte Coon (817) 696-2003
Re: Big Waves.......Bassboats [Re: Ken A.] #13797425 12/07/20 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Ken A.
In a word, Yes. It is unlikely your motor will break off but I can tell you from experience that running across big water in any boat, no matter the age, can be detrimental especially in an older boat that may have wooden stringers.

Modern day top of the line boats are built much better than they were 25 years ago. Fiberglass flexes as you run across big waves. That is normal. This can cause the stringers to come loose from the bottom of the hull. Most of the boat builders used a "chopper gun" to literally spray fiberglass cloth and resin into the molds 20 years ago. This is a tool that would pull fiberglass rope off a spool and chop it into pieces about 1" long while mixing it with resin. Then a guy would spray this mixture into the mold around the wooden stringers & cross members to build the hull.

Yes even the premium Arkansas boat builders did it. It saved time & labor opposed to hand laying fiberglass cloth then hand rolling the resin and cloth into place around the wood.

They also used wooden 2X4's & 2X6's for the stringers & cross members in the construction of their boats. This was common practice. In 1997 Earl Bentz introduced Triton as the "World's First Wood Free" bassboat. I worked their booth at the Dallas Boat Show that year and we had a piece of firewood in the boat with a sign that said, "This is the only wood in this boat"

You can imagine what happens to a piece of wood that gets soaked with water then sits 20 years. Even utilizing a "hand laid" process during boat building it was very difficult to ensure all the wood was completely encapsulated in fiberglass. If you have ever knocked off a piece of gelcoat on the bottom of your boat by idling thru the stumps or getting up on a metal tee post it creates a breach in the outer protective layer of the hull. Then as you run down the lake the flexing of the hull and the force of the water gradually peels more & more gelcoat off the boat, allowing water to get in behind the gel and into the fiberglass. Depending on the porosity of the fiberglass, now you have water intrusion.

You may not notice any issues for years. Then one day you notice there is a puddle under your boat after the trailer bunks are dry. You take it to a fiberglass repair shop and they lift it off the trailer. At that moment you recall the day you got stuck on a tee post in Birch Creek 5 yrs prior and had to use the big motor to get off. You went on and finished your day then put the boat on the trailer and forgot about it. For 5 years......

The FG guy tells you he is going to have to pull the entire top of the boat off the hull and completely rebuild your stringer system due to 70% of the wood being rotted. Then he hands you an estimate for $16,000.00 for your 20 year old boat that is worth maybe $20K.

That may be TMI but I have been down this road and experience is the best teacher.


That would be Allison about 10 years prior.

Re: Big Waves.......Bassboats [Re: JoseyWales34] #13797439 12/07/20 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by JoseyWales34
Originally Posted by Lone_Wolf
Originally Posted by JoseyWales34
So, we got caught out on Whitney a couple weeks ago at the High School Tourney in some pretty bad waves. Being newer to owning a bass boat (always had pleasure boats) what is the best way to take on those waves and be able to get back to the ramp safely.

Running a 92 Ranger 481V

Listen to those interviews, he explains it and whitney ain't got sh@t on the great lakes.


I will.

I've been on the water in some shape or form my whole life and this was the first time I was scared. Not something we will do again if we can help it.


There are several good videos on how to drive a bass boat in big waves.

Here is one on what NOT to do...turn the volume down if you don't want to hear cussing. winking

[video:youtube]S1-2LA06700424[/video]


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Re: Big Waves.......Bassboats [Re: JoseyWales34] #13797942 12/08/20 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by JoseyWales34


I will.

I've been on thewater in some shape or form my whole life and this was the first time I was scared. Not something we will do again if we can help it.

FYI is the rough water setup episode with Scalish not the one I posted a few month back. I went and checked youtube and there are like 5 episodes with him, they are all good.

Last edited by SC-001; 12/08/20 03:30 AM.
Re: Big Waves.......Bassboats [Re: BassPontoon] #13797975 12/08/20 03:58 AM
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Originally Posted by BassPontoon
My set up is a 26' pontoon for bass fishing... Big waves aren't a problem. Wind is a different story lol.


Typically wind and big waves go hand in hand unless you are on a metro lake in the summer.

Re: Big Waves.......Bassboats [Re: Rockfisherman] #13798004 12/08/20 04:40 AM
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While wave height will beat you up and damage your boat, the most dangerous situations are moderate to big waves with wide spacing.
Even with greatly reduced speed, if wave tops are 10 to 15 feet apart, your gonna have issues.

Having run the Tennessee River chain of lakes for many years, I can tell you there is a lot more damage incurred from guys playing submarine with barge wake waves on clear calm days than any other situation. (talking the big rollers that form behind the tug in the main channel.) Ripped off trolling motors, wind shields, lost electronics, fully swamped boats, etc.
Big white caps across the whole lake tends to slow everyone down from the get go. But you can run 70 down the main channel on a flat day and if your not paying attention, get the surprise of your life.

Re: Big Waves.......Bassboats [Re: Rockfisherman] #13798019 12/08/20 04:57 AM
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I spent the last 6 1/2 years of my career on the crew of Dallas Fire Dept's Marine 1 on Ray Hubbard. Hubbard being around 22,000 acres at full pool isn't the largest lake, probably more in the small to medium category. But it can get a little rough and nasty at times. And those are the times we usually had to make calls on the water.

We ran a 28 foot 2005 Sea Ark with twin 200 Mercury Verados for my first 5 1/2 years and we got a new Lake Assault 28 foot boat with twin 250 Honda motors, in my last year before retiring. Both boats, especially the Lake Assault boat, have the capabilities to operate in 4+ foot seas. The worst, I remember, was in March at around 1 am having to rescue 2 people from a 18 foot v-hull boat in sustained NNW winds of 36 mph and gusts in the 50-55mph range. (those are he numbers I got from the national weather service) It was dark but from the lights we had I would venture to say we had to navigate 3-4 footers. I was probably in winds over 30 mph, on the water, 30-40 times in those 6 1/2 years. It's an eye opener for sure. Biggest waves in daylight were 4+ feet (measured from the water line to the crest of the wave) rescuing 2 guys out of a smaller boat that was sinking from being swamped.

Our boat was a big deep boat, that weighed over 12,000 pounds and has 500 horsepower and it wasn't much fun to drive in those conditions. I know, as I drove the boat on our shift most of the time. I could not imagine being in a bass boat, that's shorter than 22 feet and weighs less than 3K pounds, in true 3-4 footers. I am sure it can be done, but not by me. At least not on purpose.

I always kind of laugh to myself when a guy in an 18 foot champion says he crossed Rayburn in a 35 mph north wind and his boat "handled it well". From being involved in the design and spec process of our Lake Assault boat, I confirmed what I already knew, bass boats are not designed to run true "big water" . Can it be done, yes. Can it be done without true risk to your equipment and well being, probably not. Though I am guilty of having my boats out in conditions I shouldn't have, many times over the years. You live and learn.

Anyways that's just my 2cents on rough water.


“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

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Re: Big Waves.......Bassboats [Re: 9094] #13798056 12/08/20 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by 9094
Originally Posted by BassPontoon
My set up is a 26' pontoon for bass fishing... Big waves aren't a problem. Wind is a different story lol.


Typically wind and big waves go hand in hand unless you are on a metro lake in the summer.


You’re correct, I’m on Lake Conroe...


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Re: Big Waves.......Bassboats [Re: Douglas J] #13798228 12/08/20 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Douglas J
I spent the last 6 1/2 years of my career on the crew of Dallas Fire Dept's Marine 1 on Ray Hubbard. Hubbard being around 22,000 acres at full pool isn't the largest lake, probably more in the small to medium category. But it can get a little rough and nasty at times. And those are the times we usually had to make calls on the water.

We ran a 28 foot 2005 Sea Ark with twin 200 Mercury Verados for my first 5 1/2 years and we got a new Lake Assault 28 foot boat with twin 250 Honda motors, in my last year before retiring. Both boats, especially the Lake Assault boat, have the capabilities to operate in 4+ foot seas. The worst, I remember, was in March at around 1 am having to rescue 2 people from a 18 foot v-hull boat in sustained NNW winds of 36 mph and gusts in the 50-55mph range. (those are he numbers I got from the national weather service) It was dark but from the lights we had I would venture to say we had to navigate 3-4 footers. I was probably in winds over 30 mph, on the water, 30-40 times in those 6 1/2 years. It's an eye opener for sure. Biggest waves in daylight were 4+ feet (measured from the water line to the crest of the wave) rescuing 2 guys out of a smaller boat that was sinking from being swamped.

Our boat was a big deep boat, that weighed over 12,000 pounds and has 500 horsepower and it wasn't much fun to drive in those conditions. I know, as I drove the boat on our shift most of the time. I could not imagine being in a bass boat, that's shorter than 22 feet and weighs less than 3K pounds, in true 3-4 footers. I am sure it can be done, but not by me. At least not on purpose.

I always kind of laugh to myself when a guy in an 18 foot champion says he crossed Rayburn in a 35 mph north wind and his boat "handled it well". From being involved in the design and spec process of our Lake Assault boat, I confirmed what I already knew, bass boats are not designed to run true "big water" . Can it be done, yes. Can it be done without true risk to your equipment and well being, probably not. Though I am guilty of having my boats out in conditions I shouldn't have, many times over the years. You live and learn.

Anyways that's just my 2cents on rough water.


I spent 40 years working in the Gulf of Mexico oil/drilling industry and know what a true 5 footer looks like and much like you I always chuckle when I hear these keyboard commandos bragging about flying across the lake in 4 footers. Never been the bassboat produced that'll run any rate of speed in 4 footers or three footers for that fact. I run a BassCat and it rides horribly in anything more than a really stiff chop and neither have the Champions, Skeeters, Rangers,Tritons, etc I've ridden in. I've been on Rayburn and Falcon following strong cold fronts in what I estimated to be true 4 footers and believe me there were ZERO boats up on plane those days. It was simply, keep the nose up, try not to spear a wave and pray.


Re: Big Waves.......Bassboats [Re: Rockfisherman] #13798351 12/08/20 03:16 PM
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Falcon, Amistad, Big Sam, Toledo and other that come to mind. Continue to remind me how dangerous big water is. Best to just stay home and not test how your boat does in big water.

My 921 does as good as most and it still sucks on Rayburn when it gets rough.

I bet the great lakes get crazy rough.

Last edited by Billy Blazer 300 HPDI; 12/08/20 03:17 PM.

Thanks, Billy
Re: Big Waves.......Bassboats [Re: Rockfisherman] #13798354 12/08/20 03:17 PM
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Running with the wind will kill you in big rollers. And yes, I've run on plane on Rayburn in true 4-5 footers just not into them or with them. Gotta be able to read the water and tack with the waves. And the specific time I speak about was in a 17'10" Ranger 363. Got caught in Veach, way back in the back, when a front blew in (yes, I knew it was coming but I was catching fish). Well the spring time front blew through as a storm front complete with lightening and probably 40mph gusts. I had launched at Caney. My choices were spend the night on shore in a protected cove or cross the lake. I crossed. Couldn't see more than 200-300 feet and ended up coming out closer to Sandy Creek (this was before I had GPS). Sitting in the troughs I was easily looking up at the wave tops. I never took more than spray over this very shallow sided Ranger. Had to stay on plane or take water over the bow or gunnels.

I also, before I learned to drive a bassboat, ripped a windshield off this same boat spearing a wave. Learning curve on Rayburn can be dramatically sharp.

So, I'm not bragging about crossing the lake in bigger waves than Rayburn usually produces but just making a point that it can be done if you have driving skills. I will be the first to admit that I was praying crossing Rayburn that day. I was stupid for even going to Veach knowing we had weather coming. I had my 17 year old nephew with me who is around 40 now. Best advice I can give is get plenty of seat time, learn to read the water, never go straight with the wind in big rollers, and learn to tack in big water. I crossed Rayburn many times on blustery spring days in the shallow Ranger and those boats, while good fishing platforms for a smaller boat, were terrible rough water boats. There were also plenty of days I just turned around and stayed in the coves too.


Advice? Wise men don't need it. Fools won't heed it.

Re: Big Waves.......Bassboats [Re: BassPontoon] #13798970 12/09/20 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by BassPontoon
Originally Posted by 9094
Originally Posted by BassPontoon
My set up is a 26' pontoon for bass fishing... Big waves aren't a problem. Wind is a different story lol.


Typically wind and big waves go hand in hand unless you are on a metro lake in the summer.


You’re correct, I’m on Lake Conroe...


One of the few lakes that I can think of that you can have ZERO wind and waves coming from all directions due to the boat traffic and retaining walls. I didn't fish much this summer in the daylight hours. It's so much more peaceful getting on the water at like 11:00 at night and being able to actually enjoy being on the water.


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Re: Big Waves.......Bassboats [Re: Monty Wright] #13799021 12/09/20 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Monty Wright
[quote=BassPontoon]

One of the few lakes that I can think of that you can have ZERO wind and waves coming from all directions due to the boat traffic and retaining walls. I didn't fish much this summer in the daylight hours. It's so much more peaceful getting on the water at like 11:00 at night and being able to actually enjoy being on the water.


I’ve done that some as well. Usually I’m fishing from about 530 am til about 8 or 9 am and then letting the wakeboard boats enjoy. Definitely a little lighter now that’s it’s cooled down. My pontoon doesn’t mind big waves though, I can’t imagine riding in a bass boat anymore lol. I’ve been in my share of rough waters in them and I’m ok with my bus these days. A trolling motor and a 26’ toon is great for me!


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Re: Big Waves.......Bassboats [Re: Rockfisherman] #13799714 12/09/20 04:05 PM
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I really love my “walleye boat.” It’s a 1989 Ranger 680T that I’ve owned since 1990. Still in great shape and works really well in wavy, stormy seas. I wouldn’t take it onto the Great Lakes in a gale force wind, but it’s great in most western and Texas waters during rough seas. If it gets much beyond 15-20 mph, I’m likely to be hiding in protected areas anyway since I don’t love fishing in potentially life-threatening conditions. But I’m a wimp. Stay safe out there!


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