SkiffAmerica 20 Message Board
Not logged in [Login ]
Go To Bottom

Printable Version  
Author: Subject: How do you control the boat in a cross wind??
waffleman
Junior Member
**




Posts: 6
Registered: 7/22/10
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 10/7/14 at 07:41 PM
How do you control the boat in a cross wind??


At low speeds or docking, etc. any suggestions on handling the boat in high cross winds. Any suggestings on modifications, maybe installing 2 or 3 keel strips 3/4x3/4 inch or larger size? Also thinking about a forward mounted centerboard similar to that on a Dovkie sailboat. How about a leeboard?
View user's profile View All Posts By User
waffleman
Junior Member
**




Posts: 6
Registered: 7/22/10
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 10/27/14 at 04:58 PM


I`m amazed that 85 people have looked at my question and no one has had this problem with wind!
View user's profile View All Posts By User
genelueg
Junior Member
**




Posts: 55
Registered: 9/9/07
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 10/29/14 at 09:09 PM


Perhaps it hasn't been answered because we know you sold the boat. Most of the views were probably you checking to see if anyone answered. Smile. This list is pretty slow.

Anyway, yes, SA suffers from a lot of windage. I don't take my boat out by myself for fear of ramming a pier on my return. If you must go slow it can be done better in reverse but of course you can't load the boat onto your trailer backwards.

As for your suggestions I think Kilburn should answer that. I don't know of anybody who has tried either but that doesn't mean it hasn't been tried.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
steamer
Junior Member
**




Posts: 6
Registered: 12/1/08
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 10/31/14 at 07:23 AM


I am the proud new owner of the SA-20 built by Jerry Clements and dreamed about by many. I am Bud Johnson AKA Steamer or Steamerson.

While in MN Waffleman and I went for a ride on a beautiful lake on a very windy day. We both had difficulties compensating for the constantly changing winds. Steering a straight line was almost impossible unless going full throttle.

Two weeks later I was on the Erie Canal getting to know the boat. Returning from the Hudson River, west bound up the locks. At the top of the escarpment, the west end gates opened and the wind came in very hard. I was caught off guard.

I was blown off the wall and out of control. Several times I made corrections only to be blown about again and again. Once in control I had to fight to maintain control going into the wind to exit the lock. Unusual conditions for sure. I was lucky there were no other boats in the lock. I avoided the walls and no damage was done.

My thanks to Waffleman for pursuing this issue and thanks to Gene Lueg for your input.

Sincerely, Steamerson
View user's profile View All Posts By User
genelueg
Junior Member
**




Posts: 55
Registered: 9/9/07
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 12/12/14 at 12:08 AM


If you look at one of those high dollar bass boats used in the fishing tournaments you will notice they have designed out as much windage as they could. But they too have a fault. When they all rush back to the landing area to load their boats in a storm many sink as water rushes into the back of the boat. So yes, I would consider the high bow a negative of the boat in windy conditions. But I love the attention that she garners. Even on the Aransas Pass ferry a ferry controller (in a tower, they have 4 or 5 ferries in constant passage across this short distance) hollered down to me that he liked my boat. Hey, he sees hundreds of boats every day. Doubt that he hollers at very many.

But I too have experienced some trying condition, mostly at a pass between barrier strips on the ICW in Florida. Most knowledgeable designers will not touch the design of one of his peers and Kilburn says to not do ANYTHING to alter his design, especially below the gunnel.

Due to my love of the design and the respect I have for him for sharing in detail this wonderful craft to fit his 20 design parameters I have not done any alterations of note to mine.

By the way Steamer, I remember corresponding to you several years ago but think I finally lost your addy. Why don't you email me at genenkay at gmail dot com. Maybe y'll wanna come down south some time or we could meet up at the Rend Lake Messabout in S. Illinois. Kilburn and Bill go there every year. We had 5 SAs there one year but I haven't been lately.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
SkiffAmerica
Super Administrator
*********




Posts: 128
Registered: 7/19/04
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 12/13/14 at 11:53 AM
How to handle a boat in the wind


The solution to windy conditions is to know how. I learned a very valuable "How To" from a young employee of Nimble Boats who answered that question for me many years ago while he was checking us out on a Nimble 24 that a friend of mine had just purchased. Incredibly simple.

A power boat can hold a very specific position in the water by putting the stern into the wind. BY using reverse gear, steering and throttle that position can be maintained almost forever, until you run out of gas.

The ability to hold a very precise position is the beginning of understanding how we are going to be able to cope with winds while maneuvering for docking trailer loading, etc.

To practice find yourself a clear spot on the water. Move the boat to a spot you wish to maintain position. Using throttle, reverse gear (and sometimes forward gear) and steering..... maneuver the boat with aft end toward the wind. Hold that position. Do it until you can hold the boat in one spot very accurately. it turns out to be very easy with a little practice. The bow will naturally point downwind.

During practice you will note that you can shift the position you want to hold to any new position. If you want to move the boat slightly it is easy to do. The trick is to do everything very slowly. After a bit of practice you will also discover that you can easily correct for changes in wind velocity and direction. You become in control of your speed and position. Th wind is no longer an issue to be able to stop in the water and stay where you stopped.
Let's call it the ability to hold position.

Now that you have learned how to hold position in a wind and to even move that position to a new location, let us consider how we can use that ability. I will discuss docking first then discuss getting the boat on the trailer. These are the two most important skills you will ever learn in power boat handling. Effects of wind will be controlled. You will be in control. Thinking and planning will be useful to do it effortlessly. It is how I do it even if i have lots of crew. You don't need to be yelling at anyone. Calm and slow is important.

The wind is blowing hard. You need to dock. For our first example let's dock on the windward side. That isn't the preferred side but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Decide what part of the dock you want to first touch the bow. Move the boat, stern to wind, upwind of that spot you have picked. Using your newly found ability, slowly move the boat to the dock. Take all the time you need. The bow can be moved into that exact position you want. A helper on the dock or in the bow can easily manage the hold off or the tie up. But you can do it alone. The motor (using throttle, steering ,and gear shifting) and can be used to coax the boat exactly where you want it. If you find yourself hollering at someone else you are not doing something correctly. This really is easy.

If we are going to approach a dock from the leeward side we have an option similar to the windward side. We establish stern to the wind and hold position down wind of the dock. We then slowly back up to the dock. We have a number of options. We can get close enough to get a line on a cleat, throw a line to a helper, grab the dock ourselves, etc. ...so many options.

Getting the boat on a trailer sometimes take s little more planning........and thinking. The skill and ability to hold position is going to be used here too. If the wind is blowing the boat toward the trailer you will hold position just like approaching a dock. Slowly moving the boat to the trailer. If there is a dock at the ramp then you will first go to the dock where you will later use docking lines to manually put the boat onto the trailer. Many options on the easiest way to do all this ......depending on the situation......trick is to go slowly and deliberately. The need to adapt to slightly different situations is where you will put your own thinking into play. Work it out. Go slowly.

Now to add an important thing about the trailer and trailer guides. I find it best to located those vertical pipe guides (the ones made of white PVC pipe around a metal pipe) at the midpoint of trailer rather than the usual rear location. I position the vertical guides as close to the widest part of the boat as I can. That point will be near the aft cabin bulkhead. I set the guides for about 4 inches of clearance on each side.

With guides positioned as described. The loading of the boat becomes dramatically easier. We hold our position with the bow between the two guides. Then we slowly move forward into the "goal posts" The bow is held between the posts (guides). We can then use steering, throttle , and gear shifting to position out boat onto the trailer. Particularly helpful if no dock at the ramp. But also very helpful if manually moving the boat onto the trailer.

With the guides at the midpoint of the length of the boat we gain a point to use as a pivot when maneuvering with motor. If the wind is trying to move the bow we use the motor to keep the boat aligned properly. A guide post becomes a fulcrum/pivot point. If the posts were at the usual location seen on most trailers (aft end) we would run out of leverage to pivot the boat when that pivot point gets closer and closer to the transom. During the final positioning and aligning the hull into position on the trailer the guides are at the very best location we could ask for.......and we are left with the smallest gap between the "goal posts" and the hull.

One final comment. The high bow turns out to work to our benefit when maneuvering in a wind. And if we had anything under the hull that would impede the movement of the bow we would be at a disadvantage. We definitely don't want a centerboard. That would turn out to not be helpful.

This is all so easy to do but so hard to describe. One more time......GO SLOW and THINK.

I'll be happy to defend my views on this if anyone wants to argue. But most importantly I can give clarification or specific advice for a particular situation you can envision or may have experienced.

If things begin to happen faster than your mind can handle......and things can get out of hand faster than you can imagine......all hell can break lose if you start jamming in throttle, steering and gears..... props cavitate, things get confusing......and it won't be pretty. So once again.......SLOWLY. Your goal is to make it look as easy as it is. You will get better at it with practice.

Never add anything to the bottom of SkiffAmerica. The designer is correct about that. :)

Hope this helps........I have to take the blame for not putting this on the site before now. I have personally described this to people over the years, and sort of thought people would figure it out on their own. That was likely incorrect.....after all....someone told me.










View user's profile View All Posts By User
builder2
Junior Member
**




Posts: 9
Registered: 3/18/06
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 12/13/14 at 03:02 PM


There are a couple of things I might add. I like to use the wind when docking by positioning myself and letting the wind slowly float me to a point on the dock I can reach (the end of the dock is better). Once I have grabbed the dock I can fend off the boat and position it to line up with the trailer. Also tying up to a dock is easier with a cross wind--only a bow line is needed (see picture). If I can, I will have the trailer on the downwind side of the dock. With dock lines long enough (one attached to the bow and one to the stern) it is easy to guide the boat onto the trailer. During the last 14 years I have launched and retrieved my SkiffAmerica hundreds of times by myself. Being able to handle it alone is one of the many great advantages of the SkiffAmerica, Of course it was designed to be that way. It is easier if you have someone to help at the dock provided they do what you asked them to do.
Bill
View user's profile View All Posts By User
builder2
Junior Member
**




Posts: 9
Registered: 3/18/06
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 12/13/14 at 03:06 PM


The dock at Rend Lake June 2014.

tied up to the dock.jpg - 162kB
View user's profile View All Posts By User
SkiffAmerica
Super Administrator
*********




Posts: 128
Registered: 7/19/04
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 12/14/14 at 11:46 AM


Bill (builder2) has operated, launched and retrieved his SkiffA in MO, IL, IN, Iowa, KY , OK, TX, FL, AL, and probably some others that I have left out.

I am sure he has experienced some significant winds........because I was with him on some of those trips and it was windy. We were traveling on Kentucky lake once where we were the only boats on the lake all day. We didn't see any really big boats either. Way too windy for them.

He once asked me why I made the bow so high on SkiffAmerica. Now that he knows the answer from personal experience let's ask him to tell us.

You can also ask him more questions about operating in the wind.

I intend to continue this discussion so keep checking back for more on the subject.

[Edited on 12-21-2014 by SkiffAmerica]
View user's profile View All Posts By User
SkiffAmerica
Super Administrator
*********




Posts: 128
Registered: 7/19/04
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 12/21/14 at 09:52 AM


An opportunity to note where Bill has placed the guide posts on his trailer in the photo above.

They are ahead of the wheels and fenders as per my recommendations in my post of 12-13-2014.

That location is significantly better for launching and especially retrieving SkiffAmerica with trailer. If your guide posts (you do have guide posts, right?) are at the aft end of the trailer you should consider moving them forward to improve their function.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
stjoeguy
Junior Member
**




Posts: 3
Registered: 1/4/15
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 1/4/15 at 06:15 PM


Last year I bought the SA20 that Herb Story built. One of the first things I did was sign up to attend the Rend Lake 2014 Small Boat Meet. Kilburn took me for a ride on his SA20 and demonstrated some of the capabilities of the design. The lesson on how to control the boat in wind was invaluable for me especially since this is the first power boat that I have ever owned or driven much. His explanations above read like he had recorded our conversation. Believe me, it does work! Slow and practice are the take-aways for me.

[Edited on 1/4/15 by stjoeguy]
View user's profile View All Posts By User
cope
Junior Member
**




Posts: 41
Registered: 8/17/04
Location: Saint Charles Mo
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 6/27/15 at 12:54 PM


Wind is just one component of maintaining control. You know that it will have a profound effect on steerage since we have high free board, no weight and a flat bottom. Use the wind to your advantage when docking and trailering.

In my world of boating primarily on the Mississippi river, I have found that river current must also be taken into consideration with maneuvering. Wind and current can be tricky when beaching the boat on a crowded beach, but I have been able to squeeze my sa20 into some pretty tight spots and have never rubbed anyone.

Most marinas have a flag. Look for it and you will be able to determine speed and direction from it and adjust your low speed steering accordingly.

The #1 rule of docking/trailering/beaching a boat is to never approach faster than you are willing to hit it
View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User

  Go To Top

Powered by XMB 1.9.11
XMB Forum Software © 2001-2010 The XMB Group
[Queries: 17]