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Preparing and Using a Riverboat Offshore

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Preparing and Using a Riverboat Offshore

Postby whee » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:28 pm

My brother keeps telling me about his offshore fishing trips and it sounds like a blast. Tuna fishing sounds awesome. He also tells me there is no way I could set up my boat to run 40mi offshore as is necessary to chase tuna.

Anyone here setup and use their river boat to run offshore? What is needed to be safe and reasonable comfortable?
I'm brand new to jet boats so don't listen to anything I say.
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Re: Preparing and Using a Riverboat Offshore

Postby Idamainer » Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:15 am

Well first off, fuel and lots of it.
1999, 21 ft Northwest Jet Signature Series, 7.4l fuel injected, Hamilton 212 pump
Former boat 2006 18ft Jetcraft Whitewater, 240 hp sportjet....a rocket on the water
Currently from Henderson, North Carolina running the waters of the Roanoke River.....previously from Star, Idaho
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Re: Preparing and Using a Riverboat Offshore

Postby FlyLow » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:56 am

Pick your days carefully and watch the weather
Buddy system don't go out alone
VHF radios, handheld attached to life vest
PLB
Redundant nav/compass

Some sort of pain killer, because if it gets rough it's going to beat you up. Can't get away from the fact that river boats suck for rough water!
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Re: Preparing and Using a Riverboat Offshore

Postby NoProplem » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:27 am

I've had my boat out 45+ miles for halibut and tuna many times. While a river boat isn't ideal for offshore use, when it's the only boat ya got, whatcha gonna do? :Drink:
One thing I'd add is, be sure you have more fuel than you need, if it's gets rough and you have to run back in at 10 mph, you will burn a TON of fuel. My boat holds 99 gallons of fuel, and for long offshore trips I take 20 more in gas cans.
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Re: Preparing and Using a Riverboat Offshore

Postby whee » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:37 am

Thanks guys.

I've purchased the material to have a 100gal step tank built and can either leave one saddle tank (26gal) in or leave the provisions to reinstall one for long trips. Sounds like 126gal should be enough fuel.

I'm going to purchase a PLB soon and plan to buy a Garmin Inreach next spring.

Installing a VHF radio is on the list for this off-seasons work. I probably won't get handhelds for each person but having a backup on a pfd is a great idea. I usually also carry an aviation band radio in case things get real bad; someone is usually listening to the emergency frequency.

Noproblem, Besides fuel have you done anything else to make your trips more comfortable/less stressful?
I'm brand new to jet boats so don't listen to anything I say.
whee
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Re: Preparing and Using a Riverboat Offshore

Postby NoProplem » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:17 am

About the most valuable thing I think I've done to make offshore trips better for me and my boat is learning how to interpret weather forecasts to try and make an informed decision on go or no go. You can never be sure however, so you have to be willing to abort, even if you are part way out, not worth risking safety for a fish. I've turned around a few times, always glad I did, even if I lost a day of fishing.
Equipment wise, sounds like you are on the right track, think about keeping a "ditch bag" on board for the worst case scenario. Don't forget flare gun and flares, keep an extra in ditch bag, and consider a handheld vhf in there as well.
As far as the boat goes, as long as you keep it well maintained (as a pilot I'm sure you do) and are comfortable that's it's 100% reliable, then I would say go fishing and have fun. If by chance you are heading out of one of the central coast Oregon ports, hit me up before you go and I'll help all I can! :Drink:
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Re: Preparing and Using a Riverboat Offshore

Postby Bob L » Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:24 pm

Take lots of Corrosion X or something similar. Those pumps are not meant for salt. My pump seized over the winter because I did not dump it in fresh water-I only hand rinsed it and ran fresh water through the engine with the hose. Do not leave it in salt water for more than 24 hours. The pump paint will start pitting too, even after hand rinsing the boat. After running in salt, Its best to immediately dump the boat in fresh water and run it for a few minutes (even just on the trailer) to get the salt off, and out of the heat exchanger. If you are raw water cooling, don't even think about putting it in salt. Any spray that gets on engine parts will corrode as well, especially bolts. My engine and pump paint do not have the same shine it used to.
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Re: Preparing and Using a Riverboat Offshore

Postby riverbent » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:24 pm

We ran a 20' for a few seasons in the ocean. Bow sits lower in the water than a purpose built does. Had weather blow up quick on us a couple times and was a struggle getting in. The length of the boat caused the low bow to dive into the waves and had to really work the throttle and steering to keep them from coming over the windshield. Extra bilge pumps, a good size anchor and rode along with a reliable kicker as well. Also found kelp and other crap in the water to be a pain as it will build up on the intake and cavitate the pump. If you don't have a stomp grate get a rake or something to clean it. Second time we got caught was enough to send me boat shopping again. Safety first. Have 2 boats now.
18' Valco- 115/80 Evinrude (in the works)
20' Alicraft- 5.7 with 773 Hami (sold)
245 Sea Ray- 5.7 Bravo 2
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Re: Preparing and Using a Riverboat Offshore

Postby whee » Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:27 am

NoProplem wrote: If by chance you are heading out of one of the central coast Oregon ports, hit me up before you go and I'll help all I can! :Drink:

Thanks NP!

Bob L wrote:Take lots of Corrosion X or something similar. Those pumps are not meant for salt. My pump seized over the winter because I did not dump it in fresh water-I only hand rinsed it and ran fresh water through the engine with the hose. Do not leave it in salt water for more than 24 hours. The pump paint will start pitting too, even after hand rinsing the boat. After running in salt, Its best to immediately dump the boat in fresh water and run it for a few minutes (even just on the trailer) to get the salt off, and out of the heat exchanger. If you are raw water cooling, don't even think about putting it in salt. Any spray that gets on engine parts will corrode as well, especially bolts. My engine and pump paint do not have the same shine it used to.

No part of my boat has any shine to it but I do plan to put it in fresh water after running in the salt. Do people use Corrosion X on their boats? I treated my previous airplane with Corrosion X, maybe it was ACF 50, and it made such a sticky mess I don't think I'd want it anywhere near my boat.

riverbent wrote:We ran a 20' for a few seasons in the ocean. Bow sits lower in the water than a purpose built does. Had weather blow up quick on us a couple times and was a struggle getting in. The length of the boat caused the low bow to dive into the waves and had to really work the throttle and steering to keep them from coming over the windshield. Extra bilge pumps, a good size anchor and rode along with a reliable kicker as well. Also found kelp and other crap in the water to be a pain as it will build up on the intake and cavitate the pump. If you don't have a stomp grate get a rake or something to clean it. Second time we got caught was enough to send me boat shopping again. Safety first. Have 2 boats now.

Come back on over the bar in my brothers main concern. The Almar has a small amount of bow rise and tall sides so maybe that will help a little. I have 3 bilge pumps with a 6500gph total capacity. Grate rake is in the boat. Kicker is on the list for this winters renovation work as is a stomp grate.
I'm brand new to jet boats so don't listen to anything I say.
whee
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Location: Idaho Falls

Re: Preparing and Using a Riverboat Offshore

Postby bigcat_ak » Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:54 pm

For me the most important thing to have is SEA SMARTS. Knowledge of the ocean and how to operate on it are #1 in my book. My Hewescraft is much more capable than I am in the ocean. My best trait is I know that. Just don't go out enough to learn. Be safe.
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