Boating with a crosswave: here’s how to behave


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After seeing how to deal with waves in the stern and bow today let’s look at how to take the boat when they are sideways.

Boat, here’s how to behave in a transverse wave

This is a condition that is usually well tolerated by boats with a low center of gravity, such as open powerboats, and causes some difficulty for flying bridges. In these cases, action is taken on the flaps to counteract the lateral thrust of waves and wind and straighten the hull. Trims should generally be kept low to avoid propeller cavitation during rolling. It is also necessary to maneuver the rudder wheel to keep the boat on course, correcting for both sudden changes in direction caused by waves and the effects of drift and roll. With rough seas, it is mainly the technical characteristics of the boat that determine comfort on board. If conditions do not allow for acceptable or safe navigation it will be advisable to revise one’s course, for example, choosing to break it into two directions that will allow one to face the waves alternately with masons and with giardinetti. Much of the arguments concerning boats equipped with a single engine, and particularly small and medium-sized boats equipped with outboards, can be analogous to those reported for the inflatable boat.

Deep V-shaped fairing

Some differences are found when the hull has a pronounced V-shaped hull (typical of boats of higher displacement, deep-sea fishing, or designed to cope with even rough seas), or when the motorization is an inboard type. In contrast to flat hulls, the accentuated V-shaped sections result in a smoother transition over the wave and greater course stability, limiting drifting and ultimately favoring even rather sharp maneuvers. Inboard motorization (actually quite rare on smaller yachts) makes the phenomena associated with lateral propeller rotation in the stern feet and outboards themselves less noticeable. Indeed, it should be remembered that the presence of the stern foot or outboard eliminates the use of the rudder, which is indispensable by having a shaft line. The difference results mainly in the responsiveness to course change.


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