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First Boat Owner looking for advice

Breathless Blue

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Hi Raiders!

Short time listener, First time caller ?

im a very novice skipper looking for advice and im not sure im in the right spot but anyways here we go.

Bought my first boat a couple of weeks ago that the girlfriend didnt know about but i figured its easier to ask for forgiveness than permission ?

Stacer Nomad ModPod 5.63m plate side console

Evo V Advanced Hull

90 Honda 4 stroke on the ass

i have a couple of questions about some stuff before i start heading out with it

is there a rule of thumb for forecasting a trip with the weather? im thinking anything above 1.5m swell and 15knts is going to shave a couple years off my life with stress lines with the very minimal experience i have. strapping around in smooth water i can do fine and everything but im planning to head out a little further in future. i understand that experience of the skipper is what most of it comes down to i was just looking to see if there was any rough guidelines i could use to learn off.

Second question is, im planing on rewiring the boat from a single battery to a dual battery setup with a dc to dc charger but ill be wiring it 'light'. As it is a used boat, some of the wiring is a bit how ya goin and im not prepared to go out with my electrics in such a state. the current set up is a single battery, nav lights, plotter, depth sounder, single bilge pump. ive done my research on exactly what i want in my boat, the current draw of everything according to OEM specs and have found the batteries that i will need to cover that draw but not drop the house batt below a 50% SoC. the new setup im looking at is: Plotter Combo, 28mhz and VHF radio, dual bilge pumps, LED Deck and Nav Lights, Marine Stereo. as this all costs a bit of cashola that im sure all of us agree doesnt magically form in our pockets, im thinking im going to wire everything to the new setup but still run the old setup until i have bought everything. ive looked at the current draw difference between the new and old and all my older stuff draws less so im thinking that the wires ill use will be fine. am i on the right track or is there any other suggestions from experienced skippers??

I also put this boat in for a full 100 hr service and a thorough going over and there was a few problems with the outboard that was still good to go but i didnt like it so i threw 100 dollar notes at it and 2500 later shes all good. ive also bought all the proper safety gear for open waters and registered with VMR and the Epirb and everything.

Any advice about anything would be great guys and i appreciate heaps!!!

Tight Lines Happy Dayze!!


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Hi Jay,

First of all congrats on getting a new boat and your obviously still alive to write this post! Pheww!

To answer your first question, a rule of thumb I use is you don't want to be travelling in any wind greater than 1=knot to 1=foot of boat length.

E.g my 16ft boat I wouldn't travel in 16knots of wind.

I would suggest that travelling offshore is about confidence and experience, maybe ask someone to go with you, or follow another boat out and maybe go a bit further each time!

Happy boating and stay safe!

Cheers scratchie!!!

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Rule #1 Don't buy a boat without your partners consent......whoops!! :mad3:

I did the same thing and I thought I was very clever at the time, but, the long game is one that they are better at. :brucelee:

From my experience advice I can give would be.

1) Make a launch procedure list and laminate it so it lives in the boat. Always refer to this list until you have a routine locked in. You can save yourself a lot of trouble having this list. When I purchased my boat new the dealer provided a list.

2) Make sure you have all the saftey equipment. First Aid kits, V Sheets, Torches, Flares, Epirbs etc

3) Practice your trim. Best to learn trimming the boat properly in calm water. Don't want to be learning the effects of trim in a large following sea. Also practice your out of the hole trim settings

4) Always go out with 3x the fuel you will need.

5) Always wear your lifejacket

6) Show your crew the saftety gear and how to start and drive the boat.

7) Practice launching and retrieving yourself on calm days. You never know when you will be in a position where you are on your own. Planned or unplanned.

8) Never tie your Anchor off to any part of the boat other than the bow.

Dodgy electrics are a no go. Definitely sort that out. Can be expensive though.

I have a plate boat around the same size. I will go out in 2m or under. This depends on the distance between swells and direction. i.e where I am a Southerly Swell is always messier. Wind; I aim for under 10 knots or if one is lower i.e. .8m Swell I will go out in 12 knots. But depends on what sort of fishing you want to do. Anchoring and burleying then can be very windy and no worries but windy and swelly it's not fun. Plastics or botom bouncing and lots of wind are no fun as you drift to fast but bigger swell and low wind not so bad.

You just need to choose the days and get confidence.

Oh one more for the list 9) New boat you want to go for it but remember your crew may not like the ride. They don't have the wheel so take it easy on them.

10) If your partner is not into boating or is new to it then don't take her out on a learning mission or too far or too rough etc. You may frighten her. Take her to a lake or a harbour where you have been before and concentrate on the lifestyle aspect of boating. Make sure she thinks boats are the best.

A wifey who likes your boat is a wifey who also wants to spend money on your boat.

I had three long hard years in terms of boating when I decided to apologise rather than ask. And I made the mistake of giving her a fright in big swell and getting her seasick.


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firstly i own a 16 ft boat dual batteries with a 3 way selector and run battery cables not an expensive setup 3 way being bat 1 bat2 and both when on both they will both be charged by motor automatically but always check them before going out and i dont go out on any more than 1.5 or 10 /12 knts otherwise you cant hold bottom and it just not comfortable hope this helps

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As already mentioned having all the safety gear is a must , but make sure you and your crew know how to use it.

Like anything new , start small and work your way up.

Remember forecasts are often inaccurate, you may leave in 5knts of wind and battle 20knts on the return trip.

Sent from my SM-G900I using Tapatalk

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I agree with Warnie100 on the swell & wind to me 10knot wind is enough for me Im there to enjoy myself not to get knocked around!

Batteries Like Warnie100 nothing fancy 2 batteries wired to a 3 way switch, Honda motors are great Ive checked mine & its charging the batteries at idle. While travelling to location X I turn switch to both batteries giving them a good charge then turn to either keeping the other for back up. I only use standard (maintenance free) car batteries & I average 6 years from them using the boat once a month no extra charging required.

some one earlier mentioned trimming your motor, a lot of people dont know that to trim the motor is felt through the steering. Move steering slightly left to right it will be heavier to one side adjust trim up or down untill both sides pull even that is trim set correctly.

Enjoy your boat USE IT they dont make good statues on the lawn!

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Not sure why you are after a DC-DC charger if you want to keep two crank batteries charged. As mentioned earlier a VSR is a better option for this, and cheaper. I use a DC-DC to keep my deep cycle charged off my crank and outboard, which I heartily recommend, but if you just want to keep two cranks full to power the house circuit and still turn over the outboard, you don't need the expense.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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My first bit of advice would be to head to a ramp at a quiet time and just practice your launch and retrieve procedure. There's nothing worse than trying to launch a new boat with other anxious boaties waiting to get out ( you just don't need that pressure ) if you could find someone with good experiance launching try and get them to give you a hand. Wind direction and side on currents can make even the same ramp quite different each time you use it.

Personaly I don't think you can really match a size of boat to wind or wave conditions as there's more to consider than just that. An example would be that I used to fish from a very capable little 3.85 Haines sea wasp, even knowing brisk NE or southery winds were going to hit when I was offshore on the shelf didn't overly phase me. That little boat handled side on seas extremely well even running home almost flat chat working the boat between the seas. A westerly meaning I would need to head to land head on was not good and always avoided.

From that boat I wanted something a little bigger and went to a Formula 15 which allowed me to stay out wide when things got worse than the smaller boat allowed. Wanting to hit the seamounts 45km + I went to bigger Haines signatures in the 5.5 m size but really didn't find they were much of an improvement over the formula. If you get on the water enough you start focusing on working a boat through rough water at speed rather than just pointing in the direction of home and fighting it.

Now I use a boat which has a hull length of only 4.2m long, the overal length is 5.2 counting the tube ( zodiac 550 pro tour). In this little boat we hope for big seas and ugly bar conditions, even yesterday when all the whale watch tour boats were pulling the pin we were just starting to have fun. The last three boats out on the water were all ribs, but it's not just ribs that can handle the rough, when are bar reaches up around 4m out come the jet skis lads. Even when I've headed up to the north coast its small jet skis that are getting out through the bars to get among the fish when the bars are big and these are hulls of only 2.5 m.

My point is the more hours you get under your belt and the more you get to know your boat and the more you will find that some boats can handle poor conditions with ease and some boats are better off kept on calm waters. I've only owned my little rib for 1.5 years but in that time have been able to get out way more often than I could in any other boat I've owned, I've clocked over 300hrs on the engine during that time and no longer have a concern the bar could be bad on my return home ( quite the opposite ).


Edited by JonD
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Hi Jay,

Huge amounts of information to go through there, first things first as mentioned above make sure you have all your safety gear, know how to use it all, where it all is and how easy it would be to access if something happened, this is something that im currently re-considering with my boat. As for weather and swell, in all honesty everyone will have their own opinion and its not that easy to just say 1.5m swell and 15knts wind, 1.5m of swell is nothing to be honest, well for me it isnt anyway and swell period plays a massive part to this, a 1.5m swell with a period of 6 seconds will be completely different to the same size one with a 12 sec period. As for wind that once again is a thing for each persons personal opinions, i fish in over 20knts commonly always seems to be dam windy down here and depending on swell direction, wind direction can also have a different effect, this will also effect my location selection and how far i might even consider going out, maybe set yourself with the low weather numbers for fishing outside till you get used to things and then change it up form their as you gain more experience.

Second question is a bit easier, cant help you out on the daul battery setup as i haven't done one myself yet but the rest of the stuff should be ok as you have described and running the new cabling to terminal strips or something along those lines and using the old stuff to the components should be fine as long as its not damaged, why not run them to fused terminals that way if their is something wrong it will at least be covered by some protection for each component.

As mentioned above most of the stuff to do with your boat will come from spending time in it, take your time get to know everything, don't be afraid to ask and if you have any doubts don't go, Try see if you can find someone experienced with boats to do some fishing with and learn from them, i definitely don't know everything about my boat yet and im still learning almost every time i go out, even after working on a boat for a few years, good luck and enjoy :)

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