Pontoon Boat in the ocean ?,about Chesapeake Bay , St.Johns River south ?
Can a pontoon boat be used in the ocean? How can it handle the waves? Do I need
a certain lenght? How would it compare to a regular boat?
-Problem is flex. In high seas of 3+ foot there would be a tremendous amount
of flex in the decking and ribs. I would think it would tear apart the weld
seams as a minimum. Fine for bays and stuff but not outside the jetties.
-Assuming you can handle the flex mentioned in the other note (and this is a
design issue) the immediate problem is the wide flat deck.
When you stuff this deck into a wave it acts like a dive plane, driving the bow
down until the prop comes out of the water and you pop back. If you are dealing
with a following sea it might just go over.
In a medium chop a pontoon will give a smoother ride than just about any boat
around for a given length but it is WET! The tops of those waves come over the
With careful handling you CAN get back but I wouldn't go out if it was rolling
or projected to be. In the Gulf we use pontoons out to 5 or 6 miles but
compared to the ocean it is calm here. They even cite the height of the waves
differently it seems to make it look like we have some.
2-4 here would be called 1-2 in the Atlantic it seems. (I had some confusion
with Harry a while ago about this). A rough day in the Gulf would be considered
a calm day on the Chesapeak.
-While Chesapeake Bay can get rough, those kinds of conditions aren't that
common. What the Bay does have is a nasty chop much of the time and, in
certain parts of the Bay, there is so much boat traffic, the chop mixes in not
so nicely with never-ending boat wakes. It's particularly annoying just
outside the entrance to Annapolis, where, if the chop doesn't loosen your
fillings, you're likely to be rammed by a semi-comatose sailboter. Another
rough wake spot is just north of The Solomons.
The Atlantic, in my experience, can be a lot more dangerous than the Gulf of
Mexico, especially if you like running inlets, as I do, and most especially if
you like running inlets that are closed to navigation.
There are a lot of pontoon boats in NE Florida. Most of them stay in the St.
Johns River south and west of its intersection with the ICW. From the ICW to
the mouth of the St. Johns, where it empties into the Atlantic, is one of the
most dangerous places to boat, because of waves, wind, high current, large
ship traffic, lots of small boat traffic and too many inexperienced boaters.
There usually are several horrific boating accidents in that area each year.
-the most dangerous times I've had on Chesapeake Bay the last three has
have been while fishing between the Bridge and the entrance area to Annapolis.
The risk was not shark bite. We've almost been run down at least three times
by sailboters while we were anchored *way* out of the way of anyone around us.
Two of those times, we had to scream and shout to get the attention of the
dazed "skipper." I'm tempted to fire a 12 gauge flare at the spinnaker the
next time it happens, but I can't be sure the flare will set it on fire.
Hey! I like sailboats. Used to own some. Just wish some of them would pay a
little more attention to where they were in time and space.
Tell me more about those bikini contests. I've been through the Narrows; too
busy playing dodge-em to notice many bikinis.