BOAT BUYING TIPS (5) – The ability to handle rough seas

Whether you plan to use your boat primarily for chasing marlin and tuna offshore or targeting snapper and whiting in bays, sooner or later you’ll be faced with a run back to the boat ramp in windy conditions with a metre or two of wind chop on the water.

As part of your pre-purchase research, it’s important to consider whether the boat you plan to buy is engineered to handle less than favourable conditions.

FOLLOWING SEA PERFORMANCE is something salespeople don’t often speak about… but they should.

When running with the sea or down the face of a wave you need to know your boat will drive predictably and steer where you point it. Whether it’s in 1.5m of wind chop on a bay or a 4m swell offshore, your boat must perform well in a following sea.

The only way to prove a boat in a following sea is to take one out on the water.

If you’re looking at a brand of boat and the salesperson isn’t keen to prove its following sea performance in a nasty sea – keep looking! (The boat may perform badly or, even worse, the salesperson may not be confident in the boat’s safety.)

BROACHING is the phenomenon that sees the nose of the boat bury in the trough of the wave and the stern of the boat is all of a sudden pushed violently sideways and parallel to the wave.

If you’ve ever experienced this in a boat, you’ll know what we’re talking about.

Beware of boats that are wider or ‘beamy’ at the transom with a shallower dead rise and a sharp nose. This is a formula for a broaching hull and the boat should be driven down the face of a wave with great care. (Be very careful on a bay on a windy day and be especially careful offshore!)

A boat needs to be of balanced design. It needs to have the right deadrise (or V) in the right place, the optimum amount of lift and support at varying speeds and the right weight distribution. If these variables aren’t very carefully managed in the design phase, the end result is a boat with very bad manners and habits. (In other words, downright dangerous.)

Bar Crusher takes great care to ensure its boats perform predictably and safely. Every Bar Crusher boat features the exclusive Waveslicer® hull design, which incorporates a smooth, deep-V hull that slices beautifully through waves – without pounding. The hull allows the boat to hold in the water during tight turns, without the aeration or cavitation experienced in other hulls. (You’ll also experience less turbulence and air bubbles under the transducer, which means your sounder will be clearer and easier to read.)

The design work and testing that’s been carried out on every model ensures every Bar Crusher boat is predictable to drive, which instils real confidence – even in a following sea.

When running down the face of a wave in a Bar Crusher, you’re very unlikely to experience that awful broaching action that skews a boat side on and tries to throw everyone overboard, which adds a real margin of safety when tracking home in rougher conditions.

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