UPDATE : Paddling confused seas with full cockpit

9 years 6 months ago - 9 years 5 months ago #6752 by Stanton
I recently had my first experience in my new V8 that included a "moment". I live in Tampa and, as such, paddle Tampa Bay frequently. Last Saturday I paddled out into Tampa Bay on a very windy day (sustained 17-18 with gusts into the mid 20's) and the bay is notorious for short steep chop. It wasn't too bad when the seas were on my bow as I was able to anticipate adjustments. When I turned to make a 3 mile downwind run things got interesting. This wasn't a swell condition with nice spacing that allowed some surfing. This was hold on and try to stay upright conditions. The issue that was the most disconcerting for me was that the cockpit seemed to stay full of water as a result of the following seas washing over the deck of the boat. There was more than once that i believe most of the boat was actually submerged. The drain just stayed overwhelmed most of the time. So, is this just the way it is? I am assuming so. The added weight and dynamic of the water in the boat really threw me off balance. Makes me think I ought to cork the drain and fill the cockpit on training efforts to get used to this condition. Curious to hear about others similar experiences. I cannot remember a time I was more glad to reach the lee side and get some relief from the wind and chop.

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9 years 6 months ago #6753 by nell
It might be that your speed was too slow too much of the time, i.e. below the point when the venturi drains. You can test that by determining what speed on flat water the venturi starts to drain or fill with a gps, then look at the gps on the downwind run and note how much of the time you're at "draining" speed and at "filling up" speed. I think the balance point is somewhere around 5-6 mph.

Also, consider filling up the cockpit in front of the footboard with a closed cell foam block or something that takes up space thus not allowing water to be there. Erik

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9 years 6 months ago #6754 by Steve Hansen
Sounds like you weren't going fast enough. Are you new to paddling? Hope you had a leash on.

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9 years 6 months ago #6756 by mckengmsurfski
I would agree with the above comments; once you got bogged down you probably never got going fast enough again to drain the cockpit.
I regularly paddle in similar conditions to what you've described in our local harbour, have done so on several different skis, and there is usually a fill/drain scenario at some point in all of the skis, but I don't recall having had one fill up and stay completely filled.
Try Nell's suggestion, if you have a GPS to measure your speed, to figure out what speed you need to be at for the venturi to start draining. On my V10 Sport, which I would guess has a similar drain to your V8, the magic speed seems to be somewhere in the 7-8kph range.
If the drainage is too slow for you once you're at speed maybe you could install one of the aftermarket 'bullet' scuppers like Rob M. has on his Fenn Elite. You'd still have to get the speed up for it to drain though.

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9 years 6 months ago #6757 by Rightarmbad
Just don't forget that it is the speed relative to the water that matters, not your actual speed.
If you are only going slightly faster than the current, then nothing will drain.
The answer is to paddle harder, to both your instability and your draining.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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9 years 6 months ago #6758 by Stanton
Replied by Stanton on topic Re:Paddling confused seas with full cockpit
So the consensus is SPEED which certainly makes sense. Being new to the surfski I guess I need to continue seeking paddling opportunities that push my stability edge. This way I can quit focusing so much on the stability issue and more on the power/speed. Quite honestly, I was so intent on maintaining some stability that I was not even thinking about speed. Also, coming from a kayak background I was always focused on staying upright where in the ski that may not be important for me right now. Remounting the ski is pretty easy compared to rolling the kayak.

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9 years 6 months ago #6759 by Rightarmbad
Just remember, the harder you paddle, the more the paddle locks with the water and becomes a solid contact point to lean on or maneuver against.
Try shortening it a bit.....

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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9 years 6 months ago #6760 by jsowers
One additional thought. If you were going slow you were probably being caught from behind by waves, resulting in the following seas washing over the rear deck. Once again the answer is more speed. Remember we have all been there and had simular difficulties. The sport has a bit of a learning curve but you have made an excellent choice for a first boat which should jump start your learning. By the way, where did you get you Epic? I'm up in the Fl panhandle where there are no dealers.

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9 years 6 months ago #6761 by Stanton
Replied by Stanton on topic Re:Paddling confused seas with full cockpit
Yes, I definitely feel that I have the right boat. Glad I didn't start in something more aggressive. I bought the V8 from Bill Jackson's here in the TB area. Noticed the other day that they have several different V10's as well as a V12 and another V8.

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9 years 5 months ago - 9 years 5 months ago #6766 by rubberDuck
I see in the very first post that you like to anticipate the sea, looking for waves and chop. That was exactly what I was doing until I had my mindshift.

Once I started focussing on my paddling and not on the sea conditions my stability improved by an order of magnitude, and I have not looked back since. This also caused me to relax a lot.

If your body is stiff from tension because you are looking at the choppy seas, you will struggle with stability. And when you struggle with stability you will go slow, and in downwind conditions you will wallow a lot and go even slower.

But all of this comes only from time in the seat in choppy stuff. One of these days you will get your 'Aha!' moment.

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9 years 5 months ago #6768 by Stanton
Replied by Stanton on topic Re:Paddling confused seas with full cockpit
rubberDuck, thanks for the good words. Isn't that the truth for most things? And I am a guy that let's my head get in the way a lot. Just last night while out on the SUP I was paddling with a group and everyone took a tight turn around a bouy. I have never had any luck with these tight turns. But I just shut my head off and did what the others were doing. Next thing you know I was in a surfer stance with my weight on the tail of the board and spun the board around the bouy like a pro. All because I quit 'thinking'.

Thanks for the reminder and I will make sure to report back on this thread when I have that AHA moment.

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9 years 5 months ago #6769 by [email protected]
I remember in the beginning heading out into it with fair confidence (and even more brace strokes) was a lot easier than trying to catch the swell in the downwind. That took some time to learn. Have to paddle hard to get those runs. Enjoy!

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9 years 5 months ago #6774 by Rightarmbad
How I think of 'confused seas', is that there is a multitude of forces acting on the boat from all angles.
So therefore, no individual little wave is going to really have the energy to put you in the drink.

Just know that for every time you get pushed this way, in the next instant you will get pushed that way.
In the end they somewhat average out and you just have to trust the boat and think about paddling.

The more you concentrate on just going where you want to go and not think about it, the more comfortable you will be.
The faster you go, the more the boat tracks and keeps enough water flow over the rudder to give good control.

It's like riding a mountain bike, just pick a line and go for it, the bike will sort out any little rocks and bumps, don't get distracted by the insignificants and look for things that may actually be a threat.
Stop looking at the water immediately around the boat and watch the sea.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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9 years 5 months ago #6786 by Stanton
I wanted to offer an update after my run this weekend (Sat. 4/23) of the same 9 mile course I posted about last weekend. The winds were exactly half of what they were last week and were coming from the SE rather than the SW. I followed the same course. The seas were more uniform yet choppy. I really took all of your suggestions to heart and focused on speed as much as possible. I haven't been paddling with a GPS so not exactly sure of speed although the 'seat of the pants' test says I was moving much faster. Definitely had more control of the boat and a WHOLE lot less water in the cockpit. Thought of you guys as I heard the water slurping at the drain as it rushed out of the boat. Knew I was cooking. Several times on the downwind leg, as I felt the tail of the boat rise and take off, I was rewarded with the slurping noise and swirling water at the drain. Much more enjoyable. Guess it's just going to take some time to get used to that 'nervous hull' feeling in beam seas and quartering beam seas. I really appreciate all of your comments. Not sure which I enjoy more, the V8 or my SUP. Absolutely love the speed of the ski.

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