Has anyone “fast passed” a sailboat?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by flyboycj84, Sep 14, 2018 at 11:53 AM.

  1. flyboycj84

    flyboycj84 Member

    36
    Feb 20, 2014
    Merritt Island FL
    1997 185 BR
    4.3
    I was reading the thread a few weeks back from the sailor that descended into a war......but one thing caught my attention. He mentioned a fast pass where you come up real close, and come off plane, and overtake.

    Has anyone ever done this, or know how? We have a ton of sailboats on the ICW and passing them is a pita usually in the narrower parts of the ICW.
     
  2. hottoddie

    hottoddie Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2012
    Boston/Cape Cod
    1986 Sea Ray 390 Express
    Garmin 4212 Chartplotter
    Garmin 24 HD Radar
    Garmin GSD 22 Sounder
    Garm
    454 Crusaders
    Very few boaters are familiar with the "fast pass" procedure. It involves vhf communications and cooperation between both boats. Many boaters don't even have their vhf radio on (sailboater's don't want to drain their batteries) or both boats are on the wrong channels. It would be great in a perfect world but people are people!
     
  3. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    For me in the ICW, rare to get a radio response from a sailboat.
     
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  4. gmacd81

    gmacd81 Member GOLD Sponsor

    87
    Sep 2, 2014
    Annapolis, MD
    2002 460DA hardtop, Raymarine eS128 & eS75, Evolution AP, SHD color radar, Ray260
    Walker Bay w 40hp
    Cummins 6CTA M3's, Onan 11.5 kW genset
    Same in the Chesapeake, particularly near Annapolis.
     
  5. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    It is easy to do if the sail boat operator cooperates. Very few understand and as you approach them at speed, they have already pulled the panic alarm to the extent that you can't make sense with them even if they have their vhf on.

    Approach the sail boat under power and normal cruising speed then pull the power all the way back until you break off your stern wake before it reaches the sail boat, then increase to a speed that allows you to over take the slower sailboat but remain at a minimum wake speed. The cooperation part of this is simple...if the sail boat maintains his speed, it is hard to pass at a speed where you wake won't rock him pretty good. If he will come up on the VHF and you can talk to him then explain what you are doing and ask that he slow down to allow you to pass with a minimum wake.
     
  6. JVM225

    JVM225 Well-Known Member

    Apr 8, 2008
    Farmingdale, NY
    2002 410 Sundancer, Monaco Edition.
    3126 Cats.
    I try to do it for sailboats, little powerboats, and guys fishing if I can.
    The only time I don’t do it is in a very shallow cut or channel where coming off plane may result in touching bottom.
    It’s really shallow around here and it’s not uncommon to see single digits on the depthfinder in a lot of spots, sometimes no more than a couple of feet, and you rarely see more than low teens unless you go out in the ocean.
     
  7. Boat Guy

    Boat Guy Well-Known Member

    Frank, what you're describing is a fast pass? I thought a fast pass wasn't coming off plane...My understanding was that you come off their stern and a close pass so they can turn into the wake and ride out behind your stern.
     
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  8. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    Eric,

    Maybe my nomenclature is wrong, but I described the fastest way I know to pass a sail boat without waking the hell out of him.

    If I pass a boat at speed and close enough or him to turn into my wake, I will rock him from gunnel to gunnel and I cannot accept that risk.
     
    fc3 likes this.
  9. Boater420

    Boater420 Well-Known Member

    Mar 11, 2015
    Clearwater, FL
    '97 330 Sundancer
    V-Drives
    Westerbeke 4.5BCG
    Twin Merc 454's
    The whole thing sounds dangerous, like an accident waiting to happen. Too much cooperation and skill required from both captains in order for the maneuver to be successful.
     
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  10. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    On Labor day (a nice sunny day, but hardly any wind) we went from Baltimore down to St. Michaels.

    Leisurely cruise running about 8-9 knots.

    No less than 6 or 7 sailboats (sails dropped, under power) cut directly across our bow coming from port to starboard. Seems like there is a rule about this?

    Also a couple of Sea Rays did the same thing - oblivious.
     
  11. gmacd81

    gmacd81 Member GOLD Sponsor

    87
    Sep 2, 2014
    Annapolis, MD
    2002 460DA hardtop, Raymarine eS128 & eS75, Evolution AP, SHD color radar, Ray260
    Walker Bay w 40hp
    Cummins 6CTA M3's, Onan 11.5 kW genset
    Only 6 or 7?!? Must have been a quiet day. ;)
     
  12. flyboycj84

    flyboycj84 Member

    36
    Feb 20, 2014
    Merritt Island FL
    1997 185 BR
    4.3
    I had an experience once when I was passing a trawler off plane. He radioed me back and said to cut in front of him close. He told be he would sharply turn across my wake. When I passed him, he did......he turned sharply right behind be and tucked in behind me. Looked like it worked well. I noticed he only had to cut through 1 wake rather than the normal 2 or 3 wakes my Meridian spits out. He knew what he was doing and his trawler barely rolled or anything.
     
  13. Sea Gull

    Sea Gull Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2006
    CT
    2015 L650 Fly #509
    CAT C-18, 1,150 HP
    Frank is absolutely correct, but I would add one step. For the pass to be as efficient and comfortable as possible for both, the sailboat needs to turn and come inside the powerboat’s small wake as she passes. Now, with the sailboat directly behind, the powerboat can speed up immediately with the sailboat safely inside the new, large wake.
     
  14. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    Suggest you re-read post #'s 5 & 8. I said nothing about passing close.
     
    fc3 likes this.
  15. PlayDate

    PlayDate Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Dec 25, 2006
    Washington DC
    1994 370 Express Cruiser
    454 Mercruisers
    I have never heard of a "fast pass" until this thread. I'm with Frank.....sailboats have already have hit the panic button when they see a large powerboat heading in their direction.

    I used to sail as a teenager and I speak from experience. If I was crossing the bow of a powerboat....my first concern is: does the powerboat see me? My only indication was if they visibly turned toward my stern (reassuring) or bow (less reassuring since they are guessing at my speed and intention). In a sailboat you have to also calculate if you are going to tack soon which may present a serious course correction to the powerboat. I tried to wait until the powerboat and its wake passed before I tacked but sometimes that wasn't possible.

    In a passing situation, my concern was still the same: Does the powerboat see me and am I going to tack soon? I never got a call on a VHF and doubt that would work well given that you have your hands full with a sailboat. I did appreciate powerboats who gave me a wide berth but cutting their wake was more a function of wind direction and course. Lastly, I always appreciated powerboaters who minimized their wake. In some cases, a boat on plane was far better to deal with than one plowing through the water throwing a really big wake that knocks the wind out of your sails.
     
  16. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature
    Our lake is slow, no wake for boats 26 feet and over and slow, no wake within 200 feet of a dock or shore. This is Michigan state law pretty much on all small inland lakes. It is absolutely not enforced. We don't even go out most week ends because at slow no wake speeds we are rolled 15 degrees for the 7 miles it takes us to get to open water. Small boat captains are totally clueless about rules and even blatantly rude when passing slow boats. Those of us in bigger boats get waked by every boat that passes us. We've even been waked by the Ottawa County Sherrif boats. As you say, "people are people".
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018 at 11:06 AM
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  17. Capt. Rusty Higgins

    Capt. Rusty Higgins Active Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    716
    Nov 6, 2006
    Florida
    The yacht delivery captain for Sea Ray Boats Inc.
    mostly 1100hp CAT/MAN
    not like I have not done this procedure any less than a thousand times before, but knowing the physics and communication are key here. For two boats heading in the same direct the wake of the passing boat will not affect the stand on vessel as long as it reduced prior to coming along side. I have come up to sailboats (and all other slower vessels) on plane dang near all the way to them before reducing my speed. Again if he is heading the same direction my wake will not go forward but instead, out to the side. I drop my speed when I am relatively close, but never allowing my large wake to hit him. Once I am at idle speed (600rpm's) and along side, I will inform the stand on vessel that once I pass, I will be cutting back in front of him to put him inside my wake before throttling back up. Remember, your wake does not go forward but out to the sides so, if he is moving forward, your wake should never reach his boat. Once I am clear of his bow, I will slowly move in front of him to put him inside my wake before getting back on plane.
    A vessel coming at me instead of with me, is another style approach. I measure my distance from him using the bow rail stanchions, and once that vessel lines up with the second stanchion back, I drop back rpm's, again to idle speed until our transoms are lined up, then here we go. Like another poster on this thread, I drive a lot of L Class vessels and lord knows the wake in one of those beauties, will move cars and lawn furniture on land if not careful. I do wish more folks understood wakes and how to avoid getting tossed around. For instance if a big boat is headed at me, I do not swing wide because that is where his wake is. If he throttles down, then I aim for right aft of his swimplatform. He is going slow at that point, and that's where the less wake is, not two hundreds yards away from him.
    There are very few rewards to ones ego in my job but having a sailboat come on the radio or even yelling out to me, that was the nicest pass they have ever received, does make me feel good. And I am off plane for only about 60 seconds. Unfortunately, they say with too much frequency that they were surprised a Sea Ray owner slowed down for them at all, ouch!
    Just like pecking order of whom has the right-of-way on the water (which is NOT sailboats) I make it a rule not to allow even an one inch wake to the guys working in the water on docks and seawalls, next comes the dudes with guns and badges, and so on and so on.
    Yes, communication makes all this happen with no frustrations, so even those who do not reply to my radio hails, will hear my horn signals...since I will be just a couple yards off their transom. .....okay there may be a little humor is seeing a sail boater standing and waving a towel for me to slow down, when I am a quarter mile back. I have even had them yelling at me on the radio to slow down way before I am along side. I respond by saying I will gladly conduct a slow pass, once I get there. After maneuvering around them and putting them back inside my wake before letting the big dogs eat, I hear them say, " I wish all power boaters would pass like that"........be a Stewart of the Sea and all will be well.

    post script.....praying for all the on the east coast affected by hurricane Florence, especially my friends in Wrightsville Beach NC......when I am able to once again travel through those areas again, I will be keeping all damaged dock owners and repairs crews in mind as priority #1.

    Capt. Rusty
     
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  18. Captn TJ

    Captn TJ Active Member

    276
    Sep 19, 2017
    Catawba Island, Oh
    2005 280DA
    Raymarine E80
    5.0 with Bravo 3
    As a former sailor and one that frequently 'talks' to other sailors the majority of us have our VHF on. One of the benefits even running the diesel at cruise rpms is you can clearly hear the VHF - unlike my Sea Ray where I have to turn the volume up and even then i have to strain to hear broadcasts.
     
  19. flyboycj84

    flyboycj84 Member

    36
    Feb 20, 2014
    Merritt Island FL
    1997 185 BR
    4.3
    Thanks for the great reply Rusty! Now any time you’d like to show me that maneuver and do some on the job training, just gimme a call, I’ll be up there in a few minutes.....lol.

    In non related news, I met an old friend of yours at Ski Island yesterday.....one of the “twins”? He said? Used to play football with you? Good stories for sure!
     
  20. Capt. Rusty Higgins

    Capt. Rusty Higgins Active Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    716
    Nov 6, 2006
    Florida
    The yacht delivery captain for Sea Ray Boats Inc.
    mostly 1100hp CAT/MAN
    That would be one of the O'Grady boys......grew up with those two and think the world of them!

    R
     
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