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LF15

How far offshore

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Hey guys, fairly new to boating but took my R202ex 2 miles offshore yesterday and had an awesome time. It handled the seas very well, including the rough inlet getting out there. Just curious about how far you would say you could safely take a boat out that size on a good day? Is 13-15 miles a reality on a calm day with the right equipment onboard?

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My R207 (same length, beam, etc. as the 202ex) has been out a little over 40 miles offshore. I wanted to take it further, but common sense kicked in since I've already been caught in a couple of wicked thunderstorms. I do have a portable marine radio, PLB and other safety equipment.

The boat can take the wind and waves better than I can. My concern about distance is more "how long would it take to get home if the waves kick up for the rest of the day?". At 40 miles out in good weather my return is less than 2 hours, but in really rough weather it would take MUCH longer to get back. And, I can't use my autopilot in really rough waves, so it means driving all the way back. I figure 40 miles is all the further I want to be out.

I did just add a Garmin inReach to my safety equipment and it allows me to let my wife know how I am and that I'll be late if it gets rough. That helps and it's also good for asking for help, but I still think my limit will still be around 40 miles offshore.

Since you're in the thunderstorm capital, you might check with local boaters on their thoughts about offshore. I'd say 13-15 miles is fine here in Virginia Beach, but I'm not sure for the conditions where you boat.

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I appreciate the advice Full Throttle. 40 miles would be plenty far enough for me. We were at 2 miles and several smaller boats were passing us going out beyond eyesight. I started to head out further when I noticed the seas were getting a tad rougher quickly. Having my wife and little boy on board made my mind up not to try it and head back in. Definitely need to get a PLB. Got a handheld and there’s a Coast Guard Station right at the inlet so that’s reassuring. I just wondered if the 202 with the deep hull and high gunnels would be fine several miles offshore. My boat dealer said he has been 30 miles out in one but recommend never turning off the engine if you can’t see land.

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I don't turn off the engine since I'm trolling when I'm out that far. I probably wouldn't bring a child out that far. Like I said, the boat can handle the waves better than I can. Got in seas where the boat was doing fine at about 6MPH up and down some really steep waves, but I was getting knocked around pretty good. Definitely wouldn't want young kids in the boat during a storm like that. You made the right call.

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25-30 off in my R180.  Buddy boat and pick your days very carefully. Plb, auto inflate on, and tether connected. Further I’ve had the family is 5 off on a glass calm day. Yes 

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As others have said, having a child on board should make you dial testosterone back several levels. We have all done things by ourselves that we wouldn't do with our kids and sometimes our wife.

There is a reason for that. Probably not a smart one though.

Allot can happen between you and the beach you don't know about when 30 miles out.

I have had several LONG boat rides back in after letting what started as a good day deteriorate with a sea breeze and 3 foot seas at 4 seconds.

If you are " going long", be sure you have a radio that will reach back to land. Check it regularly, like everytime you go out. Hand helds may not do the trick.

Always go with a full tank of gas. Not fun to come home on a rough day and watch the needle peg empty because you " thought" you had enough. Been there.

Have 2 batteries on board. Use on at a time.

When in doubt about weather, use good judgement. There will always be another day to fish. Lightning has no friends.

File a float plan stating where you are going and when you will be back. Stick to it.

And last, remember you are responsible for everyone on your boat. Keep that in mind when making choices.

It's a sobering thought when your even only 5 miles out, everyone wants to fish and a storm is in sight that may or may not miss you.

All that said, I regularly run out 15-25 miles in a 21 foot Walkaround off NC.

12 years of doing it have shown me when I was smart and when I was just lucky.

Have fun, be safe.

 

 

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On 5/13/2018 at 9:29 AM, LF15 said:

Hey guys, fairly new to boating but took my R202ex 2 miles offshore yesterday and had an awesome time. It handled the seas very well, including the rough inlet getting out there. Just curious about how far you would say you could safely take a boat out that size on a good day? Is 13-15 miles a reality on a calm day with the right equipment onboard?

I just purchased the R200 to replace my Angler 204FX. The Angler routinely saw 35-40 miles off-shore for the better part of a decade. So far the R200 feels just as capable. Keep a good eye on the weather and as stated above make sure you have the appropriate gear.

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Awesome advice fellows, I really appreciate it

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