A few years ago, four friends started to make a trip with a 7m rib for about four days. The weather was nice and we were travelling at a speed of about 30 knots, enjoying the lovely cruise in the waveless sea when.... suddenly and without any warning, the engine turned sharply right and the rib started to make circles.
During the winter period, over the Mediterranean basin, several low pressure systems are formed, that result in volatile and bad weather patterns, which are made even worse by the influence of this season's low temperatures.In contrast, during the summer, the distribution of the pressure systems in the Mediterranean is very different, smoother and relatively stable.
Any trip, no matter how short it may be, requires very careful planning which should start long before we release our favourite bowlines that keep us safe in our harbour. Definitely a long trip requires more hours of preparation and possibly extra equipment. However the seriousness of the approach must be exactly the same. The sea by itself demands respect and attention.
The sea state is defined by the characteristics of the waves at a particular location in a specific moment. To better define it, we have to identify the wave height (meters), being the same assigned by the average value of the trough of the wave crest height and the wave period (seconds), which is the average time interval between the passage of successive wave crests.
Going through the era of satellite navigation, we observe that it has gained a great role among us, sidelining inevitably the nautical art which, until a few years ago, constituted the basis of every voyager, depriving them at the same time of a big part of the magic of the voyage!
Focusing on Polaris.
Polaris, the brightest and last star on the «tail» of the Little Bear, does not unintentionally constitute a point of reference for navigation. It is really worth seeing a bit more analytically its position in the celestial dome because its unique characteristics are exactly due to this position.
One of the most important factors affecting very much the performance of our boat is the engine's mounting height on its transom. By the term "engine mounting height" we mean the distance of engine's Antiventilation plate from the keel and therefore how deeply submerged in the water the lower unit is. In this way we basically determine the depth to which our propeller runs.
As we saw in the previous article concerning the appropriate mounting height of our engine we can not achieve at the same time, in the same combination boat-engine-propeller, both the maximum speed and the greater thrust at low rpm. The solution to this problem can provide the use of a hydraulic Jack Plate which enables us to adjust the vertical position of our engine only with a button, even when the boat is on plane.
Before proceeding to mounting a bracket on our transom we should first assess whether it is compatible with our boat and, of course, we need to know what we want to gain with this addition and to what extent. Therefore we must weigh the consequences and decide which the intended use of our boat is.