Boating in oceans or seas is entirely different from boating in lakes or ponds due to their nature. And many people know that deck boats are very comfortable and spacious than others, but will you get that same comfort while boating in oceans or seas? Are deck boats good for the ocean?
A deck boat with a deep V-hull above 22′or more can handle the ocean well because they have a greater degree of deadrise than other shaped-hulls and a big boat (length) increases the overall stability lowering choppiness in the ocean. However, normal deck boats aren’t meant primarily for ocean uses.
A boat’s deadrise is the angle between the boat’s bottom (horizontal plane) and the boat’s hull surface (source).
A deck boat, in numerous cases, is a V monohull with a squared-off or widened bow to accommodate more seating. If the monohull is a solidly built and designed deep V, it will ride fine in the ocean under normal weather conditions. Unless you are using a deep V-hulled deck boat, don’t go in the ocean with a deck boat.
A deep V-hulled deck boat with a narrow bow can easily cut through all the waves, resulting in a smooth and steady ride. On the other hand, a normal hulled deck boat will still make it through, but it wouldn’t be as comfortable if you were trying to pick up the pace due to the wide hull and bow.
Generally, deep-V hulls are considered to have a 21-degree deadrise or more. So, if you are looking for an offshore boat, you need to look for a deadrise of more than 20 degrees and a length-to-beam ratio on the waterline that is greater than 3.5 to 1 to be on the safe side.Boatingmag
Many people generally think about wave heights (like, can this boat handle 3 or 4 or more foot waves or not) rather than the intervals between the waves in the ocean. If you are boating in the ocean with short wave periods between the waves, even 2′ waves can make your ride unpleasant.
The interval between waves is important because even though the waves may not be too high, but if the boat doesn’t have time to recover from one to the next, you will probably face a very bumpy (uncomfortable) ride, and it can be hazardous sometimes. A deck boat without a deep v-hull in those conditions might give a very bumpy ride.
So, having a deep V-hulled deck boat will give you more comfort in passing those types of waves easily than a deck boat without a deep v-hull. However, a deck boat is not intended to use in rough waters like oceans or seas, but occasional trips in the ocean when the waters are calm are acceptable.
Related post – Are jet boats good for the ocean? Check this article to know all the reasons why a jet boat might not be a good choice in the ocean in a detailed way.
Risks involved in using a deck boat in the ocean?
Since deep V-hulled deck boats can handle the ocean under normal circumstances (weather), you can use them under those situations, but there are some risks involved in using a deck boat in the ocean.
The deck boat’s low bows (freeboard) can take the water if the ocean’s water is choppy, and adding more weight due to more available space, the boat’s draft could increase, decreasing the freeboard, making it easy to take more water if the waters are choppy.
The deck boat’s freeboard is less compared to other boats, and it has a squared-off or widened bow to accommodate more seating which can take the water easily if any big wave hits the boat. If you are boating in rough waters (like in oceans or seas), it could cause a big problem.
You can’t avoid that water getting in the boat due to low bows (gunwale height) if people are sitting on the deck (bow). Every boat can take water, but the deck boats take more water due to low bows. However, you can get a bow cover that will keep some of the water out of the cockpit or bow.
And one more problem that comes along with it is bilge pump inefficiency. On average, a bilge pump can pump roughly 1000 gph (gallons per hour); if a vast quantity of water gets inside the boat, that water needs to be pumped out more quickly to reduce the risk.
However, if you have a big one that pumps out at 3000 gph or more, you need to worry about that. But if you have a small one, it may not be able to pump enough water out of the boat on time, so that can increase the boat’s weight, and it also requires more power to move the boat (since the weight is increased).
So, better install a big bilge pump on a boat if you go boating in the ocean, to avoid any problems, to reduce fuel consumption (since an increase in the boat’s weight requires more power to move in the water, which increases fuel consumption), and to reduce the risk of danger as well mainly.
However, a deck boat is not intended (designed) to use in rough waters like oceans or seas, but occasional trips in the ocean when the waters are calm are acceptable.
Related post – Safety tips for boating in the ocean (offshore); check this article to know what safety measures to take while boating offshore.
Safety measures to take while using a deck boat in the ocean
Safety is crucial while boating, especially if you are boating in the ocean. We will now see some of the safety measures you need to take while using a deck boat in the ocean.
Check the weather before starting the trip
- Checking the weather before starting the trip is an essential thing to do. However, the weather might be good before starting the trip, but it can change during the trip. So, simply checking the weather before the trip isn’t a solution; you need to check it often while boating as well.
- Since weather can change within minutes in the ocean, by checking the weather often while boating, you will get to know about the weather changes prior. In that way, you can reach out to the shore before the gale or storm hits you up.
Wear a life jacket (PFD)
- Wearing a life jacket is one of the crucial things to do while operating a boat, especially while using deck boats because these boats are more open, freeboard is also less compared to other boats. So, better be prepared by wearing a life jacket.
- And every person onboard needs to wear one. Simply wearing a life jacket isn’t sufficient; it should fit you as well (meaning it shouldn’t be big or small to you), and it should be approved by USCG as well. So, a life jacket is crucial in the boat to have if you go boating in the ocean.
Don’t overload the boat
- Since deck boats have more deck space, you can take many people or equipment. So, carrying extra or unnecessary weight on the boat will definitely increase the draft, making the boat more susceptible to risks. If the boat’s weight exceeds its maximum limit, the boat can become unstable and can tilt sideways, and sometimes capsizes.
- And this can be easily prevented by loading the boat properly without exceeding its maximum limit and avoiding uneven loading. Mostly try not to carry any unnecessary equipment on the boat. So, keep an eye on the volume of weight you are carrying on the boat.
Take all the safety equipment
- Taking all the safety equipment while boating is essential, especially if you are boating in the ocean. Oceans and seas can whip up some pretty big swells, gales, and storms in short periods. So, having Vhf radio connected to GPS and other types of safety equipment (devices) is crucial.
- If that is the case near you, you need to take personal safety devices very seriously. If you take the boat on the ocean, just make sure that you have all the tools, anchors, sound & visual signaling devices, lifejackets on, and practice smart decision-making.
Related post – Required safety equipment for a boat; check this article to know all safety gear you might need for your boat based on the type of waters you are boating in.
Deck boats can handle rough waters like ocean or seas, but a deep V-hulled deck boat will handle it better than other hulls. A deep V-hulled deck boat with a narrow bow can easily cut through all the waves, resulting in a smooth and steady ride. However, deck boats aren’t intended to be used in the ocean.
Generally, deep-V hulls are considered to have a 21-degree deadrise or more. So, if you are looking for an offshore boat, you need to look for a deadrise of more than 20 degrees and a length-to-beam ratio on the waterline that is greater than 3.5 to 1 to be on the safe side.
The higher the deadrise degree, the more stable and comfortable the boat in rough waters. When dealing with deck boats, though, you’ll likely find a V-shaped hull. Especially for larger vessels, this hull type accommodates higher speeds and allows for overall smoother rides.
Alternative for a deck boat or if you want something with the deck boat kind of seating with an offshore capable hull, you should be looking at dual consoles. They aren’t quite as loungy comfy, but they’ll be more ride comfy.