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Old 09-08-2019, 10:50 PM   #21
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Merrimack and Welch Island
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You don't need a bigger boat, just more experience. Conditions this weekend were unusual, I'd say.
My family has lived on the broads (Welch Island) since 1950.
My first power boat was a 13' MFG, 18 hp. I was 12, and I went all over the lake by myself. I learned how to manage the boat in the wind and waves and to navigate at night. Later graduated to a 15' flat bottom, 50 hp.
My father taught me how to go with/against the wind, from shore or island to island to shore so I was always the shortest distance to safety or close to shore where the waves were less due to friction.
You can't learn this overnight or in a class. Regardless of wind and waves, I don't think there is a way to swamp a 'toon, although you can get very wet, at least your feet. No big deal. After you've buried the bow a couple of times, you will know this and have a lot of confidence in your boat, and yourself.
We don't require it of guests, but everybody in the family age 72-8 wears a PFD. The kids are required by law, but adults do it to set an example, and we aren't the strong swimmers we were 30 years ago. I find the vest type, like MP wears, to be comfortable; recommend those, especially if you go solo, say, fishing. And connect the kill switch lanyard.
Being safe will not diminish the fun, and being able to handle the weather will increase the number of bating days. Have fun.
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