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I need some sound advice. My brother in law and his friend who are both experienced boaters want me to take my boat to Masseys Canyon which is about 40 miles from Cape May were my boat is. My boat is a 1983 24ft. Weekender with a single I/O. I don't have radar or an EPIRB. Weather permitting is this safe?
 

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It's doable, but definatly not smart. Weather can change on you in an instant out there. A nice smooth ride out can turn to a hair-raising ride back in if the wind switches or T-storms pop up. EPRIBs are worth their weight in gold. Remember, cell phones don't work offshore...
 

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Scott S - I have 21 ft cc based in Cape May. I had been doing a lot of inshore trolling for the last 3 yrs (15-20mi range) and recently started doing more runs further out (Massey's, Hambone, Hot Dog).

I bought my boat new, so I haven't been too worried about engine reliability, but have been reading up and learning more about the motor so I can handle problems as they arise (i.e. blew a fuse and had my GPS conk out just this past Sat night on the way to the Hambone).

I think the absolute minimum is:

- offshore (type 5) life jackets for everyone
- auto deployable, mounted EPIRB (never know what could happen and $800 is nothing when your life could depend on it)
- backup handheld VHF (test both VHFs regularly) with fresh batteries.
- extra oil, fuses, spark plugs, anchor, anchor line, and fresh water
- let someone know where your going and when you expect to get back.

I don't have radar, so when leaving early am in the dark I try to leave the same time as someone else and follow behind them. If you don't know anyone, hanging out to the side of the inlet for a few minutes (even at 1 or 2 am, especially on Sat and Sun mornings) will usually give you at least one boat headed in the same direction (Massey's, Hambone, and Hot Dog are all generally the same course heading from Cape May).

I also have been just leaving the evening before and sleeping on the deck overnight works pretty well.

Over and above all of this, obviously, is weather. The reports (marine and land) HAVE to look good (no more than 10knts or 3-4 ft seas and from the south), both local/Cape May reports and DE/MD reports (since that weather will be moving over the area that you're fishing.

Hope this helps. Feel free to e-mail me when you decide to go. I'll be planning a couple more chunking trips over the next 6 weeks or so and, if we're headed out the same day, we can team up.
 

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What year is that I/O? I don't like going to far on a single engine and I/Os can be tempermental at times. If you're asking, you're already doubting this trip. If you go, you'll probably be nervous the whole time. It's tempting to get out there after the big fish but I wouldn't be comfortable out there with a single I/O or even an outboard for that matter.
 

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I have a 27ft Weekender. I take it that you carry about 100 gallons of gas. Besides the fact that you dont have a radar or ebirb, I question if you will have enough gas to get there and back. I carry 110 gallons and average about a mile to the gallon and I personally would not go that far out.
 

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ultimately captain, you hold all the responsibility!
 

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Darrin G. DGREENEMACHINE said:
Don't let anyone talk you in to anything. If you're not 100% confident in your eqipment and your personal ability, do not make the trip under any circumstances. End of discussion.
Ditto! Size of the boat is only part of the equation. The ocean is too large and unforgiving to take any chances if you are not 100% confident.
 

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wait in the next couple of weeks the fishing will be on inshore and 20 to 30 is not out of your range but like every one else said safty first and you are responsable.
 

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It depends on your ability and your confidence in your boat. Any experienced person would have no problem doing that run, but if you have any doubts, it's probably best not to do it. It's not one of those cases where it would be crazy to do it, i.e a 20 footer to the 1000 line, because it is certainly doable. It's not really about the size of the boat, it's more about how much confidence you have in your ability to react to any problem that might arise. if you don't think you can do it, then don't.
 

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Always error on the side of caution. If you are unsure about any part of the trip dont go so far. A few warm up trips in closer is a good way to get the feel of things. There are plenty of opportunities for nice fish and maybe a tuna in closer but a safer trip. Also dont forget to check your seatow membership dates just in case. Problems always seem to come at the wrong time. Always have back up electronics and batteries at least a handheld vhf. Know where you are at all times. Then practice and have fun.

John
 
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