Is a 14' boat big enough for the kelp

Discussion in 'Private Boaters and General Saltwater' started by MattL, Jun 26, 2016.

  1. MattL

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    My dad and I are bay and lake fishermen, looking to spend more time fishing the kelp. We have a fourteen foot Triton jon boat and are slightly nervous about taking it out on the ocean. Anybody have experience taking boats that size out? Any words of warning?

    Thanks.
     
  2. tupat liquor

    tupat liquor Well-Known Member

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    I used to have a 14 foot aluminum. It did fine out there but i never took it out if the bouys were reading higher than 5 feet.

    I had a 15hp suzuki 2 smoker on it and personally wouldnt care to use a smaller motor.
     
  3. tupat liquor

    tupat liquor Well-Known Member

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    Mine wansnt a jon boat though it was a regular semi v bottom aluminum boat
     
  4. Cheese Whiz

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    I've seen plenty of smaller boats than that out there, but it comes down to the weather and your comfort level. Make sure you have your safety gear and usually you'll have a pretty good feel for the sea state as you leave the Mission Bay Jetty, if it seems too rough, just turn back around. I have a 21 footer and even I've turned around at the Jetty a handful of times. I'd also suggest if you aren't comfortable out in open water bring someone that is the first few times you go, plenty of great and experienced guys on this forum without boats who I'm sure would trade a ride/fishing trip in exchange for teaching you some tricks. Just my thoughts though.
     
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  5. swings are free

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    That most dangerous part is gonna be leaving the mouth of either bay. I used to launch my 14 ft from the sand at la Jolla . Did a couple reef launches to. If conditions get bad it's a lot easier to head in to the shore then make it all the way back to the harbour.
     
  6. Cheese Whiz

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    Yeah those rocks at the Jetty are intimidating, once you get past the Jetty it typically clears up though. I had a friend once sitting on the bow of my boat and we hit a swell pretty good and he went airborne about two feet, right over there by the Mission Bay Jetty. We turned around after that, the look on his face was priceless. That was before I learned to look at the weather reports :)
     
  7. bassgalrascal

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    When I had a 16 ft. v-hull, I went out a ways. I was always a bit nervous, and couldn't take my eyes off the waves. Once, when I was fishing just outside the SD bay channel, a wave came out of nowhere, I never even saw it, and it kicked the boat up and dropped it so quick that my tackle box, rods along with me went flying. Luckily everything landed back on the deck, but I was sitting in the bottom of the boat instead of on the seat!:oops:
     
  8. fishmeister

    fishmeister Well-Known Member

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  9. fisheromen

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    Would not do it!
     
  10. Roddd

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    See the link below on a recent tragic event. Three dead and two in critical condition after a boat capsized off the back side of Catalina. Three glaring issues I noticed were 7 men in a 15 foot boat on the ocean, no mention of life vests, and a 15 foot boat out in 4-6 foot seas (a different article mentioned the swell conditions). While Catalina is 25 or so miles offshore, 4-6 foot seas occur regularly inshore. We all love to fish but must always keep in mind that it's serious business out there. Be safe guys.

    http://ktla.com/2016/06/25/3-dead-4-hospitalized-after-boat-capsizes-off-catalina-island/
     
  11. old_rookie

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    Not sure how that 7th person set foot in that boat.
     
  12. Ken roe

    Ken roe Well-Known Member

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    I have had two V hull 14' alum boats and have used both out to the kelp on many occasions. I too echo the other posts in that weather and swell are the two main factors I consider when deciding to go out on the ocean. Make sure your motor is in excellent working order… Don't go if it is having any problems. (*Check/maintain batteries too if your motor is electric start*)
    Don't rely on your cellphone! Get a Radio. Even a handheld model can be a lifesaver in an emergency.
    Don't go out half ***! Plan & prep for the trip and leave information about your plan with someone on land including when you expect to return. Finally, Don't push your limits. Listen to your intuition. If it doesn't feel good, don't go for it.
    Safe boating & tight lines!
     
  13. Jiminsandiego

    Jiminsandiego Well-Known Member

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    San diego bay sort of melts into the kelp beds so you can kind of feel your way out. There are some "ribbon kelp" areas just below the old light house that are still in the bay. But you must be careful of the south swell there. The macro kelp is just a little farther. Watch out for waves, wakes, big boats and most importantly FOG. Hand held GPS, VHF radio and Vessel assist membership, Fathometer, air horn off the top of my head. Have fun. That ribbon kelp produces.
     
  14. Titos334

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    Because it's a flat bottom jon boat I'd be extra extra sure to pick a day that's really flat with 5mph or less winds.
     
  15. sumpin_fishy

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    I used to have an old 12 foot lake morena rental boat. We used to launch in MB and go all the way to la jolla no prob. Just pick your days and use common sense. This may sound weird but We would strap a life jacket around our tackle boxes and have Bumper with velcro to wrap our rods in the event we had to swim for it!
     
  16. mcfish

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    I would stay away from the mouth of S.D. bay. On a couple occasions I've had military ships and tankers come in trailing a 4'wake that broke over the bow of my 18' bass boat. Your 14' may become a submarine under those conditions! Once you get to the kelp you're probably ok on small swell day. Just depends if you want to roll the dice. Don't want to see you on the evening news!
     
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  17. ror_sal

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    I wouldn't in a John boat. Too flat. All it takes is a little wind in the afternoon to be over the limit. Id look into selling the John and investing in a v-hull. Valco or something along those lines.
     
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  18. Bassalliance_brad

    Bassalliance_brad Active Member

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    Some of these "I've done it in this" comments are going to get somebody killed. Air and water conditions are most important to me. Just be safe, plain and simple.
     
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  19. Cheese Whiz

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    I really agree, I didn't catch at the beginning it was a Jon Boat. I grew up using those in the Rivers in the Midwest, and I would be very hesitant to use those with much swell/wind at all since they don't cut through the waves at all. You would be fine in Mission Bay, but without perfect glassy conditions I'd personally be pretty scared to venture out.
     
  20. dingokevin

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    Very simple answer if you are nervous the answers is no.
     
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