Have you ever wondered if you can go with your ski boat to the ocean? Whether it is made of fibreglass or Aluminum, your ski boat can be used in different kinds of water bodies. But before you do so, you have to ask yourself some critical question and ensure that your ski boat can handle the vagaries of the ocean. In this article, we will find out whether your ski boats can go in the ocean and what to look out for.
Can Ski Boats Go in The Ocean?
So, can ski boats go in the ocean? Of course, yes. You can take your ski boat into the ocean. The boat will work in any water body, provided you do not exceed its design capacity.
Also, you have to watch out for other factors that will favor your safe usage of the ski boat in the ocean.
For example, the weather and water condition are really important factors to consider. Ski boats, if adequately equipped, can handle the ocean waves very well.
Before you go deeper into the ocean with a ski boat, you must check with the marine forecast to ensure that the weather condition is good.
Good boatmanship dictates that you pick your days wisely.
What Is the Difference Between Freshwater and Saltwater Boats?
If you live near a lake and an ocean, you cannot avoid the temptation of taking your boat to the ocean during summer.
There are apparent differences between saltwater and freshwater boats. Before you take your boat to the ocean, confirm that it has been designed to handle salty water. Here are the common differences between these two:
1. Resistance to corrosion – saltwater boats are designed to be corrosion resistant. They also feature a closed cooling system, which reduces the need for manually flushing the engine after use.
Therefore, before you take your ski boat to the ocean, ensure that it is made up of corrosion-resistant material.
2. Saltwater boats have Mercathode Systems – These are designed to run an electric current through the engine to avoid galvanic corrosion.
This system will not be installed on freshwater boats. If your ski boat doesn’t have this system, you must flush the engine thoroughly after use in the ocean.
3. Design of the Hull – Freshwater boats have hull designs and fins better suited to being in flat shores for handling flat waves.
While boats meant for the ocean are built to withstand tougher ocean waves.
The condition in the ocean is usually very volatile. It can change to the worst at any time. Therefore, if you go in the ocean with your ski boats, ensure it has the right hull design.
4. Fouling of the Hull – boats that are used in the ocean are prone to marine life growth on the hull. Barnacles, for instance, can sever bellows.
For this type of boats, you have to set out time for removing this growth from the hull.
Factors to Consider Before Taking your Ski Boat to the Ocean
When you go in the ocean with your ski boats, the chances are that they will float and move. But before you start enjoying your excursion, there are several factors you have to put into consideration. These include:
Check the Marine Weather forecast – before you take your ski baat to the ocean, you should ask yourself whether the weather is conducive. This usually is important at the beginning of the summer season.
When the weather is wild, you can have high waves on the sea. The ski boats are not usually designed to handle such high waves. Thus, there is a risk of capsizing.
Offshore Sailing Skills – Before you take your ski boats to the ocean, you should ensure you have the skills of sailing offshore.
You must have the local knowledge of the waterways and the inlets to the ocean. Moving along or across ocean inlets and waterways is very risky.
The water at these points can be very turbulent, hence require a uniquely designed boat.
You can also consider taking a boating safety course like the USCG to increase your skills on safe boating before going to the ocean with your ski boat.
For your first trip, you can consider going along with someone skilled at sailing in the ocean.
Ensure you have the necessary equipment – You can go in the ocean with your ski boat. But you must ensure you have the right equipment installed.
Before going offshore, ensure you have equipment like a fishfinder, GPS, safety gear, and a VHF radio among others.
Since your ski boat may not be designed for the ocean waves, it is good to have the safety equipment if the boat gets overwhelmed by the harsh ocean conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can all boats go in the ocean?
It is not advisable to use inland boats in the ocean. Offshore boats have distinct hull shape and a keel for stability in large waves and stronger currents.
An inland boat is not stable enough for ocean use and may capsize easily. Additionally, engines with raw water colling will rust when exposed to the salty water in the ocean.
2. Is it easy to flip a ski boat in the ocean?
Any boat can flip over. It just depends on the strength of the wave. But ski boats are more susceptible to flipping over because they are not designed for the ocean.
If you must use them in the ocean, you should ensure that the weather is right to avoid flipping over.
3. Can Aluminum ski boats go in the ocean?
Yes, Aluminum is suitable for inland and ocean waters. Although saltwater is not Aluminum’s best friend, this should not restrict you from taking your ski boat to the ocean.
But after sailing, you must thoroughly flash your ski boat and wash it thorough to avoid the accumulation of salty water in the engine.
4. How big should a boat be to go in the ocean?
Offshore fishing boats should be at least 40 feet. However, the size of the boat required for offshore fishing is determined by weather and your ability to take risks.
You can go to the ocean with your 10 – 15 feet long ski boats. But this will be exposing you to risks.
5. Do boats go faster in ocean waters?
Boats will go a little bit faster in salty ocean waters. But this is only possible if all the other factors are held constant (like the type of boat, the temperature of the water, the weather, and weight).
Because saltwater has a higher density, the boat will float a little higher on the water surface.
Also, the lesser the hull in water, the lower the drag and hence the boat will move faster.
6. Which one is better between fibreglass and Aluminum ski boats?
Since fibreglass ski boats are heavier, they have stronger seakeeping skills and are more stable than aluminium boats.
Because of their heavyweight, fibreglass boats cannot be easily blown by the wind. They tend to drift slowly and predictably. This is the best option for anglers.
7. Is ocean water bad for the ski boat?
Ocean water is salty. Unlike freshwater, it poses several problems to ski boats. If you must go in the ocean with your ski boat, you have to regularly maintain it.
Ocean water can corrode metals ten times faster than freshwater. Also, ocean waters can be very rough; hence need a uniquely designed ski boat that can withstand the harsh ocean waves.
Ski boats, for the most part, can be used in ocean water. However, boat owners should be aware of the increased corrosion risk.
To reduce these hazards after use, be sure to clean the engine with fresh water. Also, use a hose to clean the hull as well, since any residual salt will cause corrosion.
Depending on the condition, ski boats can go in the ocean. But you have to ensure that it is of proper size and design to handle the ocean waves.
Some ski boats are designed to go offshore, although extra precaution should be taken while at it. Unlike the lake, the ocean waves can change rapidly; this may be risky for small ski boats.