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how to drive in shallow water with my 19 ' Bayliner I/O

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  • how to drive in shallow water with my 19 ' Bayliner I/O

    So just purchased my first boat about a month ago and just recently finished fixing her up for the season. My boat experience was always as a passenger on my friends boats so I'm pretty new to driving one. I took my 2005 Bayliner 3.0 Mercruiser I/o out for the first time this morning just to learn the channels and realized that a ton of areas where my friends and I use to park up changed dramatically do to erosion. As I passed I noticed that a bunch of boats similar to mine in size were still using these areas to sit and enjoy the weather. I decided not to go in because my depth finder was reading 3 feet and I don't want to hit sand. Is there a science behind driving in shallow water with an I/O? So many beautiful places to drive into are around 3 feet by my area and I want to take advantage of this. Any pointers on how to drive in shallow water would be greatly helpful.

  • #2
    The science is called 'trim' and 'tilt'. You can use the trim switch to bring the outdrive up to its 'limit' position so that the boat/outdrive does not draw as much water. Beyond that you can use the 'tilt/trailer' button to bring the outdrive up a bit further for more shallow areas. Of course, when running in the tilt range, you want to be at idle speed.

    I'm sure your friends would bring the outdrive up as much as needed when they ventured into shallow areas and to get near shore. You just may not have noticed.

    When anchored (or beached) in shallow water, you want to bring the outdrive up well into the tilt range to avoid it hitting bottom during wave action.
    Best regards, Ted . . . . Cape Cod, MA

    Current Boats: Formula 330 Sun Sport, O'Day Mariner Sail #3224, Sunfish
    Past Boats: Catalina 22 Sail #10531, Formula 242 Sun Sport
    Twin Mercruiser 7.4 LX MPI (0F802036, 039), Bravo 3's (0F806198, 199), Mercury 7.5 HP (1969), Johnson 4.5 HP (1980)

    My Boating Web Pages: http://www.tpenfield.com

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    • #3
      your boat has two drafts. on plane and displacement speed.

      your depth finder is mounted to the bottom of your hull not at the water line this extra depth is going to help you not hit bottom

      know how far below the depth finder your outdrive is.

      know how much you draft at displacment speed (measure when at dock)

      then as Ted described, use trim and tilt when water gets close to your draft depth (the added buffer of the distance below the water line to your depth finder is your safety margin)
      Cheesehead boating the Gulf Coast of FLA 27.51° N, 82.53° W

      1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - http://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

      Past Boats
      1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
      2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheeseheads in Paradise"
      1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

      What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari

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      • #4
        The advice given so far is spot on. But to add to it the best thing you can do is avoid shallow water. Anchor on the edge of it if you must. Even if it is sandy bottom there will be some submerged hazards around that if you hit one may damage prop or outdrive. If you know the most shallow area is 3’ then you may be ok. In 50+ years of boating almost every prop I’ve damaged has happened from hitting something in shallow water where I shouldn’t have been. If you want to “sit and enjoy the weather” don’t do it in shallow water.
        Also I don’t know where you boat but if it is affected by tide and current the shallow depths can vary from the 3’ to 6” before you know it.

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        • #5
          slowly
          Medford, WI


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          • #6
            9' water can go to 6" in a second.
            Medford, WI


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            • #7
              trim up, go very slowly, basically no wake speed.

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              • #8
                3' isn't a problem, 1' sure is. If you aren't sure how deep you are heading to, don't go there. The thing I have learned about rivers and sandy bottom lakes is what was 3' yesterday may be 1' today. If you boat mostly in sandy/muddy bottom waters a stainless steel prop is recommended, and a tow rope. I've bottomed out on plane a few times on the river with zero damage on my SS prop, just my ego was bent a bit.
                Experience is a lifetime of mistakes, wisdom is not making them again.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mavico
                  I'm not sure but, isn't wearing a life boat some sorta safety precaution when it comes to riding on a boat?
                  Life boats tend to be pretty big, so wearing one may not be all that easy.

                  Best regards, Ted . . . . Cape Cod, MA

                  Current Boats: Formula 330 Sun Sport, O'Day Mariner Sail #3224, Sunfish
                  Past Boats: Catalina 22 Sail #10531, Formula 242 Sun Sport
                  Twin Mercruiser 7.4 LX MPI (0F802036, 039), Bravo 3's (0F806198, 199), Mercury 7.5 HP (1969), Johnson 4.5 HP (1980)

                  My Boating Web Pages: http://www.tpenfield.com

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tpenfield View Post

                    Life boats tend to be pretty big, so wearing one may not be all that easy.
                    This life boat sank.
                    BOAT SPECS FORUM HELP STARCRAFT FORUM SHOP iboats
                    Please, no PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems.
                    That is what the forums are for.
                    Only forum/moderator issues will be answered in PM's.

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                    • #11
                      Sign up today
                      Originally posted by roscoe View Post
                      9' water can go to 6" in a second.
                      Apparently you've been on the Miller dam flowage... Been there, done that...
                      If ya can't fix it with a hammer,ya got yourself an electrical problem.

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