Learned some stuff in my 228

luckydude

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Anthony (amamola on the forum) pinged me to see if I was still alive (I love this forum, really decent people here, if COVID weren't a thing we'd be having a giant party at my place).

I've been busy with some other stuff, I do tractor / excavator work on the side, mostly for fun because I like those big toys. Been busy with a project, took my tractor to it, excavator was already there, me and a helper took a mess and turned it into a big flat spot (mostly, we sloped it for drainage) Fun!

I did get out on the boat yesterday and had a bad time. My fishing buddy, who has a decade or two of ocean fishing experience, said lets chase salmon out under the Golden Gate, we'll go north, they've been getting them up there. I have yet to put a salmon in my Grady so I was game. It all came together pretty fast, I was running the check lists, handhelds, ice, bait, lunch, you know the drill. What I did not do was check windy.com for waves.

We ran up to Oyster Point Harbor, it's in South San Francisco, at least an hour from where I live, nice launch, the bay is glass flat, I get to play around with my 250 against his 140, though my boat is maybe 1-2K pounds heavier, that 250 ran circles around him. Not gonna lie, that was fun, I love my250.

We went out under the gate, those of you who have done so know what it is like to go through the potato patch, it's a mess, waves and current coming at you from every direction, it's a bit scary for a new captain like me. I followed my buddy, I was riding where he went.

We got well past the bridge, maybe a mile and it was still crappy. I got on the radio and said I wanted to turn back, he said it will get better. So I stuck with it. We went north about 10 miles, I dunno, have to look at my GPS and see, it was a haul. When we finally stopped, the 228 was rocking and rolling in the swell, to the point I could feel seasickness coming on. So I got on the radio, it's my boat, I get to decide what is fun and what isn't, and this was not fun for me. Told my buddy I'm going back in.

Now I'm solo with no lead boat. It's not great conditions, my buddy said it was 4.6 feet at 9 seconds. windy.com said 7 feet at 9 seconds. I don't know what it was, all I know is I hated it. My 228, in flat conditions, will stay on plane at 19mph, maybe 20. 18, it is off plane. But in snotty conditions, you can be going 20 and you go over a swell, that swim platform grabs a bunch of water (yes, 226 people, I get it now, still like the 228, but I get it) and it pulls you off plane. To stay on plane I'm needing 22mph at least. In those seas, at least 3 times, I had the whole boat out of the water, the prop out of the water, and when that happens you come down hard. Not fun.

I also, finally, have learned to trim the engine back. I'm the guy that likes the engine trimmed forward, all the way forward, so it pushes the bow down. Not in those seas. I was coming down hard enough that the Carolina flare was doing its job but just barely. I wasn't stuffing the bow but I was closer than I have ever been. So in that snot, I pushed the engine back to push the bow up. And yeah, all you people who have warned me about a following sea (looking at you magic), yep it pushes you around.

There were some other Grady owners that went out and said on a local forum that that was a nice day. It was not a nice day for me, it sucked, I didn't fish. My guess is I'm a big wuss, I'm like that with my tractors, I've got a friend who is way more experienced and he does stuff on my tractors that I would never do. The difference is that he knows where the tractors will tip over, I do not. So I tend to be way more careful. I'm that way with the boat too, though it is a bit different there. The boat is for fun. If the ocean is not fun, I don't want to be out on it. I'm not trying to prove that I can handle snot, I'm trying to avoid it so it is fun for me.

This post is thanks to Anthony, go him for caring. And he is not the only one, I've gotten pushes from other people at different times, they all were wondering if I was OK. This forum is full of people who care about you. One day I need to be the guy asking someone if they are OK.
 
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Koakine88

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Great write-up. I'll be in the same boat as you here soon as I'm a few weeks away from my 208 delivery in Hawaii. I will have to learn how to properly run my boat as my previous boat did not have trim tabs and was a much different design despite only being 2 feet shorter than the 208. You have a good head on your shoulders to know your own comfort levels and when they are beginning to be exceeded. I used to take my 18' open bow runabout 3-8 miles offshore to some FAD buoys, but I really carefully picked the days. Being a career Coast Guardsman I definitely have seen enough stupidity to play it safe whenever I can. If I ever became a SAR case I wouldn't be able to live it down.

My first handful of trips I plan on going with people that also have experience with boats just to spread out the knowledge a bit. I've only rented boats in the past with trim tabs and that is definitely a learning curve. I'll also be soliciting help to beef up my rod holder setups, as the factory ones won't hold up to the kind of trolling I plan on doing.

Attach some pictures next time, I'm sure it's a beautiful trip going under the Golden Gate.
 

Sdfish

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lucky, good on you! if it is not fun, no need to go.
 

Summertop511

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I liked the write up. Finally a 228 person that can realize and admit why all the new Grady freedoms and CC don’t have brackets. They are great but for straight nasty weather the motor on hull can really shine. I’ve been on both and 2 foot less waves the 228 flies and gets better gas mileage along with a better cockpit. 226 is slower and open transom but can stay on plane easily down to 12 mph, not fall off plane at 15 mph in big waves, and reverse in the direction motor is facing. Always pro and cons with boats and hull design.
 

luckydude

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Great write-up. I'll be in the same boat as you here soon as I'm a few weeks away from my 208 delivery in Hawaii. I will have to learn how to properly run my boat as my previous boat did not have trim tabs and was a much different design despite only being 2 feet shorter than the 208.
As a new 228 owner and 1st time captain, all this stuff is fresh in my mind, I'm still learning but I've learned a lot.

Not everyone will agree with me, one of the nicest and smartest guys here doesn't agree, but I trim the bow only with the engine. That's what Eric Sorensen (the grady tech guy on youtube) does as well. To cut through waves, trim that engine all the way forward, watch the bow, if you are in snot and you are close to stuffing it, trim the engine back a little. It is definitely worthwhile to pick a calm day (if there is such a thing) and go out, trim the engine all the way forward and see where the rail is relative to the horizon. Now start trimming it back and keep going until the sound changes, that's too far, but see where the rail is. I think I can move the bow up / down over about a 3 foot range, it's pretty dramatic.

Trim tabs I use only to correct list. The thing with the tabs, you probably have the same Bennett hydraulics as I do, is that they don't react instantly. So everyone holds the buttons down too long. Play with them. Hold the button down for "one one thousand" and wait for it to move. If yours are set up like mine, they are weird. The port button controls the starboard tab. So when you want bow down on port, it is pushing the starboard tab down. Oh and that noise you hear when you turn off the key is the tabs, they reset to home position when you turn the engine off. Yes, it's annoying to hear the noise but it is nice to know where they are.

I run with my engine all the way forward almost 100% of the time. The best ocean I usually see is 3'@11s which is awesome for here but still some swells. The times when I trim the engine back are the very rare flat ocean and you trim it back and you'll go faster and get better MPG, or in a snotty ocean where you are getting close to stuffing the bow you'll want to adjust. I've found that just using the engine is enough for me to get the bow to where it is cutting through the swells instead of banging against them. People have told me that I could add some tabs, but Magic says be really really careful with that in addition to the engine, you can stuff the bow. So I've just stuck with the engine. I came home in that 3@11 at 35-43mph with my kid asleep in the cuddy cabin and I didn't wake him up. Still not a perfect ride but good enough.

Your 208 is going to be different, if I remember right they don't have a bracket. So it will behave differently, how differently I don't know. You'll figure it out. That 208 is a nice sled, about $30K cheaper than a 228. I almost bought that boat but my buddy convinced me bigger is better. The reality of my boat is 99.9% of the time it is me and my kid or me and a buddy or just me. The 208 would have been fine. Enjoy it.

I'm working on the pictures, the other boat took some and they texted to me and all I'm getting is low res.
 

luckydude

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I liked the write up. Finally a 228 person that can realize and admit why all the new Grady freedoms and CC don’t have brackets. They are great but for straight nasty weather the motor on hull can really shine. I’ve been on both and 2 foot less waves the 228 flies and gets better gas mileage along with a better cockpit. 226 is slower and open transom but can stay on plane easily down to 12 mph, not fall off plane at 15 mph in big waves, and reverse in the direction motor is facing. Always pro and cons with boats and hull design.
I regularly go out in 4@11 or 5@11 swells and it is fine. Though that is what windy.com says and my experience is that they over predict the height of the waves. Had a big argument with my buddy about wave height when we went out under the gate, windy said it was 7@9 but the buoy said 4.6@9. Windy is a model, buoy is reality. I _think_ that I can handle more than 2' in reality but who knows, it is really hard for this n00b to tell.

I like the bracket because it gives me a big high no cutout transom and that makes me feel safer. In reality, perhaps not, but it makes me feel safer. I'm a big wuss so I'm going to pick my days and stay off the ocean when the bracket could get me into trouble. But I get why people seek out a 226 now. I still love my 228 but I get it.
 

magicalbill

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Hey Lucky:

As others have said, neat write-up and glad you are bonding with your rig.

Boat ownership is a Journey with Destinations in between. Along the way you discover things big & small, learn & adjust...

We have already discussed the pro's & con's of engine trim vs. tabs. You've found your zone and at the end of the day, that's all that matters.

We all have different ways of getting around the Tree. I'm glad your enjoying the boat and it's fun communicating with you on here.
 
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magicalbill

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glaicerbaze:

You will note that I did NOT "quote" LuckyDude's post above mine....
 

Ryhlick

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Lucky,
You will learn your boat better as you spend more time out in varied conditions. I run out of Garibaldi Oregon and IIwacco Wa. mainly for tuna. I was out yesterday with a 6' swell at 9 seconds with maybe 10-12 mph breeze and it wasn't too bad at all. Coming back in from 35 miles out you are alway on and off the throttle. There were times you would slow down creeping up a swell and then speed up going down. Never did the boat get airborne or feel unsafe. I know what people say about the 228 in following seas, but trimmed properly and using the throttle, it is an amazing little machine. Yes, we did boat 10 albacore and lost 4, not too bad for a mid October day. Don't get discouraged, every trip out you gain knowledge to help you on a future trip. Cheers
 
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mr_mbuna

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I definitely pick my days going out of the Golden Gate. I think I went as far as the bridge once when I had a 22' boat. I've never been 10 miles out. You're a brave man.
 

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I have been going out the GGB for a long time and still consider myself a weekend warrior when it comes to seas over 3 feet. I would have gone out this weekend but my 228 has to get the bottom painted and it's time for an engine service.

I have turned around times when the seas look lousy. On a moderate windy day I stay off the bar and stay in the deep water part as the bar is shallow and has higher seas. Sometimes heading to the channel buoys make it easier than trying to round Pt Bonita on the way back.

There will be plenty of salmon next season.

Sturg.