Truly dangerous heavy weather is extremely rare. And it's not the wind which is the problem, but the seas. You can handle 60, 70, or even 80 knots of wind in some fashion or another. But the sea raised by a 40-knot breeze blowing against a two-knot current can cause all sorts of grief.
Until you've experienced a gale, it is something that is feared. Then once you've been caught out in a gale, and dealt with it you think "That wasn't too bad. We can handle that and the boat did just fine."
The anxiety level for skipper and crew goes up a notch.
Then, eventually you are in storm force conditions. If the systems and rig hang in there, and they will if properly maintained, odds are you'll come through with some interesting experience, and be well prepared for authentically dangerous conditions if you are ever caught.
The trick is to understand the difference between truly dangerous conditions, and those which provide a chance to test yourself, your crew, and your boat.
Everyone who goes to sea worries about getting caught. Even the most experienced professionals have that little tinge of apprehension as the weather starts to change. This is a healthy reaction, as long as it leads to caution. If it leads to fear and paralysis—inactivity—then it is a real detriment to safety of vessel and crew. And if that fear nags at you whenever it is time to head offshore, it will put a real damper on the enjoyment of cruising.
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Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.