Watermanship Page: 82
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c. Action of boat in running before a breaking sea:
unsafe passage. If the boat is overtaken by a break-
ing sea and does not have enough inertia to allow it to
pass, only the first of the three positions occurs. The
stern is elevated high in the air and the wave carries
the boat before it with the bow sharply depressed and
deeply immersed in the hollow of the sea. The water
here is comparatively stationary and it offers a resistance
while the crest of the sea having the actual motion forces
the stern of the boat forward. A boat in this position
may sometimes run a considerable distance until the
wave has broken and expended itself. However, the
boat must be skillfully steered to accomplish this. More
often a boat in this position will:
(1) Be broached to or completely capsized. This
happens when the bow is high and does not become
submerged. The resistance forward acting on one bow
will turn the boat's head slightly. The force of the surf
is transferred to the opposite quarter and the boat will
be turned broadside to the sea and be thrown on its
beam ends or capsized. This is the way most boats are
upset in a surf, especially on flat coasts.
(2) Be thrown end over end. This happens when the
bow is so low it is driven under water and the forward
buoyancy is lost and the sea presses on the stern.
d. Effecting safe passage before a breaking surf.
There are different methods of procedure and the situa-
tion will govern which to use. In all instances the boat
should be steered by an oar over the stern or on one
quarter. Heavy weights should be kept out of the ex-
treme ends of the boat. When rowing in a heavy sea
the best trim is by the stern as this prevents the stern
being driven off by the sea.
(1) Before entering broken water turn a boat's bow
to the sea. Do this where the surf is lighter, as in the
relative lee and quiet of a point or bulge in the shore
line. Such a spot will most probably be found where
there is a gully or break in the shore line or a row of
cliffs behind the beach. Back in stern fist, pulling a
few strokes ahead to meet each wave and then again
Here’s what’s next.
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United States. War Department. Watermanship, book, April 25, 1944; Washington, D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96650/m1/88/: accessed March 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.