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Bayboat offshore

First, describe the boat: length, how much freeboard, fuel capacity, power, what electronics, etc. A good quality VHF and quality 8 foot antenna are absolutely necessary. GPS and a handheld backup as well.

Then you need very good weather and seas under 5 feet can cover a wide range of potential problems. It seems apparent to me that you have never been in three to fours that are running a four second interval. I would say anything over two feet should not ever be considered in a 'bay boat'. Even a "tough" one.

Fuel range. One third out, one third back and one third in reserve. This is a rule of thumb that will help keep you out of fuel usage trouble.

I would also recommend you get someone who has a good bit of offshore experience to go with you until you have a good feel for handling the boat, navigating offshore, etc.

Then be VERY cautious and picky about the days you try it. I have seen some very small boats very far offshore on perfect days, but those days are few and far between. ALWAYS file a float plan with someone before you leave. Always have a very good weather forecast and then be skeptical of it.

The pond offshore can be unpredictable and unforgiving. Be cautious and you should be able to have some very good days.

I hate to sound so pessimistic, but a few fish are not worth your life.

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