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Old 19-05-2008, 08:57   #1
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Location: SW Florida
Boat: Bristol (Alden) 35 Sloop "Zephyr"
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Knockdown

You really got to picture this!
While sailing up the west coast of Florida about 5 miles off Naples, the wind kept decreasing. I was sailing a nice beam reach. I set the "bananna" sail, a large yellow colored 3 oz or so dacron sail I believe is called a reacher. It's like a 200% genoa. it keeps the boat sailing when the wind goes light.
Anyhow after a while I couldn't maintain 2 1/2 kts, which was my speed when I turn the iron genny on. So while mototr sailing, with the auto pilot on, I was sitting in the cockpit, with my back against the cabin, facing aft, reading a book.
I didn't see the squall coming! All of a sudden The boat got knocked down. I was on the lee side, and had a hard time getting up, as the cockpit coaming went under water by about a 6 inches. I got to the wheel and turned into the wind a bit. there was so much pressure on the mainsheet, i couldn't release it easily. I let out the bananna, but was worried that the flogging would distroy my favorite sail. Anyhow, after I was able to get to the mast and lower the bananna, there was still 1 foot of water in the cockpit.
Thinking about it now, if I was on the windward side, I might have been thrown accross and off the boat!
The boat and sails survived. After what semed like hours (actually minutes0, I was exhausted!
After it passed the wind was fine and I had a great sail up the coast.
Fair winds
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Old 19-05-2008, 09:01   #2
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Great first hand account. Very crazy weather in FL, right? One question, which may seem kind of jerky:

Why wasn't anyone on watch 5 miles off Naples?
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Old 19-05-2008, 16:03   #3
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Location: Michigan
Boat: 1967 Starcraft 16' - 1961 Mercury 70hp
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I dream of owning a cruising catamaran someday soon.
I wonder how a catamaran would have reacted to a rouge wind gust like this?
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Old 19-05-2008, 17:04   #4
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"I didn't see the squall coming! "
Pirate, if you're good to read such compelling books, you've GOT to switch to audiobooks!
As a loud man told me more than once, "Keep your head out of the boat!"
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