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Old 05-10-2012, 20:56   #151
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
never allow lines to wrap on any body part as that part will not be same when done. you may even lose the extremity. use safety. knots dont need to be cut--just keep hands and arms and feet and legs out of the loops. think your motions before moving. plan each action before you do it. see it in your head then do it.
it is easier to prethink actions than it i s to recover from a knife wound somewhere on your body.

I know someone who is actually a very good sailor as in understanding the physics involved in sailing and affecting the boat, sail trim, etc., but he has formed some bad habits. He doesn't always tie knots that can be easily untied. He'll wrap a line around a cleat correctly -- and then take the bitter end and jam it under the cleat.

If the line gets tight enough, that easily-released knot is now extremely hard to release. Knots have to be easily tied AND untied, and the right one has to be used. Some bind under load and some can be released safely under load. If you have to struggle to get a knot undone in an emergency, it can make things much worse. As someone else pointed out, you can even get fingers caught in bad ways.
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Old 05-10-2012, 20:59   #152
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

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Originally Posted by Contrarian View Post
I'm sure the NSA has intercepted this "sailboats can injure and kill" thread, flagged it for legislative review under the Ant-terrorism Act, and no doubt a bill is already seeping through the congressional sewage system requiring a state-issued sailing licenses, mandatory AIS tracking along with an Orwellian law requiring all of us to wear seat-belts and helmets while underway. Jeez, thanks Newt! ;-)

As a long-time big boat racer we rarely sailed dead down - less for safety reasons and more so for speed as it is the slowest point of sail. When executing a jibe, under no circumstance would we ever allow the boom to fly unrestrained across the deck - again less for safety reason and more so to prevent gear breakage. The main gets sheeted all the way in as we are turning through the jibe then slowly eased out on the opposite tack. Standard SOP.

I know this would not have likely prevented the unfortunate situation Newt spoke of from happening, however I mention this only because I have yet to hear this strategy suggested in this thread, and I've seen far too many intentional jibs executed with the same aplomb as violent accidental ones.

- My 2/cents

I can speak only for myself. I didn't mention it because it was an unintentional gybe. When gybing intentionally that's exactly what I do -- bring the boom to near center, not only to keep people safe but to be kind to moving parts on my boat. I really don't want all that extra force on my goose neck. It's just not necessary. Controlled, you can gybe safely under most conditions. I'm not going to say all. Might be a bad idea in a typhoon but realistically I don't expect to ever be in one.
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Old 05-10-2012, 21:05   #153
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

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+1

"Upredictable storm" is an oxymoron. To release a lot of energy, a weather system has to accumulate it first. It takes time in proportionate to what is released.

There is a lot of confusion of terminology here. "Storm" for sailors is not the same word as "storm" on land. Eskimoes, they say, have 20 different words for snow, because they live with snow year in and year out. Same with us for weather. What they call "storms" and even "violent thunderstorms" are nearly always just squalls for a sailor.

Sorry, but just not true. May be true where you are, I don't know. I confirmed that with friends tonight who are power boaters. They, too, have seen big storms blow up in a very short amount of time -- we all agreed that it can happen in 10 minutes here. It doesn't happen every day, but it does happen.

And, we all agreed that you can't always tell from the weather forecast. Sometimes these storms are part of a larger weather system, as we had here two days ago, and sometimes the weather forecast underestimates what's going to happen, the case yesterday.

The weatherman just said "This storm just popped up quickly over the interstate." Word for word what he just said.
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Old 05-10-2012, 21:06   #154
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
Sounds like a good day of training - What is a 'chicken gybe" - new term for me...




Big boat, big loads - Always unload the genny when furling and unfurling.

Also, it may not have made a difference but I teach that all lines should be held with pinky towards the load. You still can get a jam but I'd rather lose a pinky than a thumb...

And never, never, never wrap a sheet around your fist. If you can't hold the sheet in a fist, you likely can't hold the load the sheet is under...



I think I sorta did but regardless I agree 100% and on large boats the main sheet stays in the winch. Once the gybe executes few people can hold the main against the loads.
A "chicken gybe" is an intentional 270 degree tack rather than a real gybe.
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Old 05-10-2012, 21:35   #155
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
A "chicken gybe" is an intentional 270 degree tack rather than a real gybe.
A chicken gybe is appropriate for dinghies. For larger vessels in heavy air, it involves going head to head to wind which increases the apparent wind. I rarely use it.
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Old 05-10-2012, 21:38   #156
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

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Sorry, but just not true. May be true where you are, I don't know. I confirmed that with friends tonight who are power boaters. They, too, have seen big storms blow up in a very short amount of time -- we all agreed that it can happen in 10 minutes here. It doesn't happen every day, but it does happen.

And, we all agreed that you can't always tell from the weather forecast. Sometimes these storms are part of a larger weather system, as we had here two days ago, and sometimes the weather forecast underestimates what's going to happen, the case yesterday.

The weatherman just said "This storm just popped up quickly over the interstate." Word for word what he just said.
A storm - winds exceed 48 knots. Before You Go - Transport Canada
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Old 05-10-2012, 21:42   #157
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

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A storm - winds exceed 48 knots. Before You Go - Transport Canada

Then I was using the right term.
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Old 05-10-2012, 21:45   #158
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

Oh way too close! You've been given a second chance and thanks for reminding the rest of us.

For all the frustration I get from NOT being able to get to our 20' long boom, I'm glad it can't get to me either!

Next to the separate shower stall my wife loves the boom brake.
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Old 06-10-2012, 00:00   #159
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"Grade Inflation" of seastate descriptors

I'm with foolishsailor on the terminology disconnect happening in this thread.

Deep sea sailors have traditionally used carefully chosen terminology to separate two different aspects of wind strength.

The first is peak (short term) wind force.
The second is mean wind strength under sustained conditions (hours or days).

A gale, a storm or a hurricane referred to the latter; gale force, storm force and hurricane force were used to specify the former.

The reason for the separation is particular to the offshore environment. The former will cause a superficial chop, which may be vicious, but by definition does not act long enough to significantly affect the underlying wavetrain.

The former needs to be reflected in sailcarrying, sailhandling and other tactical responses, but the latter (when it approaches the upper end of what the vessel can manage) requires responses which are deeper and more strategic. It's waves, not chop or gusts or squalls, which sink well-found vessels offshore.

It used to be the mark of a landlubber or a 'yachtsman' to confuse the two, for instance, to claim to have survived a hurricane because they'd been at sea during wind of hurricane strength. I hope it's obvious by now that these are two different things. (In Britain, a "yachtsman's gale" was a derogatory term for a strong breeze with the odd gust or squall)

For myself, I've often encountered hurricane force winds offshore, but have never even been in a storm, let alone a hurricane ... at least, not as I would define it. And hope I never will.

Storm force winds can (under the right circumstances) be fun, even offshore.

I am reliably informed that Storms are never fun at sea, unless you happen to own a submarine. Luckily they're remarkably rare, and can generally be avoided.

It also used to mark the speaker down as a neophyte (among deep water sailors) to talk of winds 'gusting to Force 10', as the Beaufort scale is specifically a measure of mean wind strengths.
A correct description (in 'happier' times ;-) would have been something like "Force 7, gusting to 50 knots" in one situation, or "Force 8, with prolonged squalls to 50 knots" in another. This gives you some idea what tactics AND what strategy might be appropriate to the conditions.

In recent years, a mixture of 'harmonisation' with forecasting for land-based activities, and a "Mommification factor" (for presumably a whole bunch of well-intentioned but misguided reasons) has meant that these distinctions are no longer uniformly observed. I'm sure the main impetus came because ill-informed and/or weekend sailors would routinely come ashore complaining that the forecast led them to expect a gale but they got (in their terms) a storm.

Rather than making the situation safer, it makes it confusing and ambiguous; it's harder to decode even professional forecast information, or reports from other deep-sea vessels, because you can't be sure if they're talking old-school or new-school.
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Old 06-10-2012, 07:13   #160
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

Hey its my thread so I'm going to call all you guys on this spitting contest. NOAA radio gives three things when it defines sea state: swell height, wind wave height and wind in knots. Why don't we do the same. Nobody will contest that the weather in saw Florida can be crazy-I have been coming in from the gulf and seen waterspouts form between me and the harbor-but a pnw storm and a Florida thunderstorm are two different beasts. One forms in Alaska and the other over Tampa bay. Just because both descriptions have the word "storm" in it doesn't mean you have to get your rulers and start measuring...
So just describe the sea as you remembered it. It was a dark and foggy night. The wind picked up and panicked my helmsman... We will get the picture. :-)
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Old 06-10-2012, 07:40   #161
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

noaa measures storms as severe -- 50 to 80 kts, and extreme--80-100 kts and above for tboomers in florida. this is as stated by noaa, the same folks who bring the weather to you on vhf. noaa announces storms on their weather channels on vhf. this is done on both coasts. isnt always dead on accurate, but it is weather. it gives a rough description of what is to come.
every area has their own version of local weather. they are different from each other, as each area is different with different geographical phenomena. what works in one is not necessarily the answer for the other, but general heavy weather practices work every where.
it just takes lots of practice to get to know how to handle boat and selves in big or heavy weather, even sudden winds. each time is different, each experience also is different. each boat takes to these weather patterns in a different manner.
be safe and practice.
practice is not only done in the boat at sea..is also planning how to best deal with sudden upsets and surprises. newt--you are learning and doing well...please heal rapidly and come back out to play, practice, and learn more.
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:02   #162
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
noaa measures storms as severe -- 50 to 80 kts, and extreme--80-100 kts and above for tboomers in florida. this is as stated by noaa, the same folks who bring the weather to you on vhf. noaa announces storms on their weather channels on vhf. this is done on both coasts. isnt always dead on accurate, but it is weather. it gives a rough description of what is to come.
every area has their own version of local weather. they are different from each other, as each area is different with different geographical phenomena. what works in one is not necessarily the answer for the other, but general heavy weather practices work every where.
it just takes lots of practice to get to know how to handle boat and selves in big or heavy weather, even sudden winds. each time is different, each experience also is different. each boat takes to these weather patterns in a different manner.
be safe and practice.
practice is not only done in the boat at sea..is also planning how to best deal with sudden upsets and surprises. newt--you are learning and doing well...please heal rapidly and come back out to play, practice, and learn more.

Exactly. That's why this discussion is valuable to all of us. One doesn't have to be a world cruiser to be faced with the dangerous situation Newt found himself in.

The bigger and more organized a weather system is, the more predictable it will be for the weather forecasters.

Something has shifted here between last night and this morning. Last night the weather forecasters said 30% of thunderstorms; this morning the same forecasters said 40%. On occasion we have seen it shift from 40% to 80% as the day went on. That happened about three days ago, and most reasonably experienced sailors here would have left if they had a cruise planned. Whether they were traveling north or south (or west), they would have been caught in some very foul weather.

The NWS defines a "severe" thunderstorm slightly differently -- "The National Weather Service (NWS)considers a thunderstorm severe if it produces hail at least three-quarters of an inch in diameter, has winds of 58 miles per hour or higher, or produces a tornado."

58mph translates into 66k, so terminology can vary. In any case, I don't think anyone has debated whether any particular storm was "severe" or not. I would call it severe when the skipper is so badly injured that the Coast Guard has to come get him off his boat and to medical care that includes rods put in his arm ...

Redundancy. More than one of all the crucial things on your boat. That list will vary depending on what kinds of waters you're going to sail, but I'm going to make sure we have two preventers on the boat we're bringing back from Miami.
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:34   #163
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

58 MPH=50.4 knots. Got your conversion backwards...
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Old 06-10-2012, 13:06   #164
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Sorry, but just not true. May be true where you are, I don't know. I confirmed that with friends tonight who are power boaters. They, too, have seen big storms blow up in a very short amount of time -- we all agreed that it can happen in 10 minutes here. It doesn't happen every day, but it does happen.

And, we all agreed that you can't always tell from the weather forecast. Sometimes these storms are part of a larger weather system, as we had here two days ago, and sometimes the weather forecast underestimates what's going to happen, the case yesterday.

The weatherman just said "This storm just popped up quickly over the interstate." Word for word what he just said.
Sorry, but you are stuck with land concepts and land terminology. The "storm" which concerns TV weatherpeople has nothing to do with what happens at sea. Different frames of reference, different phenomena completely If you want to understand even the first thing about weather at sea, you would benefit from some study.
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Old 06-10-2012, 13:16   #165
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

You don't even have to be on the water for a sailboat to rise up and smite you. My husband, Gordon, was on a ladder, spray painting topsides of a boat on the hard when the fumes got him and he keeled over backwards. He too had broken ribs and a badly mangled hand, bad knock on the head but no concussion. All healed in time but we have an idea of what you're going through. Get well soon.
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