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Old 04-05-2008, 22:18   #76
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I will throw out a few thoughts. I am a sailor and also a Capt. of a Bearing Sea Trawler. After 28 winters in Alaska I have experienced many differnt wind and sea conditions, as well as boat headings and all.

We typically "jog" our vessels (125') in big seas and winds. We will Jog for 6 hours or so upwind, then turn downwind and make it up faster and turn a round and do it again untill it moderates.

The Jog is 45 degrees off the wind. If you get too close to the wind the seas are too steep. Bearing sea has 30'-40' chop as opposed to the N. Pacific which has 40' waves. The key is to make the wall less steep by going up and down on an angle. If you get hit by a sluffer (whitewater) it will ususally not engulf you. If you take them head on you get your lights punched out. The problem is not the breaking wave, it is the hole right behind it that you drop into and get buried by the next wave. Keeping it on and angle (Like LL's hove to stuff) makes it livable and will allow you to avoid the holes better.

If you run off (as we do when we turn around) you will find you do not want to go on the same 45 degree angle as it is so uncomfortable. heavy rolling and yawing. So if you run off in steep breaking seas, you end up in a "hole"....you better have a good tight set up to take a hit from behind, like a full swimming pool size splash of water on you. Remember, or watch some time when you see a breaker coming, it is the hole afterword that will be the bad spot.

We take waves up the ramp and bury the entire deck (I have photos) when we run off in big steep ones. If it gets that bad I usually turn around and jog. It is less comfortable.....but safer. By the way did you know the most unstable course is downwind for ANY vessel? I had to have a full days class and videos to believe that one.

Well...that is the methods we use in the Bearing Sea on +100' boats like you see on the dangerous catch show.

I have a Searunner Trimaran (in Mexico) and I know Jim Brown used an 8 foot chute off his sterns and adjusted the angle and rode like a duck. He is concerned about rudder damage. I have not yet tried it but I want to try one off the bow. Mark Hassle set a chute off his 37' Searunner stern and rode out a blow off S. Africa. He was pulled south by the big current down there, against the wind!

Searunners have a central cockpit a long ways from the water, and you can fix a storm cover over the back window.

Knowing what I know....or maybe better to sya believing what I believe. I prefer to have a boat that is bouyant, up and running over a down deep and heavy tripper. Just a few thoughts.....:-)
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Old 05-05-2008, 05:35   #77
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Jmolan,

Thanks for "throwing out a few thoughts" (and the pictures).

Let me see if I understand you correctly, when you "jog" along, you are basicly steaming along (slowly ?) about 45 degrees off the wind. During this time, your keel is moving through the water (forwards) in the normal fashion?

Given you background and experience, can you comment on the effect of a stalled keel as described by L & L?

As I understand it, they describe a situation of lying hove to (to a para anchor if necessary) with the boat stalled about 50 degrees off the wind. The keel is stalled and is moving sideways through the water (at about 1/2 to 1 kt) creating a slick or a Von Karman vortex street to windward. This slick then disrupts the breaking of the seas directly upwind of the stalled keel. The trick is then to prevent the boat from sailing out of this small protected zone (i.e. keeping the hove to and the keel stalled).
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Old 05-05-2008, 08:25   #78
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Originally Posted by Jmolan View Post
. I am a sailor and also a Capt. of a Bearing Sea Trawler. After 28 winters in Alaska
You chaps are nuts. I saw a run of a few of those Dangerous Catch docos while stuck in a hotel room recently and realised the crab fishing season up there is in January or Febuary! So may I just repeat: Nuts, nuts, crazy, nuts and you all have a few kangaroos lose in your top paddock.

Its great to get all the ideas from those experienced and then work out good systems for our own type of boat and the sea state we are facing.

One thing I was thinking was that the method employed also depends on the crew and systems. Jogging either under engine or closely reefed is an excelent idea but there probably needs to be hands on the wheel when the waves get too big to, as you say, miss the hole at the back, etc. An auto pilot can't do that. Neither can a husband and wife team for more than just a few hours. Not a 3 day storm.
You guys would be experienced in these storms of a frequent basis and have a number of crew to take the helm. As Lin and Larry Pardy say in their book on the subject, they have only be in 4 'real' storms in 20 years! A 40 foot wave, short and cresting would freak out many a sailor, your people would think them quite common.


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Old 05-05-2008, 10:43   #79
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wel......

Let me see if I understand you correctly, when you "jog" along, you are basicly steaming along (slowly ?) about 45 degrees off the wind. During this time, your keel is moving through the water (forwards) in the normal fashion

Yes, we Jog at dead Idle, the only reason for being in gear is to hold the heading. You want as little or no fwd. motion as possible.

I would trust Larry to not steer you wrong. I have not read the book. If you have a boat design you can hove to and have it basically take care of itself that would be a great tool to have in your box. You have to know your boat and what it likes and does not like. It will tell you if you work it out before the need have it take care of you.....kinda like a horse. Let it do what it is designed to do, don't force it to do otherwise or you will regret it.

We will sometimes get our nets set (we tow about 3.5 knots) and have it come up to where the seas are just ridiculous. At this point I have to decide to keep going downwind basically safe and snug, or send the crew out to haulback. As long as we have some speed we are OK. When we haul back we stop and actually mave backwards a bit. That is when the same seas will start climbing on board. You direction of movement is huge in being able to ride out the junk.

You probably know a 10' wave is 4 times more powerful than a 5' wave. Also the speed is the same. As the speed doubles the force cubes. In wind waves sails speed etc.......just learn to lessen to blows, look for the paths that avoid the holes...and when you are totally confused, let the boat take care of you, hove to or get on a drouge or chute, what ever the boat and conditions warrent.
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Old 05-05-2008, 17:30   #80
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Appreciate the comment - thanks
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Old 05-05-2008, 17:54   #81
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Originally Posted by Jmolan View Post
After 28 winters in Alaska I have experienced many differnt wind and sea conditions, as well as boat headings and all.
That must rank in the all time list of understatements .........can see why you would want to recreation in the warm ......but that must be a helluva transition back every year!
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Old 07-05-2008, 15:31   #82
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Well I always tell my crew "never say you seen it all" Because sure enough something will come along and give you a good lesson in something you haven't seen before.
It is one of the resons I was so facinated with the ocean from the start. Endlessly educational in so many things.
I re-read some of my storm stuff and I hope I did not sound flippant. It is nothing to take lightly this stuff really. One thing that helps me a lot is to have rules or "sayings" that you can recall when you need them. You need rules to overide the emotions.
I am used to working with guys who get so used to this stuff ......you hear things like "sloppy" or "got my a** kicked out there" or "slow going" etc. It's just part of what we have to do. I work from mid-January Through March then again in the summer. I prefer summer, but the good fishing is in the winter.....in fact the Aleutian Islands make awsome summer cruising grounds (all to your self)......:-)
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Old 07-05-2008, 19:12   #83
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..in fact the Aleutian Islands make awsome summer cruising grounds (all to your self)......:-)
Yes, I've always wanted to do them. But I will have to wait till I get the right boat. And, yes, right in the middle of summer!

I wanna have a kodak moment with a Kodiak bear!

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Old 08-05-2008, 09:59   #84
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HA!

The Bears you want to see are best located at the village dumps. The Large Island of Unimak is the last of the Bears going west, nothing west of there.
Most don't realise how far south the Aleutians dip. They get as low as Vancouver Island. But we also get as far west as New Zealand...check it out. When I sail from SE Alaska I cross the Gulf for 5 days going west, not north. We work at 54 degrees lattitude and 165 west which is near Hawaii longitude......:-)
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Old 14-10-2009, 09:23   #85
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Reopening this thread: I have recently read the Pardeys book and I think they make very good sense. Next time, I will have a para-type sea anchor aboard.
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Old 14-10-2009, 11:22   #86
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Storm tactics & many choices

I appreciate that folks are unsure what solution for severe storms, especially 'survival storms' works best.

We had read the Pardy's book on Storm Tactics as well as met with them and also attended a program they gave touching these questions. There is more than one means of solving problems, but eventually you may reach a level of danger only one method works best in. I previously bought a full para-anchor, but have never continued studying the topic. I am a physics nut fan though, and eventually came to the conclusion there was a better solution.

You can read about it on the web site Jordan Series Drogue for free. There has never been a loss with anyone using it. You cannot say that about any other solution.

The US Coast Guard made extensive studies of the problem and their report is on the web site I included above. After reading it all, including the great work, DRAG DEVICE DATABASE I ended up selling my Paratech Sea Anchor and we bought the kit for the Jordan Series Drogue that is sold by Sailrite.

We feel the absence of chafe and the passive nature of the JSD, together with its proven safety record justified having it aboard. Ed
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Old 14-10-2009, 11:50   #87
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In my opinion, ( and I have the pardy book)and based on my experiences with modern "production" boats in some hairy storms, I cant see the advantage of a para-anchor at all, even less the hove-to method.

Lets look at Hove-to. Most modern fin kneel boats will not hove-to for any length of time. Try it youself, the boat will inevitably tack through teh wind and start sailing or will fall off and start sailing. Also they tend to sit almost beam on and its a dangerous orientation. In my experience, boats will hove-to in conditions that dont threaten them anyway and its a useful mechanism for relieving tired crew, but I doubt its survival atributes.


Para-anchors ie, off the bows , I have no direct experience, but the shock loads are huge and I doubt that anything is strong enough


Drogues, and I include trailing warps in this sector are things I have experence of, however they are not in themselves survival techniques, they are aids to teh basic survival technique of running off before the wind, ie the active survival school of techniques.

I also had haqd very good reports forereaching into big seas under small amin and low revs engine. thats a very good technique
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Old 14-10-2009, 11:55   #88
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I appreciate that folks are unsure what solution for severe storms, especially 'survival storms' works best.

We had read the Pardy's book on Storm Tactics as well as met with them and also attended a program they gave touching these questions. There is more than one means of solving problems, but eventually you may reach a level of danger only one method works best in. I previously bought a full para-anchor, but have never continued studying the topic. I am a physics nut fan though, and eventually came to the conclusion there was a better solution.

You can read about it on the web site Jordan Series Drogue for free. There has never been a loss with anyone using it. You cannot say that about any other solution.

The US Coast Guard made extensive studies of the problem and their report is on the web site I included above. After reading it all, including the great work, DRAG DEVICE DATABASE I ended up selling my Paratech Sea Anchor and we bought the kit for the Jordan Series Drogue that is sold by Sailrite.

We feel the absence of chafe and the passive nature of the JSD, together with its proven safety record justified having it aboard. Ed
Angel, respectfully submit that in a catamaran you may well be correct. In fact, as I understand it, the series drogue is basically your only reliable storm tactic. For us "half-cats", it's different.
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Old 14-10-2009, 19:13   #89
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I, also respectfully, would suggest that if you can anchor in 50 knots you can sea anchor on a parachute in the same on any boat. My read of the Pardy's book is that they used paraanchors that were undersized. You do not anchor normally off the front at an angle. You should not have any back drift under the paraanchor, rather move with the current. The bow takes the load, the minimal wind and water impact is off the bow, and a good length of line takes away any jarring. My personal experience is having used a paraanchor and 150m braid four times in fury, including one cyclone and two storms. My boats were all multihulls - 40ft cats. I have never used a series drogue and if it stops the boat from any downwind drift then I really is another sea anchor anyway.
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Old 14-10-2009, 20:37   #90
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Storm tactics & many choices

Different strokes for different folks.

I am a believer that if you prepare you are better off than the many that do not.

Whatever your choices, I would encourage anyone to take a look at the two web sites and read how both monohull and catamarans have fared in survival storms with different types of drag devices. You can see a fair number of summary update reports for free from the Drag Device Database at their website giving many reports from boaters like us at:
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The reports are fascinating to read.

There is also a wealth of information that would surprise most readers on the Jordan Series Drogue site. You can read it for free at their web site, and they have copied the USCG study on the matter and analyzed many boats that came to grief. See it at:
Jordan Series Drogue
It too is fascinating and gives good tips for sailors.

I have owned the Paratech Sea Anchor and the Jordan Series Drogue.

There are some good lessons for all of us, if we are interested in looking at the experience of others who have gone in harms way and analyze their experiences.
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