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Old 10-10-2011, 15:08   #31
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Re: Storm in a Boat ?

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Originally Posted by Kallima View Post
Wow pretty epic posts! looks like I'm going to be careful not to sail joyfully headfirst into one of these things in a dinghy....

Thanks for all the advice as well, much needed!

Some people have said that I sound scared - well yes but there's not much reward (or fun) from dealing with things which we're not secretly chewing our nails off about is there? Like jumping off a ledge on a snowboard. Although when I first jumped off the ledge I was stupid enough not to wear a helmet and completely knocked myself out, so from now on I'd like to know as possible when getting myself into dangerous situations. Also, your stories are bluddy interesting/amazing
If you are doing anything that involves risk to life or limb and you are not scared then you have become complacent and are a risk to yourself and anyone else that trust you..nothing wrong with a little caution and forethought...then go for it yeeehaa!!..DVC
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Old 10-10-2011, 22:47   #32
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Re: Storm in a Boat ?

Got caught in cyclone bola {1984 } in a 25 ft spencer stilleto ,it was like going up and down in an elevator for 10 hrs before I got to the Lee of an island, 6 mtr swells, nice and calm at the bottom of the trough then the swell lifts you up 6 mtrs to a force 9 that knocks you flat then down the trough again .learnt that the hardware {the boat} is way stronger than the software{you}.I still cant stand the howl of the wind in the rigging to this day
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Old 10-10-2011, 22:48   #33
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Re: Storm in a Boat ?

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Originally Posted by Matt sachs View Post
I have been told its like being in jail during an earth quake. I dont know first hand though.
It is, and I do.
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Old 10-10-2011, 23:05   #34
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Re: Storm in a Boat ?

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Originally Posted by capt.bobfm View Post
I don't mind the fierce gusts,or even the breaking waves over the deck so much as the incessent howling in my ears.Once you've gotten the boat ballenced and under command,it's not so bad,but that noise doesn't go away.
How true, The shreaking wind though the stays will drive you to suck water.........Michael......
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:01   #35
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Re: Storm in a Boat ?

Clearly, experience plays here, as does the exact situation.

At anchor, especially at night, you are primarily vigilant - tending the rode, monitoring chafe, checking for dragging, etc. If in a popular anchorage, the VHF traffic can be humorous or frightening. Depends on the situation, and the boat and its crew.

If heavy weather is encountered underway, another dynamic comes into play.

If aboard a well found (and well financed) ocean racer, with an experienced crew of twelve, you simply go about your duties, difficult and challenging as that may be. You be accustomed to the hardship.

If sailing short handed, as I suspect the OP might be, things are a bit different. I have found the experience to be initially exhilarating. You are very busy as a skipper, and totally engaged in the situation. You are solely responsible for the vessel and crew. If you are dealing with flogging sails, or stowing biminis, you will find how simple tasks have become extremely challenging. Preparation of food becomes a daunting task.

Eventually though, exhaustion takes its toll. Lack of sleep, lack of proper nutrition and the onset of sea sickness (the reason I stay on deck as long as possible) begin to wear down even the saltiest of us. Cold, dampness, possible injury, all contribute to the challenge, as do sea state (rollers versus square waves, etc.) vessel failures, etc. Fortunately, all storms eventually subside.

Sail enough and you will encounter your own personal challenge. Have confidence in your self, and in your boat, and you will be okay, with a good story for the next time you share a beer with your buddies.

And never go to sea with known boat issues. Fix things at the dock, not 1000 miles offshore.
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:25   #36
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Re: Storm in a Boat ?

What I learned in my first multi-day storm was that coastal foulies don't cut it. In a storm situation you may spend several days without ever removing your foulies, even when off watch, and if you don't have something that's going to keep you warm and dry in 40-knot winds and driving rain, you're screwed.

I was in two multi-day storms offshore where I was the only member of the crew not to get seasick. That sucks, especially when it means standing extended watches. The worst is when everyone down below is sick and you have to go below to make your own coffee, or a cup of soup, or use the head. There's a point where it's more fun being topsides with the wind. I hate it when I'm the only guy who wants to eat, and I have to make my own dinner after six hours alone in the cockpit. Thank the gods for granola bars!

Running with a storm can be exhausting if the autopilot can't handle the following seas. I've been in situations where we had to change the helmsman every hour because of the physical fatigue. Beating into a storm is frustrating; not only are you being punished physically, but your velocity made good sometimes drops to zero. It's no fun getting pounded when you're only moving forward 25 knots a day.
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Old 12-10-2011, 12:38   #37
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Re: Storm in a Boat ?

If you really want to know what it is like to be on a boat in a storm you can easily organize the experience in the safety of your own home. First find a powerful hair dryer and plug it in on the fan only setting, put on a raincoat then hop in a cold shower. p.s. To really authenticate the experience I would suggest you carry some dollar bills and rip them up with your 2nd and 3rd hands.
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Old 12-10-2011, 15:39   #38
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Re: Storm in a Boat ?

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Originally Posted by redsky49 View Post
Clearly, experience plays here, as does the exact situation.

At anchor, especially at night, you are primarily vigilant - tending the rode, monitoring chafe, checking for dragging, etc. If in a popular anchorage, the VHF traffic can be humorous or frightening. Depends on the situation, and the boat and its crew.

If heavy weather is encountered underway, another dynamic comes into play.

If aboard a well found (and well financed) ocean racer, with an experienced crew of twelve, you simply go about your duties, difficult and challenging as that may be. You be accustomed to the hardship.

If sailing short handed, as I suspect the OP might be, things are a bit different. I have found the experience to be initially exhilarating. You are very busy as a skipper, and totally engaged in the situation. You are solely responsible for the vessel and crew. If you are dealing with flogging sails, or stowing biminis, you will find how simple tasks have become extremely challenging. Preparation of food becomes a daunting task.

Eventually though, exhaustion takes its toll. Lack of sleep, lack of proper nutrition and the onset of sea sickness (the reason I stay on deck as long as possible) begin to wear down even the saltiest of us. Cold, dampness, possible injury, all contribute to the challenge, as do sea state (rollers versus square waves, etc.) vessel failures, etc. Fortunately, all storms eventually subside.

Sail enough and you will encounter your own personal challenge. Have confidence in your self, and in your boat, and you will be okay, with a good story for the next time you share a beer with your buddies.

And never go to sea with known boat issues. Fix things at the dock, not 1000 miles offshore.
Welcome aboard Redsky and thanks for an insightful first post (and the good advice in your last sentence).
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Old 12-10-2011, 15:53   #39
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Re: Storm in a Boat ?

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post

Then you decide again to get away from the mess you have made and you go into the life raft and cut off the line. Then the life raft capsizes and you get tossed into the ocean. It is possible your body never gets found and your parents are very sad.


b.
And later someone comes across your empty boat sailing along all by itself just fine!
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Old 12-10-2011, 17:05   #40
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Re: Storm in a Boat ?

Depends on the storm's location. The skipper of the vessel, and the vessel itself. One person's storm can easily be another person's dream come true. I mysaelf have been concerned at times. While then another time I just rode the storm for what she had.......i2f
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Old 12-10-2011, 18:31   #41
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Re: Storm in a Boat ?

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Originally Posted by Kallima View Post
Hi! I'm new to the forum and new to sailing, and I really really want to know what it's like to be in a storm in a boat...obviously I can imagine that it would be pretty hectic, but I'd love to hear your first-hand stories and how you managed to deal with some of the more hairy situations!

It's like being on a carnival ride and not being able to get off! Not so bad eh?
Think about changing your clothes,cooking a meal or using the toilet while being on one of those wild rides. Oh and you don't just sit there and know that it will all be over in 3 minutes.No, it may be days on that roller coaster and you may be working your ass off all the while thinking that you may die on the next wave and there are thousands more behind that one.
Did I say you will probably be so seasick you won't care any more if you die. There are 2 stages here; First you will think you are gonna die, then you will be afraid you won't.
Now for the good news: When you survive all this and finally recover,you will know that you have really lived.
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Old 07-11-2011, 20:20   #42
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Re: Storm in a Boat ?

If you want to get some idea read the book about the 1998 Sydney/Hobart race. "A Hard Chance". I'm about half way through. Granted you're probably not going to get into this kind of weather but it's good reading from a good author. Very descriptive and lots of quoted narative from actual sailors.
There are lots of good books out there. Check: www.ebay.half.com You can get a lot of them really cheap.
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