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Old 07-10-2011, 12:18   #1
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Storm in a Boat ?

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!

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Old 07-10-2011, 13:36   #2
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Re: Storm in a Boat ?

Well, I've never been in a real hooter but, all joking aside, I really doubt that you can imagine what it is like. Not like anything I have experienced before and I've done some low level flying in gales on rescue aircraft. Radio man, not pilot.

Even a moderate blow can be pretty scary, especially if you are new and/or by yourself.

I'm sure others have more to offer.
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Old 07-10-2011, 13:41   #3
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Re: Storm in a Boat ?

I have been told its like being in jail during an earth quake. I dont know first hand though.
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Old 07-10-2011, 14:18   #4
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If you can imagine every sense of your body being 'super alert', the feeling of your heart in your throat from time to time, adrenalin rush right into the tips of your fingers and toes, fear and exhilaration together, calling to God and making promises to be a better person if He sees you through this one ...... Then you still would be nowhere close to understanding the fear of being in a real storm. For me, the first time, it was the shock of having to realise the brute power of wind and sea and then the surprise as to how a cat could hold together in such conditions. A constant desire, not to be there ...... A realisation that the task in surviving is yours alone ....... Best way I can describe it!
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Old 07-10-2011, 14:49   #5
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Re: Storm in a Boat ?

My wife gave up smoking. Nothing else ever worked!!
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Old 07-10-2011, 15:45   #6
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Re: Storm in a Boat ?

If you don't get dead, you just get tired. Some find storms exhilarating, some find them frightening. I fall into the former. I don't look for bad weather, but if you go to sea long enough a good blow is inevitable. Having ridden out several +100 knot blows, the words that I have to describe the experience would be wholly inadequate. One of the most frightening storms I have weathered was hurricane Wilma, and I was on a 3rd floor condo in West Palm Beach, with a front row seat and I was very uncomfortable about all the debris flying around the super thin glass windows, eventually a roof tile came through the window and clunked me on the noggin, and I received a slight concussion. Which is more damage than I have every received out at sea.
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Old 07-10-2011, 15:59   #7
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Re: Storm in a Boat ?

Its like Rock & Roll..no big deal out at sea..never been in a bad storm close to shore but that can not be a good feeling ...at sea batten the hatches and read a book...DVC
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Old 07-10-2011, 16:10   #8
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Re: Storm in a Boat ?

depends on the storm...isnt all that bad, as long as you dont have too much sail up. lightning storms in gulf of mexico are a tad spooky, but the winds that come up on pacific can really take ye by surprise, if you arent ready. if you are prepared, they are kinda fun, as wind is high inside lightning storms, and the sudden winds of pacific sailing can get the boast going reallly fine.
if you have a lot of sail flying--- look out--can be disastrous. sailing storms in a sloop is a different experience than in a ketch--harder to handle. in my ketch, mizzen and jib and go. no weather helm, no unbalanced feeling--just freeking fly--is fun!
the lightning storms we sailed in gulf of mexico( sailing the sloop) sported 71 kt winds. the sudden winds we got in pacific, north of cabo san lucas with my formosa ketch were 60+ kts. wicked fun!!
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Old 07-10-2011, 16:59   #9
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Re: Storm in a Boat ?

We have a 48' trawler and were on a mooring at Man-O-War Cay in the Abacos which is considered a safe harbor. I was below taking a shower when my wife, Susan yelled that a storm had suddenly popped up. By the time I came topside, all hell broke loose. It was raining sideways and anything on deck not tied down was airborne. It was pitch black outside. I quickly started the engines just as Susan shouted, "We're moving!" The mooring failed and we were flying backwards. The good Lord was with us because we crashed into a pier instead of the rocks. I quickly tied us off to a piling and we were safe. The next day we found that a very heavy hatch cover had blown off and the squall had reported winds of 70kt. We also heard that lightening struck a boat at a marina in Marsh Harbour which subsequently burned to the waterline.
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Old 07-10-2011, 17:19   #10
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Re: Storm in a Boat ?

If a storm is really really really bad you may - not necessarily will, but may - actually wish you were back at work again. Or so I've heard...

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Old 07-10-2011, 17:21   #11
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Re: Storm in a Boat ?

I didn't like it! Story
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Old 07-10-2011, 17:21   #12
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No matter sloop or ketch it's how prepared you are. Your just passing time doing the next thing that has to be done. My favorite sleep of my life was bunked down in a aft berth. It was nasty out 65 plus. The boat was racing along and I would slosh down into the bunk side and then lift as the boat fell off a wave crest lift like I had no weight. I'm thinking what the hell am I doing here. Cold and tired I have never been so near to a moment. Then hours on shift in the dark feeling the boat and waves leaning hard into the wheel at the right moment. Surfing a wave in the dark a rogue by direction broadsides and water heavy water is falling. how water can be so heavy and dense? The boat is healing direction in the dark is lost you choose to press hard against the force and the boat finds the trough. Up again into a concise moment it plays out again and again. My watch is over I trust the crew will make good choices for the next hours. While I sleep sometimes air borne I relax as I rest against the hull knowing I will fall soon against the hull a wave will slam us broadside and heavy water will be heard falling and draining. I think that's what a really bad blow is probably you will never sail in anything near that.
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Old 07-10-2011, 18:07   #13
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Re: Storm in a Boat ?

Wow Geo! That is some story!! Sabray how beautifully poetic. I was plain 'ole scared as hell when I met my first squall line, but I will fair much better the next time I encounter another. Florida is notorious for sudden pop-up storms. My sailing instructor always says "the boat will take more than you can" and I believe him!!
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Old 07-10-2011, 18:38   #14
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Re: Storm in a Boat ?

When there are 50-or-so-foot waves, I prefer to be in a 900-foot-long ship. Even though one isn't permitted on the outdoors in such conditions, I find it fun. Now a puny boat as most of us own, is another matter.




Forty-something-foot sailboat being abandoned in the mid-Pacific:

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Old 07-10-2011, 18:51   #15
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Re: Storm in a Boat ?

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.
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