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Old 18-08-2009, 20:53   #1
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Challenge: Ride Out Any Hurricane

Drop anchor at say 4:1 scope, move away from projected storm path and drop keel at 3:1 scope.

Yes, I'm serious, drop the keel. Assuming that the boat has a keel with bolts and some apparatus to wench the keel... Do you think this could be practical?

Just think how much buoyant weight would be taken off the boat and put on the bottom.
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Old 18-08-2009, 21:10   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akronix View Post
Drop anchor at say 4:1 scope, move away from projected storm path and drop keel at 3:1 scope.

Yes, I'm serious, drop the keel. Assuming that the boat has a keel with bolts and some apparatus to wench the keel... Do you think this could be practical?

Just think how much buoyant weight would be taken off the boat and put on the bottom.
The holes left by the keel bolts would be tough to fill (while in the water).
Without the keel, most sailboats would be much more stable with the mast down... kind of like monos. Your boat would breech, roll, and probably fill with water.


If you had a retractable keel you could probably drop that and maintain stability... .but I would not try it.
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Old 18-08-2009, 22:51   #3
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Welcome Akronix….. If I understand what you are trying to achieve … it is to reduce the break out momentum of the boat by removing and using the heavy keel of a boat as another anchor point.

In reality, what you would achieve is the loss of dynamic stability of the boat in extreme weather, causing it to shear and hunt around broadside to wind and waves, causing much greater breakaway stresses, than the submerged weight of the keel. The keel itself does not have that much holding power as it easily slides along the bottom instead of digging in.

In extreme weather at anchor, boats with a heavy foot low down in the water, have a larger GM, fare much better than light multi hulls which in smaller ones have actually gone airborne and flipped.

In case of a breakaway your keel is your integral strong point to protect the thin hull from destruction on the beach. It is your last defense so not advised to remove that protective bumper.

If I were thinking dramatically outside the box of ways to secure a small fiberglass sailboat from an intense storm where protection and holding power was very very poor:

I would consider removing as much interior items as possible.
Fabricate and stuff lift bladders within the interior
Then….purposely sink the boat in 30 feet of water in a soft patch.
Lay anchors fore and aft and lash down to prevent shifting in the surge.

Pretty extreme, so much better to invest in the best ground tackle and weather knowledge, while staying close to safe weather havens in your area during the TRS seasons.
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Old 19-08-2009, 00:08   #4
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I do know of one big centreboarder (a Southerly >33ft) who in a force 11 did pull up his board to enable the boat to slide down the slope of waves rather than trip on the keel, (bit like most multihulls ) But that would only work if you were not secured to the bottom.

Storm surge is one of the biggest problems, and that will make a big difference to the scope that you have carefully calculated.
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Old 19-08-2009, 01:35   #5
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Boats without keels capsize.
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Old 19-08-2009, 08:03   #6
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My friend in Jamaica has several large catamarans and conducts day cruises for a living (and has for 26 years). The boats have survived several nasty hurricanes by tying them off in the mangroves in a small river mouth. So far, knock on wood, damage has been limited to a few scratches.
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Old 19-08-2009, 08:24   #7
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what are you smoking??? I did once observe a man in Corpus Christi Texas strip and sink his boat in 6' at the marina prior to hurricane arrival.
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Old 21-08-2009, 15:03   #8
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My solution would be to contact the nearest boatyard, have my boat hauled to a point at least 20 feet above the high tide line, and then tie her down.
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Old 21-08-2009, 15:51   #9
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Best place in a hurricane ?

in order of preference

1) Somewhere else

2) Some where in very deep water with no land or shallow water
within 500 sea miles all around (ie mid ocean)
I have faith in my boats seaworthiness to get me through,
we will be shaken up and battered a bit but safe !

3) Tied up in a very sheltered Mangrove area with a muddy bottom
and lots of well established mangroves around me to absorb the energy of my boat being thrown against them, probably suffer quite a bit of aestetic damage but safe

4) Anything else and I would simply want to be OFF the BOAT
having a beer in nice solid CONCRETE bar or tavern somewhere !!

especially if I have people next to me experimenting with taking off anchors and keels .. sinking boats etc ?????

Having seen the damage from a few of these storms
I will not willingly mess with one,

and I know from experience that the majority of damage is done by other peoples boats dragging down on you
even if you have adequate ground tackle well dug in !!

But as long as they are not next to me
Good luck to anyone who feels these mickey mouse remedies will help !

John H
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Old 21-08-2009, 16:01   #10
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I rode out a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico by following the shrimpers as far up a river north of Mobile Bay as I could go then putting it on the bank and tieing to pine trees. The commercial fishermen always know the best places to go hide.
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Old 21-08-2009, 17:21   #11
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Oh Joy was in PR during Hugo when it was a Cat5 storm in an anchorage. Out of 45+ boats in the anchorage she was one of 6 still floating, though she took a hit from a runaway that took out the mizzen and popped the transom. She was leaking and needed repair but she survived. I'd look for a mangrove swamp m'self.
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Old 22-08-2009, 21:45   #12
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Spent 6 days at sea with Hurricane Ivan with a parachute anchor.
Spent 4 days in the mangroves for Hurricane Chantel in a spider web of lines.
We liked the mangroves better, just remember the bug spray and the no-see-um screen.

Stay away from other boats.
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Old 22-08-2009, 22:55   #13
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The thing that pissed me off so bad about Cyclone Hamish (Cat 5) earlier this year was I rang and emailed the marinas in the area I was going to find out if I could get a berth if there was a Cyclone.
Yes, they said! They even emailed me the cyclone plans for the marina!

But when the cyclone warning occured both marinas suddenly wanted full comprehensive insurance!!!! One just closed completely.

So from having a plan and a back-up plan, in 2 hours we went to haveing no plan, no mangroves, no sea room and a cyclone that every new warning went up a catagory from 2 all the way up to 5!

When it hit 5 I can sure tell you I was not a well feeling bunny. I went for a run in the dinghy looking for soft spots to run the boat ashore.

As it turned out the cyclone went 70 miles east of us and I loved every one of those 70 miles. We still got 60kt gusts.

It is tricky to be in the wrong area in the wrong season. Its like eating a dozen raw potatoes for lunch and feeling them wiggle in your tummy as you plot the projected hurricane path....

Quote:
Spent 6 days at sea with Hurricane Ivan with a parachute anchor.
I'd hate that! Gimme a plane ticket outta there.
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Old 23-08-2009, 00:33   #14
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For those of us who live year round in areas of TRS, there is a fine balance between fear and practicality, theory and reality.

With 10 to 15 Typhoons hitting the Philippines Islands every year, if I were to drag my boat up into the mangroves every time one threatened it would destroy it.

As I said before, investing in the best ground tackle, identifying a good Typhoon shelter nearby and most importantly reducing windage and staying with your boat to protect from others is a commitment that Typhoon area liveaboards make all the time.

Those that fail are usually the ones who do not “default” to Typhoon readiness all the time and run away when the boat needs them most.

On another note, my apologies to the OP who’s somewhat inventive first post asked a question which was met with ridicule by some.

It scares me when “experts” say you cannot do something and call solutions Mickey Mouse. There are always exceptions to the rule in seamanship, when conditions and design might suggest a radical solution.

Experienced Tug Boat captains seeking refuge in TRS conditions have in the past decided to flood their empty flat barges so that they are awash with much reduced windage.

Who is to say that solution might not be a last ditch consideration when you are without heavy ground tackle and your lee shore is rock strewn.

I am not!
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Old 22-09-2009, 23:46   #15
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Dropping the keel - not a good idea - where I live in SE Asia we get 4 or 5 typhoons (what we call hurricanes) a year. Boats on swing moorings that don't have keels (i.e. daggerboard boats) or have them lifted (retractable keels) tend to roll and snap off the mast on the way round (because the mast sticks into the bottom).

Typical preparation is:
Strip the boat above decks
Lots of stretchy lines to the mooring encased in flexible plastic pipe (chafe is the big problem)
Do not use chain - it will snap
check your insurance
head for the bar
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