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View Poll Results: What would the best chance of getting away be?
Beat into the wind to put as much distance between you and the coast s possible, while you listen to some cool music and pretend you're a action hero. 89 57.05%
Go paralell to the coastline and try to keep your distance while being beat up by the waves, just because you have a thing for self torture. 11 7.05%
Furl the sails and throw in the sea anchor, haul out the portable DVD-player and crawl back into bed with a cup of hot cocoa and watch "Titanic". 61 39.10%
I'm screwed, I'll inflate the liferaft and jump ship tightly hugging the EPIRB. 2 1.28%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 156. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 14-09-2009, 23:06   #91
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Questions..

1. At 60-80 knots are there any sails, including storm sails, that will not blow out at these windspeeds? If so, will a ship really sail to windward and make ground over waves that big?

2. In most of the stuff I read about storm tactics (OK, mostly the Pardys) is once it gets this bad, the best option seemed to be putting a para-anchor off the bow, and attaching a line to the para-anchor line and running it aft/amidships. Crank this winch until you are 30 degrees off...Kind of like a heaving to, but on a para anchor and with no sails.

The question is, has anyone here done this specifically and how well did it work?
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Old 22-12-2009, 19:04   #92
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just stick with the boat till it washes up and you can step down to beach, and remember next time dont round cape hatteras so close, go way out side, or take the icw. this scenario happens allot.
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Old 22-12-2009, 21:39   #93
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Pray first.

Then see where God leads.
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Old 23-12-2009, 15:00   #94
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Based on some previous experience I'm pretty sure we could make good over ground (the boat won't do a true beat at that windspeed/wave height but will close reach)- Sooo. I'd get as much sea room as possible and when I'm out of gas, heave to, break out the Rosary and wait it out.

I will report that doing that is about a "9" on the suck-o-meter- close reach, feather up for the crest, fall off, repeat- over and over again.
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Old 06-01-2010, 04:56   #95
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Go for option one only do not go hard on the wind. Wait for the wind to free or if it heads the you can tack away to safety. Open the rum and toast your sucess!
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:26   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forsailbyowner View Post
I left marco for key west solo once in a 23' sloop. The weather forecast was 20-25 dropping off to 15-20. About 30 mi out all hell broke loose. There was so much whitewater and spindrift I felt like I was inside a washing machine. It was one crazy night Ill never forget. After trying every sail combination imagineable I found the tillerpilot would hold a course with a storm jib and the motor running. When I arrived at key west the next day I heard the winds were 40 to 50 with higher gusts and 12 boats were sunk with rescue operations underway. Don't tell me the BS about the accuracy of todays weather forecasts making this post implauseable. Its valid. I'd do just as I did and keep trying till I found something that worked.
I missed this post when originally made.

This emphasises the point that survival is primarily an attitude of mind. Give up and you are riding the slippery slope downwards. Keep trying and something will eventually work out.
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Old 06-01-2010, 06:13   #97
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In answer to your question SMcD

Quote:
Originally Posted by SMcD View Post
I *am* curious: how many of you have been in a situation similar to the one Hampus described? Let's say someone has full-time cruised for about five years...on average, how often might someone find him/herself in that kind of situation?
I was in something similar during early March, 1962. Won't go into all the details but we were off the New Jersey coast maybe 80 - 100 miles (this was in the days before GPS or even Loran so exact positions were hard to come by) heading from New York to Bermuda. We estimated the storm center -- face into the wind and point your right arm out from your side and you'll be pointing more or less at the storm center. We also tried to estimate the storm track but we had no success until much later on. We found out later that the storm center at the time was off the South Carolina coast and that because it was being blocked by a huge high pressure area to the north it didn't go anywhere for three days.
We were in the northwest quadrant of the storm and wanted to get to the southwest quadrant where sailing would be easier.
Our plan was to head south more or less parallel to the coast, south a east as much as we could manage to take the seas off our bow rather than on the beam which might have rolled us. We sailed that way for almost three days under a scrap of storm jib and a heavily reefed mizzen for balance. We towed a heavy hawser in a loop from the bitts in our stern to slow us down so we didn't trip over a wave and pitchpole. Finally the storm began to move off and the weather eased though the seas remained huge. Wouldn't try to estimate wave heights since everything is magnified when your on a 37-foot small boat and scared half to death. As for wind speeds -- well the wind blew the anemometer off our mast but before that we were reading averages of 50-60 kts with higher gusts.
What were we doing out there? It was the result of such monumental stupidity that I cringe even now almost 50 years later when I think of it. We didn't get weather reports before we left and our weather radio which would have warned us before it got too late to turn back had dead batteries and was not set up to run off ships power. In fact we never thought to check the weather using our radio until we were well into it.
In our defense, there were four of us all 19 or 20 and where one 19-year-old male might to idiotic things, four together is stupidity raised to the fourth power.

Now to finally answer your question: In all my years sailing from the time I was five until now, that is the only reall bad storm I've ever sailed through. I've sailed through 30 or even 40 kt winds with higher gusts but a storm like that, a full gale, is relatively rare. Unless you are a full-time blue-water cruiser, if you are cautious and pay attention to the weather forecast you might never encounter a storm like the one I went through at sea.
A couple of notes.
The worst thing was the noise, the sound of 60+ kt wind in the rigging can't really be described only experienced. At the risk of sounding all mystical, the sound bores into your very soul.
We survived our stupidity because of the strength of our boat -- a 37-ft steel hulled ketch (of which we each owned a quarter) and our little SeaSwing stove which enabled us to have hot food throughout no matter how much the boat was pitching and rolling.
After that experience I got very cautious -- except when racing on the Chesapeake -- I figure I owed the ocean one and I don't want to pay for a very,very long time.
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Old 06-01-2010, 12:29   #98
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I had to use a Sea Anchor (Parachute) for 36 hours in 40 plus knots. We drifted a total of six miles. That said, with one hundred miles of sea room and not knowing the weather situation I would go with option 3 and review the next day, just for ease on the equipment and crew. Nothing happens so fast that a crew can't take time to make rational decisions based on all info.
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Old 06-01-2010, 13:01   #99
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I'd go for number one myself, until it's no longer possible, then number three.
ditto. Make as much easting as possible and then toss in the sea anchor. If properly set, that is going to be 1-2 knots of leeway, which should give you a few days before you'd have to worry too much.
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Old 06-01-2010, 14:51   #100
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You describe a hypothetical situation. With wind up to 60 knots and gusts up to 80, waves will be higher than 45 feet. You are really stuck in a hurricane, close to its eye. In the opposite, having waves 20 feet high and some 30 and breaking, you should have winds around 45 knots. You are in between a strong gale and a storm and at that point you situation is not this dramatic.

Regard less of this situation, what will I do in the event in such bad situation.

First of all, you cannot jump in a storm like this in a second. You were sailing and had time to evaluate how bad the weather around you is going to be. When seeing a nightmare coming to you, as a prudent sailor you can first evaluate a route to escape from this. It is not time, at this point, to keep your route to reach whatsoever you wanted to reach. It is now time to evaluate what your best options are to be out of this and next redo your route to where you want to go. Even racing crew will tend to evaluate their best options. However I am not racing, then I have plenty of time to change my route according to event that can quickly turn into a stupid challenge.

In rare cases, the option you choose is a bad one. Or the weather has changed and it is now over your new route. Sometimes, you try to escape and you do your best but the storm seems to stick at you.

Then it is time to get ready to fight.

Of course, you are prudent. Hatches are closed, if you are not travelling alone, people are in the cabin, door is closed. You wear your safety gear and you are tied to your boat. Sails are minimal; engine is ready to be started.

First mistake will be to try to reach the nearest land. Your situation is bad but I suppose the boat is strong enough and until now she is not sinking. Therefore there is no need to use EPIRB or call a Pan Pan or even a MayDay.

Beat into the wind will be the best choice. But this also means that you are moving to somewhere. At that point I will do my best to locate where the lower pressure is and I will beat into the wind to reach this lower pressure system. I am assuming that I am unfortunately located in the higher pressure of this bad system. More I can be far away from the high-pressure system, better the condition will be.
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Old 06-01-2010, 15:58   #101
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I voted 1. It's a Cat, supposedly best suited to reaching, certainly wouldn't make much headway into wind if that was the target, but will carry storm staysail and remain sailing broad on to the swell. Probably the most comfortable ride. I'd just want to be sure i was not running into the 'DANGEROUS SECTOR'
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Old 06-01-2010, 16:08   #102
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More detail please

Quote:
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........ At that point I will do my best to locate where the lower pressure is and I will beat into the wind to reach this lower pressure system. I am assuming that I am unfortunately located in the higher pressure of this bad system. More I can be far away from the high-pressure system, better the condition will be.
CaptBob,

Can you explain this part more fully, I would have thought I would want to move AWAY from the low pressure towards the high pressure (but not in the same direction of the general movement of the LP system.

Perhaps I have missed something basic here?????
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Old 06-01-2010, 18:04   #103
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You describe a hypothetical situation. With wind up to 60 knots and gusts up to 80, waves will be higher than 45 feet. You are really stuck in a hurricane, close to its eye. In the opposite, having waves 20 feet high and some 30 and breaking, you should have winds around 45 knots. You are in between a strong gale and a storm and at that point you situation is not this dramatic.

Regard less of this situation, what will I do in the event in such bad situation.

First of all, you cannot jump in a storm like this in a second. You were sailing and had time to evaluate how bad the weather around you is going to be. When seeing a nightmare coming to you, as a prudent sailor you can first evaluate a route to escape from this. It is not time, at this point, to keep your route to reach whatsoever you wanted to reach. It is now time to evaluate what your best options are to be out of this and next redo your route to where you want to go. Even racing crew will tend to evaluate their best options. However I am not racing, then I have plenty of time to change my route according to event that can quickly turn into a stupid challenge.

In rare cases, the option you choose is a bad one. Or the weather has changed and it is now over your new route. Sometimes, you try to escape and you do your best but the storm seems to stick at you.

Then it is time to get ready to fight.

Of course, you are prudent. Hatches are closed, if you are not travelling alone, people are in the cabin, door is closed. You wear your safety gear and you are tied to your boat. Sails are minimal; engine is ready to be started.

First mistake will be to try to reach the nearest land. Your situation is bad but I suppose the boat is strong enough and until now she is not sinking. Therefore there is no need to use EPIRB or call a Pan Pan or even a MayDay.

Beat into the wind will be the best choice. But this also means that you are moving to somewhere. At that point I will do my best to locate where the lower pressure is and I will beat into the wind to reach this lower pressure system. I am assuming that I am unfortunately located in the higher pressure of this bad system. More I can be far away from the high-pressure system, better the condition will be.
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CaptBob,

Can you explain this part more fully, I would have thought I would want to move AWAY from the low pressure towards the high pressure (but not in the same direction of the general movement of the LP system.

Perhaps I have missed something basic here?????
CaptBob,
I could use some more explanation also.
What you're saying is not intuitive (to me).

Interested in hearing/learning,
Extemp.
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Old 06-01-2010, 20:17   #104
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Of course, you are prudent. Hatches are closed, if you are not travelling alone, people are in the cabin, door is closed. You wear your safety gear and you are tied to your boat. Sails are minimal; engine is ready to be started.


And absolutely everything is tied down/stowed and locked up stronger than you ever think it might need to be. If available cabin crew is wearing helmets!

The Grimalkin Skipper was ultimately killed by a flying object in the cabin during a roll over.
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Old 07-01-2010, 05:08   #105
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You describe a hypothetical situation. With wind up to 60 knots and gusts up to 80, waves will be higher than 45 feet. You are really stuck in a hurricane, close to its eye. In the opposite, having waves 20 feet high and some 30 and breaking, you should have winds around 45 knots. You are in between a strong gale and a storm and at that point you situation is not this dramatic.

......................
Beat into the wind will be the best choice. But this also means that you are moving to somewhere. At that point I will do my best to locate where the lower pressure is and I will beat into the wind to reach this lower pressure system. I am assuming that I am unfortunately located in the higher pressure of this bad system. More I can be far away from the high-pressure system, better the condition will be.
I also would like a further explanation. Having been out there I've seen that when winds get above 60 kts they actually blow the tops off the waves so the seas is not as high as it theoretically should be. So in very high winds you might get 20 to 30 foot waves. We found that when we were finally getting out of the storm and the winds were down to 30-40 kts we got really gigantic waves rolling in. They were scary as hell but IMO not as bad as the confused sea that we encountered with the winds over 60 kts where you have to be at max alert every second to anticipate the waves so you don't get rolled or pitchpoled.
Also, the storm is the low with winds circling it's center in a counter-clockwise direction (Is this reversed in the southern hemisphere?) and getting stronger the closer you get to the center. So it would seem that steering for the lowest pressure would be steering for the center of the storm and from everything I've read, that's not a great idea. Instead you try to steer diagonally out of the storm in a direction so that you and the storm are going in opposite directions. This can be constrained by your closeness to the shore or need to avoid beam seas. The worst place to be is in the upper quadrant in front of the storm cause the wind is either pushing you along the path of the storm or across it's front and increasing as the storm gets closer making it very hard to get away. The lower front quadrant is not quite as bad since the winds will tend to push you out of the storm even though they will get stronger as the center of storm gets closer.
From everything I've read and my own experience you can't outrun a storm. So your best bet if you're ahead of the storm's path is to try to sail a course that will get you as far as you can from the center and let the storm pass you by.
Unfortunately for us, we were in a storm that stalled for three days off the Carolina coast (it was blocked by a Canadian high so we were told later) so we took a real beating before we finally escaped
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