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Old 12-08-2011, 10:38   #1
jzk
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Sailing in HEAVY Wind and Rain

Just in the last two months, I had occasion to sail in two storms of 40+ knot winds (maybe even 60 + knot winds), and massive driving rain that was like a fire hose.

One was inside the break wall near Navy pier in Chicago, and the other was the infamous storm during this years' Mackinac race. The first lasted about 40 minutes, and the other had 3 of what seemed like 20 minute bursts over a period of a few hours.

The question is this. What to do about seeing? The hardest part was seeing the instruments, compass, and chart plotter during the worst of it so that I could keep the boat on course so as not to hit any thing. Being inside the break wall, I had no sails up, but was in close proximity to navy pier, and the break wall, so it was important to establish a course that wouldn't hit anything.

During the mac race, we had the full main up and were running at 12.6 knots. In both situations visibility was next to nothing. The one during the Mac was at night.

I found the helm compass the most valuable instrument on the boat once I figured out where I needed to be. To read the chart plotter, I had to almost press my face up to it and hold one hand shielding it from the driving rain. At the same time, I am trying to keep the boat under control, etc. The rain is driving so hard, that my weather gear">foul weather gear hood with the little brim was much more trouble than it was worth, so I just let it dangle and was showered with the rain using one hand to shield it the best I could. Combine all this with managing the chaos of the lightning storm and not knowing what is going to happen next that is already unnerving enough.

Does anyone use any type of goggles in this situation? The rain pelting one in the eyeballs was pretty hard to deal with. What to do? I would like to be just a tad better prepared for it next time.
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Old 12-08-2011, 10:50   #2
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Re: Sailing in HEAVY wind and Rain....

I use ski goggles. Some use a swim mask. The goggles don't fog up as easy as a mask. They are on my "essential items" list.
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Old 12-08-2011, 11:33   #3
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Re: Sailing in HEAVY wind and Rain....

yep, ski goggles
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Old 12-08-2011, 12:13   #4
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Re: Sailing in HEAVY Wind and Rain

I've used a diving mask but ski goggles are better. Scratch the chart plotter, have your navigator (maybe that's you as well) give you compass bearings. I don't know which way everything was blowing and going but having your instruments in the forward end of the cockpit under the dodger helps a lot too.
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Old 12-08-2011, 12:17   #5
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Re: Sailing in HEAVY Wind and Rain

+1 Ski goggles
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Old 12-08-2011, 12:30   #6
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Re: Sailing in HEAVY Wind and Rain

I use a grinders full face helmet. Its clear plastic and doesnt fog up plus you can look down and see instruments, you can tilt the screen up a bit; acousticly singing in a storm sounds better than you've ever heard yourself!

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Old 12-08-2011, 12:48   #7
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Re: Sailing in HEAVY Wind and Rain

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
I use a grinders full face helmet. Its clear plastic and doesnt fog up plus you can look down and see instruments, you can tilt the screen up a bit; acousticly singing in a storm sounds better than you've ever heard yourself!

Where did you get that and/or what make is it?
Is it safety glass/plastic?
I tried looking online and the only things that come up under "grinders full face helmet" are completely covered motorcycle helmets...
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Old 12-08-2011, 12:51   #8
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Re: Sailing in HEAVY Wind and Rain

I use a pair of flight/motorcycle goggles
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Old 12-08-2011, 13:00   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiusha

Where did you get that and/or what make is it?
Is it safety glass/plastic?
I tried looking online and the only things that come up under "grinders full face helmet" are completely covered motorcycle helmets...
Any welding supply store has these...
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Old 12-08-2011, 13:00   #10
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Re: Sailing in HEAVY Wind and Rain

How about heaving-to instead? Seems to me like the seamanlike thing to do in an intense summer squall is to get down below decks, and poke out your head as needed.
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Old 12-08-2011, 13:11   #11
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Re: Sailing in HEAVY Wind and Rain

Don't count on your instuments when there is lightning close by. A strike nearby will cause them all to shut down, reboot or simply kak.

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Old 12-08-2011, 13:11   #12
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Re: Sailing in HEAVY Wind and Rain

The offshore racers (volvo and french G class) use these (link below) Gath ski diving helments with retractable lexan face shields. I used one quite a bit in Chile when it was blowing with hail pelting my face.

GATHSPORTS - MARGARET RIVER, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
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Old 12-08-2011, 13:17   #13
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Re: Sailing in HEAVY Wind and Rain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiusha View Post
Where did you get that and/or what make is it?
Is it safety glass/plastic?
I tried looking online and the only things that come up under "grinders full face helmet" are completely covered motorcycle helmets...
You gotta learn to use Google better You musta hit on a brand name. Try: safety full face shield


And you get them at any industrial hardware store. Places that sell equipemnt.

You are in Marmaris? Go down to Sanay and try there in the hardware stores there, or the big one heading to Sanay on Ulusal Egemenlik Caddesi just before the roundabout on the right (eastern) side of the road
...


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Old 12-08-2011, 13:18   #14
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Re: Sailing in HEAVY Wind and Rain

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I use a grinders full face helmet. Its clear plastic and doesnt fog up plus you can look down and see instruments, you can tilt the screen up a bit; acousticly singing in a storm sounds better than you've ever heard yourself!

Have tried these but they seem to fog up much quicker than goggles, especially if you're doing anything strenuous. Breath is inside the thing with no vent. They're hard to keep from fogging even when scraping the bottom, etc. They're also very clumsy and come off/blow off easily.
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Old 12-08-2011, 13:39   #15
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Re: Sailing in HEAVY Wind and Rain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy Higgins View Post
How about heaving-to instead? Seems to me like the seamanlike thing to do in an intense summer squall is to get down below decks, and poke out your head as needed.
Not that it's any of my business, but I think the answer is in the original post.

Two storms, two different reasons. (bolding of text added)

quote,
"Being inside the break wall, I had no sails up, but was in close proximity to navy pier, and the break wall, so it was important to establish a course that wouldn't hit anything."

qoute,
".......and the other was the infamous storm during this years' Mackinac race."
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