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Old 01-05-2013, 11:14   #181
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
No I disagree. A well found boat, ie one where you do not experience mechanical or structural disintegration, can be got through survival storms without "gear". However even with "gear" a lack of experience ( and luck) will loose any craft.
Nonsense. A parachute anchor can keep you off a lee coast, a series drogue (or parachute) can keep you from broaching, as can trailing warps. And you can't make use of either if you don't have the gear. If you think your boat is immune to these things, I can only hope you never get to carry anyone I care about.


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Lets look at specific gear, say parachute anchor. Specifically one from the bow, How many people have rigged one , and more importantly kept one rigged in a serious survival blow. ( I term survival blow as a gale where you no longer beleive you can sail towards the destination in any manner).
Or, to keep you off a lee shore. And once again: No matter what, you won't be able to make use of gear you don't carry.


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Yet we persist in talking about "gear" , yet so few have any experience of rigging them and using them in such storms. This is of course, becuase it so much easier to focus on "things" as a solution then looking at the dubious water filled carbon life forms.
And you won't be able to make use of gear, nor train using gear without actually having the gear aboard.

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My experience is that crew dynamics are a huge factor in the survivability of a vessel, by far the largest factor in my experience. This is often unspoken after the boat survives, because no one wants to start arguing. even more so if there is loss of life.
Of course they are. I'm not arguing that people and attitude doesn't matter. I'm saying that if you don't have the gear, you can't actually make use of the abilities of gear. Yes, and that's even down to having a loudhailer or a superb spotlight.

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Discussions about drogue this and sea-anchor that are all very well. Its not the issue in my experience.
Read my post again. I'm not advocating that one should get all the gear available. I'm saying that you can't make use of gear you don't carry, and that arguing that it's all about attitude, is equivalent to saying that experience and attitude can make up for the lack of any tool, any gear, and any shortcomings in preparation.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:26   #182
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

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Nonsense. A parachute anchor can keep you off a lee coast, a series drogue (or parachute) can keep you from broaching, as can trailing warps. And you can't make use of either if you don't have the gear. If you think your boat is immune to these things, I can only hope you never get to carry anyone I care about.
A good engine will do more to keep you off a lee shore then any piece of cloth dangling in the water.

You see, sir, these devices are offered up ( usually to the in-experienced) as a substitute to understanding what really to do.

Lets say you are in a survivial storm off a lee shore, the bow is in green water 70% of teh time, its freezing, dangerous and frightening, it may even be dark. Now tell me you're out on the bow, protecting the sea anchor lines against the huge chafe, infact maybe it has even pulled your cleats out

Then you realise you are of course still drifting leewards. often quite fast in my experience, so you intend to hit there for what 24 hours ( ok that will bring you 24 miles closer to shore and into even bigger wave trains).

This is the kernal my friend, this stuff only works in certain conditions and then not well at all. The fact is few have ever to use it so.

As to series drogues, anyone with a a couple of hundred feet of good line has sufficient to form a drogue.

series drogues , like teh Jordan , when fully deployed , in my experience , place a huge load on the stern of teh boat and really slow it down, I dont like it for that reason , it exposes you to being pooped heavily and repeatidly and most modern boats are not good in that respect, with wide transoms and lightweight washboard and open cockpits. If you have ever been hit by a huge "jet" coming over the transom, youd know what I mean , ( the marks of teh wheel on my ribs took weeks rto go away). I had a friend who pulled his pedestal out in such conditions

and why add the ad hominid attack.

Have you a specific para anchor story in a serious blow to actually add some facts to this

My boat isnt immune to anything, but I KNOW what works and what doesnt work and sea anchors in my experience and opinion work in so few cases as to not work at all.

a warp is a drogue, that works

dave
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:32   #183
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pirate Re: Storm Sailing Advice

[QUOTE=

Read my post again. I'm not advocating that one should get all the gear available. I'm saying that you can't make use of gear you don't carry, and that arguing that it's all about attitude, is equivalent to say that experience and attitude can make up for the lack of any tool, any gear, and any shortcomings in preparation.[/QUOTE]

What your saying is buy all gear marketed...
But one already has 'gear' on board for these situations... everyday things like dock lines, fenders, kedge anchors, spare sails etc...
Instead of carrying stuff that you may well never use and it rotting away in lockers utilise everyday stuff..
As has been stated most production boats don't have strong enough cleats etc to stand the loads..
And though some feel heaving to is 'passive'... I disagree.. for me its just another point of sail... sailing in reverse and tacking to maintain a direction/destination point..
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:33   #184
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

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A good engine will do more to keep you off a lee shore then any piece of cloth dangling in the water.
Yeah, relying on an engine in order to avoid "mechanical" solutions such as a parachute or series drouge makes perfect sense

I'm sorry, but when you argue against using "mechanical" things because you view them as a substitute for experience, and then goes on to suggest using an engine instead, your reasoning becomes utterly vapid.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:36   #185
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

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What your saying is buy all gear marketed...
No, I explicitly said that that was not my argument. I even explained to a very high degree what specificly was arguing against. It is even explained quite clearly in the part you quoted directly.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:36   #186
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

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No actually , you send the best person, generals are not always the best shots.

Just to get back to Boatmans position, Im not in his mode a kind of sailing rambo. Ive sailed with several and yes they are great people in a crisis.

Unfortunately they are often the people that put you in the crisis in the first place.

I once sailed with a fantastic "can do" delivery skipper , a great man in a blow and I learned loads. I learned loads, because he habitually ignored weather forecasts!!!.

Dave
Most of the time I will be competent to do what needs to be done, and if that's the case, then I'm the one that's going to do it if it's dangerous, not someone else. I'm not going to put another person at risk without very good reason. But ... if you sail on my boat, you have to accept that I'm going to stop worrying about destination very early in a storm and do what keeps the boat happiest. I don't have a blue water boat and it pays to keep her happy.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:38   #187
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

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Yeah, relying on an engine in order to avoid "mechanical" solutions. I'm sorry, but when argue against using "mechanical" things because you view them as a substitute for experience, and then goes on to suggest using an engine instead, your reasoning becomes utterly vapid.
What I was arguing was , "buying" things to then protect the boat, ie purchasing drogues and sea anchors etc. The engine is already there, works well and is far more useful in removing you from the area. Where I sail, heaving to , near a lee shore would be madness.

Using the engine shows "experience". sailors think its "macho" to solve problems under sail, I solve problems with what is at hand, thats all.

Again , I was merely commenting about the tendency of people to comment about 'get a drogue" or "get a para anchor" , yet for the majority most end up in a locker, unused, how it that going to help in a serious blow.

Yet you will constantly hear people liek Boatman, Evans , even myself say that actually deploying and using some of this stuff is very difficult and often ineffective.

Dave

PS: dont be so bitter either - chill
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:43   #188
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

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But ... if you sail on my boat, you have to accept that I'm going to stop worrying about destination very early in a storm and do what keeps the boat happiest. I don't have a blue water boat and it pays to keep her happy.
I agree 100%, the last 5 words are very important. It more people stopped worrying about the destination , wed have far less issues.

Im competent too, but I often sail with competent people sometime they are better then me at certain things. If so and they agree, I let them do it. It actually demoralises crew to sail with a suposed "super sailer" , in a crisis such people then expect you to solve everything,

A good leader lets people participate, even on closely controlled grounds. Thats all I was trying to say. Too many skippers think that they must be the expert in everything, when in fact to any good crew, it extremely obvious that that is not the case. Better to be a good leader, not necessarily do everything yourself.

Dave
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:48   #189
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

rodlmao--there are some places in the world where the parachute will bring you onto the rocks ..currents being as they are.
until the experience has been had, there is always a lot of talk about what to do if ... what to do when...but, truth be told, reality is sooooo much different than theory ...

all it takes is practice in real situations to know that...doesnt matter what the book says. get out into it before ye make a decision that can kill you.

or stay on the dock serving sundowners looking cool to your landlubber friends who just come to see what the boating life is all about.

seeing the weather online is a good upgrade in sailing life--makes finding weather windows more accurate.

we also plan a lil ahead by choosing hidng places from storm activity. plot those courses on paperand inbrane then go..isnt destination sailing in any way shape or form--btw--what exactly IS "destination sailing"

most souls i know the destination is irrelevant, is the journey that is the thing.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:48   #190
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

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Again , I was merely commenting about the tendency of people to comment about 'get a drogue" or "get a para anchor" , yet for the majority most end up in a locker, unused, how it that going to help in a serious blow.
I agree. One has to practice. I, on the other hand, was merely saying that even if it's difficult to use, you wont be able to use it, unless it's on board.

Personally, I'd hesitate to use my sails as a drogue. They are expensive sails, and a dedicated series drogue makes more sense to me. If for nothing else, then for economical reasons. I will use my engine when needed, but I try to avoid relying on it (because I figure that If something really bad happened, such as a broaching, something might go wrong with that too. Trailing something makes more sense to me).

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Yet you will constantly hear people liek Boatman, Evans , even myself say that actually deploying and using some of this stuff is very difficult and often ineffective.
l
Yes, I'm not saying it's easy, nor that success rates won't vary depending on boat and hardware, but in order to find out, you first need the equipment.

You guys mention carrying it around unused. There was a racing trimaran which sailed around the world, but encountered bad weather in the Solent or the British Channel, just before completing the circumnavigation. They ended up using a series drogue to prevent broaching. Granted, it's a trimaran, so it might matter more on that, than on any other given boat. But they made use of gear I can only assume they tried out beforehand. I also consider a series drogue to be a dedicated piece of equipment, that doesn't weigh too much for any given size of boat. Just like a life raft, hoping I will never have to use it in vengeance. But I do know how hard it is to climb into a life raft with an inflated lifevest, and I have thus chosen a lifevest that gets the least in the way.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:03   #191
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

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Yes, I'm not saying it's easy, nor that success rates won't vary depending on boat and hardware, but in order to find out, you first need the equipment.

You guys mention carrying it around unused. There was a racing trimaran which sailed around the world, but encountered bad weather in the Solent or the British Channel, just before completing the circumnavigation. They ended up using a series drogue to prevent broaching. Granted, it's a trimaran, so it might matter more on that, than on any other given boat. But they made use of gear I can only assume they tried out beforehand. I also consider a series drogue to be a dedicated piece of equipment, that doesn't weigh too much for any given size of boat. Just like a life raft, hoping I will never have to use it in vengeance. But I do know how hard it is to climb into a life raft with an inflated lifevest, and I have thus chosen a lifevest that gets the least in the way.
The trouble is , you cant easily "practice" with this stuff. sure mostly anyone can rig a sea anchor even in "heavy" weather. The situation is far more acute in survival conditions. I mean how can you rig a device of the bow , when you cant safely leave the cockpit. Deployed in "heavy " weather is a personal choice, you can also usually also just sail.

Series drogues are fine, in that at least they can be managed from the cockpit ( unless you have a CC), but in my experience in very heavy weather they slow the boat way way to much. Around here ( the British isles) drag devices are not common, even though bad weather is.


People bandy about " knockdowns" as if this is something that happens before tea or something. a serious knockdown in very heavy weather, in a large boat is a very taxing situation, you often have injured crew, quite substantial disruption and possibly structural damage. You may find that drogues, engines are the last thing on your mind, My experience of people is , a lot of people at this stage hit the EPIRB. ( for better or for worse). I have experienced such situations and its why I sail harnessed into a triangular arrangement in such conditions.

I have no knowledge relating to multihulls, havent sailed enough to know anything about them.

Again, Im not knocking drogues ( I do dislike sea anchors). But in fact all you need is long warps and you achieve the same thing ( I also put the jerry cans threaded through it for weight!).

The key is that these devices are going to be dragged out in survival conditions, yet you are never going to know whats happens until you are in them,

We have some stories of great survivals, but often its hard to know what worked and what would have worked anyway. we dont tend to hear about the failures of course.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:06   #192
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

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I agree 100%, the last 5 words are very important. It more people stopped worrying about the destination , wed have far less issues.

Im competent too, but I often sail with competent people sometime they are better then me at certain things. If so and they agree, I let them do it. It actually demoralises crew to sail with a suposed "super sailer" , in a crisis such people then expect you to solve everything,

A good leader lets people participate, even on closely controlled grounds. Thats all I was trying to say. Too many skippers think that they must be the expert in everything, when in fact to any good crew, it extremely obvious that that is not the case. Better to be a good leader, not necessarily do everything yourself.

Dave

Absolutely. If you were on my boat, I would still be skipper, but I would hear you out. I would be listening for some very specific things that might not be your point -- I would be listening to see if you understood the charaacteristics of my boat in a concrete way -- her tendency to pivot on her stern and for the bow to swing around way more than most people would care for.

IF you understand the characteristics of my boat, I might well turn the helm and the "skipper" title to you, but I *absolutely* would not do that just because you think you have "more experience" than me.

And I wouldn't do it if you were destination driven -- "We can sail through this -- piece of cake!" Thanks, but I don't want to have a sail blown out just to get to Key West two hours sooner. People don't have to die for being over-focused on destination to be a bad idea.

And, if you persisted on wanting to override my more cautious approach you would probably be off the boat at the next marina we could get in safely, becuase a boat really can only have one skipper. I'm speaking from personal experience here.

I was out on my first, small "tippy cup" boat once when I should have been (my own fault, too, because I stupidly let OTHERS decide if I should be sailing). My companion throught it was "fun" to surf on top of the wave, going way too fast for control, only to be completely overpowered in the trough with the boat trying to broach -- she thought THAT was fun too! Near a lee shore, by the way. We'd lost the engine.

I was able to turn her and sail her out to sea, and really I thought this woman (a triathalon athlete, she should have known better) was going to jump overboard. And if she had, I couldn't have taken the boat into shallow water to try to get her, and neither could have any of the other boats we were with.

The reefing system turned out to be rat-ass lousy and just plain dangerous to try to use in a 5' following sea (a lot for THAT boat) with the wind behind us. She rode MUCH better going into the waves at an angle, and I aimed for Cancun. I also called Sea Tow because we'd had a cascade of problems.

Other, much more experienced sailors made (I'm sorry) stupid decisions regarding our predicament. Not one suggested we call for help, but one came VERY close to us (in spite of my insistence that they not do that). One of their crew members was going to try to climb from that boat to mine in these awful conditions, with my boat rocking and rolling all over the place! The guy brought this up four years later and couldn't understand why I didn't want him to do it!

So I'm sorry, guys, but lots of experience and exertise doesn't always mean that's the person to listen to.

If you want, go see my blog. One of the more recent article is specifically about that -- about including crew members in discussions and decision-making while maintaining your position as the skipper. You'd have to be an idiot not to listen to people's ideas -- esp. experienced people's ideas -- when you're in trouble, but that guy trying to climb onto my boat was one of the dumbest -- and THE MOST dangerous thing -- I have seen since I started sailing.

This all comes back to fatigue, too. One reason my friend ran aground when that powerboat cut him off was that he didn't listen to others -- two on my boat as well as his wife, all saying it was time to stop sailing and accept the planned tow.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:15   #193
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

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[...]
If you practice in heavy weather, you can make preparations if you know the weather will turn from heavy weather to survival conditions. If you have prepared properly by practicing, you will also know wether it would be best to trail it from behind. The series drogue is a good example of something relatively simple being deployed. All I'm hearing from you guys is to shun something because it cost a little money upfront,, while advising people to use their sails instead in those conditions. Penny wise and pound stupid springs to mind.
But the money issue is not all, you're advising against using something like a series drogue because it will be "too difficult to use in a survival storm", while advocating rigging your sails in the same situation.

I can only conclude that these types of arguments springs from some misplaced judgement that because you can use something else than store bought equipment, that automatically makes it more seamanshippy and better.

In short, weather tends to deteriorate, and the prudent skipper will know this, and take any precaution possible, including practice with or without dedicated gear (yes, including having practiced with using your sails as a drogue if that is your option).
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:24   #194
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pirate Re: Storm Sailing Advice

Just to get back to Boatmans position, Im not in his mode a kind of sailing rambo. Ive sailed with several and yes they are great people in a crisis.

Unfortunately they are often the people that put you in the crisis in the first place.


ROTFLMAO....
Rambo I'm not... survivalist I am... and if taking on crew for a crossing and getting caught in a blow 1000 miles out is me putting you in that crisis... don't crew on crossings... stay within 5 miles of the coast..
**** happens.. and if keeping a cheery grin and a positive attitude is being 'Rambo' I've been watching the wrong movies..
he always looks really grim and stressed out to me..
I find that keeping at only around 150-160lbs very helpful as well
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:25   #195
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

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If you practice in heavy weather, you can make preparations if you know the weather will turn from heavy weather to survival conditions. If you have prepared properly by practicing, you will also know wether it would be best to trail it from behind. The series drogue is a good example of something relatively simple being deployed. All I'm hearing from you guys is to shun something because it cost a little money upfront,, while advising people to use their sails instead in those conditions. Penny wise and pound stupid springs to mind.
But the money issue is not all, you're advising against using something like a series drogue because it will be "too difficult to use in a survival storm", while advocating rigging your sails in the same situation.

I can only conclude that these types of arguments springs from some misplaced judgement that because you can use something else than store bought equipment, that automatically makes it more seamanshippy and better.

In short, weather tends to deteriorate, and the prudent skipper will know this, and take any precaution possible, including practice with or without dedicated gear (yes, including having practiced with using your sails as a drogue if that is your option).
you may be confusing me with others, Im not arguing about spending X or Y. I was trying to emphasise that so much of "heavy weather" techniques are hypothetical or generalised. Often it is the environment that prevents deployment or use of these "tools".

We had about 600' of large rode deployed. It was a hell of a job firstly getting it deployed. The cockpit was awash, and tying lengths together was awkward ( we ended up using the winch). It was an even harder job getting it aboard.

Yet all this had been practised before, but of course not in wild conditions.

Im not saying what works and what doesnt, I am saying its very personal to the conditions, the boat, the seaway and the state of the crew. Experience counts for a lot here.

I personally would never deploy a sail as an sea anchor, way way too difficult to handle. ( and unneccessary)

dave
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