Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 8 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old 04-05-2013, 08:56   #256
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Storm Sailing Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
I think it would depend on the lee shore... if it was somewhere like W Tasmania I was being blown on I'd try anything on board.. and that would include hanging a jib off the stern with fenders and chain... to slow me down and hopefully keep me off till the blow passed and I could regain control..
However somewhere like the Galician coast of N Spain where there are ria's one can take a crazy sleigh ride into for peace and shelter I've tacked hove to before a NW'ly for days slowly falling back but controlling my drift to an acceptable point where I can break and run for shelter...
Manic Grin Time

And, those coastal storms can last a lot more than 20 minutes. Sometimes you're lucky, sometimes they stick around. Sometimes they join up with other storms. Sometimes they grow and don't move. Being close to shore, all sorts of problems. The OP didn't say he was only talking about major storms that last a very long time far off shore.

Hard to know what to do sometimes. Until really this morning they had a 50% chance of storms here with winds out of the SW. No the chance of storms is way down, wind out of the west at 15, the people sailing down here are are gonna have a great sail.
__________________

__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 09:09   #257
Registered User
 
sabray's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Wash DC
Boat: PETERSON 44
Posts: 3,169
Right raku but usually we know so we are not days coastal sailing in major weather systems. My experience is that I can miss most or all big stuff while coastal sailing. Much more likely that I get caught in a fast moving cold front that kicks me for 20 minutes dangerous but also manageable. My strategy for coastal storm management us very different to offshore preparation.
__________________

__________________
sabray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 09:19   #258
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Storm Sailing Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by sabray View Post
Right raku but usually we know so we are not days coastal sailing in major weather systems. My experience is that I can miss most or all big stuff while coastal sailing. Much more likely that I get caught in a fast moving cold front that kicks me for 20 minutes dangerous but also manageable. My strategy for coastal storm management us very different to offshore preparation.

I've seen plenty of coastal storms without major systems coming through. Typically we don't have major systems come through spring, summer or fall.

What we DO have is a sea breeze form in the afternoon. The hotter the inland gets, the stronger that seabreeze from the west is likely to be. The breeze from the east and the breeze from the west collide, and virtually every afternoon, someone gets POUNDED. Often it's inland, but sometimes it's over the Gulf, and that's just about impossible to predict.

So the strategy many use is to leave early in the day, but often that leaves them with winds too light to sail, and so you don't always get to a good stopping place before those two winds collide.

This is how it is on the west coast of Florida, and I have seen really impressive storms just off the coast of west Florida. In some places the shallow water extends for quite some distance out into the Gulf. In some places the channel you need to get to some place to anchor or dock for the night can be like giant, front-loading washing machines, with shallow water very close to the channel on both sides. Longboat Pass is a good example of that.

Go into the Venice Inlet in that? There you have ROCKS on either side.

On days like this, a weather forecast that is an hour old is worthless.
__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 09:24   #259
Registered User
 
sabray's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Wash DC
Boat: PETERSON 44
Posts: 3,169
Raku you would know. I can say that it is rare we get unexpected prolonged storm systems in my world. Rare also to get unexpected nasty weather cells. Usually we know. If your one hour forecaster can't figure out better weather forecasts get a better informed source.
__________________
sabray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 09:48   #260
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Boat: Custom Van De Stadt 47 Samoa
Posts: 3,743
Re: Storm Sailing Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
I think it would depend on the lee shore... if it was somewhere like W Tasmania I was being blown on I'd try anything on board..
We actually sailed into port Davie in a force 9. There is an island - called something like 'break sea island' - that you can whip around and the seas lay down before you have to deal with the actual entrance. We had had a drogue out with vane steering, but pulled it in as we made our approach and switched to hand steering.

I agree with your point above that when you need to use 'storm tactics' depends entirely on the vessel, crew and specific sea state. It might be in 40kts, or it might not even be in 60kts (in flat water behind barrier islands for instance). "Storm" obviously has a very specific official metrological definition, but not all storms are equal, and not all crews or vessels are equal.

The question of how to handle very short (eg 1 hr) 'storms' (I would call them squalls or fronts) is usually much easier than long ones, because usually you do not get large breaking waves developing within that short a time period. So, usually you can just drop all your sails and are in no danger at all, or if there is a very close lee shore (you are not going to drift more than perhaps 3nm lying a-hull bare pole in an hour) you can either motor off at an angle or forereach with your smallest sail.
__________________
estarzinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 09:55   #261
Senior Cruiser
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 11,447
Re: Storm Sailing Advice

Yep, Breaksea Island is what has made Port Davey a refuge for West Coast fishermen (and yotties too) for many years. A natural breakwater nicely placed... sometimes geology gets things right!

What a great destination!

Cheers,

Jim
__________________
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II , lying Port Cygnet, Tasmania once again
Jim Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 10:05   #262
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Storm Sailing Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by sabray View Post
Raku you would know. I can say that it is rare we get unexpected prolonged storm systems in my world. Rare also to get unexpected nasty weather cells. Usually we know. If your one hour forecaster can't figure out better weather forecasts get a better informed source.

Well, let me explain my footnote, since clearly me opening my eyes and seeing the weather around me compared to the forecasts here is *never* good enough.

The other night I went to a seminar specifically on weather forecasting, for coastal sailers, in this area. The speakers included a meteorologist from the National Weather Service. One of the things they did was compare accuracy for all sorts of sites including a side by side comparison of SailFlow and NWS. SailFlow failed miserably, by the way. SailFlow is ALL computer generated, and much of it is what statisticians call "extrapolation" -- assumptions not based on data for that place or time. SailFlow actually predicted SW winds at 3k right whan a front was coming through from the northwest.

These are microclimates we're talking about. A big storm will pop up in one place and 20 miles away nothing happens. It isn't possible to forecast with that precision, and because of the weather forces involved, news an hour old is not going to warn you that a storm is about to form. Information ten minutes old just might.

I don't just make up the stuff I say here, but if I had added all of that to my first post, you would been satisfied and someone else would have been complaining that my post was too long (I wonder who holds the gun to his head and makes him read it? -- smile)

The weather they had in Key West the other day was forecast. That was an entirely different situation. However, they thought we were going to get it too, but the issues of East wind vs. West sea breeze kept it away from us.

NWS does a good job but often doesn't get the information out for an hour or two, and by then circumstances really can have changed. Sometimes the storms are both not that bad and short-lived. Sometimes they start out small, another forms nearby; they join up; they grow and spread, and, caught between the east and west winds, don't move.

It happens.

I personally know someone I would call an "experienced" sailor who was caught in such a storm for five hours. So thank you to all of you who give a wide variety of interventions and explain how and when one might use them, because I for one might actually need that information just taking an easy sail from Tampa Bay to, say, Cabbage Key. Then there's the expanse one has to cover to get to Marathon, Key West or the Tortugas. In theory you can go in at Shark River, but in truth you'll want to die -- either from the heat from your closed up boat or from blood loss because of all the mosquitoes and noseeums. It's not a good choice to try to run to if a storm threatens, either. Not by me, anyway. I would rather go toward the storm if it also took me to deeper water.
__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 10:16   #263
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK/Portugal
Posts: 20,203
Images: 2
Send a message via Skype™ to boatman61
pirate Re: Storm Sailing Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
We actually sailed into port Davie in a force 9. There is an island - called something like 'break sea island' - that you can whip around and the seas lay down before you have to deal with the actual entrance. We had had a drogue out with vane steering, but pulled it in as we made our approach and switched to hand steering.

I agree with your point above that when you need to use 'storm tactics' depends entirely on the vessel, crew and specific sea state. It might be in 40kts, or it might not even be in 60kts (in flat water behind barrier islands for instance). "Storm" obviously has a very specific official metrological definition, but not all storms are equal, and not all crews or vessels are equal.

The question of how to handle very short (eg 1 hr) 'storms' (I would call them squalls or fronts) is usually much easier than long ones, because usually you do not get large breaking waves developing within that short a time period. So, usually you can just drop all your sails and are in no danger at all, or if there is a very close lee shore (you are not going to drift more than perhaps 3nm lying a-hull bare pole in an hour) you can either motor off at an angle or forereach with your smallest sail.
Exactly... the more knowledge/experience that's out there for folks (yet to go through these scenarios) to understand and weigh up their options the better... its a many dimensional subject... the tide/current could be with an onshore set... or could in some cases actually help keep you off..
Step back and assess your situation... if you can take bearings to calculate speed/direction of drift then utilise the info to best advantage.. great..
usually plenty enuf time to spare 5 minutes on reflection as to one's options... before its been left to late and your in panic mode..
__________________


Born To Be Wild
boatman61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 10:59   #264
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Storm Sailing Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Exactly... the more knowledge/experience that's out there for folks (yet to go through these scenarios) to understand and weigh up their options the better... its a many dimensional subject... the tide/current could be with an onshore set... or could in some cases actually help keep you off..
Step back and assess your situation... if you can take bearings to calculate speed/direction of drift then utilise the info to best advantage.. great..
usually plenty enuf time to spare 5 minutes on reflection as to one's options... before its been left to late and your in panic mode..

Clearly there's no "one size fits all," and that's why, as you said, it's so helpful to hear so many views. I just can't help but get annoyed when I get told "it will never happen where I am..."
__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 13:23   #265
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,769
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
Re: Storm Sailing Advice

florida has many severe lightning storms packing 70 kt winds. is good practice for heavy weather cruising, as the seas are not as large in gom as they are in oceans where seas are seas....and the storms only last 4-8 hours maximum...transient local stuff.
zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 14:19   #266
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 2,441
Re: Storm Sailing Advice

The thing that concerns me about the increasing tendency to apply the word "storm" to offshore scenarios whenever things get horrible (or even inconvenient) is not that it's dishonest (I don't think it is), or that it diminishes the global reserves of macho self regard (which do not appear to be in any danger whatsoever):

It's simply this: true storms at sea are very rarely encountered, especially by those of us (like me) who spend more time thinking about sailing than doing it.

So we rely on the experiences of others to prime our imaginative scenario-creating faculties.

There's not much point playing "If this happened, these are my likely options" if the thing we're thinking about is never likely to happen... and more importantly, the reverse, where we overlook things which ARE likely to happen.

Two problems with "grade inflation" over time, where yesteryear's strong breezes become tomorrow's gales, and gales become storms:

1) People might prematurely kid themselves "I can do gales" or "I can do storms".

Particularly in the latter case, it seems to me, NOBODY can confidently make this claim.

2) More importantly, I think: The considerable body of knowledge from previous generations of sailors can be misinterpreted if the terminology has drifted or been diluted over time.

The Beaufort scale is not just a pedant's sanctuary: it's a useful tool to 'peg' terminology, in an agreed way, across different cultures and times.

Someone who mistook a short-lived, strong wind event, developing close by land, for a deep sea storm might become paralysed or galvanised by fear of what they mistakenly took to be the likely implications.

The latter mindset might (say) cause them adopt inappropriate tactics, or ask to be taken off their vessel, in a situation where such responses were not just unnecessary but dangerous.

To take a non-hypothetical instance:

the notion of towing warps or drogues, in waters congested with other shipping, in response to a localised, short duration thunderstorm:

this will seem far-fetched to many, but I vaguely recall posts on this very forum, suggesting it could be useful or necessary.
__________________
Andrew Troup is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 14:34   #267
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK/Portugal
Posts: 20,203
Images: 2
Send a message via Skype™ to boatman61
Re: Storm Sailing Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
The thing that concerns me about the increasing tendency to apply the word "storm" to offshore scenarios whenever things get horrible (or even inconvenient) is not that it's dishonest (I don't think it is), or that it diminishes the global reserves of macho self regard (which do not appear to be in any danger whatsoever):

It's simply this: true storms at sea are very rarely encountered, especially by those of us (like me) who spend more time thinking about sailing than doing it.

So we rely on the experiences of others to prime our imaginative scenario-creating faculties.

There's not much point playing "If this happened, these are my likely options" if the thing we're thinking about is never likely to happen... and more importantly, the reverse, where we overlook things which ARE likely to happen.

Two problems with "grade inflation" over time, where yesteryear's strong breezes become tomorrow's gales, and gales become storms:

1) People might prematurely kid themselves "I can do gales" or "I can do storms".

Particularly in the latter case, it seems to me, NOBODY can confidently make this claim.

2) More importantly, I think: The considerable body of knowledge from previous generations of sailors can be misinterpreted if the terminology has drifted or been diluted over time.

The Beaufort scale is not just a pedant's sanctuary: it's a useful tool to 'peg' terminology, in an agreed way, across different cultures and times.

Someone who mistook a short-lived, strong wind event, developing close by land, for a deep sea storm might become paralysed or galvanised by fear of what they mistakenly took to be the likely implications.

The latter mindset might (say) cause them adopt inappropriate tactics, or ask to be taken off their vessel, in a situation where such responses were not just unnecessary but dangerous.

To take a non-hypothetical instance:

the notion of towing warps or drogues, in waters congested with other shipping, in response to a localised, short duration thunderstorm:

this will seem far-fetched to many, but I vaguely recall posts on this very forum, suggesting it could be useful or necessary.
Ach... it was a bit of a blow...
This evokes Dirk Claude Arnie Stallone sobrequets... so does storm... what's a guy/gal to do
__________________


Born To Be Wild
boatman61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 14:44   #268
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,769
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
Re: Storm Sailing Advice

what i refer to as a breeze, many consider a big wind, as my boat tends to need and want higher velocity breezes in order to properly sail, i enjoy them, as long as the breezes are above 15 kts, my boat is happy.
i can get 3 kts boat speed out of a 6 kt light breeze, but this brick LOVES 15-60+, so far. is fun to sail the boat to where she is happy, and in breezes that make her handle properly. i dont want many more 60+ kt winds, but if i am going to sail golfo de california at all, i best be able to tolerate them nicely.

many boats today are not able to handle decent breezes. i have sailed those, also. makes me appreciate my ketch all that much more.

when the boat was designed to do breezes of substance, then it doesnt feel like a storm, whereas, in a boat not designed to be sailed in higher winds of 20kts+, the sailing becomes a chore, and less safe to attempt.
zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 16:36   #269
Moderator
 
Hudson Force's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Lived aboard & cruised for 45 years,- now on a chair in my walk-in closet.
Boat: Morgan OI 413 1973 - Aythya
Posts: 7,894
Images: 1
Re: Storm Sailing Advice

It does help to have all of us speaking the same language. From the most basic definitions that I have looked at, a storm is generally accepted to have winds at a minimum of 55mph for a minimum duration of 12 hours. We might best consider the term squall for those events of the same minimum winds that are normally coastal and for a far shorter duration. This doesn't mean that a squall may not last for 5 hours with winds well over 55mph, but still; these events are usually a result of the temperature dynamics differening between the land that heats and cools faster than the adjacent water. Storms, unlike the squalls, would be associated with large low pressure systems with a vortex or cyclonic movement streching over 100 miles or much more. We might communicate better if we were to use some operational definition to identify these very different weather patterns. Both can be severe and overwhelming, but they do have different characteristics.
__________________
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
Hudson Force is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 16:56   #270
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 2,441
Re: Storm Sailing Advice

I think that's a useful distinction from CaptForce - localised, intense systems generate a different nature of wave

... and while fast moving miniature tropical cyclonic systems and suchlike can do this in the deep ocean too -- and everyone sailing in such areas should be aware of this -- it seems to me that's the exception rather than the rule.

CaptForce's tentative definition covers this type of exception by pointing out the crucial importance of scale, which governs fetch ...

Different, and potentially dangerous. Anyone who's sailed on a big lake in mountainous terrain will know that you can be in big trouble from short-fetch waves within minutes of conditions changing.

But different is the key word, it seems to me, particularly on the www, where nuances are so easily swamped by the desire for easy certainty.

ON EDIT:
For anyone considering CaptForce's windstrength figure, it's perhaps worth pointing out it's in land miles, not nautical miles, per hour.
__________________

__________________
Andrew Troup is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
sailing

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:28.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.