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Old 25-04-2013, 18:51   #121
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

[QUOTE=downunder;1220354]
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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post

Bit of pot calling the kettle black I would say.

Not a bit. His first throw-away statement that he would just go below was pretty incomplete, and he ended up acknowledging that, explained what he might do and contributed productively to the conversation -- once he stopped repeatedly claiming that "someone" didn't know that the Gulf Stream curves in places. But go ahead and beat your head.

I'm back; I'm here; and if someone here gets deliberately snarky and completely misrepresents what I said in a way clearly designed to put me down -- I'm going to post a correction.

Why you want to jump in is beyond me. Except for all the non-involved people jumping in this would be long over. Maybe you didn't notice, but Boatman and I worked it out.
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Old 25-04-2013, 19:26   #122
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

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Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
What do you do when both kids are sick at the same time, oh and the dog too been there, what a mess, oh and it doesn't go down the plug hole.

Pete
Wow Pete, I think you get the vomit prize for surviving at sea….Lol

Luckily, I have not had to deal with sea sick kids or dogs in Heavy weather, but that is definitely worth the experienced advice of others.

Closest I came to appreciating children was surviving for 28 hrs at the helm in a Tehuantepeker on canned baby food, when the Owner and his 2 crew, disappeared into their seasick bunks.
Gulf of Tehuantepec Gales

Reality is that things can get pretty feral in a storm, when seasickness overcomes their self-imposed pride and self-worth.

Dehydration causes Dizziness, so it is often better and safer for someone severely affected to stay below decks.

When you see that dazed far-away look and a cramping of fingers, give them a small bucket to focus on, send them below and let them know you will call them if you need them.
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Old 25-04-2013, 19:32   #123
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

I'd stick with the Pardeys. For the simple reason that I've seen their claims work.
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Old 26-04-2013, 04:17   #124
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

evans,

looking at your website, you have an excellent picture of a drogue deployed off the back end of ,I believe, Hawk. My question here is further enlightenment from you article.

The pic clearly shows the bridle and notes that the drogue rode is attached with an icicle hitch.

Where is the bridle attached to Hawk? On my boat, I would only have two options. The cleats (rear or midships) or a set of winches. There really isn't anything else there strong enough.

second part of the queston, when you recover, how do you get the bridle (and later the rode) onto a winch? If, I attached the bridle to, say the cleats, even leaving enough free line to get it on a winch, how do I get it off the cleat? I mean this seriously, since the bridle/line will still have a heavy load, making it impossible to released off the cleat.

A possible answer, would be to attach a tether to the rode with a hitch, around some type of snatch block, and then onto a winch. This allows the rode to be winched in, bridle recovered, and conintuing on with the rode.

Again, Thank you for this concise and informative article. I've never been in this situation, so the only way to prepare for it (besides hoping it never comes, is to read what those who have been there say.

I've also read the Pardleys. Excellent books and I agree with most of what they say. In this case, my personality and mindset probably leans towards the more active approach you adhere to.
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Old 26-04-2013, 06:20   #125
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Where is the bridle attached to Hawk? On my boat, I would only have two options. The cleats (rear or midships) or a set of winches. There really isn't anything else there strong enough.

We have lewmar #0 size (their biggest size) snatch blocks mounted on the transom corners. The bridle runs thru these to the primary winches. If we have some staysail or storm jib up we run its sheet to the secondaries.

I have measured the loading on our single element drogues and it peaks around 3500-4000lbs lbs, so its actually not that high. I have not measured the series drogue loading but it should be significantly higher. I have estimated 3x higher based on the relative frontal drag area, but Jordan's website says its more than that, almost up to the boat's displacement.

second part of the queston, when you recover, how do you get the bridle (and later the rode) onto a winch? If, I attached the bridle to, say the cleats, even leaving enough free line to get it on a winch, how do I get it off the cleat? I mean this seriously, since the bridle/line will still have a heavy load, making it impossible to released off the cleat.

One leg of the bridle is the rode itself. The other leg of the bridle is a spare jib sheet (75' long) that I icicle hitch to the rode. The sheet prt of the bridle we might terminate on a big aft cleat or we might put on the primary winch. The rode side of the bridle we put on the primary winch. To pull in . . . we just crank on the winch that has the rode. This brings all the load onto the rode, and unloads the sheet side of the bridle. When the icicle hitch comes up to the snatch block we just untie it and keep cranking.

If you terminate both sides of the bridle on cleats, you can uncleat the rode side and the sheet side will take the load and allow you to put the rode on a winch, and then do as above.

By the way, even with 'only' 3500lbs on the rode, it is A LOT of work to get 300-600' in. I have tried using the powered anchor windless to do this but have been worried about overheating and stalling it. Some years ago we were helping Steve Dashew test drogues on his boat, and we melted down one of his powered winches recovering a series drogue.

A possible answer, would be to attach a tether to the rode with a hitch, around some type of snatch block, and then onto a winch. This allows the rode to be winched in, bridle recovered, and conintuing on with the rode.

Yes agreed, if you cannot uncleat the rode, put a rolling hitch on it (a ways aft of the cleat) with a short piece of line and put that on a winch and crank in on that until it takes the load off the cleat, and then you 'should' be able to uncleat it.
.............
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Old 26-04-2013, 06:34   #126
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

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I'd stick with the Pardeys. For the simple reason that I've seen their claims work.
That's terrific. I can then only offer two suggestions:

1. Do multiple real world deployments/practices with the technique, in say 30kts, before you are forced to use it a storm. There are a number of things, particularly about their bridle set-up, that commonly trip people up that are less straightforward than they look, and which need to be sorted out and fine tuned beforehand.

2. Think about what you are going to do when you are:
(a) in/near one of the major ocean currents (eg gulf stream or agulhas) or near the edge of a continental shelf. I would suggest you don't want to sit there on a para-anchor getting hammered by monster waves when if you actively sail only 30-50 miles you can get out of the current/shelf edge and the wave size will drop by more than half.
(b) are in the path of the center, or slightly to the dangerous semicircle, of a storm. Again, the winds and waves usually drop off very dramatically if you can get just 50 miles away from the worst pressure gradient in that area. Note: Doing this well tends to require some sort of on board weather system which the Pardey's have never carried.
(c) if you are in a major shipping lane (English channel and approaches to Japan come to mind, but there are obviously many busy shipping areas). If you are going to be un-maneuverable sitting on a para-anchor in those areas, please please get an AIS transmitter and put out regular security calls - I suspect YOU on your para-anchor are not going to be keeping a good watch so you are depending on your fellow seaman to do it for you, but please at least help them.
(d) if you have some islands to the lee or a whole lee shore (just thinking say if you were in bass straits to west of Finder's). You DO drift with a para-anchor, and even more so if there is a current, and its a hell of a lot easier to sail off when you have lots of room and can sail shallow angles than when you have left it 'to later' and are up close to a hard shore.
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Old 26-04-2013, 07:41   #127
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

[QUOTE=Rakuflames;1220376]
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Originally Posted by downunder View Post


Not a bit. His first throw-away statement that he would just go below was pretty incomplete, and he ended up acknowledging that, explained what he might do and contributed productively to the conversation -- once he stopped repeatedly claiming that "someone" didn't know that the Gulf Stream curves in places. But go ahead and beat your head.

I'm back; I'm here; and if someone here gets deliberately snarky and completely misrepresents what I said in a way clearly designed to put me down -- I'm going to post a correction.

Why you want to jump in is beyond me. Except for all the non-involved people jumping in this would be long over. Maybe you didn't notice, but Boatman and I worked it out.
Why is it that even the most useful and and productive discussions eventually devolve into this?
The old man used to say, "Nothing crazier than humans."
Indeed.
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Old 26-04-2013, 08:42   #128
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

Has anyone here actually used a Jordan series drogue in a storm situation? It would preclude hoving too, but my understanding is that it orientates the boat correctly and slows it down so one is not surfing down a wave.

I suspect its use would not be suited to near coastal situations, however, it does appear to be a viable ocean tool.
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Old 26-04-2013, 08:57   #129
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

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Has anyone here actually used a Jordan series drogue in a storm situation? It would preclude hoving too, but my understanding is that it orientates the boat correctly and slows it down so one is not surfing down a wave.

I suspect its use would not be suited to near coastal situations, however, it does appear to be a viable ocean tool.
Here's an account:

Articles about sailing by junk-rigged Corribee Mingming's skipper Roger Taylor
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Old 26-04-2013, 10:07   #130
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

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Originally Posted by avb3 View Post
Has anyone here actually used a Jordan series drogue in a storm situation? It would preclude hoving too, but my understanding is that it orientates the boat correctly and slows it down so one is not surfing down a wave.

I suspect its use would not be suited to near coastal situations, however, it does appear to be a viable ocean tool.
I have had ours out in 'heavy weather' (as an experiment), but not yet in a big breaking waves a 'survival storm' (I do try to avoid those )

Personally, I prefer to be going a bit faster when downwind in heavy weather than the series drogue allows . . . . I don't yet know about breaking wave storms, however it certainly does eliminate the single-element drogue 'pull out of the waves' problem in big steep waves.

Tony Gooch has used his more than anyone else I know, primarily during his solo southern ocean RTW. He's a strong guy, but I was always impressed that he seemed to get the thing back in so well/easily.

As an aside, on a comment in my post above . . . one other thing that has changed dramatically in the past 20 years with respect to storm sailing is our on board weather info. One of the reasons people (including us) took the 'passive' approach in 'the old days' was because we usually did not know which way was better to sail to minimize the storm exposure. Today we have quite good (although still occasionally frustratingly wrong) weather info and can plan 3 days in advance where it is best to position the boat. That makes the active techniques much more powerful and valuable.
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Old 26-04-2013, 10:13   #131
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

[QUOTE=Liam Wald;1220692]
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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post

Why is it that even the most useful and and productive discussions eventually devolve into this?
The old man used to say, "Nothing crazier than humans."
Indeed.

Because for some reason people can't resist jumping in and fanning the flames. The two people involved resolved their differences a couple of days ago, and yet others keep poking the ashes and bringing the bellows back out.
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Old 26-04-2013, 10:24   #132
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

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One comment I have not made . . . is that for relatively inexperienced people seasickness is a big underlying (sort of co-equal with fatigue) cause of bad decisions (like abandoning ship). The stress and fear present in storm conditions aggravates any slight tendency for seasickness.
Certainly this is a plus for the more active techniques, by giving the crew some feeling of control and something to do I think the more marginal cases might be less likely to succumb to the dangerous lethargy and hopelessness that seasickness can cause.

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Several above have commented they generally lean toward the passive techniques, especially with small crew. We also did when on Silk. On Hawk, we lean toward the fast techniques if our destination is somewhere near to downwind and the medium (forereaching) if the destination is more upwind. Both boat size and 'performance' seem to be an important factor in this decision. We have just gotten older, but also a bit more experienced and gained a bit more 'feel' so we know better when the boat is good and when we need to do something different (slow down).
As one of the several that leans towards the passive techniques. I am interested to discuss this more. I feel strongly that the safest place for crew in severe storm waves (where the risk of capsize is high) is below, strapped in securely with head protection. Doing this pretty much rules out active approaches unless effective inside steering is available or a very clever autopilot is fitted.

If your passive technique and setup is good there should be no problems with chafe, so there is no real need to even go on deck very often. Unless for concern about shipping. AIS and a VHF securitie message should help in this case. Crew morale might also benefit from the regular routine. But basically the ideal in my mind is to be able to sit it out with noise canceling earphones, some good music and a book.

This I guess is an ideal that I have never actually managed to achieve, which is your point. The only time I came close was running off under drogue in a f9 on my way to Antarctica, but the windvane course setting had been damaged and was slipping slowly so we needed to regularly reset it to hold her directly downwind.

The conditions were reasonably manageable although we had earlier had a pretty nasty knockdown when a rogue from a weird angle had slammed her down and soaked everything.. (well my bunk anyway!). We probably didn't need the drogue but I wanted to test it before the next much bigger system came through, as it turned out we just escaped this next one by getting south into the navigable quadrant. 100 miles to the north it was shrieking.

The only other time we pretty much went below was in a Force 11-12 off Cape Palliser on my parents 45 foot gaff ketch. That night nearby motorcycles where banned from the roads, Nelson and Wellington airports were closed due to winds and the Cook Strait ferries stopped running. The coast we were on had a state of emergency declared, due to high winds and flooding with Wellington airport recording 74 knots. It was the worst weather I have ever seen at sea, including my time on ships regularly rounding the Horn, Biscay and cape of good hope. We had tried the active technique, motorsailing to about 60 degree's of the wind with the small staysail set to get across the strait and under Cape Campbell. To be honest it worked well enough until a rope got washed down the cockpit drain and into the prop. We were regularly underwater. The wind had pegged our anemometer at 60 knots for a long while, and the sea was completely white when you could actually look to windward without you're eyes stinging. At one point a tanker came past. They had green water over their bridge.

To be honest I was too scared to go below so I just hung on in the cockpit soaking wet and wishing a helicopter would come and pluck us off. This has given me a good appreciation for why people abandon floating vessels.

Once the rope killed the engine we turned and ran with the helm lashed, and the small staysail pulling hard. I suspect the wind had eased because we were only doing about four or five knots and rolling heavily. Thats about what she will do in 35-40 knots. But aside from the leaks and the wet bunks and the worry she plodded along through the night with the helm lashed with my father tucked up near the hatch, poking his head out every so often. By morning it had eased, and we sailed into castle point to clear the prop.

Since this I have never seen any thing quite so bad. Every time it blows hard I think at least it's not as bad as cape Palliser, and I hope to never see conditions like it again, but if I did I would be much more ready.

Aside from these two occasions I have always had people on deck for some reason. The three rogue waves I have had have all been in otherwise rough but not what I would consider to be storm conditions, maybe maximum of gale to strong gale. They all came from an odd angle and knocked the boat down without any real warning. Once I was on the helm. There was nothing I could do about it and we got knocked down and badly flooded (The top dropboard was out) a frightened man with a bucket soon fixed that, but it was a good lesson to always shut the hatch in marginal conditions.

My guess is that in real storm conditions a proper rogue wave would result in a capsize of most 40 foot mono's no matter what tactics were employed. I saw a rogue trough once from a container ships bridge. I estimated the thing to be 70+ foot deep with near vertical sides, the average significant wave height was probably 25-30 foot but this thing was like a trench that just missed us by 100 meters.

You might get lucky and surf away from a rogue. I don't think you will ever be able to safely get through a storm sized rogue wave hove to or sailing to windward unless you have a very big powerful boat. Anybody that thinks they can anticipate one and steer around it is mistaken. You might get lucky, but I doubt it, they honestly can come without any warning. A series drogue or sea anchor might just work, if something doesn't break first, or the wave doesn't hit you from abeam.

To me this is why I prefer to have crew below and secure, and a boat that will most likely be strong enough to survive a capsize and mast being bashed alongside for a day or so. This is a slightly fatalistic approach, but no more so than the reality of driving a car where any oncoming car could swerve and hit you in an instant. It is about managing the consequence given that I expect a rogue wave to capsize me and quite likely injure (or worse) anybody outside.

Saying all this I completely agree with Evans on going for the active technique if you think it will get you into a safer patch of water significantly quicker than a passive technique.

Thank you Evans for a good well thought out article. I might disagree slightly on the way you have worded the bit about not going below and leaving the boat to do her thing. But I suspect we would just be arguing the words rather than the intent.
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Old 26-04-2013, 10:30   #133
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

[QUOTE=Rakuflames;1220785]
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Because for some reason people can't resist jumping in and fanning the flames. The two people involved resolved their differences a couple of days ago, and yet others keep poking the ashes and bringing the bellows back out.
I hear you. And please don't get me wrong. I have no problem with differences in opinion that result in spirited and passionate debate/argument.
I'm like you, it's the "flame fanners" that alarm and never cease to amaze me.
Passive aggressive behavior is just one of those inexplicable and crazy human things.
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Old 26-04-2013, 10:40   #134
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

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Thank you Evans for a good well thought out article. I might disagree slightly on the way you have worded the bit about not going below and leaving the boat to do her thing. But I suspect we would just be arguing the words rather than the intent.
Pelagic seems to be in your camp on this also.

I will have to give it some further thought.

We personally are a bit spoiled, because of our structural hard dodger, allows us to be "out and active" while still being "in and protected", the best of both worlds. . . . and this is also the solution the vendee guys this year picked.

I actually have a car rally chair in my nav station that is very snug and you could belt yourself into it and be quite happy thru knockdowns, but if I was belted in down below with the noise canceling headphones I worry that I would miss: (a) the transition to the back side of the storm and the possible need to change tactics (perhaps add a bit of sail) and (b) chafe on drogue rodes or sail ties coming off the main or other stuff like that.
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Old 26-04-2013, 10:44   #135
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Re: Storm Sailing Advice

[QUOTE=Liam Wald;1220794]
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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post

I hear you. And please don't get me wrong. I have no problem with differences in opinion that result in spirited and passionate debate/argument.
I'm like you, it's the "flame fanners" that alarm and never cease to amaze me.
Passive aggressive behavior is just one of those inexplicable and crazy human things.

In real life, two things happen that don't happen on land.

First, the words linger around. In real life, they're impact vibrations on air, a terrible transmitter of energy. They fade away. Someone walking by three days later won't fell those vibrations on their eardrums and ... join in.

Second, you can't see the look on the other person's face. You don't have that feedback about how you came across, so you don't work things out in the split-second it takes to do so in real life.

But some people like to stir the coals. I watched someone get a (real) fire going again on the beach as we were closing things up to leave. We had to put the literal fire out twice. Some people just like fire. Those are the real trouble-makers online.
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