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Old 25-08-2013, 07:14   #46
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Re: Sailboat about to be clobbered by a 100-foot rouge wave (pic)

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Originally Posted by RazAU View Post

This is getting abit off topic but please dont underestimate what you see in that picture. To do so is to disrespect the lives that were lost on that day.
Theres no disrespecting anyone in analysing situations. We are here to use these things to help save other lives (our own).

Remember cruisers and racers use different tactics in bad weather. A cruiser should have been hove to, or whatever maximum de-powering at a very early point in that storm. The winds were 70 to 90 knots at the height of that storm. That's built those waves. The OP photo doesnt look like 70 to 90 knots. It looks 40 or less (aprox the difference you note in the helicopter speed). If it was higher at the time of the photo it does not look higher. And thats all we have when we are at sea... the look... and a few instruments.

34-40 knots Well-marked streaks of foam are blown along wind direction. Considerable airborne spray.

75 knots Huge waves. Sea is completely white with foam and spray. Air is filled with driving spray, greatly reducing visibility

Beaufort scale - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 25-08-2013, 07:16   #47
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Re: Sailboat about to be clobbered by a 100-foot rouge wave (pic)

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Originally Posted by RazAU View Post
Ummmm no, MAXIMUS wasnt in the 1998 S2H.

She was built in 2005. Your photo was taken during the 2006 S2H. She is now called Ragamuffin Loyal
Hmmm. Well spotted. It comes up at no 11 in a goodle immages search of 1998 Sydney hoabrt. https://www.google.com/search?q=1998...w=1307&bih=630
But you are right:
Quote:
Sydney
December 27, 2006

Eight crew members abandoned their sinking boat
Thanks for that.
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Old 25-08-2013, 07:25   #48
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Re: Sailboat about to be clobbered by a 100-foot rouge wave (pic)

If that piccy was from the Sydney Hobart Race,

For our Northern Sailing Friends,

From Sydney, The boats go straight down the Tasman Sea to Hobart,

On the way, it changes to Bass Straight and the Southern Ocean.

Where the race became very unstuck is where these three Seas meet,

And 70 foot waves are common, even if they dont last all that long, Day or so,

The Spirits of Tasmania, Two Ships that ferry between Tasmania and Australia,

Wont cross Bass Straight when the weather is rough,

Its not all that great sailing from Tassie to NZ either,

You could be half way across and a big storm will blow out of the Antartic,

I live here, Its my daily weather,
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Old 25-08-2013, 07:49   #49
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Re: Sailboat about to be clobbered by a 100-foot rouge wave (pic)

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Originally Posted by Mr B View Post
If that piccy was from the Sydney Hobart Race,

For our Northern Sailing Friends,

From Sydney, The boats go straight down the Tasman Sea to Hobart,

On the way, it changes to Bass Straight and the Southern Ocean.

Where the race became very unstuck is where these three Seas meet,

And 70 foot waves are common, even if they dont last all that long, Day or so,

The Spirits of Tasmania, Two Ships that ferry between Tasmania and Australia,

Wont cross Bass Straight when the weather is rough,

Its not all that great sailing from Tassie to NZ either,

You could be half way across and a big storm will blow out of the Antartic,

I live here, Its my daily weather,
Just to be a bit more specific:

The rhumb line course for the S to H race does NOT cross Bass Straght, but is considerably to the East of that body of water, well out into the Tasman.

This is somewhat important because the two things that make Bass Straight so evil are shallow water and a geographical funneling (of both wind and tidal flow) that can create unusually bad sea conditions rapidly and in somewhat lower wind strengths than are normally required.

The rhumb line course is through much deeper water and is outside the "funnel". Most racers, once past Cape Howe tend to sail the rhumb because it is shorter.

The conditions faced in '98 were, even well to the East, truly awful, and I do not mean to trivialize what those folks went through... but it is not true to say "And 70 foot waves are common" in that area.

And getting back to the OP and its photo: I agree that in that photo there is no sign of very strong winds, just as MarkJ says. I believe that it shows the aftermath of the horrendous conditions that existed some hours earlier.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 25-08-2013, 11:43   #50
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Re: Sailboat about to be clobbered by a 100-foot rouge wave (pic)

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
I think the boat looks dead in the water. I.E. not moving at all. So warps wont help it as they are only useful to slow a boat down, to de-power it, whent he boat is moving downwind and down wave so fast that its likely to pitch-pole on the forward face of a wave.
Just FYI - you are (generally) wrong about the above. Warps (or a drogue) off the stern will (usually) change the orientation of a boat (from beam on to stern on) even at very low boat speeds (say 1kt). Race boats like this will drift at >1kt dismasted in quite light winds. So, IMHO, these guys would have been more comfortable and safer if they had put some stuff off the stern.

If anyone's interested in more information on this situation . . . . Here is the corner's report, and here is a professional analysis of the weather.
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Old 25-08-2013, 12:13   #51
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Re: Sailboat about to be clobbered by a 100-foot rouge wave (pic)

Well.... the boat has been rolled, there is no rig, the engine is likely lifeless and there may be no rudder. That's why they are beam to..... oars? that's funny....
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Old 25-08-2013, 12:32   #52
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Re: Sailboat about to be clobbered by a 100-foot rouge wave (pic)

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
Just FYI - you are (generally) wrong about the above. Warps (or a drogue) off the stern will (usually) change the orientation of a boat (from beam on to stern on) even at very low boat speeds (say 1kt). Race boats like this will drift at >1kt dismasted in quite light winds. So, IMHO, these guys would have been more comfortable and safer if they had put some stuff off the stern.

If anyone's interested in more information on this situation . . . . Here is the corner's report, and here is a professional analysis of the weather.
Is this true even in large, short-period seas? I've sailed (without drogue) in moderate seas and found that gravity was a huge factor that tried to put the boat broadside to the seas.

Related story: I have a friend/crew who was telling me about his time as the skipper of a Navy destroyer. One time when he came on watch he found that his crew could not steer their course. Their instructions had been to maintain speed and hold course, but they were in big seas and had become "locked" beam-to between the swells. Every time they tried to steer up the swells, they couldn't punch through and ended up parallel again. My friend had them increase engine revs enough to break out of the swells and resume course.

So, I guess the drogue wouldn't hurt, but I wonder if the rig-less drift rate would be enough to pull the boat stern-to the seas. Like I said, I haven't been in those conditions, nor have I rigorously studied the literature.
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Old 25-08-2013, 12:42   #53
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Re: Sailboat about to be clobbered by a 100-foot rouge wave (pic)

RazAU mentioned the vessels being overpowered with their storm jibs. This rang a bell for me, for I have outside confirmation of that. Our sailmaker from Tasmania was crewing on one of the boats that had loss of life, and one of the impressions he brought back from that race is that most storm jibs have way too much sail area. His recommendation to us was a very small sail, about 1/2 the size of what we would have expected. Food for thought.
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Old 25-08-2013, 12:56   #54
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Re: Sailboat about to be clobbered by a 100-foot rouge wave (pic)

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
Race boats like this will drift at >1kt dismasted in quite light winds. So, IMHO, these guys would have been more comfortable and safer if they had put some stuff off the stern.

Good point, Evans.


Another point is that cruisers can set a parachute sea anchor when things deteriorate... but they can take a day to pull in. So race boats cant really use them.
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Old 25-08-2013, 13:10   #55
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Re: Sailboat about to be clobbered by a 100-foot rouge wave (pic)

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Another point is that cruisers can set a parachute sea anchor when things deteriorate... but they can take a day to pull in. So race boats cant really use them.
Actually, they can do - they just choose not to. Fair enuf that it's a race, but the sea gods like col regs!, yer don't get a free pass for racing.

Nice pics by the way , being the coward that I am! I can't see me sailing along needing someone on the rail in those conditions.......
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Old 25-08-2013, 14:03   #56
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Re: Sailboat about to be clobbered by a 100-foot rouge wave (pic)

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
Just FYI - you are (generally) wrong about the above. Warps (or a drogue) off the stern will (usually) change the orientation of a boat (from beam on to stern on) even at very low boat speeds (say 1kt). Race boats like this will drift at >1kt dismasted in quite light winds. So, IMHO, these guys would have been more comfortable and safer if they had put some stuff off the stern.

If anyone's interested in more information on this situation . . . . Here is the corner's report, and here is a professional analysis of the weather.
The "professional analysis of the weather" referenced here has this to say about the wave heights:

"An adjacent wave rider buoy produced
the wave record shown in Fig. 3b, with the highest
reliably recorded significant wave height of 7.0 m and
maximum wave height of 12.0 m"

page 545

since that was the subject that started this thread.

Very consistent with what I have observed myself in the aftermath of a F10 storm.
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Old 25-08-2013, 14:52   #57
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Re: Sailboat about to be clobbered by a 100-foot rouge wave (pic)

Boats get rolled by being caught parallel in the trough of a steep faced wave. For a boat without drogues, it's usually because they stuff the bow in the trough of the wave and broach if they are lucky, pitch pole if they aren't. A drogue or warps will slow the boat and keep the stern pointed into the waves allowing a relatively gentle cruise down the face of the wave without the danger of stuffing the bow. The boat will very likely be pooped often but nothing that will seriously effect the survival of the boat. Be sure you have a way to secure the companionway hatch from the inside and all cockpit/deck hatches can be secured. Those boarding seas will try and tear everything off the deck. An open companionway hatch could sink the boat in just a few seconds.

Heaving to doesn't work in these conditions. Most boats when hove to will be floating roughly parallel to the waves. In breaking seas, it will set the boat up perfectly to be rolled.

In monstrous wind and waves there are two ways to survive and one of them is extremely risky. The safest and least effort for a probably already exhausted crew is to stream warps or a drogue. The traditional way was to stream a long length(s) of heavy line with the ends secured to either side of the stern. If you wanted/needed more drag, old tires could be added onto the drogue. A rather simple and neat arrangement as you could easily ditch the tires by releasing one end of the line. The drogue doesn't need to be huge like a parachute. For one such a large item dragging off the stern will create tremendous strain on the gear usually resulting in parted line or a pulled out cleat, either of which can be disastrous. Worse, it will slow the boat down so much that most of the seas will break over the boat. Storm drogues are relatively small in diameter and purposely made porous to reduce the force generated. There is a lot controversy about drogue size and construction and design, but I, for one, am not going to go out in a hurricane to find the perfect size configuration.

Many people assume you run a drogue off the bow. Probably because that part of the boat is designed to head into the seas. The problem with setting head to the waves is that the boat will be set backwards by the waves. That puts tremendous forces on the rudder and stearing gear. It will most assuredly result in a damaged or lost rudder if whatever is holding the rudder in position comes adrift. IIRC, in earlier S2H boats had to resort to drogues, one, maybe the only one, of the boats that streamed the drogue from the bow ended up with a disabled rudder.

The other way to handle monstrous waves is to surf them by steering the boat diagonally down the face of the wave. Makes for an exhilarating ride but one screw up by the helmsman and your toast. Moitessier first tried drogues in Joshua in a monstrous very long lived storm in the southern ocean. He found the boat constantly being pooped and elected to ditch the drogue and steer the boat down the face of the waves. Joshua had an inside steering station and was directionally very stable which made things easier. It still required him to spend well over 24 hours constantly on the helm fighting the storm. For those with a helm out in the wind and waves, time at the helm would become exhausting very quickly and necessitate frequent changes. Something that's possible in a raceboat but hardly doable in a short handed cruiser.

Rogue waves that may be a 1/2 again or larger than the average waves are not uncommon. They are probably created by two waves building on each other. Quite often they happen at the end of a storm when the winds have abated but the waves haven't settled down. That's probably why they seem so unusual because the boat's crew think they've gotten through the storm and aren't expecting the sudden appearance of a monster sea. A racing trimaran on a delivery was rolled in just such a scenario. The storm had abated considerably from it's height and they were sailing roughly parallel to the waves in the middle of the night. A wave came out of the dark and rolled the boat before the helmsman could react. Must have been one hell of a wave to roll a very beamy racing trimaran.
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Old 25-08-2013, 15:20   #58
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Re: Sailboat about to be clobbered by a 100-foot rouge wave (pic)

Hiya Cheechako! Yes, oars would have done the job IF there was no keel to the boat! During Phoenicians time, hundreds of oarsmen were deployed to sail large boats in the seven seas. Only three on here, so far, picked up on my wicked sense of humor! <Not a chance in hell, oars would have modified this boat's direction!>

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Old 25-08-2013, 16:16   #59
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Re: Sailboat about to be clobbered by a 100-foot rouge wave (pic)

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
RazAU mentioned the vessels being overpowered with their storm jibs. This rang a bell for me, for I have outside confirmation of that. Our sailmaker from Tasmania was crewing on one of the boats that had loss of life, and one of the impressions he brought back from that race is that most storm jibs have way too much sail area. His recommendation to us was a very small sail, about 1/2 the size of what we would have expected. Food for thought.

That's interesting. I've been looking at ATN gale sails. They go from 30 sq feet to 60. I think 60 might be too much for my boat because her bow is so responsive. But I don't know.

I've heard a number of people refer to their 100% sail as their "storm sail."
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Old 25-08-2013, 16:19   #60
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Re: Sailboat about to be clobbered by a 100-foot rouge wave (pic)

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Is this true even in large, short-period seas? I've sailed (without drogue) in moderate seas and found that gravity was a huge factor that tried to put the boat broadside to the seas.
.
I guess I would have to say 'usually yes, but it depends'. Warps/drogues would certainly be well worth trying. These race boats are very easily driven, and the hulls are quite well balanced when flat (as when aligned with the waves with no rig loads). From personal experience, warps will certainly help Hawk when bare poles in somewhat similar (but not as bad as the worst of this storm) large/close waves, as in when coming in over a continental shelf (With a current) in a force 10.

I used to know, but can't now remember, if the crew was still on the vessel when this photo was taken.

I might comment that, somewhat counter intuitively, boats very often get into trouble (rolled) after the very worst of the storm has passed and the waves are still large, but the wind has dropped and shifted direction. This often has the boats wallowing and beam on to the waves, and the skippers (who are often fried at this point) don't react quickly enough to the changed situation, and they get popped on the beam by the still 'large enough' left over waves.

Empirically the two most dangerous times of a storm are at the CPA (or the peak breaking waves) and just after the winds start to decline and shift direction.
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