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Old 17-06-2013, 19:10   #136
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Re: Thunderstorm While Coastal Cruising. What do you do?

This is what they look like. Check out the wind speed.

And my wife was down below, laying on the settee reading a book during all this.
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Old 17-06-2013, 19:14   #137
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Re: Thunderstorm While Coastal Cruising. What do you do?

In reference to SailFastTri's earlier post:

For those receiving NOAA (U.S.) weather, a thunderstorm watch means conditions are favorable for thunderstorm development during the forecast period. Do you cancel your trip? Head for port? Maybe, maybe not, depending on a bunch of factors. On the other hand, a thunderstorm warning means an actual thunderstorm is imminent. It's probably too late to head for port.
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Old 17-06-2013, 19:15   #138
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Re: Thunderstorm While Coastal Cruising. What do you do?

Doesn't look too bad on the radar. But I won't forget this one soon.
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Old 17-06-2013, 19:18   #139
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Re: Thunderstorm While Coastal Cruising. What do you do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfarrar View Post
In reference to SailFastTri's earlier post:

For those receiving NOAA (U.S.) weather, a thunderstorm watch means conditions are favorable for thunderstorm development during the forecast period. Do you cancel your trip? Head for port? Maybe, maybe not, depending on a bunch of factors. On the other hand, a thunderstorm warning means an actual thunderstorm is imminent. It's probably too late to head for port.

Most of the time if you are coastal cruising along Florida you get these storms every afternoon in the summer.

The next port can be very many hours away. I am usually going almost from inlet to inlet and it takes me all day to get to the next one. I am generally solo (or with non-sailors) so I like to anchor at night and sleep.
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Old 17-06-2013, 19:34   #140
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Re: Thunderstorm While Coastal Cruising. What do you do?

If you sail in Florida in the summer you will almost certainly get caught in one of these storms and you will learn what is best for you and your boat. Advice is easy to give but to tell you the truth" ya just gotta get you butt kicked a time or two and after that it's all downhill"
PS
I set tiller master up and go below if I see lightning (scares me to death)and after 40+years of sailing I'm still alive!
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Old 17-06-2013, 19:37   #141
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Re: Thunderstorm While Coastal Cruising. What do you do?

I don't go below, but I set the auto pilot and hide in the companion way. Gets way too wet for me at the wheel.

Usually I find the heavy rain flattens the sea out. So the autopilot handles it quite well.
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Old 17-06-2013, 19:40   #142
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Re: Thunderstorm While Coastal Cruising. What do you do?

No one is impressed with my 81 knots of wind huh?
It surely impressed me! LOL
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Old 17-06-2013, 19:48   #143
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Re: Thunderstorm While Coastal Cruising. What do you do?

I'm impressed, Mike, and thanks for the photos!

In the logbook of the Charles W. Morgan there's an entry from a late night watch in the South Pacific. It was hot and humid with light winds. A thunderstorm approached the ship, and the crew shortened sail. I'm not sure the precise configuration: perhaps reefed topsails. The gust front struck with such violence that it not only accelerated the boat forward with great speed, but more alarmingly it drove the bow down, water pouring over the bow, over the deck, and over the bulwarks all the way back to the main mast. In other words, the front half of the ship was driven underwater. Finally, as the wind eased the ship slowed and staggered back to the surface.

Clearly there was a lot of wind and a lot of force, and the mast provided a fulcrum, too. But if you've ever seen the bow of a Yankee whaler - she makes Rebel Heart's Hans Christian look like a slender-bowed racing machine - you understand just how much buoyancy was overcome in driving the front half of the ship beneath the surface.

The folks at Mystic say that if the same thing had happened to a less portly, bluff bowed ship than a whaler - say a clipper ship - she might have kept on going and never recovered.
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Old 17-06-2013, 19:52   #144
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Re: Thunderstorm While Coastal Cruising. What do you do?

That's another issue. Many of our boats are not designed to handle those kinds of stresses on them. Loosing rigging or a mast could be very dangerous. Another reason I like to leave only a little sail out.
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Old 17-06-2013, 21:31   #145
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Re: Thunderstorm while coastal cruising. What do you do?

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If *I* were coastal crusing along the southeast coast of Florida I would want to be on the ocean side of the Gulf Stream, particularly toward the southern end where it comes very close to shore, until I was ready to head for shore.
Not sure what you mean by the ocean side of the Gulf Stream? In SE FL, as in W Palm to Miami the Gulf Stream is usually at most a 2-3 miles off the US coast and 30 miles wide or more. So you would be either a couple of miles off the FL coast, in the Gulf Stream, or a couple miles of the Bahamas.
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Old 17-06-2013, 21:50   #146
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Re: Thunderstorm while coastal cruising. What do you do?

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Not sure what you mean by the ocean side of the Gulf Stream? In SE FL, as in W Palm to Miami the Gulf Stream is usually at most a 2-3 miles off the US coast and 30 miles wide or more. So you would be either a couple of miles off the FL coast, in the Gulf Stream, or a couple miles of the Bahamas.
Between Fort Lauderdale and Miami it comes very close to the shore. With a storm from the east, one could be stuck between the gulf stream and a very close lee shore. That's the vicinity the OP was talking about.
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Old 17-06-2013, 22:38   #147
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This is what they look like. Check out the wind speed.

And my wife was down below, laying on the settee reading a book during all this.
Your wind speed instrument is out of calibration. That sea state in the pics says the wind was 8 POINT 1, not 81. What's up?
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Old 17-06-2013, 22:43   #148
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Re: Thunderstorm While Coastal Cruising. What do you do?

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Your wind speed instrument is out of calibration. That sea state in the pics says the wind was 8 POINT 1, not 81. What's up?

No, it says 81.0.
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Old 17-06-2013, 22:51   #149
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Great thread- thanks- so much info so let me be more specific especially for the east coast florida sailors:

I am headed south from ft pierce or palm beach or port Everglades, my destination is an anchorage sheltered off Virginia key or key Biscayne. It is not the heavy daily July-September predictable afternoon thunderstorm season....it is march or April. As you know, once you leave,say port Everglades there is no where to duck in until government cut/Miami. So, I am out in the ocean for a 5 hour window. I am sailing 3-5 miles off the coast but not in the Stream. The forecast calls for possible late day scattered thunderstorms some severe. I decide to leave early in the morning figuring to beat the Florida scattered storms forecast.
So I leave early but a storm heads from the west inland towards me off the east coast. The water is too deep to anchor and heaving to will have me have too much sail up. What actions should I take to keep my crew safe? I have a wheel not a tiller and I do not have an auto pilot. I have to stay at the helm to steer.
Do I drop sails and motor south or turn east into the wind? do I turn west with the storm and wind up in the Gulf Stream? What heading should I keep to hold fast until the storm passes?
Thanks-really appreciate it
I'm thinking I should turn on the engine and drop sails and secure everything- close the boat up and tether in and hold on for a possible near knock down if a microburst hits at 70k. I am just not sure what is the best heading to keep in that specific scenario.
Or, for that matter if I am heading north from Biscayne bay and am sailing further out in the Stream to pick up extra speed on my way to port Everglades or palm beach or ft pierce.
Which heading would you maintain?
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Old 17-06-2013, 22:55   #150
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No, it says 81.0.
Different planet I guess. At Force 12 the sea is "completely white with flying spray greatly reducing visibility".

One bar bragger had an instrument pic like that and it later developed that while he had indeed been in a rough storm his SCUBA tank has assisted with acquiring the pic at a later time. Heh.
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