Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 17-06-2013, 08:10   #61
Long Range Cruiser
 
MarkJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Australian living on "Sea Life" currently in England.
Boat: Beneteau 393 "Sea Life"
Posts: 12,828
Images: 25
Re: Thunderstorm while coastal cruising. What do you do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVI View Post
Newby question, but... how do I depower? with full sails up, large genoa out etc.
Head into the wind until genoa start to flap? Or release mainsheet first?

I was caught with full mainsail out in a 40kn gust - it took off the clew in 2 sec
You are pretty well spot on.
It does depend on wind angle.
When wind is forward of the beam: turning up into the wind will let your main luff. you dont need to let the mainsheet out. The boat will slow down and I roll in a bit/lot of Genoa (though I prefer furling downwind).
Then come back onto course and let the main traveller or mainsheet out until the sail is luffing. Not flapping. but luffing so there is a nice large bulge in the main right up the mast. Its just like putting a reef (or two) in the sail.

Going downwind: Turn downwind, ease the main sheet till its on the spreaders. Roll in the genoa a bit/lot. Come back onto course and set the main so its luffing as above. If it wont luff because I am too downwind I can come uo until it luffs.
With my boat the swept back spreaders mean I cant let out a huge amount of main that others can.

Then I can wait and get a feel for the squall and see if I think its a major wind/weather change. If it is then I will reef.


Thge scarey things not to worry about:
* When the wind first hits the boat will be on its ear! Dont worry, dont panic. You dont have a spinnaker on so you wont broach.
* Flogging main when you turn upwind. Its scary because theres all this noise, storm noise, wind noise, thunder, rain, banging boom, flapping sail. Its fine. The sail can flap and bang the boom around for a bit while you furl the genoa. iTs not gunna kill the boat.
* Sometimes in the initial blast of wind the Auotpilot hits its Drivestop and cant turn the wheel more it turns off. I just slowly and gently go to the wheel and turn it up into the wind and hold the wheel there till it responds.. and that could be 30 seconds. Then the auto pilot will work again. Then fix the sails.

I dont run around like a chicken with its head cut off.. the boat is made strong so I find it better to do things slowly and gently, one thing at a time.
Same as if something goes wrong like you mention: blowing a clew, or a block or whatever (I dont break gear very much at all, very very seldom), again its scarey becasue the noise and dont immediately know how to fix it or if its worse than it looks etc. Again I just slow down, sit down and gently think it out. Its unlikely that a flogging clew or whaever is going to cause more damage while you think about it
__________________

__________________
Notes on a Circumnavigation.
OurLifeAtSea.com

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
MarkJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2013, 08:19   #62
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK/Portugal
Posts: 20,198
Images: 2
Send a message via Skype™ to boatman61
pirate Re: Thunderstorm while coastal cruising. What do you do?

Swear....
__________________


Born To Be Wild
boatman61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2013, 08:24   #63
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Thunderstorm while coastal cruising. What do you do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailFastTri View Post
In the Chesapeake you can be hit with severe squalls and intense lighting. My home waters are Long Island Sound, where we also get these. Some can pack initial gusts of up to 70+ mph that will knock your boat flat or flip a multihull... So when I see a severe storm coming I drop and secure all sails and start the engine, secure all loose deck gear, make sure dinghy is well tied, close hatches. Spare electronics, laptops etc. are placed in the oven. weather gear">Foul weather gear and PFDs are donned ahead of the temperature drop, by all crew.

In your situation, only a few miles from shore in shallow water it might be a good tactic to head even closer/shallower and anchor. But that's a judgment call based on you situation and crew.

I'm not wild about anchoring because if it doesn't hold (happened to me once) then you may have a worse situation on your hands. Also, she'll bounce around more if the water gets rough ... but you're right, it's an individual call.
__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2013, 08:29   #64
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Thunderstorm while coastal cruising. What do you do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
Just wondering .....

Will your boat melt when she hits the rain?
Will she explode when the thunder storm passing above her?

I know lots of HD owners don't take their bike out in the rain. The bike will melt. God.... No. May be they worry about the water spots, I have no clues.


I think that's a little unfair. The guy didn't say "What to do if it rains." He asked if there was some trick he didn't know to forecasting the storms, and what were some good tips for handling them. There are a few little clues he may be able to pick up on for predicting the liklihood of a storm on a specific day, and there are some specific things to think about in those pop-up storms.

In other words, this isn't about rain. It's about wind, waves, and current.
__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2013, 08:43   #65
Registered User
 
svHyLyte's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Tampa Bay area, USA
Boat: Beneteau First 42
Posts: 3,432
Images: 25
Re: Thunderstorm while coastal cruising. What do you do?

Squalls in Florida are reasonably commonplace but are often isolated and can frequently be avoided. In most cases, the wind is outflowing to all points of the compass from the center of a squall although curved somewhat by the direction the squall is moving. In other words, if you are headed toward the squall, regardless from what point on the compass, you will tend to experience a headwind. While you may see a squall in the distance, your first indicator that it's winds are going to hit you will be the relatively cold breeze you'll feel initially. You may, and frequently will, have to endure the winds even if you remain quite a way off from the central body of the squall/rain itself. The moment we feel that cold breeze is the "reef now" warning indicator. With that, we roll up all but a scrap of headsail and drop the main to the second reef point. We close the hatch covers and drop boards and secure the drop board retainers--in our case, heavy shock cords passed over hooks that keep the drop boards locked in place in the event of a knock-down. Everyone dons harnesses and inflatable life jackets and anyone not needed on deck heads below. Those remaining on deck-usually only the helmsman and a spotter-snap short tethers in place to ensure they stay with the boat in the event of a knock-down. With that, we flop the boat over to put the wind on our quarter, steering away from the path of the squall even though, near shore, we may be headed in the same general direction as a squall to avoid near shore shallows. Generally, squalls tend to move fairly quickly, 10 MPH or more, and they will usually move away from one fairly rapidly. If they do run over you, the wind will change rapidly as they pass, generally 180 and one needs be prepared for that to avoid an uncontrolled gybe when the moment occurs. The good news is that the event of a squall tends to be short lived but it does tend to get ones adrenalin flowing. And, if they are behind one, they can give one a real boost down one's rhumb line, particularly on relatively windless days of summer.

FWIW...
__________________
"It is not so much for its beauty that the Sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
svHyLyte is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2013, 08:43   #66
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Thunderstorm while coastal cruising. What do you do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Raku, next time you encounter one of these, just put away the mainsail and let out about 20% of your jib. Head downwind when the storm hits, not DDW, but about 25-30 degrees off of DDW. Don't bother with the engine. If you don't have enough sea room for that, then heave to with the main on the deepest reef. Not only will it not be scary, I'm willing to bet you will enjoy it. Your boat will track like an arrow with the mainsail gone, and a little boat like yours will surf like a demon. Pretty soon you'll start chasing those t-storms on purpose

You will find that these storms are entirely harmless, if you are in a reasonable posture when they hit. 50, 60, or even 70 knots of wind for a short period of time and/or localized is incapable of doing anything dangerous to you unless you are on the wrong point of sail with too much sail up (and even then, the worst thing that can happen is a knock-down, with some broken plates below). You are not doing yourself any favors by psyching yourself out thinking that these are "survival conditions". They are not even challenging conditions, much less survival conditions.

P.S. -- be ready for the wind shift as the squall blows over. Change course to stay on the same point of sail until the wind abates. Then continue on your way.

Dockhead, thanks, I have encountered a couple of them at this point. You're a real sweetheart to post all that -- but it's a little frustrating that I've said most of that myself, except for the 20% jib, because at the moment my roller furler is either in or out, but I'm going to fix that. I even mentioned the wind shift. Remember?

I disagree about not bothering with the engine, though. It's just not a big deal to turn the key, not a big deal to push the bottom to turn it off, and can give you the extra ooomph you need, if you need it, to steer to a better angle. I have used it to my advantage in the past. I didn't just pull it out of a hat (or a book).

Especially in my situation, where currently I have to bring the entire headsail in. There's just no harm in having the engine in neutral while you sort out your options.

For instance, if I'm close to shore I might well use that ooomph to get further out.

And, I wouldn't heave to the boat unless I just couldn't manage the boat any more or I were certain I was well away from shallows.

For me, and for a number of people out there who may not be posting (or even reading) here, being hit by a 50k wall of wind IS a major event. It was probably more like 60 or 70k for my neighbor but easily could have killed him -- not only his tether but how he used his tether saved him.

These are non-events *for the people with lots and lots of experience who have survived them*. For me, it's still a big deal. And, I can't take all the sail down. The boat really is its own sail in high winds. Sometimes the only way to fight it is to turn the engine on.

People here, and the Pardeys, and (oh I can't think of the other name) have talked about sailing on bare poles, and I've sailed this boat enough to know that she will do it, and in a lot less wind than we're talking about here.

But I am going to have to do something about the lower unit of my roller furler. It's kept me "grounded" too many days.
__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2013, 08:54   #67
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Thunderstorm while coastal cruising. What do you do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Some interesting advice in some replies that I dont do, and wouldnt do under most circumstances...

Heading offshore, ie changing course; running downwind with a squall.

1) Heading off shore. Yes the OPs 20 feet deep is shallow but for some areas thats standard and if you are sailing theres no getting around is... for example the Bahamas. On a 5 mile passage you are not going to deviate 300 miles to keep in deep water.
Best imho to keep course as thunderstorms etc are over quite quickly.
[Edit: Just read Dockheads post. Yes if you are only 3 nms off shore and that shore will be a lee shore then getting further off in a major thunderstorm is an excellent idea! But I wouldnt for a 'normal' convecting cumulus squall. Mind you I doubt Id be within 3nms of any lee shore.]

2) Running off in a squall will prolong the squall as you are trying to keep up with it. Some squals are quite slow moving so a 15 minute high wind may last an hour, or more.
Better to keep course... or if the sails are down and the sea is flat as it can be in squalls as it hasnt time to build is to motor directly up wind.

Squalls can sometimes be avoided. I will steer 20 degrees either side of course for a mile orr so to let one go past.

There was a good photo in this thread that showed a pretty horrible bit of storm coming along. Very difficult to tell without local knowledge what they are in effect. But it did look like one I might dump everything and put on the donk!

As is the one below, attached.
They may look much worse than they are. Get through the first 5 minutes and they can be fine.
But if you do make a bit of a mistake and get hit by something harder than you expect just SLOWLY take your actions: Depower, furl, reef and/or drop.

And if you decide to turn on the engine: Check for lines overboard. That first bit of wind where the boat is put on her ear can sweep anything off the deck and trail near the prop.

For 1)

Where I am, the storm is likely to come out of the west, giving me a lee shore. If something goes wrong I'm going to get pushed in the wrong direction.

Can't just count on going north or south on a certain coast because the shallow go waaaay out in some places along the SW shore. Not sure how true that is on the east coast, but he mentioned storms from the east there, so again, he's dealing with a lee shore if things go sour.

And remember, the OP was describe a daysail, coastal sailing.

2) you are right about the risk of extended misery if you run with the storm. Sometimes they grow legs and last a long time. If they're traveling north or south you may have signed on for a bit of a Nantucket sleigh ride.

My personal opinion is to ALWAYS be aware of lines that are overboard or could go overboard because there can be a number of situations where you'll have to turn the engine on.
__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2013, 08:55   #68
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Thunderstorm while coastal cruising. What do you do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Some interesting advice in some replies that I dont do, and wouldnt do under most circumstances...

Heading offshore, ie changing course; running downwind with a squall.

1) Heading off shore. Yes the OPs 20 feet deep is shallow but for some areas thats standard and if you are sailing theres no getting around is... for example the Bahamas. On a 5 mile passage you are not going to deviate 300 miles to keep in deep water.
Best imho to keep course as thunderstorms etc are over quite quickly.
[Edit: Just read Dockheads post. Yes if you are only 3 nms off shore and that shore will be a lee shore then getting further off in a major thunderstorm is an excellent idea! But I wouldnt for a 'normal' convecting cumulus squall. Mind you I doubt Id be within 3nms of any lee shore.]

2) Running off in a squall will prolong the squall as you are trying to keep up with it. Some squals are quite slow moving so a 15 minute high wind may last an hour, or more.
Better to keep course... or if the sails are down and the sea is flat as it can be in squalls as it hasnt time to build is to motor directly up wind.

Squalls can sometimes be avoided. I will steer 20 degrees either side of course for a mile orr so to let one go past.

There was a good photo in this thread that showed a pretty horrible bit of storm coming along. Very difficult to tell without local knowledge what they are in effect. But it did look like one I might dump everything and put on the donk!

As is the one below, attached.
They may look much worse than they are. Get through the first 5 minutes and they can be fine.
But if you do make a bit of a mistake and get hit by something harder than you expect just SLOWLY take your actions: Depower, furl, reef and/or drop.

And if you decide to turn on the engine: Check for lines overboard. That first bit of wind where the boat is put on her ear can sweep anything off the deck and trail near the prop.
PS that was QUITE a photograph! I haven't seen anything like that in Florida, but I would have all the canvas down for a party like that.
__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2013, 08:57   #69
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Thunderstorm while coastal cruising. What do you do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
NEVER let anyone tell you that using your engine is bad practice or somehow makes you less of a sailor. On a boat use ALL the available resources.

Dave


!!!!!!THANK YOU!!!!!!!


Not that I ever would have taken such advice.
__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2013, 08:57   #70
Registered User
 
Blue Crab's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Hurricane Highway
Boat: Cal 29
Posts: 3,882
pirate Re: Thunderstorm while coastal cruising. What do you do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
See Randy Savage, for enlightenment !!!

dave
I can go you one better, Dave. My own high-flying gymnast 15 year old beautiful baby daughter was killed as a passenger in a car about the same time as Mr Savage passed out and died a couple of years ago. Which part of Randy's phoney career will enlighten me, sir?

I wasn't afraid of much prior to Jen's death. Now the Devil herself steps aside. Thunderstorms along a Fl beach?

Like this discussion which started as a sail down the beach on a beautiful day, some folks have turned it into gale winds and such. I know some of you are serious blue water folks, and I respect you for it. The day sailing marina yotties, not so much.

Don't bother *flaming* me folks. It's time to take another break from CF. I'll check back in after I get a new boat. Ummm ... boat shopping with cash in hand ... what a concept.
__________________
Blue Crab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2013, 09:02   #71
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Thunderstorm while coastal cruising. What do you do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Crab View Post
Raku, my comment above was limited to the non-use of the engine.

Dockhead and many others have described how to handle these situations under sail. That's sailing. Hell, Daddle goes looking for them. What he's after is 20+ knots. Fast is fun as they say.

Most of us probably aren't that adventurous, or confident, or even capable but it's skill-building to learn to deal with the weather. Scary as they are knockdowns are not a death sentence.

On edit, reading Dave's comment reminded me that only my last two boats even had an engine. And electronics? Where do ya put 'em if ya don't have a microwave? The religious way to handle this deal is to make that last physical check of spectacles, testicles, wallet, and watch.

No kidding? Skill building to deal with the weather? Who knew?

As I said, you turn the engine on. You don't have to put it in gear, but if it's on, you know you can count on it. You know it's an option.

My boat is not your boat, and my boat's hull acts like a sail in a lot less than 50k of wind. So with bare poles, I don't have all the sails down. That's how it is. As I said, I sailed it into a slip using the freeboard for the sail in a lot less than 50k of wind.

I've also been in storms. So I *personally know from experience* that on this boat, turning the engine on is a good idea so I can fight the hull if necessary.

I think anyone who is concerned about thunderstorms (and he did mention from the east, making land a lee shore for him) should turn their engines on. if you have one. With my level of experience I simply would not have a boat without a dependable engine.
__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2013, 09:05   #72
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Thunderstorm while coastal cruising. What do you do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daddle View Post
Try sailing at night in squalls. Some you can smell. Others warn with raindrops or paint on the radar. A few might be heard coming. Others simply pounce from nowhere. Reefing 60 seconds too late is a good skill to hone.

EVen during the day, a wall of wind can hit you that you can't see coming. it doesn't have to be dark.

I don't know why it doesn't rile the water. My GUESS is that it's moving so fast that it just keeps it flat and the first wave appears somewhere past you, just hasnt had a chance to get caught and pile up yet. I don't know if that's true, but I know I've experiened that "wind out of nowhere."

That was a good lesson, all the more reason to get her reefed before you get kicked.
__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2013, 09:07   #73
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Thunderstorm while coastal cruising. What do you do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
the scary part is the lightning, but that is easily overcome--i have been afraid of lightning since i first nearly was hit at age 3....but i was able to overcome this and SAIL thru these--even off apalachicola in severe t-storms buoy to buoy---was severely nasty but as we surfed into apalachicola on 6 ft seas, we whewed a lot and were safe---they are more scary than anything---most of the lightning was cloud to cloud with a jolt occasionally to keep us honest--the cat was mortified...

btw--noaa categorizes these t boomers as severe for winds to 71 kts and extreme for winds 80-100 kts, we soon learned.....we ran from the extreme and sailed the severe.....but, as i said earlier, the storms only form to 60 miles off coast..sail farther out to avoid them. keep away from coast line for smoother ride, and fewer large boxy seas. those will hurt ye..we lost the nav lites in that ft myers beach area in large boxy seas.


at night, is wicked--the lightning is bizzarre...we had to make sure our main was already down and flaked when night fell....and pooping seas in gom are a surprise---he had those--were only 8 ft height, but the confused aspect of gom seas in storms is a particular one for gom....

I'm sorry, but the storms don't only form 60 miles off the coast. I've been in three, and they were all right on the coast.

Coastal sailors do have to be aware of these things and ready to spring into action, and have a plan, especially when close to shore. Out to sea I wouldn't be as worried, much more room to be safely pushed around in.
__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2013, 09:09   #74
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Thunderstorm while coastal cruising. What do you do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Of course. For the record, I always use my engine if I feel like it for any reason. If it simplifies your job during bad weather, then by all means use the engine.

If you have sea room to run off, you will be more comfortable and much more stable sailing under headsail alone. That is because the center of pressure of just the deeply reefed headsail is way out at the bow, making your boat resemble an arrow. This posture won't give you enough drive to go in normal conditions, but in a gale of wind this will not be a problem. The easiest, most fool-proof, and most stable configuration in a sloop-rigged sailboat is sailing downwind under headsail alone in a wind strong enough to keep way on like that.

If you can't or don't want for some reason to run off or heave to, then I do agree with MarkJ that it's best to put on the engine. If, for example, for some reason you need to hold the boat's head into the wind, or if that's the only way you have sea room. Downside is that in the kind of short chop usually kicked up in short t-storms, muck can get stirred up in your fuel tank, making you vulnerable to the engine going off at the worst possible time.

I realize that I'm disagreeing with someone who knows more than me.

But that's the point.

I will turn my engine on every single time *precisely becuase I don't have as much knowledge and experience as you.* I know I can use that engine and get farther away from that lee shore if I have to.

I've told the story here; the first time this happened to me I had no functional engine and had to sail it away from a lee shore, and I did. But I'd rather have the engine insurance.
__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2013, 09:10   #75
Nearly an old salt
 
goboatingnow's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,649
Images: 3
Re: Thunderstorm While Coastal Cruising. What do you do?

Blue Crab, Ill certainly not trade those types of comparisons with you and condolences on your very painful loss.

I was merely drawing attention to the "macho" types that sail through anything, Thats fine sailed with lots of them, Also ended up in a mother of an offshore storm because one of them had the view that he ( and the boat and the crew) could handle anything. It didn't turn out to be true.

prudence has its place. We ( most of us) do this stuff for fun.

dave
__________________

__________________
Check out my new blog on smart boat technology, networking and gadgets for the connected sailor! - http://smartboats.tumblr.com
goboatingnow is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cruising

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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Coastal cruising in India Connemara Indian Ocean & Red Sea 14 07-07-2013 12:29
The Real Lifonomics of Sailing / Cruising drew.ward Boat Ownership & Making a Living 35 23-08-2012 23:08
Free: crew needed now for coastal cruising south from augustine Hutaw Classifieds Archive 0 13-12-2011 12:07
For Sale: VHFs, Offshore Medical Kit, Cruising Guides, Chart Cards, etc. svdreamkeeper Classifieds Archive 0 04-12-2011 18:10
For Sale: Cruising Guides and Sailing Resource Books svdreamkeeper Classifieds Archive 3 23-11-2011 12:24



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 19:06.


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.