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Old 25-11-2014, 22:10   #1
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A Question About Rough Weather

what do you do when you get caught in rough weather? if you cant get away from it and have to ride it out how likely is your boat to flip?
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Old 25-11-2014, 23:39   #2
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Re: A Question About Rough Weather

If it's a catamaran, it's very likely to flip.

If it's a monohull, it won't flip - it will just sink.

Ask anyone here and they will tell you so
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Old 25-11-2014, 23:43   #3
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Re: A Question About Rough Weather

My boat won't flip but my wife flips at the first sign of weather


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Old 25-11-2014, 23:55   #4
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Re: A Question About Rough Weather

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
If it's a catamaran, it's very likely to flip.

If it's a monohull, it won't flip - it will just sink.

Ask anyone here and they will tell you so
Have you considered securing an inverted monohull to the bottom of a catamaran to handle both cases?
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Old 25-11-2014, 23:58   #5
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Re: A Question About Rough Weather

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Have you considered securing an inverted monohull to the bottom of a catamaran to handle both cases?
Genius!

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Old 26-11-2014, 01:41   #6
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Re: A Question About Rough Weather

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Originally Posted by blazeit420 View Post
what do you do when you get caught in rough weather? if you cant get away from it and have to ride it out how likely is your boat to flip?
Hi Balzeit,

There have been innumerable threads on rough weather sailing on this forum. The search function can get you started on reading about (better set aside a couple of months - there is a lot).

One of the best available books is Adler Coles "Heavy weather sailing" (peter Bruce).

There are lots of other books.

First you probably need to define "rough weather" Generally a monohull will not turn over unless it is struck beam to by a breaking wave whose heigth is greater than the width of the boat.

Note the word generally.

A monohull will also generally right itself when the next large breaking wave comes along.

Pitch-poling (forward flip) is rare and occurs when a boat buries its bow in the water and the wave is large enough to flip the stern over.

While things occurances can (and do) happen, modern weather forecasting is such that if you are paying attention (getting weather forecasts on say 4 hour basis), you'll have enough time to run away.

Unless you are in unusual circumstances, you need to get close to hurricaine force before the waves reach this point
Wind, in and of itself is not a threat - the waves are the threat.

There are some places, the Aguilia(?) Straits near the southern tip of Africa come to mind, where rogue waves occur on a regular basis. If this worries you, don't go there.
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Old 26-11-2014, 03:18   #7
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Re: A Question About Rough Weather

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There are some places, the Aguilia(?) Straits near the southern tip of Africa come to mind, where rogue waves occur on a regular basis. If this worries you, don't go there.
You probably mean the Agulhas Current...? I remember a nice memorial installation in Durban Marina club lounge, devoted to all yachts lost there. Good place to sit in front of it and fetch the weather forecast...
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Old 26-11-2014, 03:20   #8
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Re: A Question About Rough Weather

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You probably mean the Agulhas Current...? I remember a nice memorial installation in Durban Marina club lounge, devoted to all yachts lost there. Good place to sit in front of it and fetch the weather forecast...
I stand corrected (but I did put a question mark in)

Yep - fly down and sit in the Marina Club, have a g&T and think about flying home
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Old 26-11-2014, 04:08   #9
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Re: A Question About Rough Weather

Please define where you are sailing and what you and your wife consider "rough weather".
Given that then you may get good answers.
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Old 26-11-2014, 05:10   #10
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Re: A Question About Rough Weather

I thought mono's flipped first, then sank?
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Old 26-11-2014, 05:12   #11
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Re: A Question About Rough Weather

It gets rough and iffy for the smaller boat sooner. So get the bigger boat or stay in the flatter water.

But, as you said, what if one gets caught.

I say get a boat size that can handle whatever you expect and then learn to sail it in rough conditions. Most of the time it is not dangerous much as it can be thrilling the first couple of hours and then exhausting to the point where you wish you were elsewhere.

Get a good boat and learn to sail it in all sorts of weather. Then try to stay out of the worst. I guess.

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Old 26-11-2014, 05:37   #12
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Re: A Question About Rough Weather

Blazeit420
Having a good boat in safe working condition is important but attitude might be the most important factor. Relax, stay calm, get your head in the right place and take frequent safety breaks.
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Old 26-11-2014, 06:29   #13
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Re: A Question About Rough Weather

I realise the statement about cats flipping is made in jest - you have to be in some really, really, really serious stuff and be sailing pretty poorly to flip a catamaran. Catamarans do not flip easily ... the scenario of flipping would be more likely when the cat collides with a submerged object at speed in the 'right / wrong' conditions.

A more probable scenario would be dismasting before flipping!
Most catamarans that flip (without engaging a submerged obstacle) are discovered to have been overpowered in very steep seas. One in South Africa off the southern tip capsized ... was found floating upside down ... was in winds upward of 60 knots in very steep breaking seas ... was found with the main sail and genoa fully up / out with no reefs at all. The young crew member onboard said they had reached such good speed that the cat literally left the wave face and was airborne ... unfortunately took the wind poorly and came down on its side burring a hull ... game over! Fortunately all crew survived!

We have been caught in some pretty rough stuff, and ironically it was not us who were the most nervous in these conditions. Up to the time one gets to a position where it is necessary to deploy a chute (and that's the VERY last thing we would do), we 'SAIL THE BOAT' ... many cruisers we have sailed with in rough conditions pack their sails away and are pretty surprised when they see us making good speeds with some sail out ... I believe 'speed is a friend' in rough seas ... and in that I am NOT referring to seas on the bow or forward quarter.

In overwhelming conditions we always put the 'sea state on the stern or aft quarter' and offer some sail to the wind ... we reef the main all the way or pack that one away ... keep the genoa out but reefed and keep the boat 'light footed'. The trick is to keep pressure off the boat and also prevent aggressive breaking seas from slamming into the hulls. A moving boat is less likely to be 'hammered' by the sea. Deploying a chute exposes the boat to being hammered by breaking waves and really IMHO should be used more when the captain and crew are exhausted and need some rest.

The REAL danger in rough conditions is tiredness ... thats when mistakes happen! We were in a situation where our mates and ourselves once go caught in a 'squash zone' ... hurricane force winds not in a circulating system ... they were on a mono hull with no sails up (bare poling) ... we were on a reefed genoa accelerating away from them. They saw us on the AIS and called on the vHF for us not to sail away from them as they were floundering at the mercy of the sea ... their mast was in the water on a number of occasions ... we told them to get some sail out and 'DRIVE' the boat through / with the system. They were not happy but eventually found a way in those conditions to get some speed whilst we reduced a bit on our side to keep them in AIS range. I cannot elaborate enough on the usefulness of cruising yachts having AIS Transceivers (send and receive) - its crazy to be without it!

Anyway, I remember our chat at a calm anchorage 2 days later where the couple said they could not believe the difference it made when they followed our advice to expose sail just enough to put drive on the boat. One needs to get the boat into a position of DRIVE as much as possible and not flounder to the mercy of the sea!

The weather I am most afraid of ... and it happened to us before ... is huge, confused seas white cresting with no wind! It is usually a sign of a gale approaching but that can be quite a frightening experience and in these moments I am praying for the wind to reach us!
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Old 26-11-2014, 11:18   #14
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Re: A Question About Rough Weather

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuM View Post
If it's a catamaran, it's very likely to flip.

If it's a monohull, it won't flip - it will just sink.

Ask anyone here and they will tell you so
Stu,

I think that is a rather FLIPpant answer!
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Old 26-11-2014, 11:24   #15
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Re: A Question About Rough Weather

It's a big question... with lots of variables. A well managed boat in strong conditions can do fine. A poorly managed boat in too strong conditions may not.
You try to know the area, course, currents and weather where you are going, you play the odds and make the best decisions you can.
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