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Old 25-04-2013, 18:06   #46
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Re: Boats that can Handle a Blow?

In answer to the OP's question, I can recommend the Bob Perry designed Nordic 44 as a very seaworthy boat in bad conditions. It's not an old bulletproof tank but it's ruggedly built and with a big fat fin keel that draws about 7' and a big, skeg hung rudder, it remains controllable in a blow and doesn't have much tendency to stay on its beam ends for long. I owned one for 11 years and in the first year had the poor judgement to allow myself to be found crossing the Gulf Stream from the Bahamas in a very strong norther with mountainous breaking waves, and despite having the dodger flattened and the boat almost entirely submerged many times and the cockpit entirely filled to the top with water, the boat just kept on sailing and took care of us, so for the remaining 10 years of sailing her, I never worried too much. Of course I never again subjected her (or myself) to such nasty conditions either. Most sailboats can do fine in 40 knots if the skipper has a basic clue, but when conditions get really nasty I'm a fan of boats with relatively high stability such as the Nordic 44 or other similar designs. Other factors such as overall hull shape or even enclosed cabin area above the deck can affect ultimate stability but the most important is a substantial and fairly deep keel. I certainly never intended to subject either myself or my boat to such conditions, but it happens, and at sea it seems like a nice insurance policy to know that your boat has a strong natural tendency to stay right side up.
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Old 25-04-2013, 18:19   #47
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Re: Boats that can Handle a Blow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nimblemotors View Post
Water in the hulls below the waterline would be best.
Just think of a water-ballasted trailered sailboat. The water is displacing air,
so it just makes the boat heavier, and you want weight low as possible.

I'm thinking one could just fill up jugs of water and put them in the boat to weigh it down for more stability. In fact, been thinking of putting EMPTY 1-liter bottles in the water tight bow compartments, so even if holed, it would stay bouyant with the bottles. But one could then fill them with water.
OK, I see what you mean, you want more weight. Water in water weighs nothing until you try to move it right?. Water inside a vessel makes the vessel "harder to move", meaning it takes more energy to put it in motion. However, water below the waterline... hmmm, maybe it would lessen rolling, just due to the force needed to move the extra weight.
It would only lessen heeling once lifted above the waterline. (ie fill a 5 gal bucket with water and cover it, then go wading with it, you only have to carry the weight of the bucket itself. But once you wade out of the water, you have to lift the weight of the water also!
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Old 26-04-2013, 02:38   #48
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Re: Boats that can Handle a Blow?

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
OK, I see what you mean, you want more weight. Water in water weighs nothing until you try to move it right?. Water inside a vessel makes the vessel "harder to move", meaning it takes more energy to put it in motion. However, water below the waterline... hmmm, maybe it would lessen rolling, just due to the force needed to move the extra weight.
It would only lessen heeling once lifted above the waterline. (ie fill a 5 gal bucket with water and cover it, then go wading with it, you only have to carry the weight of the bucket itself. But once you wade out of the water, you have to lift the weight of the water also!
Actually, water in jugs, or in tanks, below the waterline will act as ballast and increase the righting moment, assuming that this water is replacing what would otherwise be air. Lead, steel, or something heavier than water would be much more effective as ballast, but water *has* weight, and adding that weight down low will lower the center of gravity.
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Old 27-04-2013, 05:31   #49
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Re: Boats that can Handle a Blow?

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I and carloads of others have driven from Cape Hattares to Va. Beach chasing waves as the hurricanes move up the coast line ,the main part of the storm was about 30-40 miles off shore,I have dropped in on 20-25 ft waves in Merizo Guam when typhoons come thru, 3 days later the waves are 2 ft high until the next storm comes thru a few weeks or a month or so later..I have been out when there was 4 ft of seafoam blowing on the beach and the winds were building faces that seem to never stop..We parked a volvo station wagon behind a block wall once and came back and it was smashed by the blocks being blown over..The winds were well over 60 mph and gusting to 80..There are surfers that have been chasing hurricanes for many years just to catch a good wave..
You were also on the edge of the hurricane.............the good edge. Like the guy said earlier, the sea is like a washing machine in a real hurricane thats why so many trees come down. They go one way really hard then seconds later they go the other way. The Cat 3/4 that came thru Pensacola with sustained 135knot winds was a bit of a monster an pounded that place for 8-10 hours. Lots of debris in the water................including the road from Pensacola Beach.

No one surfed...........
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Old 27-04-2013, 06:24   #50
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Re: Boats that can Handle a Blow?

And don't forget about the tornadoes that come in with the hurricane. Many condos along the beach both on the Barrier Island of Penscola Beach and inside were nothing more than a pile of sticks after the hurricane went through. The pressure changes are so rapid that you tend to drop to the floor because you are thinking tornado as the bigger storms move through. (the pressure keeps changing all over the place as this happens, feels like you went from zero altitude to 10,000' in seconds))

I'm just advising caution because I do believe there was a surfer killed when this particular hurricane (Ivan) came in. Don't confuse a Cat 1 or 2 hurricane with the bigger ones. This one had an 18' surge and took out the bridge on I-10. This was 2004.

It was surpassed the next year by Katrina over in New Orleans which had a 26' surge. And when it passed 180 south of Pensacola our tides were as high as in a normal (cat 1 or 2) hurricane.

Picture Va Beach or Hatteras with a storm having either an 18' or 26' surge.......
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Old 27-04-2013, 06:33   #51
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Water is used for transferable ballast all the time. Large ships use it a lot. Racing boats also use ballast tanks. The tanks can be either port and Stbd or aft. I think the maxi cats had stern ballast tanks.
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Old 27-04-2013, 07:18   #52
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Re: Boats that can Handle a Blow?

When I owned a 32-foot cat I would fill lots of 6-gallon water jugs and lash them in the middle of the hulls for hurricane anchoring, though my boat never felt "light" in anything I was anchored in. A couple of times it was up around 100 for brief periods. The extra weight did steady the boat down, and since I kept it out of the bow and stern, she would still lift to waves easily. Our cat got steadier at anchor the higher the wind. The bridle seemed to work better at high wind speeds to keep the bow right into the wind. I think Jedi has mentioned how most of the cats and tris just flipped or took off during Ivan, but that was up around 165 mph.
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Old 27-04-2013, 07:28   #53
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I think this by far is more about the decisions the captains made while underway and before leaving the dock.
Here's one for you Don: Hunter 37 Cutter...behaves beautifully in heavy weather.

We used to use one to teach a heavy weather sailing seminar beacause she was one of the best heavy weather boats in the fleet. Any time sustained winds were forecast to exceed 30 knots we called up students on the sign up sheet. Worst conditions I rode out on an H37C were 65 knots sustained for 24 hours. We were comfortably hove-to...even making coffee and snoozing down below (at least one maintaining watch of course...which is quite a challenge in 65 gusting 85...mask and snorkel time).
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Old 30-04-2013, 01:08   #54
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Re: Boats that can Handle a Blow?

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"The winds started out in the 20-25 knot range, quickly built up to 30 knots, and ended up blowing 40 knots. The course was offshore. "

Sounds like a typical winter race day in Puget Sound, Straits of Georgia - been there done that dozens of times and thought it was normal- in boats from 28' to 40'.

Straits of Georgia race north from Vancouver seldom has less wind that described by the OP.

Swiftsure race west from Victoria out to Swiftsure Banks in the Pacific ocean typically had considerably more than 40 knots at some time during the 36 or so hours of the race. We did it several times in lightweight dedicated race boats.

I haven't raced for 20 years and am not trying to brag on my experience but I've got to ask: - have things changed that much that 40 knots is note worthy?
I have seldom been in San Francisco when they did not have at least one day (of a 3 day weekend) when they did not have a small craft advisory. It sure makes docking interesting.
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Old 30-04-2013, 01:23   #55
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Re: Boats that can Handle a Blow?

My old 28' Herreshoff loves a bit of wind. I was coming up the coast in 30 or more knot offshore a few months back. Got to the entrance of the harbour and a full 50 knot gale set in. A large tug towing a barge had to abort its attempt to steam in. Motoring was frivolous. I almost started to panic then thought bugger it, I will go back to sail. With a well reefed main and staysail I beat into the wind then comfortably tacked up the harbour. Some boats are made to be sailed?
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