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Old 21-06-2014, 14:41   #1
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How far out to Sea is Safe in a Hurricane?

If there's a hurricane & you're caught 3 miles out, and it's just starting, is it safer to turn around & sail to land & seek a hole, or to sail further out to sea?
How many miles can a hurricane move a sailboat under bare poles w/ no sea anchor & maybe a few tires for a drogue?

How far out from land is it considered to be safe, when in bad weather & you can't power or steer?
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Old 21-06-2014, 14:46   #2
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Re: How far out to sea is safe in a hurricane?

How could you be 3 miles out and get caught by an unexpected hurricane? Do you really mean hurricane or just bad weather? Hurricanes are well forecasted in advance. Certainly a lot further out than it takes to go 3 miles. Being at sea in the teeth of hurricane is not safe -- 100 miles out or 500 miles out. Unless perhaps you are 1,000ft Navy Destroyer.
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Old 21-06-2014, 15:20   #3
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Re: How far out to sea is safe in a hurricane?

Have to agree with Paul. The question doesn't even make sense. It would be completely impossible to be caught 3 miles or even 30 miles offshore by an unexpected hurricane. Even if you never turned on a weather forecast, it would be obvious before you even left the dock that some serious weather was right on top of you.

Regarding all the other questions, depends on the boat and depends on the hurricane. Big storm could easily push you at hull speed or better, even dragging tires, drogue or whatever.
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Old 21-06-2014, 15:36   #4
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Re: How far out to sea is safe in a hurricane?

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How could you be 3 miles out and get caught by an unexpected hurricane? Do you really mean hurricane or just bad weather? Hurricanes are well forecasted in advance. Certainly a lot further out than it takes to go 3 miles. Being at sea in the teeth of hurricane is not safe -- 100 miles out or 500 miles out. Unless perhaps you are 1,000ft Navy Destroyer.
There really is little excuse for getting caught in a hurricane with modern forecasting. Note the recent determination that the loss of the Bounty was a result of poor seamanship by the skipper.

BTW, US Navy destroyers are about 500 ft long, and at that are pretty big compared to cruisers of old.
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Old 21-06-2014, 15:49   #5
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Re: How far out to sea is safe in a hurricane?

Atlantic Hurricanes take weeks to develop form "waves" off the coast of Africa. You usually have plenty of notice!
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Old 21-06-2014, 16:38   #6
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Re: How far out to sea is safe in a hurricane?

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...
BTW, US Navy destroyers are about 500 ft long, and at that are pretty big compared to cruisers of old.
Let's make it a metaphorical aircraft carrier
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Old 21-06-2014, 16:41   #7
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Re: How far out to sea is safe in a hurricane?

Let me put it this way:

If you're 1000 miles offshore and get caught in a Hurricane you'll probably die. If you're 3 miles offshore and get caught in a hurricane, you'll definitely die.

Hope that clears it up.
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Old 21-06-2014, 16:59   #8
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Re: How far out to sea is safe in a hurricane?

I guess that you could get caught 3 miles off shore if you had already been sailing towards shore , racing to beat the storm for a long time , i think ya could .
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Old 21-06-2014, 18:41   #9
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Re: How far out to sea is safe in a hurricane?

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How far out from land is it considered to be safe, when in bad weather & you can't power or steer?
Depends which way the wind is blowing but 100nm radius in deep water is considered sufficient sea room.
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Old 21-06-2014, 18:48   #10
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Re: How far out to sea is safe in a hurricane?

OK, I got a 35' sloop full keel & it can go about 5 knots. I hear that storms can develop in the ocean w/ no warning, so, what if Im deep sea fishing at the drop off 60 miles out and a storm comes out of no where and I take down the sails cause I don't have a storm jib, turn on the 30 hp engine, and then what? Head out further so the storm doesn't push me into the shallows, or try to head for safe harbor, which might take me 10 hours to get to?
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Old 21-06-2014, 19:14   #11
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Re: How far out to sea is safe in a hurricane?

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How far out to sea is safe in a hurricane?
When did you stop beating your wife?
This question as with your question presupposes an unknown as a known. Both are unsupportable suppositions.


It is NEVER "Safe" to be in a hurricane at Sea...
...and I'll bet you never beat your wife in the first place...
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Old 21-06-2014, 19:51   #12
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Re: How far out to sea is safe in a hurricane?

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Originally Posted by liveaboardL View Post
OK, I got a 35' sloop full keel & it can go about 5 knots. I hear that storms can develop in the ocean w/ no warning, so, what if Im deep sea fishing at the drop off 60 miles out and a storm comes out of no where and I take down the sails cause I don't have a storm jib, turn on the 30 hp engine, and then what? Head out further so the storm doesn't push me into the shallows, or try to head for safe harbor, which might take me 10 hours to get to?
As with most things, it depends. Sixty miles out I would probably try and ride it out, or just keep going to where I was headed. Major storms just don't come up unexpectedly these days. Modern weather forcasting is too good. Sure unexpected squalls are common and can come with quite a punch, but they also don't last long.
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Old 21-06-2014, 19:52   #13
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Re: How far out to sea is safe in a hurricane?

Hey, she stole my last $100 & wouldn't give it back. I didn't beat her. I took my money back, whether she wanted to give it freely or not, it wasn't hers. I didn't have pockets & asked her to hold it for me. But she wouln't return it, & I took her purse to get it back while she was in the shower, and she held on to it w/ all her might, and I never hit her, never kicked her, but I did take back what was not hers to begin with. I certainly never meant any ... wait wait, what's this have to do w/ sailing?

OK, so, of course there are different variables, like wave height, vs wave length, are they breaking waves? Is the wind blowing towards land? How shallow is the water near land for how far out? How deep is my keel? Does my sailboat broach easy? It doesn't. 5.5' draft. The inlet's jettys are 3 miles out. What should one do for the various wind directions? Are they likely to change significantly in a bad storm? Does daylight make a difference? or what kind of night lights I have?

Yeah, lots to consider, but this is an important question. & yeah, I got out of that little storm alive, but barely, & thank God! Although she did put out, if nothing else.
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Old 21-06-2014, 19:55   #14
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Re: How far out to sea is safe in a hurricane?

I don't have FSB. I have VHF. I might be deep sea fishing for a few days, since it will probably take me 11 hours to even get out there.
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Old 21-06-2014, 19:57   #15
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Re: How far out to sea is safe in a hurricane?

60 miles can be a long way in rough seas.... If caught... Better to focus getting out of the danger sector and if you have had no weather reports... try and remember
.....Buys Ballots Law


http://www.sciences360.com/index.php...s-at-sea-5177/
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