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Old 19-12-2007, 19:17   #16
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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I always have my life jacket on when underway; no exceptions unless I'm going to sleep. We're tethered in:

(a) whenever the on watch says so
(b) whenever the captain says so
(c) open water at night

Some people hate tethers because they say "I'm just sitting in the cockpit" or "it gets in the way of what I'm doing". Well, if you're just sitting in the cockpit reading a book on watch, a tether should go unnoticed. And if you're running around doing stuff, it's a great way to get knocked in the drink.

Just watch this video (around 2:00 into it):



And tell me what would have happened if you were on the foredeck messing around with a sail at night when that happened.
I'm not sure where that video was shot but I'll give you odds that he was just comming out of the lee of some headlands. You could see the white water ahead and the skipper should have known what he was in store for.

That was no "Freak wave". That's what you would expect coming out of the lee of any island and heading toward a channel or out to sea.
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Old 19-12-2007, 19:29   #17
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Those waves look real familiar. Try that on a 39' Yawl while rigging the baby stay and staysail for 10 minutes at dusk. Very wet, very cold, complicated by the fact you're doing a two handed job with one so you can stay on the boat. That's why we turn offwind for foredeck work in heavy seas unless racing. That's also why I now have a downhaul rigged for the staysail. I prefer to keep my crew off the pointy end in stuff like that.
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Old 19-12-2007, 19:45   #18
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On item that I don't think has been adequately covered so far in this thread is preparation of your boat for it and it's crew to survive a capsize.

We've learned a lot from friends who race offshore, I think the guidelines for ISAF "Category 1" Offshore races are appropriate and would recommend that all offshore sailors read and strongly consider using them as guidelines.

They can be found at http://sailing.org/tools/documents/O...%5B4340%5D.pdf

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Old 19-12-2007, 19:45   #19
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I'm not sure where that video was shot but I'll give you odds that he was just comming out of the lee of some headlands. You could see the white water ahead and the skipper should have known what he was in store for.

That was no "Freak wave". That's what you would expect coming out of the lee of any island and heading toward a channel or out to sea.
Nope, not saying it was a freak/rogue wave by any means; that's just the title of the video. I'm just showing a wall of green water coming over the deck. If that happened at night and you were untethered on the foredeck, you'd either go in the drink or get hurt pretty bad getting knocked around, or both.

In surfing we used to call those waves "outsiders". Bigger than the usual swell by 1.5x - 2.0x. If you were lucky you'd see a few in a day.
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Old 19-12-2007, 19:53   #20
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Nope, not saying it was a freak/rogue wave by any means; that's just the title of the video. I'm just showing a wall of green water coming over the deck. If that happened at night and you were untethered on the foredeck, you'd either go in the drink or get hurt pretty bad getting knocked around, or both.

In surfing we used to call those waves "outsiders". Bigger than the usual swell by 1.5x - 2.0x. If you were lucky you'd see a few in a day.
The thing that you must remember, your vessel would have risen to that wave with relative ease. That video was shot from a pretty big vessel (probably 100+ tons) and he was bowing down into the trough going straight to windward (not likely on a sailboat).

I have had water over the bow like that too (on several occasions) but the confined space on my, much smaller bow allowed less water on-board and I was able to hang on with relative ease, however, getting just as wet as he did .
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Old 19-12-2007, 20:04   #21
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On item that I don't think has been adequately covered so far in this thread is preparation of your boat for it and it's crew to survive a capsize.

We've learned a lot from friends who race offshore, I think the guidelines for ISAF "Category 1" Offshore races are appropriate and would recommend that all offshore sailors read and strongly consider using them as guidelines.

They can be found at http://sailing.org/tools/documents/O...%5B4340%5D.pdf

Regards,
Bill
Most sailboats capsize from laying ahull or broaching while running off. It is very rare for a sailboat to capsize any other way.

A knock down is different. We were knocked down once by a huge cresting wave that just filled the mainsail with water. I wrote about it in a different thread, I'll try to locate it.

The best tactic IMO is to avoid these scenarios by deploying a para-anchor early and laying to it until it is safe to proceed again. The only reason to expose yourself to that stuff is if you are racing.
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Old 19-12-2007, 21:08   #22
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WOW, nice video!!! yeah, you just never know so you should always keep alert regardless of what you are doing. At least there, you actually saw and heard the other people commenting on that upcoming wave.
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Old 19-12-2007, 21:22   #23
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hello all

My name is Darcy, aka scootman. I am a newbie and would just like to say hello. This is a cool site and seems to be full of info. I recently converted a 20 foot catboat to a bilge keeled junk boat. I have owned both sail and power from 14 to 60ft, but basicly Im just a lost prairie boy who fell in love with the BC coast.
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Old 20-12-2007, 01:46   #24
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Further to " a knock down is possible from wind alone, BUT you are unlikely to turn turtle (in a mono). BREAKING waves of a suprisingly small size can and do roll boats. Lots of information out there. Dont think its a good idea to lie ahull in conditions of breaking waves, hove too with para. para alone . series drouge etc.. Running is a last gasp ...one miss helm and the blunt end starts to try and overtake the pointy end...a clasic broach and you may just roll,, check the weather first !
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Old 20-12-2007, 10:29   #25
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I won't run DDW but at an angle to the waves. I hate running DDW, nasty sensation. At least on a Broad Reach, ya know which way the waves will push the stern. I did carry too much sail the first gale/storm and the combination of wind/waves overpowered the rudder. We were planted on the face of the wave, unable to turn back down for what felt like forever but was likely a minute before I gave warning to the crew that we would have to round up. It went without issue and we furled, the 135, dropped the Mizzen, bent on and hoisted the staysail and reefed the main. The wind will sneak up on ya while running. The canvas we were carrying was fine in the 20-30 we started with but was too much in the 50-60 we ended up with. This last one with the knockdown, we heaved to with full main alone at about 50* off the wind while we sorted out the chute. It was a nice smooth ride, even as it blew up to 50+ and the seas grew. We were able (the two of us) to sort out the boat before turning to windward under power to douse the main. We flew back at 7.5- 8.5 knots under staysail alone. All 137 sq. ft. of it.
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Old 20-12-2007, 14:15   #26
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Pushing the boat hard when racing it was not too uncommon to suffer knockdowns. The worst were always round downs where you stick the pole in the drink and spin on it. Something usually broke and there was always a mess to clean up. Round downs were more problamatic when the main was held by the preventer, we never broke a boom but pulled fitings out of the deck, parted sheets, blew up kites, and once broke a solid Forespar vang. Interseting times.

I don't think you really need to worry much about a capsize unless you are sitting beam too breaking waves and the height is equal or greater then your beam. As others have said: lay to a para anchor or run off. I also think you can fore reach in those conditions but you must pick your spot (actively sail the boat) to go over the top. Hopefully not a spot that is breaking.

I have met a number of guys that sailed our current boat in the Atlantic through a huricane. They said they ran off and it scared the **** out of them. Boat speed was in the upper 20's and the thought the waves were near 100 foot. I don't know if that was the right tactic but they made it. I wasn't there so can't say and hope to never see what 100 foot waves look like.
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Old 20-12-2007, 15:05   #27
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I have met a number of guys that sailed our current boat in the Atlantic through a huricane. They said they ran off and it scared the **** out of them. Boat speed was in the upper 20's and the thought the waves were near 100 foot. I don't know if that was the right tactic but they made it. I wasn't there so can't say and hope to never see what 100 foot waves look like.
Just so you know......never run down wind in a hurricane or any other tightly wrapped low pressure system. It will extend the length of time that you spend in the low and it may even suck you farther in towards the center (remember, the wind blows towards the center of a low). If your vessel is traveling at 10kts, it could very well be traveling at the same speed as the weather system. In that case, entering the eye wall would be likely and it would also likely be catostrophic.

It's best to sail to weather, away from the eye as long as possible, then go to a para-anchor.

We sat out a cyclone (southern hemisphere hurricane) behind our para-anchor, in the Tasman Sea. We lost our anemometer in a 70kt gust. I have no idea of the height of the seas. They are impossible to estimate from the deck of a small vessel so I don't go there. It suffices to say that the seas were large and breaking. We never had one wave break past the parachute or near our boat. We sat it out in relative comfort.
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Old 21-12-2007, 01:50   #28
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Good speak Kanani......worth having a little bit of lamenated paper with a graphic of the "good "sectors of a revolving low, just to help us make clear desicions when we are freaking out...remember to have a northern and southern hemisphere version !
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Old 21-12-2007, 04:23   #29
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Just so you know......never run down wind in a hurricane or any other tightly wrapped low pressure system. It will extend the length of time that you spend in the low and it may even suck you farther in towards the center (remember, the wind blows towards the center of a low)...
It's best to sail to weather, away from the eye as long as possible, then go to a para-anchor...
HURRICANE EVASION at SEA

A cyclone is a storm with strong winds rotating about a low pressure center. Cyclones rotate counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. Typhoons are tropical cyclones west of the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean, Hurricanes east of the Date Line. They're called Cyclones in the Indian Ocean.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the semicircle to the right of the path of forward motion is known as the dangerous semicircle. The areas with the heaviest rain, strongest wind, and highest waves are located in this semicircle.
The semicircle to the left is the less dangerous semicircle, sometimes called the “Navigable” semi-circle.
Accepted practice in the Northern Hemisphere, is to steer away from the hurricane’s track keeping the wind towards your Right (Starboard).

Those traveling through the Dangerous semicircle (Right side) are advised to keep the true wind on the Starboard Bow (about 45 degrees Relative), and make as much headway away from the storm centre as possible.

Boats moving through the Navigable semicircle (Left side) are advised to keep the true wind on the Starboard Quarter(about 160 deg. R if ahead of the storm, or 135 deg. R if behind) while making as much headway as possible.

Do not cross the forecasted path of the hurricane (this is known as crossing the “T”).

All of these maneuvers depend on having adequate sea room to maneuver (away from proximate land).
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Old 21-12-2007, 04:27   #30
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Quote:
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That was no "Freak wave". .
Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
If that happened at night and you were untethered on the foredeck,
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a pretty big vessel (probably 100+ tons) and he was bowing down into the trough going straight to windward (not likely on a sailboat).
Geez, I hate to ever have to agree with the Beverly Hills Kid but boy-oh-boy waves like that need to be constantly expected: 50% abovce the mean and a touch steeper to keep in the same frequency. Doesn't matter if your popping out for a lee or if they are another ships wash, or just mother nature being a tad weird, you need to be ready for a splash around the ankles.
Also agree with kanani that its quite a larg boat going direct into the swell. see when he pulls back to a wide shot? I reckon that boats well over 100 tons. A bigger boat is going to hate a short sea, directly into it, than a yacht at 30 to 45 degrees.

Agree with Rebel: thats why you are clipped on always on the foredeck at sea. I dont wear a harness in the cockpit during the day, but do at night or up the pointy bit



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