Originally Posted by Ian Johnstone
Ocean sailing is about taking risks that are as well managed as can be. We circumnavigated the globe on a 47 foot Catana catamaran
and experienced several sustained bouts of Force 9 and 10 conditions in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. I have previously circumnavigated on monos ranging from 33ft to 48ft and experiencing multiple gales and even storm force conditions in the Tasman Sea ..........
But Ian don't forget you are very experienced and capable. Most of us don't have you or Cathy aboard when it goes to custard
It as in the Tasman that we we had our worst experience in a Crowther 50. Closing with NZ heading for Nelson and a low that was supposed to be benign deepened and developed into a nasty blow initially Northerlies for around 10 hours at 35 knots gusting 45 and then SW at a similar wind speed. After another 5 hours the resulting seas were ugly and frightening and night was an ordeal. I'm sure you've met similar conditions.
That was a gale. If the winds had been storm force or the 50 knots the OP was talking about....
In the QB storm the two cats in the worst of it both reported that they were standing on the side windows at times ! We were no where near that.
Size is everything and our 40 ton 65 footer is a much nicer boat in heavy weather than anything we have had before and it motors 8 knots to windward into anything which is what we want. The 50 foot cat could only hold position (actually a slow drift astern) under power in a gale in a seaway and the props come out of the water continually which shakes the drive train apart at full power.
We have had worse weather but much more ordered seas and found it easy fast sailing. Everything depends on the resulting sea state.
Cross seas in heavy weather have nearly been our undoing, we fell off one a few years ago and the wave around 25 feet broke right over the boat knocked it down to just past 90 degrees and did some damage bending the mainmast compression
post. If we'd been in a cat I really doubt we would have survived that.
We know people who had a heavy 38 foot cat that was inverted at anchor
just by the wind in Greece
. Both elderly and with thousands of miles and a circumnav in the same cat. She nearly drowned trapped in the boat before she was rescued. Her partner was unable to do anything.
Another cat a 50 foot light performance oriented cruiser just blew over while motoring in scotland
in a calm but gusty sound. It was night. They also couldn't get at epirb
but the gps epirb
auto triggered inside the flooded boat and they were rescued.
I know several more cases of cats blowing over bare poled and at anchor
That erodes confidence in anxious times for me.
But this is my thoughts on the cat in a storm (50 knots), I'd recommend a cat but not for heavy weather. I'd stay in more benign climes with less temperamental weather maybe unless I had you aboard.