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Old 19-11-2010, 14:10   #421
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joli View Post
Sorry Tom, but it was only a squall.

... some time after 1400 we noticed that a portion of the I turned on the radar at the 12-nm range and it showed rain clouds almost all around with rain
clouds to our NE, E, SE, and NW,
but the radar displayed no apparent difference or special intensity in the dark
cloud. Nevertheless we were somewhat wary of the dark cloud and paid extra attention to our monitoring of the
weather. The barometer had dropped only from 1000 mb to 998 mb over the preceding few hours, which was no
cause for alarm [???????]
, and I hoped that the dark cloud held intense rain that would wash the boat and knock down the
seas so that we could shake out the reef in the main and speed up....
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I'm not sure where to start but, if that's just a squall there is no such thing as a front... Mean sea level pressure is about 1013 in that neck of the woods. 998 should be very alarming. Reporting stations showed gale force winds along the frontal boundary. Computer models showed a closed low on the surface associated with the feature and an upper level low and very unstable conditions. Short of neon sky writing I don't see how there could have been much more warning. And they report that they were aware of the unsettled wx when they left port. But even without any of that a 998 bar and a wall of black clouds extending all along the horizon should be very, very worrying -- it surely is never a time to be considering shaking out a reef and speeding up.

Tom
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Old 19-11-2010, 14:21   #422
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Why do I get the feeling it was not his boat.... and if it was.... or not.... the guy was blaise to the point of incompetence....
Sorry guys.... he got what he deserved as far as I'm concerned.... you do not f#*k about below with a squall line approaching.... especially if you know its coming...
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Old 19-11-2010, 15:22   #423
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Personally I think that this incident and others is not because they are cats but because most of the owners I have met have FACTORS attitude. Cats dont sink, cats are faster, cats dont have keels that fall off etc etc. They convince themselves that nothing can bring them unstuck and sail with that attitude. I am sure they are offered a discount at time of purchase if they agree to continually spout this verbatim to all in ear shot at every marina they visit, as it is always the same word for word and then wonder why people get narky with them and avoid socialising with them if possible.
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Old 19-11-2010, 15:50   #424
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I think the lessons have to do with watch keeping, autopilots, and locking sheets into self tailing winches. This was easily avoided.
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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
Dunno where he got that:

Watchkeeping was not a big issue--both crew were on deck and alert
Crew size was an issue--with more crew, you could have had one steering, one standing by the jibsheet, and one standing by the mainsheet.

Autopilot was not the real issue--while steering up or down might help, once you lift a hull in a gust while on the wind THE ONLY SURE WAY TO KEEP FROM FLIPPING IS TO EASE THE MAINSHEET!

Self tailing winches are not the issue--they are the PREFERRED way to lock off the sheets, as they can be quickly and reliably released under heavy load. Do NOT use a sheet stopper! (When I talked to Chris White on the A-57 at the Annapolis boat show, he pointed out the stopper on the mainsheet, and said he was thinking of removing it--he tells the owners not to use it, but they still do).

The other lesson learned from Anna is that multihulls require ACTIVE SEAMANSHIP. This means reducing sail BEFORE THE SQUALL HITS. If it's night and you cannot see the squalls, it means reefing at sunset.
Watchkeeping. The boat was on autopilot and the sheets weren't released. Kind of like a wreck without skid marks.

I NEVER suggested sheet stoppers--I agree that is a terrible idea--but perhaps it could have been inferred. I have 25 years on cats and with a squall coming, the tails should be either in hand or in a cam cleat (only 2-3 turns to prevent overrides). But there is no way to get them off a self-tailer fast enough. Even worse if the handle is left in place; a bad habit, but common when trimming is frequent.

Steering helps a lot on a cat. Steering off would have been worse--ask Chris. Most beach cat sailors have made that mistake ONCE in a squall. It only works in moderate gusts.



Cat sailing is different. I hate seeing people take it up without a lengthy apprenticeship. It should not be chosen because it looks comfortable or lazy.
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Old 19-11-2010, 16:08   #425
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You dont EASE the sheets.. you let em fly.... buga the sail.. save the boat.. and possibly yourselves to boot...
Let everything fly and head into the wind.... when your nearly in the irons furl, drop, reef fast and reverse your helm before you start screaming at 15Kts in reverse..
Unless its a Tiki with a canoe stern in which case take your time.....
Your in control...
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Old 19-11-2010, 17:02   #426
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Originally Posted by meyermm View Post
Personally I think that this incident and others is not because they are cats but because most of the owners I have met have FACTORS attitude. Cats dont sink, cats are faster, cats dont have keels that fall off etc etc. They convince themselves that nothing can bring them unstuck and sail with that attitude. I am sure they are offered a discount at time of purchase if they agree to continually spout this verbatim to all in ear shot at every marina they visit, as it is always the same word for word and then wonder why people get narky with them and avoid socialising with them if possible.
Given you have never met me I dont see where you can draw that conclusion, but never the less, for the record, that is NOT my position.

My position is that all boats irrespective sail or power, irrespective of hull numbers, irrespective of length or beam, irrespective of construction methodology e.g. wood, ferro cement, glass, composite, steel or aluminium, irrespective of age, can ALL suffer problems and all have concerns.

What remains the single most important constant is the sailor, prudent sensible and careful sailors will always cover less distance, but have higher probabilities of survival.

In short a good sailor can - with luck, take a bathtub round the world and a bad sailor can sink the best boat in the world first day out.

They key is not that monos sink and cats capsize, its to avoid the circumstances that lead to either of these issues in the first instance. Whether or not my boat can sink is immaterial, I cant afford to loose a rig or destroy sails and I sail accordingly.

I regularly sail many boats monos, cats and tris, and let me tell you there are some pigs out there that are monos, some pigs that are cats and some pigs that are tris. I dont feel most safe on a cat - tri or mono but rather I have felt most safe on boats with happy relaxed but cautious and attentive crews.

There are three issues to safety irrespective of hull numbers or design

Engineering - how well is the boat designed, who well have loads and stresses been considered and calculated how well has the sail plan been thought through, not just for performance but for balance and for ease of handling. (I have been on boats where the owner has never reefed and doesn't know how after owning the boat for years). On a cat is there sufficient bridgedeck clearance and the like, on a tri is there sufficient float volume to resist pitchpoling, etc etc.

Construction - how well has the engineering been actualised. Have systems been tested correctly etc

Use - how competent is the sailor and how dedicated is he/she to managing risk. I see a squall line , I watch and be ready to reef early, I watch and be ready to take active sailing decisions.
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Old 19-11-2010, 17:11   #427
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You dont EASE the sheets.. you let em fly.... buga the sail.. save the boat.. and possibly yourselves to boot...
Let everything fly and head into the wind.... when your nearly in the irons furl, drop, reef fast and reverse your helm before you start screaming at 15Kts in reverse..
Unless its a Tiki with a canoe stern in which case take your time.....
Your in control...
I do not know squat.
I think you hit it on the head.
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Old 19-11-2010, 18:47   #428
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Khagan,

If you have learned one thing from this thread, it would be, do NOT head up into the wind, but head down on a cat.

Fair Winds,
Mike
I've sailed in a cat as cargo. Why would that be?
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Old 19-11-2010, 21:44   #429
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From Kelly's own account we have the following:

Quote:
Suddenly just after 1500, while observing the anemometer (wind speed and direction indicator), which was
displaying apparent and not true wind since we were beating, I noticed that the wind was backing to the South so
that rather than beating into the wind, suddenly we were on a beam reach. I began turning Anna via the autopilot
so that we would remain head up.
If we are to believe Kelly's recount, then I have to believe this was a critical moment. The wind had shifted aft to a beam reach. He was figuratively on the fence at this point. Turning into the wind at this point was going to increase the apparent wind. Turning down would have the opposite effect.

He chose to turn up, and guess what? The apparent wind increased!

Kelly goes on to say that the wind continued to shift aft and he punched the autopilot to continue to turn up, with an additional increase in wind and the disastrous results. Had he turned down at the initial gust he would have had less apparent wind and more time to adjust the sails including furling the jib which would have been blanketed by the main.

From Chris White's discussion on what to do with regard to course, here is what he says:

Quote:
Adjust the heading to an appropriate and safe course. Keep in mind that large wind shifts are common in squalls. If the boat is sailing against the wind (true wind forward of the beam) and a dangerous gust occurs it is normal practice to turn into the wind enough to de-power the sails. Ideally the course can be held on the edge between flogging the sails and overpowering the boat until either the squall subsides or sail can be further reduced. Fully battened mainsails are usually well behaved but the jib may flutter violently for a short period. If sailing to windward it can also be very helpful to have the engines idling and ready because there may be need to drop the mainsail and that will be easier if the boat can be held head to wind. If the cat is sailing down wind (true wind aft of the beam) normal practice is to alter course away from the wind. This reduces the apparent wind velocity by your boat speed and in most cases is the least painful way to weather the squall. The main boom preventer should be made up to guard against an accidental jibe.
Fair Winds,
Mike
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Old 20-11-2010, 06:08   #430
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I do not know squat.
I think you hit it on the head.
And when you get that Catalac (I'll sujest a PDQ, because I have one!) you'll do fine.

Also, never let a squall hit you from behind. Then there is no good answer. If it is coming from behind you make sure the main is DOWN.
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Old 20-11-2010, 06:29   #431
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From Kelly's own account we have the following:



If we are to believe Kelly's recount, then I have to believe this was a critical moment. The wind had shifted aft to a beam reach. He was figuratively on the fence at this point. Turning into the wind at this point was going to increase the apparent wind. Turning down would have the opposite effect.

He chose to turn up, and guess what? The apparent wind increased!

Kelly goes on to say that the wind continued to shift aft and he punched the autopilot to continue to turn up, with an additional increase in wind and the disastrous results. Had he turned down at the initial gust he would have had less apparent wind and more time to adjust the sails including furling the jib which would have been blanketed by the main.

From Chris White's discussion on what to do with regard to course, here is what he says:



Fair Winds,
Mike
But he didn't ease the sails. By Chris White's own calculation, the gust exceed the boat's stability with the sails in tight, so he would probably had capsized and/or pitchpoled if he had born of as well. Do you believe your boat would manage even 50 knots on the beam, everything up and everything in tight in? I seriously doubt it, and with his tall rig, it was like most cruising cats with everything up. If he had dumped the main and traveler all the way, he could have eased her up wind.

I have been in squalls in smaller boats and tried both theories. Bearing off only works in moderate gusts that will not exceed the boats stability limit. If it's over a certain limit, you still get stuffed, done that a few times. In a micro burst you never know that for certain and heading up, if the wind is not behind the beam, always works, IF the sails are eased all the way and you react before the main part of the gust hits. I think that was part of Chris White's post--get on a close reach BEFORE the gust front hits. IF the wind is behind the boat and you are hit by a micro burst, you planned poorly and you're in a very bad spot. As you've said, bear off HARD (not the auto pilot--hands on the wheel) and pray it is within limits.

Bearing off in a squall is a roll of the dice that works 95% of the time.

Cat sailors should learn not to play those odds. Just part of owning a cat. They do other things very well.

Was the boat too high in performance for a cruising boat--some have asked that. Some years ago, I would have killed for one of his boats. Now I would chose something more conservative, since I have enjoyed enough high-speed sailing. The only shame is that some of the buyers didn't understand what they had on there hands. I also would respect that I cannot handle 50 feet with a crew of 2. TANSTAFL.
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Old 20-11-2010, 07:22   #432
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I have been in squalls in smaller boats and tried both theories. Bearing off only works in moderate gusts that will not exceed the boats stability limit. If it's over a certain limit, you still get stuffed, done that a few times. In a micro burst you never know that for certain and heading up, if the wind is not behind the beam, always works, IF the sails are eased all the way and you react before the main part of the gust hits. I think that was part of Chris White's post--get on a close reach BEFORE the gust front hits. IF the wind is behind the boat and you are hit by a micro burst, you planned poorly and you're in a very bad spot. As you've said, bear off HARD (not the auto pilot--hands on the wheel) and pray it is within limits.

Bearing off in a squall is a roll of the dice that works 95% of the time.

Cat sailors should learn not to play those odds. Just part of owning a cat. They do other things very well.
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Old 20-11-2010, 07:33   #433
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Bearing off only works in moderate gusts that will not exceed the boats stability limit. If it's over a certain limit, you still get stuffed, done that a few times.


Totally agree with Thinwater.
In a puff I would never rely on the rudder.
Letting a sheet fly will have an instant effect.
Turning the wheel may have no effect at all, or at best a slower effect.

I don't know about cats but I have hung onto the wheel a zillion times broaching a monohull racing with kites to cruising, and trying to turn the wheel just does not do anything.

In an emergency you should not need to make decisions: Up or down? It should be an Immediate Action Drill. Something instinctive to be used at all times in any emergency.

For a Cat (if not all sail boats) the IA must be: Let the mainsheet fly.

Immediate Action Drills stop confusion and make people instantly know what they are doing.

Quote:
both Glen and I yelled "let's reef" and we bounded out into the cockpit. ...I moved to the
autopilot and again tried to head the boat up into the wind, while Glen tried to reef the jib.


Where if they had done an IA they both would have headed for the Mainsheet. 2 men, simple job.

If they had dumped the mainsheet then they could have delt with the jib and so on.


We discuss this stuff so we can do better when similar stuff happens to us, not to criticize others.


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Old 20-11-2010, 07:56   #434
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So, if you dump the main to the shrouds and the breeze backs you are now going to stuff the bows and go ass over tea kettle.

This is a powered up cruiser that is being sold to sailors that may or may not have experience. When you power up a boat and sail with a short crew these events can be expected. Look at Tony's boat or the ATN guy who flipped his Greene 40 in the Route de Rhum while he was asleep or Paradox the modified FP or the Conser 47 or the early Catana... Big rigs require active sailing which is not the way cruisers sail.


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Totally agree with Thinwater.
In a puff I would never rely on the rudder.
Letting a sheet fly will have an instant effect.
Turning the wheel may have no effect at all, or at best a slower effect.

I don't know about cats but I have hung onto the wheel a zillion times broaching a monohull racing with kites to cruising, and trying to turn the wheel just does not do anything.

In an emergency you should not need to make decisions: Up or down? It should be an Immediate Action Drill. Something instinctive to be used at all times in any emergency.

For a Cat (if not all sail boats) the IA must be: Let the mainsheet fly.

Immediate Action Drills stop confusion and make people instantly know what they are doing.



Where if they had done an IA they both would have headed for the Mainsheet. 2 men, simple job.

If they had dumped the mainsheet then they could have delt with the jib and so on.


We discuss this stuff so we can do better when similar stuff happens to us, not to criticize others.


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Old 20-11-2010, 08:02   #435
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So, if you dump the main to the shrouds and the breeze backs you are now going to stuff the bows and go ass over tea kettle.
yes, but wouldn't you consider pitchpoling is far less likely than sheets hard on with the wind on the beam?
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