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Old 28-11-2012, 13:42   #136
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Re: Passage Speed

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Originally Posted by sneuman View Post
Over the years, I have heard a lot about "outrunning bad weather" but I see little evidence that anyone does it on a regular basis (or on more than a short coastal hop). Bottom line: you check your weather window, leave on a good note and take what you get (hopefully within seasonal and geographic parameters) once you're out there. That's what cruising is.

To the extent that skippers in faster boats have expectations of outrunning bad weather -- especially in a coastal cruising context -- I'd say that's the kind of skipper who invites trouble for himself/herself and crew.
One example of where boat speed did matter:

In the infamous "Queen's Birthday Storm" of 1994, Jim and Sue Corenman (he of Winlink fame and racing fame and various other fames), in their Shumacher 50 Heart of Gold departed Opua along with all the other folks who were headed for Tonga. They saw that vile weather was building and cracked on sail. As I recall, they did successive 250 mile days and were safely anchored in Nuku'Alofa whilst the others were getting bashed, sunk and killed.

Now, this boat is far faster than most cruising boats... having placed well in many serious ocean races, and the Corenmans are very experienced sailors, but I believe that this proves that in some situations, speed is indeed worthwhile!

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Old 29-11-2012, 06:08   #137
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Re: Passage Speed

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
One example of where boat speed did matter:

In the infamous "Queen's Birthday Storm" of 1994, Jim and Sue Corenman (he of Winlink fame and racing fame and various other fames), in their Shumacher 50 Heart of Gold departed Opua along with all the other folks who were headed for Tonga. They saw that vile weather was building and cracked on sail. As I recall, they did successive 250 mile days and were safely anchored in Nuku'Alofa whilst the others were getting bashed, sunk and killed.

Now, this boat is far faster than most cruising boats... having placed well in many serious ocean races, and the Corenmans are very experienced sailors, but I believe that this proves that in some situations, speed is indeed worthwhile!

Cheers,

Jim
Agreed. I never use the word never. Of course, it happens sometimes.

I am just not sure that it happens often enough to consider "speed" a significant safety consideration. In fact, in the hands of the wrong skipper, the perception that one can outrun bad weather may make speed the exact opposite of safe.
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Old 29-11-2012, 06:35   #138
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Re: Passage Speed

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Now, this boat is far faster than most cruising boats... having placed well in many serious ocean races, and the Corenmans are very experienced sailors, but I believe that this proves that in some situations, speed is indeed worthwhile!
The Queens Birthday Storm is a very important story on safety at sea in catamarans for another reason. A bunch of boats were caught in the worst of it. All the monohulls caught in the storm were rolled and lost rigs... with injuries as well as loss of life. The catamarans caught in the same storm did well as none turned turtle, including a Catalac 12M.

Story here

The story is important as this is the singular data point of a group of cruising boats who were unfortunately caught in a typhoon where both monohulls and catamarans were included. This event launched sales of catamarans to new levels, as prior, they were just a curiosity.
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Old 29-11-2012, 07:35   #139
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Re: Passage Speed

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I think speed in the racing context has a clear meaning. But in the cruising one ????

Why buy a cruising boat and hurry? Is this not contradictory?

BTW You want speed you buy the bigger (or lighter boat). But only with the bigger one you can get both speed and comfort. (For the less speculative, cruising type: go get a big one.)

b.
Racers are concerned about boat speed rather than passage speed. Boat speed is all about making the boat sail up to its handicap rating or, in one-design racing, eeking out that 1/10th of a knot that the other guy isn't getting.

Passage speed generally concerns itself with the planning part of navigation. If I'm planning a passage to Hawaii, I need to know whether, in average conditions, it will take me one week, two weeks or three weeks. Having an accurate appraisal of my boat's passage speed will help come up with a float plan upon which I can base my provisioning, recruit crew, et cetera.

In essence, passage speed is not how fast I go, but rather how long it will take me to get there. It seems to me that this is valuable information for most cruisers. Knowing my passage speed might help me decide whether to dip south to avoid a high, or whether the high is likely to dissipate prior to when I'll reach it. (Same with a low, I suppose. Racers tend to want to avoid the highs, and if this forum is any indication, cruisers want to run away from the lows.)
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Old 29-11-2012, 07:36   #140
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Re: Passage Speed

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Originally Posted by Tropic Cat View Post
The Queens Birthday Storm is a very important story on safety at sea in catamarans for another reason. A bunch of boats were caught in the worst of it. All the monohulls caught in the storm were rolled and lost rigs... with injuries as well as loss of life. The catamarans caught in the same storm did well as none turned turtle, including a Catalac 12M.

Story here

The story is important as this is the singular data point of a group of cruising boats who were unfortunately caught in a typhoon where both monohulls and catamarans were included. This event launched sales of catamarans to new levels, as prior, they were just a curiosity.
Once again, I am forced to point out how misleading your claims are, Tropic Cat. I thought we'd settled this a few years ago.

a) The boats we're discussing here are only the nine that issued maydays. There were apparently many other monohulls out there that did not issue distress calls.

b) It's wrong to say that all the monohulls lost their rigs. Several monohulls (the ones that didn't issue maydays) survived the storm unscathed. One other boat, a Tayana 37, was not dismasted by the extreme conditions, but when a rescue ship collided with it. The yacht's skipper expressed later that he felt confident and would have called off the rescue had it not been for a malfunctioning radio.

c) One cat was abandoned but found intact later, albeit "sailable". That's pretty much what happened to the monos, although of the vessels that issued a mayday most of them did lose their rig.

d) Two of the monos lost (the aforementioned Tayana 37 and an Explorer 45) experienced a second, more severe low that the other boats seem to have escaped (per the 1999 Latitude 38 article).

d) I think we're talking about a grand total of two multis vs. numerous monos. That gives us only two data points for the multis.

Latitude 38 - Nightmare Off New Zealand
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Old 29-11-2012, 07:52   #141
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Re: Passage Speed

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Originally Posted by Tropic Cat View Post
. All the monohulls caught in the storm were rolled and lost rigs... with injuries as well as loss of life.
.
That is not an accurate.
The link you provided is a good summary of the storm and to quote

"there were several other monohulls in the core area of the storm that didn't even issue maydays and survived the storm with very little damage"
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Old 29-11-2012, 08:24   #142
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Re: Passage Speed

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That is not an accurate.
The link you provided is a good summary of the storm and to quote

"there were several other monohulls in the core area of the storm that didn't even issue maydays and survived the storm with very little damage"
Where may I ask did you read that? Careful, or you'll sound like the other guy who never gets his facts straight.

What I typed was exactly accurate. Hurricane or typhoon, it's where you are relative to eye of the storm that matters. Anyone unfortunate to be caught on a boat in one will confirm. The 12 boats which were abandoned in the Queens Birthday Storm as well as the yacht that disappeared, S/V Quartermaster, were all near the eye of the storm....or as I wrote "...caught in the worst of it..."

This isn't rocket science guys, there are books written on this. As I recall at least one of them mentioned something along the lines of divine intervention.
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Old 29-11-2012, 08:28   #143
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Re: Passage Speed

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Where may I ask did you read that?
It was a direct quote from the link which you provided.
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Old 29-11-2012, 08:39   #144
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Re: Passage Speed

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Originally Posted by Tropic Cat View Post
Where may I ask did you read that? Careful, or you'll sound like the other guy who never gets his facts straight.

What I typed was exactly accurate. Hurricane or typhoon, it's where you are relative to eye of the storm that matters. Anyone unfortunate to be caught on a boat in one will confirm. The 12 boats which were abandoned in the Queens Birthday Storm as well as the yacht that disappeared, S/V Quartermaster, were all near the eye of the storm....or as I wrote "...caught in the worst of it..."

This isn't rocket science guys, there are books written on this. As I recall at least one of them mentioned something along the lines of divine intervention.
As someone who has been unfortunate enough to be in precisely the situation you describe (25nm from center of a named typhoon - in a 28' monohull, no less), I can tell you that it makes less difference than you think. If you are anywhere in that inner ring, you're getting the s**t kicked out of you.

I assume I'm the "other guy" you mention. Please explain where my facts are wrong.
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Old 29-11-2012, 13:26   #145
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Re: Passage Speed

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Originally Posted by sneuman View Post
Agreed. I never use the word never. Of course, it happens sometimes.

I am just not sure that it happens often enough to consider "speed" a significant safety consideration. In fact, in the hands of the wrong skipper, the perception that one can outrun bad weather may make speed the exact opposite of safe.
That's like saying having decent brakes and handling on a car is the opposite of safe, because MAYBE some drivers will abuse these features!

Who says skippers (apart from racing skippers) will go to sea thinking they can "outrun" forecast bad weather?

I don't think anyone went to sea knowing the Queen's Birthday storm was coming, but expecting to be able to outrun it. They were already on passage when the storm appeared, but some of the faster boats were able to evade it to some extent. (The catamaran "Fallado" was one of these)

Simply by spending less time on passage, a faster boat is less exposed to possible changes in the weather.
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Old 29-11-2012, 13:31   #146
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Re: Passage Speed

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d) I think we're talking about a grand total of two multis vs. numerous monos. That gives us only two data points for the multis.

Latitude 38 - Nightmare Off New Zealand
I've heard of 4 cats that were in the rally. 2 of them were fast enough to miss the worst of the conditions.
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Old 29-11-2012, 13:57   #147
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Re: Passage Speed

There is currently a used boat on the market that with an average of 4.8 hours of sunshine a day will plod along at 3.9 kt on stored solar energy (94 nm daily runs). It is a catamaran trawler with (2) 75 hp diesels and (2) 8 kw motors plus 6 kw of solar panels. I assume from the posts I've read that as a cruiser this would be fine, but as a sailor without his sails, it would be dreary. For me, I wouldn't miss spending the $15K for a new suit of sails every 5~10 years.
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Old 29-11-2012, 14:31   #148
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Re: Passage Speed

I'd rather buy the sails! BTW mine cost $7500, brand new, including the mainsail cover and battens.
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Old 29-11-2012, 14:42   #149
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Re: Passage Speed

I'd rather fly a kite.
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Old 29-11-2012, 14:50   #150
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Re: Passage Speed

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Originally Posted by sneuman View Post
Agreed. I never use the word never. Of course, it happens sometimes.

I am just not sure that it happens often enough to consider "speed" a significant safety consideration. In fact, in the hands of the wrong skipper, the perception that one can outrun bad weather may make speed the exact opposite of safe.

From the link you posted:

"Just about everybody in our group did really well even the little 'three M's' because everybody moved along pretty much as fast as they could. The most wind we had was 25 to 30 knots for a short time, which wasn't bad, because we need a lot of wind to move. Best of all, we were able to sail straight for our destination. When the wind did calm down, we immediately fired up the engine and motored as quickly as we could. As a result of averaging 140 miles a day, we and most of the boats in our group were able to sneak down to New Zealand between the low which clobbered the Fiji fleet, and the much stronger second low which caught Salacia and Freya, two boats at the tail end of our group."
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