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Old 15-11-2011, 18:25   #31
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Re: OMG!!! CLAWING OFF A LEE SHORE IN A GALE!

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In this case we set the storm jib and motorsailed, again making a few tacks to leave the bay. The engine, besides adding to the speed, gave us the power to get the bow through the wind whilst tacking.

Once offshore we hove to and waited for the rapidly moving storm to pass on its way. By morning it had calmed enough to set sail for Tonga. I am quite sure that if we had not had the engine we would never have escaped to sea, and if the anchor had not held, the boat would have been lost. So, Hogan, there is one case of anecdotal evidence for you.
Good story, Jim, and one that matches my instincts. Unless I'm so far over that it's going to affect the cooling of the engine, if I had to make sea room, I would do as you did...rig a storm sail (probably a reinforced staysail) and run out motorsailing so as to get a few miles away from the hard bits...followed by either heaving to or laying to a sea anchor.

The prudent mariner uses all means necessary and often in conjunction to preserve both his vessel and the lives of himself and his crew. How you do this is a mark of one's imagination. How you succeed is a mark of one's seamanship.
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Old 15-11-2011, 18:36   #32
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Re: OMG ! Clawing Off a Lee Shore in a Gale !

In the end I doubt an engine is going to help in heavy steep seas. You're gonna have to sail her off. I'd worry more about making sure you dont put yourself in that condition.
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Old 15-11-2011, 18:51   #33
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Re: OMG ! Clawing Off a Lee Shore in a Gale !

As I was taught as a Young man, there's more then one way to get off shore, Down Hill with a storm jib and a BIG line behind and an oil bag still work, and are a lot easier on your body and the vessel !! Ive had to do it a time or two and im never happy about it, but it beats beating into it !! just my 2 cents from a 73 yr old sailor LOL Capt Bob and Connie
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Old 15-11-2011, 19:30   #34
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Re: OMG ! Clawing Off a Lee Shore in a Gale !

The one time I had to "claw off a lee shore" was on Oh Joy's maiden (to me) voyage. We got caught out in 62 gusting to 80 with a forcast of 25 max. I missed the entry at Point Hudson at late twilght and had to turn and bash with doused sails back into the wind/waves. We had green water on the house so it was intense. We would not have made it without that overwound Perkins 50 running at 3600 RPM. Even the ferry couldn't make way against that stuff. We did...
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Old 15-11-2011, 19:43   #35
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Re: OMG ! Clawing Off a Lee Shore in a Gale !

I'm confused about the question? This isn't 1880.

Frankly, you've already failed my seamanship test if you are on a lee shore in bad conditions today. You have GPS and a chartplotter? You have current weather forecasts? You have the judgement not to force the weather? All of this is higher priority than storm sails or a big anchor to dealing with a lee shore.

But, if by some combination of bad luck and bad judgement you're there, in my experience, my diesel engine is more reliable than sails in tough inshore conditions (I agree that no outboard is adequate because the prop comes out of the water). With sails, battens break, spreaders let go, furlers jam, storm sail hanks let go - and worse, crew are lost overboard trying to rig storm sails.

Far offshore, storm sails make sense, especially if you know how to rig to heave to. Inshore in 2011, I'll turn the key first and think about sails second.

Carl
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Old 15-11-2011, 20:47   #36
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Re: OMG ! Clawing Off a Lee Shore in a Gale !

This past fall I was rounding Point Conception, Ca.. Went from no wind to 45-50knts in about an 1/8 mile. Our cruising guide said to stay within 3 miles to the shore to have milder wind conditions. Double reefed and beat oofshore 20miles then heaved too till first light. Went on around at 9Knts in a 7.5 boat. Wild ride, but safe passage made...Michael..
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Old 15-11-2011, 21:08   #37
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Re: OMG ! Clawing Off a Lee Shore in a Gale !

carl f--where do you sail??? are you in usa?? if so--are you west or east coast??
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Old 15-11-2011, 21:23   #38
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Re: OMG ! Clawing Off a Lee Shore in a Gale !

The second electric motor troll in the last week

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Old 15-11-2011, 21:27   #39
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Re: OMG ! Clawing Off a Lee Shore in a Gale !

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As I was taught as a Young man, there's more then one way to get off shore, Down Hill with a storm jib and a BIG line behind and an oil bag still work, and are a lot easier on your body and the vessel !! Ive had to do it a time or two and im never happy about it, but it beats beating into it !! just my 2 cents from a 73 yr old sailor LOL Capt Bob and Connie
Down hill towing anything will not get you offshore when you are on a leeshore. Though for a very brief time it will be a lot easier on body and boat.
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Old 15-11-2011, 21:44   #40
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Re: OMG ! Clawing Off a Lee Shore in a Gale !

I foolishly stayed put on a mooring at Catalina Island with Santa Ana winds predicted. We knew it would be a lee shore the next morning but the mooring should hold, right? Well, with 30+ knot winds in the a.m. our mooring had dragged back to the next row of moorings closer to shore and we were pitching wildly. I started the engine and kept it in gear just to stay put. After an hour or so of that, the harbor patrol came by and strongly suggested we move to Cat Harbor on the other side of the island.......more protected. They were right, but it was a bear getting there.....motoring at rpm that usually gave us 5-6 knots, now gave us 1-2 knots. But we held steady and we made it. We learned our lesson, but I'm sure there will be more lessons in our future; there always are. That engine ran well, but it was old and we couldn't get parts (Volvo Penta) and we replaced it with a new Yanmar. Yes, it's a sailboat, but the engine sure can make a difference.
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Old 16-11-2011, 07:51   #41
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Re: OMG!!! CLAWING OFF A LEE SHORE IN A GALE!

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I hear this The "Clawing of a lee shore" thing so often around my dock its become cliche - I figure either it happens all the time, or almost never, and is really the result of a combination of fear based marketing used hype to sell powerful engines to new sailors, and ignorance on the part of the buying public regarding the utility of said engines.
My take is that the phrase "Clawing off a lee shore" is really just shorthand for a multiple of circumstances where an engine is either needed to get the boat "Outta Dodge" ...........or would be bl##dy handy to have as an option!

But you (and me!) have to accept that how a boat is used (within the mass market) has fundamentally changed, even in my lifetime. Time is far more important - and having not only mod cons aboard, but also conveniances .........and for those based within a 9-5 world an engine which can make entire passages at hull speed does have a value. And may well be the difference between owning a boat and not.
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Old 16-11-2011, 07:57   #42
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Re: OMG ! Clawing Off a Lee Shore in a Gale !

Hmmppfffff... but... but.... without sails up even a not so small diesel will not get you off a lee shore if it's bad enough. I really do not understand where this "need engine" comes from because it has always been: whatever the conditions, reef but keep on sailing!!!

If you can add engine propulsion that's great, but never a replacement for the sails. Jedi is 25 metric tons (= 27 US tons) and has a 140hp Yanmar diesel. Our max. speed with that is 9 knots. Under sails alone, we can do 20+ knots. We can go faster than 9 knots with just mizzen and jib, no mainsail. Diesel is auxiliary, not main.

ciao!
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Old 16-11-2011, 08:18   #43
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Re: OMG ! Clawing Off a Lee Shore in a Gale !

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Hmmppfffff... but... but.... without sails up even a not so small diesel will not get you off a lee shore if it's bad enough. I really do not understand where this "need engine" comes from because it has always been: whatever the conditions, reef but keep on sailing!!!

If you can add engine propulsion that's great, but never a replacement for the sails. Jedi is 25 metric tons (= 27 US tons) and has a 140hp Yanmar diesel. Our max. speed with that is 9 knots. Under sails alone, we can do 20+ knots. We can go faster than 9 knots with just mizzen and jib, no mainsail. Diesel is auxiliary, not main.

ciao!
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Point taken But I bet that 140hp Yanmar is still a comfort......

FWIW, the only way my boat would acheive 20+ knots would be if I sailed her over the edge of the world
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Old 16-11-2011, 08:19   #44
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Re: OMG ! Clawing Off a Lee Shore in a Gale !

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Hmmppfffff... but... but.... without sails up even a not so small diesel will not get you off a lee shore if it's bad enough. I really do not understand where this "need engine" comes from because it has always been: whatever the conditions, reef but keep on sailing!!!

If you can add engine propulsion that's great, but never a replacement for the sails. Jedi is 25 metric tons (= 27 US tons) and has a 140hp Yanmar diesel. Our max. speed with that is 9 knots. Under sails alone, we can do 20+ knots. We can go faster than 9 knots with just mizzen and jib, no mainsail. Diesel is auxiliary, not main.

ciao!
Nick.
The OP has a PSC Flicka 20, a completely different beast.
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Old 16-11-2011, 08:22   #45
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pirate Re: OMG ! Clawing Off a Lee Shore in a Gale !

Have used engines to stay outa serious trouble...
but mainly as an aid to directional stability... aid for the steering...
not as a substitute for sail.
Example;
1/ In a holed Catalac to keep her head to wind and waves as I crabbed in towards Barbate... the undersized replacement rudders were more or less useless in those conditions and I was very grateful for two engines I could work independantly.
Sails were useless and if she'd gone beam on we'd have capsized in no time...

2/ Missed the turn of tide by 4hrs at Ushant taking a 22ft Hurley to Portugal... decided to go through anyway rather than spend the next six+ hrs going nowhere...
Flew through at a rate of knots..(springs) and as I came out of the narrow part of the channel saw a series of 4ft+ standing waves ahead... kicked the Honda 5hp into life and bounced my way through... glad I did as the cross currents were trying to take her all over the place... if she'd gone side on it coulda been tricky...

A good engine OB or IB is a definite asset... especially playing in places like Brittany or the Galician coast.. or any other strong tidal and/or rocky coastline.
Must confess tho'... I too was once a purist...
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