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Old 15-11-2011, 13:14   #1
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pirate OMG ! Clawing Off a Lee Shore in a Gale !

Look - I'm just curious:

What percentage of sailors have ever been caught on a lee shore in a storm so severe that thier storm sails (you do have those and know how to use them right?) and ground tackle (You do carry an oversize storm anchor with at least 400 feet of rode so you can set and hold the hook in deep water, and you know how to use it, right?) that the only thing that saved your boat was motorsailing?

I've just replaced my gas outboard with a smaller electric one, and you should hear the crap I get about it!

LEE SHORE!!!

GALES!!!

What were you doing near a lee shore under such conditions?

Did your engine give you the (over?) confidence to head out or close land when it would have been more prudent to stay put or stand-off?

Heck, did it even start after getting water from those following seas up your tailpipe?

....

In "The Long Way" as Moitisessier approaches the Horn, he stands off over 100 miles to give himself and his wife sea room, just in case his celestial navigation is off and the wind foul. His "Weather Forecasts" were the British Admiralty charts with the little gale squares...

He had an engine as well -

It was 7 hp, and capable of pushing Joshua at all of 2 knots in a dead calm. It was not for clawing off lee shores.

So really - how many sailors are saved by thier powerful "reliable" diesels, and how many end up in deeper trouble because of the complacency they foster?

You did remember to use biocide, bleed the fuel lines, and kept that starting battery topped up, right?

The raw water intake is clear and the impeller is in good shape...and that water separator and vented loop - you stay on top of those yes?

Your tank has enough fuel in it that it wont suck air when you are knocked down 60 degrees in the hurricane, right?

Oops - you say the wind is 30 knots, you were just out for a daysail and forgot to check the forecast, your 200 yards off the beach, a lobster pot is wrapped around your prop, you dont have storm sails becuase you ordered self tailing winches instead, your roller furler jammed, and your bow anchor is a danforth copy undersized for a standup paddleboard, and besides, you never leave the cockpit at sea, because the foredeck is SCARY....

hmmmmmm.....

Can I have your selftailing winches from what's left of the wreckage after the tide goes out?

They're pretty. I can sell them on Craig's list and buy another anchor...

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Old 15-11-2011, 13:19   #2
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Re: OMG!!! CLAWING OFF A LEE SHORE IN A GALE!

Hogan,
What is the purpose of your post?

Alain
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Old 15-11-2011, 13:25   #3
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Re: OMG!!! CLAWING OFF A LEE SHORE IN A GALE!

+1 with Alain
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Old 15-11-2011, 13:27   #4
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pirate Re: OMG!!! CLAWING OFF A LEE SHORE IN A GALE!

ROFL....
like a blade....
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Old 15-11-2011, 13:31   #5
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Re: OMG!!! CLAWING OFF A LEE SHORE IN A GALE!

Give it up .stay at home .use a 747 to travel. problem solved
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Old 15-11-2011, 13:36   #6
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Re: OMG!!! CLAWING OFF A LEE SHORE IN A GALE!

The purpose?

To find out what percentage of sailors actually use thier engines to save thier boats in gales against lee shores.

Hard data would be nice, but I'll settle for anecdotal.

The style?

Humorous Satire (I hope) which is meant to both entertain and provoke thought regarding what constitues a reasonable level of power for an auxilliary engine aboard sailing craft, and the trade offs it involves in terms of cost, reliability and complexity.

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 Premise:

7 horsepower worked for Moitissier, O HP works for the Pardeys and others, and that mechanical propulsion is no substitute for good seamanship, preparation, and prudence.

If anyone on this forum can direct me to data regarding the above points, I'd appreciate it. I'd like to know the facts.

If this is missposted, I appologize, and a moderator may wish to move it to a more appropriate forum - but I figured "engines" was as good a place as any for it.

Thanks
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Old 15-11-2011, 13:42   #7
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Re: OMG!!! CLAWING OFF A LEE SHORE IN A GALE!

I wonder how well your Flicka 20 would actually tack going head into 40 knots with matching seas - storm sails or not. They aren't known for pointing too high in normal winds.
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Old 15-11-2011, 13:47   #8
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Re: OMG!!! CLAWING OFF A LEE SHORE IN A GALE!

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Old 15-11-2011, 13:48   #9
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Re: OMG!!! CLAWING OFF A LEE SHORE IN A GALE!

Different strokes for different folks, I guess, Hogan. I have read several of the Pardeys' books and while there is loads of great information there and they are well worth reading, I would not wish to cruise in the manner of their choosing. Not to say thay their way is wrong, it just isn't right for me (just as my way would not be right for them).

For what it is worth, we carry a storm job and a trisail on Insatiable and have trained with them to make sure we know how to set them, and used the storm jib a couple of times when the wind has been consistently over 45 knots (we chose to go with 3 reefs in the main rather than setting the trisail). The boat sails very well in these conditions with this set-up. We also carry a heavy anchor, plenty of chain and rode to suit. Nevertheless, we choose to have the additional security of a reasonable sized inboard auxiliary motor (29hp Volvo) with a decent enough prop (flexofold 3 blade) to push the boat against adverse wind, seas state and current.

Have we ever had to actually use the motor to claw off a lee shore? No, we haven't. But that doesn't mean that we won't have to one day. And in the meantime, that motor serves lots of other jobs as well, from charging the batteries to providing a "quick" way home if we have to be at work the next day and the breeze dies, to entering and leaving invoncenient marina berths. For us, not having a decent inboard diesel is not an option.

But, like I said before, different strokes. If you prefer a different path (and, perhaps, a path less trodden), more power to your arm!
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Old 15-11-2011, 13:54   #10
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Re: OMG!!! CLAWING OFF A LEE SHORE IN A GALE!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hogan View Post

My Premise:

7 horsepower worked for Moitissier, O HP works for the Pardeys and others, and that mechanical propulsion is no substitute for good seamanship, preparation, and prudence.

to be fair....Moitessier crashed and sank a few boats by the time he rounded the Horn. He paid for the lessons learned in seamanship.
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Old 15-11-2011, 13:58   #11
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Re: OMG!!! CLAWING OFF A LEE SHORE IN A GALE!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beersmith View Post
to be fair....Moitessier crashed and sank a few boats by the time he rounded the Horn. He paid for the lessons learned in seamanship.
And while they don't exactly emphasise it in their books, the Pardeys definitely aren't averse to asking for a tow into port / anchorage if their isn't much breeze...
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Old 15-11-2011, 13:59   #12
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Re: OMG!!! CLAWING OFF A LEE SHORE IN A GALE!

I guess it depends on the boat. Just the sound of surf gets me headed for the deep.
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Old 15-11-2011, 14:01   #13
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Re: OMG!!! CLAWING OFF A LEE SHORE IN A GALE!

I am between two minds if this is another gun or anchor type provocation, or a reasonable topic of conversation.
I will give Hogan the benefit of the doubt and say that I have never been caught in that situation.
I do know that my boat handles well under very short sail, even if 1/2 the ocean goes by the keel, and the other 1/2 comes over the rail. Old CCA design
I am aware that my fuel pick-up is not on the centreline of the tank, and will probably starve the engine on a starboard tack if I take too many rails down, and fuel is low.
Anchors I normally carry are probably not big enough, but I carry excessive rode both in length and diameter.
Not looking forward to that "quad erat demonstrandum".
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Old 15-11-2011, 14:09   #14
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Re: OMG!!! CLAWING OFF A LEE SHORE IN A GALE!

A motor that can produce forward progress in strong wind and/or wave conditions makes a significant contribution to the safety of the vessel and the crew.


Diesel engines are not foolproof , but they are reliable. More reliable than electric power , when high thrust is needed for a reasonable period of time.


I am sure we will see major improvements in electric propulsion in the future as the technology matures and battery technology improves, but in the circumstances you describe a diesel motor is safer.
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Old 15-11-2011, 14:10   #15
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Re: OMG!!! CLAWING OFF A LEE SHORE IN A GALE!

I have a C27 with a 4hp Suzuki OB. Definitely underpowered.

This past spring a buddy and were headed out of the marina into 25 knots of wind. He was at the tiller as I went up to ready the main. He let the bow fall off and we were blown very quickly toward the rocks. He upped the throttle, but we kept screaming toward that lee shore.

It was then I saw that the had the tiller pushed hard over...trying to "steer" away. I told him to straighten it and we literally clawed away from the rocks which were only 20' away or so.

Big lesson - never stall the rudder...and there's nothing wrong with power when you need it.
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