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Old 05-10-2016, 21:06   #1
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Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

I would be interested to hear from those who have looked at heading out of reach of a hurricane by sailing out offshore to escape the path of a hurricane. As apposed to sitting out a hurricane on the hard or at the marina.

Looking at the cat 4 now bearing down on the east coast of the USA many thousands of boats are now sitting ducks waiting for the inevitable destruction to take place.

With today's weather tracking and forecasting we have seen this hurricane heading towards the east coast for the past few days. More than enough time to leave dock and push off eastwards well out of harms way.

Reading stories from the old days it was common for whole fishing fleets to cast off and head out to the oceans away from the direct path major storms. It is still done by the Navy if they have time to relocate ships out in the deep ocean and out of a pending major storms path.

So I am very curious why there hasn't been a mass evacuation of vessels out of the path of monster hurricane that is now about to hit landfall of the USA East Coast in the next 48 hours.
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Old 05-10-2016, 21:12   #2
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

One model show our buddy matt, turning north east then south east. There is no where, safe to run at 6 knots, when matt is running 8.7 knots and his course is up in the air. Better by far to tie up in the mangroves.

edit: plus there is another low 600 miles east of Matt. Plus the winds and seas are up for hundreds of miles off shore.
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Old 05-10-2016, 21:26   #3
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

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Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
One model show our buddy matt, turning north east then south east. There is no where, safe to run at 6 knots, when matt is running 8.7 knots and his course is up in the air. Better by far to tie up in the mangroves.

edit: plus there is another low 600 miles east of Matt. Plus the winds and seas are up for hundreds of miles off shore.
I understand. But we knew matt was coming in this general direction days ago. Long enough to get out of its way if you sailed directly east placing your vessel out of the matt's path. Of course it is too late now.
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Old 05-10-2016, 21:28   #4
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

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It is still done by the Navy if they have time to relocate ships out in the deep ocean and out of a pending major storms path.

So I am very curious why there hasn't been a mass evacuation of vessels out of the path of monster hurricane that is now about to hit landfall of the USA East Coast in the next 48 hours.
Umm... well, it could have something to do with the Navy having large steel engine driven ships, manned by large well trained professional crews, while we have small, largely plastic wind driven boats manned by (not very many) amateurs.

And too, the Navy's ships are directed by folks sitting ashore in air conditioned offices, ordering COs and their crews to sea, folks who are duty bound to obey orders from above.

Or perhaps you were joking, Walkabout!

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Old 05-10-2016, 21:36   #5
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

I think that was the plan implemented by the replica ship Bounty. It didn't work out well.
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Old 05-10-2016, 21:39   #6
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

To go to sea to dodge a hurricane in a sailboat just doesn't make sense. First, you can't outrun it. They typically have a forward motion of 10 knots or more. The typical cruising, and even racing sailboat can't maintain that or a greater speed consistently for the week or more you'd need to stay ahead of the storm.

If you guess right, you can sail out of way of the storm with a couple of days warning. Get a large storm that doesn't closely follow the predicted track and you'd need four or more days warning to sail far enough away to escape its effects. Guess wrong and you are a statistic.

A hurricane just isn't something to screw around with. Surviving one at sea is largely a matter of luck not quality of boat or skill of the crew. The storms that hit the Sidney-Hobart and the Fastnet races were just that, storms. They didn't have the wind velocity or the wave height that a hurricane can generate. A hurricane is a storm of unbelievably greater magnitude especially if it's stronger than those puny 'banana typhoons' as the residents of Guam call a cat I hurricane. A storm that can partially rip the flight deck off an aircraft carrier or sink a 600' long ship is something not to be avoided encountered at sea if at all possible. Way better having the boat tied up tightly in a hurricane hole and you ashore.
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Old 05-10-2016, 21:40   #7
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Umm... well, it could have something to do with the Navy having large steel engine driven ships, manned by large well trained professional crews, while we have small, largely plastic wind driven boats manned by (not very many) amateurs.

And too, the Navy's ships are directed by folks sitting ashore in air conditioned offices, ordering COs and their crews to sea, folks who are duty bound to obey orders from above.

Or perhaps you were joking, Walkabout!

Jim
Me joking, Jim. Where would you get such an idea from?

But Navy strategies aside. I have know whole fishing fleets taking to the ocean to get out of the path of a serious weather event. A good sail boat with strong engines could motor at 9K and make up some distance offshore over 4 to 5 days.
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Old 05-10-2016, 21:44   #8
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

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To go to sea to dodge a hurricane in a sailboat just doesn't make sense. First, you can't outrun it. They typically have a forward motion of 10 knots or more. The typical cruising, and even racing sailboat can't maintain that or a greater speed consistently for the week or more you'd need to stay ahead of the storm.

If you guess right, you can sail out of way of the storm with a couple of days warning. Get a large storm that doesn't closely follow the predicted track and you'd need four or more days warning to sail far enough away to escape its effects. Guess wrong and you are a statistic.

A hurricane just isn't something to screw around with. Surviving one is largely a matter of luck not quality of boat or skill of the crew. The storms that hit the Sidney-Hobart and the Fastnet races were just that, storms. They didn't have the wind velocity or the wave height that a hurricane can generate. A hurricane is a storm of unbelievably greater magnitude especially if it's stronger than those puny 'banana typhoons' as the residents of Guam call a cat I hurricane. A storm that can partially rip the flight deck off an aircraft carrier or sink a 600' long ship is something to be avoided if at all possible. If not, having the boat tied up tightly in a hurricane hole and you ashore is the only way.
I agree. But this hurricane track was predicted 4 to 5 days ago. Also not thinking of outrunning it by going north. Rather going straight east to get out of its path including its outer bands.

At 11 p.m. EDT (0300 GMT), Matthew was centered about 125 miles (205 kilometers) south-southeast of Nassau in the central Bahamas. It was heading northwest at 10 mph (17 kph).

Hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 45 miles (75 kilometers) from the center, meaning Matthew could wreak havoc along the East Coast even if it did not actually come ashore.

45 miles for the hurricane and then add double this for storm effect you still had enough time in most vessels with decent motors to get out of harms way. Especially if you left a few days ago.
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Old 05-10-2016, 21:46   #9
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

There are some boats that could reasonably run from a storm, but they are rare. Figure a normal hurricane travels at 8-12kn, so to safely run from a storm youneed to be able to do at least twice that. So at a minimum you need a boat capable of averaging 18kn. That's means a boat capable of reeling off 400nm days. Sure I can think of some boats capable of that, but they generally are known by their names...

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Maybe but I doubt the Gunboat 66

Pushing a cruising boat this hard with an experienced race crew is hard unless the boat is close to 100' for a monohull, 70' for a cat, and 60' for trimaran. If you are one of the owners of a boat in this class, feel free to let me know I would love to come sail with you. But otherwise find a safe place to hunker down and ride it out.
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Old 05-10-2016, 21:46   #10
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

Give it a go and report back if you survive.
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Old 05-10-2016, 21:49   #11
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

Nothing would keep me tied to hard if I knew well in advance coming of a hurricane. Get a couple of hundred Nm away from the predicted path.
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Old 05-10-2016, 21:51   #12
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

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I agree. But this hurricane track was predicted 4 to 5 days ago. Also not thinking of outrunning it by going north. Rather going straight east to get out of its path including its outer bands.
Hurricanes can be 1,000nm wide, even assuming you start at the center that means you need to make at least 500nm/4days to get out of the hurricane strength winds. That's a day rate of 125nm or 5.2nm/hr for most cruisers that I see just barely possible in good conditions, but you better be praying that the storm doesnt take even a slight turn towards you, or you are now getting sucked into the middle of a hurricane.
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Old 05-10-2016, 21:53   #13
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

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Rather going straight east to get out of its path including its outer bands.
Some models show Matthew doing 360, first turning east, then south/west and hitting Florida/SC again...
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Old 05-10-2016, 21:56   #14
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

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There are some boats that could reasonably run from a storm, but they are rare. Figure a normal hurricane travels at 8-12kn, so to safely run from a storm youneed to be able to do at least twice that. So at a minimum you need a boat capable of averaging 18kn. That's means a boat capable of reeling off 400nm days. Sure I can think of some boats capable of that, but they generally are known by their names....
That's true only if you get caught by the storm pants down. This has been known since it was closing the ABC's so plenty of time whatever speed even 3kn would have been enough.
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Old 05-10-2016, 22:02   #15
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Re: Escaping a Huricane by heading out to ocean

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I think that was the plan implemented by the replica pseudo ship Bounty. It didn't work out well.

Corrected your minor error.... The bounty had more leaks then a colander after the 'refit.'

here are some sources to a very sad story: https://www.outsideonline.com/191363...ld-have-sailed
Life and Death on the Bounty

The actual USCG report: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg545/docs/bountyfinal.pdf
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