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Old 13-07-2016, 10:24   #31
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Re: Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

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Originally Posted by GILow View Post
Hi all,

The last few days in Adelaide have been blowing a bit. Enough for me to move the boat from her usual pen to a more sheltered pen for a few days, last time we had weather like this we broke a number of lines, and were it not for the quick actions of a neighbouring live-aboard yachtie I would still be making repairs.

Anyway, as I baby-sat the boat in the pen last night and listened to the wind whistling in the rigging, I started to wonder what I would do if I had seen the same forecast winds while coastal cruising as we should be doing in a few years.

Having the luxury of a nice pen to tie up in, the decision was easy, but what if we had been half way up the East Coast of Australia and had seen the same winds forecast a few days out? (35 - 40 knots, I was seeing the odd 50 + knots reading from the top of the mast at about 4 am.)

By some people's standards, I accept these are not very strong winds, but my gut feel is that anchoring a boat like ours in such conditions would be very difficult. We have high topsides and lots of "stuff" above deck to add to our wind profile. Also, the winds swung through an arc of around 135 degrees over about 12 hours, so finding a sheltered spot with cover across that range of angles seems unlikely. Such winds are clearly not uncommon here (twice here in the last month) so it seems I should have a strategy.

What do people usually do in such situations? Head for deeper water? Head for a yacht club and book a pen for a few nights? Find a bay that is likely to shelter you from the worst of the forecast wind angles?

Matt
For all its worth as a liveaboard on the hook in the waters off the coast of East Africa I advise you read up what you can about anchoring techniques, weather forecasts, gunkholing, piloting, navigating, emergency steategies, back up emergency strategies, but don't let your imaginatio , your fear stop you from goung out there and bevome a salty sailor. So many have and so many succeeeded, some abandoned others adipred the liveaboard life. If you don't try
yoy won't experience and know who you are, whst you sre capable of! Overall advise on livong on the hook get a Rocna anchor one suze larger than prescribed and make sure you know how to set up groundtackle. If you have a below 40 foot ship consider using a manual windlass to simplify your anchoring, making it more reliable as no energy needed other than your physical power.
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Old 13-07-2016, 11:14   #32
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Re: Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

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Originally Posted by GILow View Post

FWIW, I have been out in 45 plus knots in our boat a couple of times now, and my impression (I could be very wrong) is that it would be reasonably safe and not particularly tiring to stay out in those conditions and a bit more, provided we had sea room. The heavy old canoe stern hull is not fast but it is very forgiving and comfortable.


Matt
Your boat's ability to heave to, your skill in doing so, and the development of the sea state play big roles here, BUT in general, the sea won't muck up a good boat nearly as much as a rocky beaching will.

Fatigue plays a role, too.
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Old 13-07-2016, 16:34   #33
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Re: Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

We're also gearing up to go cruising next year and after much research and confusion bit the bullet and went with a Rocna 33, 80 mts 10 mm chain and 100 mts 16mm 3 strand nylon. Had to remove the roller and get it extended 100mm to fit. Checking Rocna specs at 42' and around 13t a 25 kg would be suitable. If you can fit a 33 kg on do it. No such thing as to big an anchor or to much chain. Above all avoid buying "cheap" chain. Pretty much whatever brand of modern anchor you decide on will be better than the cqr you currently have. They do work very well in soft mud but tend to break out of sand if things get a bit hairy. cheers
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Old 13-07-2016, 16:48   #34
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Re: Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

We've rarely seen over 25 in anchorages on the east coast. Where there is protection from the land, generally the wind strength in the anchorage is quite a bit less than it is out sailing. The proximity of land means there is little fetch, and usually you only have little wind waves to deal with, i.e., flat water.

When the highs come in on Australia's east coast, you may have a "surge" with them, a period of enhanced trade winds. The surge lasts usually less than one day. All the Anchorages with South through East protection will be tenable, and depending on your dinghy, shore access is possible. However, it may get wet! As you gain experience cruising, you decide what you prefer, and if you go off the beaten path, you must exercise a little caution, but there ARE anchorages not mentioned in guides. You learn to pick them off the chart, and also, learn from what you experience in them.

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Old 13-07-2016, 17:32   #35
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Re: Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

The only problem with the NSW coast is that most of the entrances have bars that you can only cross safely at high tide.
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Old 13-07-2016, 18:18   #36
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Re: Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

Some lessons we learned in a sustained 40-50kt blow in Laurieton in January, where our snubber hook bent and the sudden load tore the anchor winch out of its base: buy a very strong snubber fitting, use it with strong 3 strand nylon mooring rope tied to both midships cleats or further aft to give enough flex for shock loads in gusts, back up snubber with a heavy mooring line tied to chain with a camel hitch so that winch doesn't get a massive load if snubber fails, carry a spare snubber, get a really good anchor one size up from recommended if bow roller will handle it (our Rocna didn't move, although it is just the recommended size). If you have enough warning, get the genoa off the stay and stow it, take kite pole off mast and lash it to deck. Get a riding sail, they reduce the shock loads by stopping the boat sailing across the anchor arc.
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Old 13-07-2016, 18:26   #37
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Re: Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

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Stuff is normally well forecast on the east coast... however.....
I've been caught once off Gabo northbound and found myself living in 'interesting times' but that was some years ago... hopefully with good wx info from multiple sources these days you will see stuff coming.

Rule #1 If in doubt stay put.
Rule #2 Never second guess yourself and go into ' she'll be right' mode.
Rule #3 Refer rules 1 and 2.

The experience of one of the Pingmobile's sister ships here https://yachtcamomile.co.uk/2013/02/

We met Camomile while they were in NSW. Nice couple. When ex TC Oswald was heading down the coast with N/NE gales, they decided to head for Coffs to ride it out.

We strongly advised them to go to Camden Haven instead, but they went to Coffs. Made for some good video I guess.

Meanwhile we sat out Oswald in Fame cove, and didn't see much more than 10kts of wind.
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Old 13-07-2016, 20:52   #38
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Re: Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

Ann T Cate: "Another time, we were surprised by an 80 kn thunderstorm. We had taken down the headsail, and were at the 2nd reef on the main. The boat and the wind steering handled it okay, but would have been better to have the 3rd reef in."
-----
What brand/model windwane were you using in 60+ kt winds?
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Old 13-07-2016, 21:00   #39
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Re: Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

give North Haven Cruising Yacht Club a call
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Old 13-07-2016, 21:08   #40
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Re: Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

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Originally Posted by Formosa46AK View Post
Ann T Cate: "Another time, we were surprised by an 80 kn thunderstorm. We had taken down the headsail, and were at the 2nd reef on the main. The boat and the wind steering handled it okay, but would have been better to have the 3rd reef in."
-----
What brand/model windwane were you using in 60+ kt winds?
Answering for Ann:

It was a home designed and built auxiliary rudder vane, somewhat similar to the Autohelm device.

Jim
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Old 13-07-2016, 21:23   #41
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Re: Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

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We met Camomile while they were in NSW. Nice couple. When ex TC Oswald was heading down the coast with N/NE gales, they decided to head for Coffs to ride it out.

We strongly advised them to go to Camden Haven instead, but they went to Coffs. Made for some good video I guess.

Meanwhile we sat out Oswald in Fame cove, and didn't see much more than 10kts of wind.
If you read the link/blog/thingo you will see that they were heading for Camden Haven ... they didn't end up in Coffs by choice.
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Old 14-07-2016, 07:11   #42
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Re: Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

In not so simple terms, you anchor and trust it and those around you and go below and sleep, or you sit up all night at the wheel with the engine running in gear to take some of the load off while constantly watching other boats and fixed landmarks.

Normally we start with the later of the two until we become more comfortable.

Each time the wind is stronger than the last, we have to deal with the fear of that unknown but using the same basic tactics. Get through it, and the next one is easier. There is no better teacher than experience.
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Old 14-07-2016, 16:05   #43
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Re: Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

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If you read the link/blog/thingo you will see that they were heading for Camden Haven ... they didn't end up in Coffs by choice.
Yeah, actually I'm thinking of the wrong boat.
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Old 15-07-2016, 08:43   #44
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Re: Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

As other posters have said, mostly you get advanced notice of weather in Oz, and generally there is always places to hide.
Where I'm currently cruising we get voilent squalls, no way of predicting them. You set off in the morning and its fine, then in the afternoon you see this heavy black demon cloud heading your way, always from the NW. Mostly 30 knot winds but several are 40+ knoters. Well the guys that say thats no big deal are much tuffer than me. If I can run before or during one of them safely to shelter I do, but mostly I heave to. 4 am the other night, 50 nm from land I copped 45 knots, Im crawling along the leward deck (dont ask) which is litetally underwater to get to the main, I was double reefed but had to get it down.
So to answer your question, you plan in advance what you will do in various situations but ultimately you do what has to be done which isn't always what you planned. Cruising is great at teaching one to deal with what comes up.
240nm to go and I'm soooo done with this coastline.


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Old 18-07-2016, 07:57   #45
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Re: Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

I do appreciate the candour in your quesrion and scenario. It's an question not asked openly enough. Your scenario is one that we live with constantly oo/off the West Australian coast between Perth and Exmouth. In that 450 nm distance between Perth and Steep Point (Most W'ly point of mainland Australia) we have probably 5 anchorages that have protection from SW (excluding Abrolhos Is) Introduce a N'ly component and it's maybe 3. With longish passages (from coastal cruising perspdctive) we have found that two things have been a real advantage in managing winds to 40 knots. One is the flexibility of the rig : we have a staysail ketch and can alter the rig from full sail to reefed mizzen and staysail, both of which are self tacking. It allows well cut, strong sails with low centre of effort and the boat handles beautifully in any angle. These sails are immediately deployable and I've literally run forward and dropped the main and furled the jib in a minute leaving a strong weather suit set up. The other is a good engine and a heavy boat. We have been committed to go south against swell, slop and wind and with a low engine revolutions we can pinch at 30 degrees apparent while going as fast as the sea state allows. A few weeks ago that was about 12 hours at two knots. The choice would have been to head well offshore (already 25 nm off) and hove-to get a break. We found, in the absence of a decent anchorage, it's keep-going within the capability of the crew and the boat or have a break at sea. The latter is something we intend to practice more out from our home base.

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