Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 12-07-2016, 04:25   #1
Bailing as fast as I can.
 
GILow's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 3,585
Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

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
__________________

__________________
Very funny Scotty, now beam down my clothes.
http://www.swansonsailor.id.au
GILow is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2016, 04:56   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Melbourne Australia
Boat: Paper Tiger 14 foot, Gemini 105MC 34 foot Catamaran Hull no 825
Posts: 1,616
Re: Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

Port Phillp Bay, Vic, today,
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Morington Peir this morning,.jpg
Views:	396
Size:	393.9 KB
ID:	127707  
__________________

__________________
Mr B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2016, 05:06   #3
Registered User
 
Snowpetrel's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Hobart
Boat: Alloy Peterson 40
Posts: 3,071
Re: Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

It really depends on were you are. But a good anchor (or two..) set in decent holding with a bit of shelter from any big waves should hold fine in this sort of stuff, even on a big boat like yours.

Sometimes you have to shift anchorages to have decent shelter as the wind shifts. But given decent forcasts you have time to find reasonable protection from a big system like this one.

Of course a good solid marina berth if availible can be a nice place to be, while it blows through. Otherwise you end up stuck aboard for a few days at anchor, as its wise to bring the dinghy aboard and ready the boat for sea just incase.
__________________
My Ramblings
Snowpetrel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2016, 09:17   #4
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Orleans
Boat: We have a problem... A serious addiction issue.
Posts: 3,940
Re: Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

If your anchor won't handle the loads then you need a bigger anchor.

The worst place to be is trying to enter somewhere in winds like that. Inside or at sea is fine, but you never want to try and dock in those conditions once they arrive. So the tactics depend on where you are and when you find out it's coming for you.

Personally I worry more about waves than wind speed. Reefing down is always an option so if the wind is coming from on shore I would just keep going. If the breeze is coming from offshore with big waves in the mix I would be more likely to duck for cover.
__________________
Greg

- If animals weren't meant to be eaten then they wouldn't be made of food.
Stumble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2016, 09:37   #5
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Long Beach, CA
Boat: Tayana Vancouver 42
Posts: 1,854
Re: Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

Quote:
Originally Posted by GILow View Post

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

Any or all of the above. With a good holding sub-straight, some shelter and good ground tackle anchoring can be great. Sometimes taking a slip (pen) is a more comfortable choice. Sometimes heading out for deeper water and sea room is your safest bet.

I've done all of these as the circumstances dictated. Don't be afraid to used your own discretion and seek shelter early. If you are caught in deteriorating conditions in a bay with no shelter get out to sea. Keep yourself, your crew and your boat safe and comfortable.


S/V B'Shert
__________________
Tayana42 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2016, 11:04   #6
Long Range Cruiser
 
MarkJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Australian living on "Sea Life" currently in England.
Boat: Beneteau 393 "Sea Life"
Posts: 12,828
Images: 25
Re: Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

Quote:
Originally Posted by GILow View Post
d 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.)



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
Oh, goody! I can answer this question because i jus done it! GET OFF THE FRICKIN WATER!

I just did a 2 day diversion (ie 220 miles) to get to a safe harbour when bad weather was forecast a few days forward.

I think , as you rightly point out, its dependant on what notice you are given. No notice, you do what you need to keep/get sea room and hove to. With time you have more options. But getting the boat into a nice safe anchorage or save marina is the best for lots of reasons:
Better for the boat, equipment
Better for crew moral
Safer for crew
Enforced stop in a place with tourism potential you would not have stopped in.

Btw, it must have been friggin cold in SA in the middle of winter in 50 knots!! I grew up in Glenelg...


Mark
__________________
Notes on a Circumnavigation.
OurLifeAtSea.com

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
MarkJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2016, 11:52   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 2,433
Re: Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

As has been said, get to a safe harbor. Going offshore is an option, but if it is your first time overnight in gale strength winds the fatigue factor will probably be overwhelming. Fatigue, sea-sickness and plain old fear lead to very dangerous decision making. If you say that your docklines snapped, but neighbors rescued the boat, then double or triple the dock lines and stay tied up. If a less than great anchorage is your only option, then make sure you dont anchor too shallow and put down your biggest and best hook and make sure the whole anchor system is good. There is no such thing as too big of an anchor once it is off of the bow. I used to carry a 90# Northhill as a storm hook. I never had to use it, but it stowed well and was cheep insurance. And remember, no boat is worth drowning for. _____Grant.
__________________
gjordan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2016, 15:29   #8
Bailing as fast as I can.
 
GILow's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 3,585
Re: Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr B View Post
Port Phillp Bay, Vic, today,
Hells Bells!
__________________
Very funny Scotty, now beam down my clothes.
http://www.swansonsailor.id.au
GILow is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2016, 15:46   #9
Bailing as fast as I can.
 
GILow's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 3,585
Re: Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

Hmmm... well thank you all. A good diverse range of opinions lends weight to the "it depends" answer I suppose.


At least there does not seem to be any hard and fast rule. I am inclined to head for a marina as MarkJ suggests, if safe to do so, given that we plan to be in no rush, but it is a good point made by Greg that it has to be safe to do so. I am assuming at this stage that, given we will be coastal cruising, we will have a pretty good forecast window with time to alter course and plans so that we would make landfall before the winds hit.


Maybe I need to find a way of testing our anchors in strong winds as soon as it is safe to do so. Our Sarca is a little small I suspect, but the stockless is well, well oversized. Plus I still have the very heavy old CQR ripoff, maybe that could be useful?


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
__________________
Very funny Scotty, now beam down my clothes.
http://www.swansonsailor.id.au
GILow is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2016, 15:46   #10
Registered User
 
Hydra's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Lorient, Brittany, France
Boat: Gib'Sea 302, 30' - Hydra
Posts: 1,229
Re: Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

Some marinas are known to be exposed to the swell in severe conditions. There are at least 2 in my area where I don't want to be in a gale. A good sheltered anchorage in a river is better than an exposed marina.

Alain
__________________
Hydra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2016, 15:57   #11
Bailing as fast as I can.
 
GILow's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 3,585
Re: Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hydra View Post
Some marinas are known to be exposed to the swell in severe conditions. There are at least 2 in my area where I don't want to be in a gale. A good sheltered anchorage in a river is better than an exposed marina.

Alain
Yeah, that is a good point, not least because we would not know which marinas had that problem in advance... I suppose local boat net gossip would be your friend in those circumstances.

I have one of only 10 pens at our club that are susceptible to wave conditions (not swell) and only in a very strong NW wind. But anyone looking at an aerial view would never think there could be a problem.
__________________
Very funny Scotty, now beam down my clothes.
http://www.swansonsailor.id.au
GILow is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2016, 16:16   #12
Senior Cruiser
 
44'cruisingcat's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 7,454
Images: 69
Re: Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hydra View Post
Some marinas are known to be exposed to the swell in severe conditions. There are at least 2 in my area where I don't want to be in a gale. A good sheltered anchorage in a river is better than an exposed marina.

Alain
+1! Coff's harbour is terrible in strong northerlies, much better to be anchored somewhere like Laurieton or even Port Macquarie.

In Aus there's usually lots of notice of really bad weather, we've always had plenty of time to go to a suitable anchorage.
__________________
"You CANNOT be serious!"


John McEnroe
44'cruisingcat is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2016, 16:39   #13
Registered User
 
El Pinguino's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Punta Arenas ahorra
Boat: 39' Westerly Sealord
Posts: 3,954
Re: Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

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/
El Pinguino is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2016, 17:01   #14
Senior Cruiser
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 11,455
Re: Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

Quote:
Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
+1! Coff's harbour is terrible in strong northerlies, much better to be anchored somewhere like Laurieton or even Port Macquarie.

In Aus there's usually lots of notice of really bad weather, we've always had plenty of time to go to a suitable anchorage.
Actually, I believe that Coffs was pretty well wrecked by the last NE storm a month or so ago... but it was teetering for years before that! Not a safe option IMO, and the anchorage in the harbour is pretty iffy. But it's only a daysail to the Clarence and Iluka is well protected...

And I agree: on the east coast of mainland Oz, you are never more than a day or so away from a decent anchorage, and the f/c are damn good at giving you more warning than that... at least for major system storms. Thunderstorms are a different matter, but are generally short lived.

Matt, you will gradually become used to anchoring in nasty wx. With good tackle and some forethought, the hazards are not overwhelming. Gaining the confidence to face the hazards without excess anxiety can only be achieved with experience. Accumulating that experience can be stressful... and I don't know how one can avoid that portion of the learning curve.

Jim
__________________
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II , lying Port Cygnet, Tasmania once again
Jim Cate is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2016, 17:36   #15
Bailing as fast as I can.
 
GILow's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 3,585
Re: Coastal cruising, strong winds and anchoring

Jim,

Gaining that experience is the interesting bit. I am increasingly tempted to go out in more and more adverse conditions here at home to test myself and the boat systems and to learn to manage under pressure. But against that is the thought that exposing myself and the boat to unneeded risk is a silly idea. Not to mention the risk to anyone who tries to save me if it all goes pear shaped.

Matt


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________

__________________
Very funny Scotty, now beam down my clothes.
http://www.swansonsailor.id.au
GILow is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
anchor, anchoring, cruising, wind

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What to do in Strong Winds sailinglebam Seamanship & Boat Handling 30 04-07-2016 05:58
Silentwind 'Reset' button after strong winds ? Zaria Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 1 16-12-2015 06:49
Your Coastal/Near Coastal Vessel - And Why You Chose It. Shibumik Monohull Sailboats 20 17-03-2013 18:40
Stern Anchoring/ Bluewater Coastal Cruiser mstrgs Anchoring & Mooring 7 06-06-2012 19:09
strong winds in bocas del toro? susan 238 Atlantic & the Caribbean 1 02-06-2012 00:36



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:50.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.