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Old 31-07-2012, 00:51   #31
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Re: Crossing a Harbour 'Bar'

And this link demonstrates that a sailing yacht can do surprisingly well at keeping her bow into breaking waves on a bar, although CLEARLY it's not something to make a practice of doing

I post this here to try to argue a point: As long as you have enough manoeuvrability to make a turn in the trough (which may require picking a wave it is safe to broach on, and using that to start the turn early), and provided you have enough urge from a reliable donkey, you may be better off aborting and going back out through what you've just endured coming in, than carrying on.

I say this for the case where what you see, having gone partway in, gives you any doubt about the location of the channel: often things look very different once you're approaching the crux than they did when you were standing off. Even from up on the spreaders it can be hard to decode where the channel is.

Channels can shift quickly in onshore or along-shore conditions.

The other problem is if the waves are not running square to the channel (which, if the channel has winding turns, is unavoidable)
In this event, you may find you're not able to steer a course to stay in the channel, because you'd be too far out of square with the waves, and hence risk broaching (and probably getting squirted out of the channel).

This is another situation where you need to be prepared to get the hell out, quick smart, lick your wounds and go somewhere else.

The problem is, at least in this part of the world, "somewhere else" (ie somewhere without a dangerous bar in the prevailing conditions) may be many hundreds of miles away, or more.

It's just another one of those 'tests of character' which, as adults, we are supposed to be able to pass.

Oh, and here's the promised link:
waikiki harbour sailboat - YouTube

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Old 31-07-2012, 02:18   #32
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Re: Crossing a Harbour 'Bar'

Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
While the practice of towing a drogue whilst bar crossing is often mentioned, I wonder if, for low powered sailboats, the loss of speed does not cause enough additional exposure to make things worse.

I agree. However I think a specialised drag device well worth consideration for such a vessel would be something like a SeaBrake, which is normally low-drag (looks like a pair of back-to-back nosecones) unless the speed gets over a certain set value, at which point it unfolds like a flower and creates a goodly retardation drag.

It knows how fast it is going because there is a springloaded trigger on the towing hook, which responds to drag, which varies with speed

I've never used one but people whose opinion I respect have spoken highly after trying one.

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Old 31-07-2012, 04:26   #33
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Originally Posted by Mick C

+1for that...I think the ferries and container ships would be the only ones out in that.
And on the pilot boat...beautiful boats locally built. If you are lucky enough to be just at the outer Queenscliff mark as the pilot comes out you can see the spectacular turning ability at speed when they gun the Motors around the mark. You need to ride that wake wave...!!!
They are an awesome machine,i was told the designers when inspected said its the best built example they have seen,also told $3,500,000

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