Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 04-09-2012, 08:06   #76
Registered User
 
mbianka's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,125
Images: 1
Re: Drogue vs. sea anchor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
But there's also "red sky a night, sailor's delight" -- you should see the gorgeous sunset we had here the night before Debby came in and caused 17 kinds of chaos.
Oh yeah. Those sky's can be very beautiful before the storm:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: EARL: RED SKYS AT NIGHT SAILORS DELIGHT?
Nice to have NOAA as a reality check and be in cell range to check the radar etc...
__________________

__________________
Capt. Mike
mbianka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2012, 08:12   #77
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Drogue vs. Sea Anchor

Quote:
Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Raku,

You've been given some absolutely great advice by evans star zinger (and beth leonard). This is a couple who have more bluewater and storm experience than virtually everyone else on this forum - combined.

I have a huge amount of respect for their opinions. Beth Leonards book "A voyagers handbook" is about as definitive a work on bluewater cruising as you can find. Best you buy and read it (more than once). If Beth doesn't discuss it - you don't need to know it.

On storm tactics the best book I have managed to find is Peter Bruces "Heavy weather sailing". This is another book that should be on your shelf and just as Beth's it should be well-thumbed through. If Peter doesn't discuss it in his (regarding heavy weather) you also don't need to know it.

I don't claim to be in their league, not by a far shot (they have forgotten much more about sailing than I will ever learn or know). But I am a Yachtmaster Ocean and I do make my living writing about sailing and how-to sail.

I have a huge file on my computer full of "cut and pasted" posts from this thread.

But I am balancing it all against the characteristics of my boat.

What might be right for my friend's 28.5 Cape Dory might not be right for my boat, just as an example.
__________________

__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2012, 08:12   #78
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,743
Re: Drogue vs. sea anchor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
But there's also "red sky a night, sailor's delight" -- you should see the gorgeous sunset we had here the night before Debby came in and caused 17 kinds of chaos.
Not exactly to your point, I know, but Debby was tracked all the way from the Cape Verdes Islands off West Africa, weeks before arriving in Fl . . .

I think the point is that there is no reason for coastal sailors to be caught in dangerous sea states. I think you don't really understand the difference between major storms at sea which last for days and create dangerous sea states, and sudden storms which might be described by TV weather men as "huge storms", but which are not, in nautical terms. The tactics you are learning about -- and again, I don't think there's anything wrong at all with learning new skills, especially when they're related to safety -- are used by sailors who are in the middle of an ocean weeks away from any kind of shelter and cannot know for sure that a major storm will not cross their path. There is just no way a really dangerous sea state can occur in deep water away from currents (wind against current) within a matter of a few hours, so as a rule, coastal sailors doing day sails and the occasional overnighter just don't encounter them, unless they have simply not watched the weather at all.

I have cruised two or three weeks a year around SW Florida and the Keys for the last 15 years, and I have had my butt kicked a few times in those sudden, violent thunderstorms which are characteristic of that part of the Gulf. But the sea state resulting from those storms is child's play. Really serious weather, dangerous to a reasonably seaworthy sailboat, where you would really need drogues or some other extreme measures, really only occurs there as a result of rotating tropical storms, which no one can fail to be warned about in time not to go out sailing.

I have also sailed thousands of miles in the English Channel, which is a much more difficult bit of water. This is basically coastal sailing, but often out of sight of land, and with some 100 mile passages back and forth across to France. This area is roughly where the Gulf Stream terminates, where it curves around to Europe, and all the stormy weather of the North Atlantic comes riding in like a train. In periods of stormy weather, the swell builds up over a fetch of thousands of miles and can reach 10 - 15 meters in height. The Channel is not all that deep -- mostly around 60 meters -- and so that swell coming in off the North Atlantic is magnified when it gets to us. I am one of those idiots who go out in almost any weather, and I have been in quite a few storms, but even in the English Channel, a full gale is fairly rare, and is never unforecasted. I have sailed in storms with sustained winds in the mid-40's, and gusts in the 50's -- something you just never see in SW Florida for more than a few hours, outside of a rotating tropical storm -- and downwind, running off, that's just sailing. The swell builds up to 25 or 30 feet -- it looks impressive, towering over you, but you just sail on it -- no tactics required if your boat is reasonably seaworthy, other than attentive and active helming. You get up to 12 or 13 knots, and that reduces the apparent wind speed by two forces -- to a small gale -- no big deal. I have never even had to heave to, much less trail warps (my safety valve), as a result of weather. In the rare occasions when the sea state is truly dangerous, you just don't go out.

I did decide this year to make a Jordan series drogue, but only because I was planning a trip to Iceland, across some particularly vicious water at the high latitudes, and far enough away from land that I might not be able to avoid getting caught in a real storm. The drogue is probably overkill even for that. Certainly it's not needed for coastal sailing.
__________________
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2012, 08:18   #79
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 147
Re: Drogue vs. Sea Anchor

Rakuflames
I have lived (and worked as a professional captain) on both the east and west coasts of Fla. I have experienced the worst of both the Gulf Stream and the shallow waters off the west coast.
With the weather forecasting today, no one should be caught out there unawares. If it's summer, you are going to get some extremely violent and dangerous t-storms on either coast. With the shallow water extending so far offshore on the west coast, you can certainly get some disproportionally large waves when the t-storms roll through. But you will not have enough sea room to deploy a drogue or sea anchor if you are caught out day sailing in one of these storms. I would suggest you practise your seamanship and boat handling skills so that you can enter any one of the passes on the west coast in all but the most violent weather, which you should not allow yourself to be caught out in, anyway. Prudence is a skill best learned before you allow yourself to be caught in a dangerous situation that you could have avoided.
As for deploying a sea anchor or drogue in the Gulf Stream, you might really want to rethink that one. Do not, under ANY circumstances allow yourself to be caught in the Gulf Stream in a northerly, period! Do not let it happen. Been there, done THAT; it really is not a whole lot of fun!
Good luck to you.
__________________
capta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2012, 08:31   #80
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Drogue vs. Sea Anchor

"
I think the point is that there is no reason for coastal sailors to be caught in dangerous sea states. I think you don't really understand the difference between major storms at sea which last for days and create dangerous sea states, and sudden storms which might be described by TV weather men as "huge storms", but which are not,"

And I know that you are quite mistaken about that. I don't mean to be rude, but why assume a person doesn't know something? We all watched Debby for days. No one here went out sailing with Debby breathing down on us.

If you've paid attention to hurricanes (and I always have, even living in Missouri, because of growing up in south Florida) -- one of the hardest things for the forecasters is to predict what category the storm will be.

And as we just saw with Isaac, the Cat level doesn't always mean that much. Isaac could have stayed technically a TS and still have done the tremendous flooding that it brought. People who thought Debby was a "minor" TS ignored their boats at their peril.

Did I go out as Isaac approached? Yes -- to help move a boat to a more secure mooring. Had to be done. We did it plenty early, but Isaac was so spread out that a line of squalls could have caught us. It was a gamble.

Hurricane Andrew is a classic example. Andrew was affected by wind shear for some days and it appeared that it would not become a major storm. But a shift in the major influences on it allowed it to RAPIDLY increase, and within a day or so it had gone from either tropical wave or TS (I forget which) to a Cat 4. Then it slammed into the Bahamas.

Anyone in the Bahamas who discounted Andrew was suddenly in great peril.

The directional forecasts can also be misleading. In 2004 when Charley came through, all the forecasters showed it making a beeline up to Tampa Bay. Smart people boarded up and fled; it was like a buzz saw bearing down on a large, closed body of water.

But smart people *also* paid attention to the cone of concern. Punta Gorda WAS in that "cone of concern," but most people in Punta Gorda focused on that center line and were thinking "Phew -- thank goodness we're not in Tampa!"

Then Charley turned to the southern extreme of that cone of concern -- after hurricane shelters here were packed to the gills and doors shut -- and mowed down Punta Gorda. It's amazing the death toll wasn't higher; there are lots of mobile home communities in that area.

From MY viewpoint I would say you were being naive to think a Jordan is overkill in the waters you're planning to sail. For me, the storm my neighbor was in might be the perfect place to use a sea anchor, which might help keep one off the shore. But you would have to know the waters there, because in some places the shallow water extends pretty far out. You don't want anything that will keep you from moving to deep water if you need to. A drogue forces you to sail downwind, and if downwind is southeast, it's probably taking you toward a lee shore.

Not all my sailing is "coastal sailing." You can't hug the coast going from Marathon to Naples, and the fastest route to the Keys and the Tortugas is across open water -- open water that gets very churned up in a storm.

So I think you're making some assumptions. I know about one you've made (i mean, do you really think I would go out in a hurricane, or not know it was there???) Apparently you also now think I would throw out a drogue or a sea anchor if it was raining and 20k wind.

I'm left scratching my head as to why you think just having a Jordan, given where you're going to sail, is overkill.

I think some things get "lost in translation" online, but often it's because people read inbetween the lines and draw conclusions that the poster didn't state and that aren't accurate.

In face to face conversation, facial expression and body language would reveal these "gaps" immediately. Not online.

I completely disagree with you about a drogue never being appropriate for "coastal" sailing. I think my neighbor would have welcomed one that day. Whatever his speed was, it was way too fast, and I think most people know that surfing in truly high waves is dangerous.

Maybe I would put it out before you would, but I'll tell you this -- I have a good sharp knife, and if my only option to keep the boat safe -- say a wind shift started driving me toward shore with a drogue out -- if I couldn't get it in, I would have no problem cutting the line.

I sail my boat with my experience. What is right for you on your boat probably isn't right for me. I would trust you completely on your boat and would not be hysterically screaming what I thought you should do, but on my boat I have to make my calls.
__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2012, 08:34   #81
Pusher of String
 
foolishsailor's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: On the hard; Trinidad
Boat: Trisbal 42, Aluminum Cutter Rigged Sloop
Posts: 2,314
Images: 19
Re: Drogue vs. Sea Anchor

Something to note when discussing tactics for bad weather in coastal versus deep water situations is, as discussed previously, the wave state versus the strength of the wind.

Waves are created as a function of Wind Speed, Duration, and Fetch.

In short sharp storms like a viscious thunderstorm squall where winds may even get up to 60+ in the gusts, even if you are stuck in it for four hours it will not cause wave conditions that would warrant the use of a drag device. It will cause uncomfortable chop even as high as 2 meters and can cause serious situations for those unprepared.

However the solution to dealing with this type of weather is basic seamenship and sail handling versus relying on a drag device.

That said, if you are far enough from shore and shipping lanes it would be a good opportunity to practice with certain types of devices rembering that you can be effectively immobilized when using differnt drag devices and the retrieval time for an inexperienced crew can be long. It has happened more than once where a crew was training with a drag device and ended up running a prop over lines in the water...
__________________
"So, rather than appear foolish afterward, I renounce seeming clever now."
William of Baskerville

"You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm."
Sidonie Gabrielle Colette
foolishsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2012, 08:40   #82
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,743
Re: Drogue vs. Sea Anchor

Quote:
Originally Posted by foolishsailor View Post
Something to note when discussing tactics for bad weather in coastal versus deep water situations is, as discussed previously, the wave state versus the strength of the wind.

Waves are created as a function of Wind Speed, Duration, and Fetch.

In short sharp storms like a viscious thunderstorm squall where winds may even get up to 60+ in the gusts, even if you are stuck in it for four hours it will not cause wave conditions that would warrant the use of a drag device. It will cause uncomfortable chop even as high as 2 meters and can cause serious situations for those unprepared.

However the solution to dealing with this type of weather is basic seamenship and sail handling versus relying on a drag device.

That said, if you are far enough from shore and shipping lanes it would be a good opportunity to practice with certain types of devices rembering that you can be effectively immobilized when using differnt drag devices and the retrieval time for an inexperienced crew can be long. It has happened more than once where a crew was training with a drag device and ended up running a prop over lines in the water...
Exactly. Said better and more concisely than I was able to.
__________________
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2012, 08:47   #83
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Drogue vs. Sea Anchor

Quote:
Originally Posted by capta View Post
Rakuflames
I have lived (and worked as a professional captain) on both the east and west coasts of Fla. I have experienced the worst of both the Gulf Stream and the shallow waters off the west coast.
With the weather forecasting today, no one should be caught out there unawares. If it's summer, you are going to get some extremely violent and dangerous t-storms on either coast. With the shallow water extending so far offshore on the west coast, you can certainly get some disproportionally large waves when the t-storms roll through. But you will not have enough sea room to deploy a drogue or sea anchor if you are caught out day sailing in one of these storms. I would suggest you practise your seamanship and boat handling skills so that you can enter any one of the passes on the west coast in all but the most violent weather, which you should not allow yourself to be caught out in, anyway. Prudence is a skill best learned before you allow yourself to be caught in a dangerous situation that you could have avoided.
As for deploying a sea anchor or drogue in the Gulf Stream, you might really want to rethink that one. Do not, under ANY circumstances allow yourself to be caught in the Gulf Stream in a northerly, period! Do not let it happen. Been there, done THAT; it really is not a whole lot of fun!
Good luck to you.

Sigh... I am not talking about short-lived storms. I've been as clear as I possibly can be, and yes I know not to get caught in a northerly in the Gulf Stream.

That's why sensible sailors look at the weather before leaving port.

And, I NEVER suggested deploying either a drogue or a sea anchor in the Gulf Stream. Gracious -- the GS? Crikey -- I wonder how far north off-course you'd go???

I'm sorry, but it is just plain NAIVE to believe that the weather forecasting can save you from a big storm in Florida.Sometimes they take on a life of their own. The best they can give you here unless some major weather element is in play (and for the fifth time, yes, I watch the weather forecasts) -- is a percentage.

Today it's 20%. Does that mean I shouldn't go out? No. Does it mean any storms are likely to be short-lived? In the face of no significant weather elements in play, yes -- but it's not guaranteed.

Should I not go out if the weather forecast is 40%? More likelihood and also more chance of it becoming more severe, because storms here can join up and multiply.

Should I only do day sailing? That's what is required if you're determined to never encounter a weather pattern that will increase either the liklihood or the intensity of storms.

I'm not willing to be that cautious. Life is too short for that. You'd never sail here with that kind of thinking.

And excuse me, but "practicing my seamanship" includes looking at ALL options in bad circumstances. If I just go out in weather I'm familiar with, I'll have a nice sail but learn little.

I just can't imagine where you got the idea that I would put a drogue or a sea anchor out in the Gulf Stream. Or, for that matter, why you think I would wait for a northerly to go out there. I only mentioned the Gulf Stream in passing. My boat COULD go to the Bahamas safely, paying attention to the weather... Bimini really isn't that far, and then it's just island hopping. I would NOT go to Venezuela in this boat. See the difference now?

But I wouldn't attempt to cross the Gulf Stream with weather from the north moving in. That would put a very bad situation to my beam.

I get these things. Really.
__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2012, 08:57   #84
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Drogue vs. Sea Anchor

Quote:
Originally Posted by foolishsailor View Post
Something to note when discussing tactics for bad weather in coastal versus deep water situations is, as discussed previously, the wave state versus the strength of the wind.

Waves are created as a function of Wind Speed, Duration, and Fetch.

In short sharp storms like a viscious thunderstorm squall where winds may even get up to 60+ in the gusts, even if you are stuck in it for four hours it will not cause wave conditions that would warrant the use of a drag device. It will cause uncomfortable chop even as high as 2 meters and can cause serious situations for those unprepared.

However the solution to dealing with this type of weather is basic seamenship and sail handling versus relying on a drag device.

That said, if you are far enough from shore and shipping lanes it would be a good opportunity to practice with certain types of devices rembering that you can be effectively immobilized when using differnt drag devices and the retrieval time for an inexperienced crew can be long. It has happened more than once where a crew was training with a drag device and ended up running a prop over lines in the water...

Oh, I'll practice with it before things are that extreme, and I'm aware that a prop can go over the line. But my boat has a great feature that can prevent that. I have taken my anchor up more than once this way.

You run the rode to the block behind the headsail winch. Then you drive up, slowly, on it. With a person on the bow to take up the slack it's easier, but by myself I can just pull it into the cockpit. I use the very supple 12-plait. While it's more likely to chafe, it's also much easier to handle, especialy when single-handing. If you need the winch to help you out, you've got it. If you need to temporarily snub it to a cleat, you've got it, and you've got complete control over your steering and forward speed.

If you pay attention and not keep it slack, there's now way you're going to drive over the rode.

The advantage of that rear block is that it angles the line properly on the winch so you don't get overrides.

Something that's been ignored here, that it isn't the wind -- it's the water. The storm dies down, but in 4 - 5 hours, the water has really gotten riled up, and that water energy needs time to dissipate after the storm collapses. Maybe your only crew member is really seasick. Maybe YOU'RE seasick, or maybe someone has sprained an ankle (or worse) and is incapacitated.

Maybe it's worth the minor inconvenience of having to retrieve that sea anchor to settle the boat down, especially a tender boat.

Those are all "maybe's" not to be sarcastic but because all of this really is a judgment call. I don't need to be 50 miles from shore and have a crew member so seasick that she is becoming dangerously dehydrated.

This has all been very productive for me, because it's all brain-storming. I need to do all the thinking I can about this ahead of time, before I'm in the position of considering using either of these tools.
__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2012, 08:58   #85
Registered User
 
jeanathon's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: WNC mountains U.S.
Boat: 1968 Hinterhoel Redwing
Posts: 513
Guys and gals before you throw up your hands in exasperation know this. The more raku argues with you very experienced sailors both in her area and not. The more I am learning. Thanks.
__________________
Let's ban together to ban sillycone....
jeanathon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2012, 08:59   #86
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,743
Re: Drogue vs. Sea Anchor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
"
I think the point is that there is no reason for coastal sailors to be caught in dangerous sea states. I think you don't really understand the difference between major storms at sea which last for days and create dangerous sea states, and sudden storms which might be described by TV weather men as "huge storms", but which are not,"

And I know that you are quite mistaken about that. I don't mean to be rude, but why assume a person doesn't know something? We all watched Debby for days. No one here went out sailing with Debby breathing down on us.

If you've paid attention to hurricanes (and I always have, even living in Missouri, because of growing up in south Florida) -- one of the hardest things for the forecasters is to predict what category the storm will be.

And as we just saw with Isaac, the Cat level doesn't always mean that much. Isaac could have stayed technically a TS and still have done the tremendous flooding that it brought. People who thought Debby was a "minor" TS ignored their boats at their peril.

Did I go out as Isaac approached? Yes -- to help move a boat to a more secure mooring. Had to be done. We did it plenty early, but Isaac was so spread out that a line of squalls could have caught us. It was a gamble.

Hurricane Andrew is a classic example. Andrew was affected by wind shear for some days and it appeared that it would not become a major storm. But a shift in the major influences on it allowed it to RAPIDLY increase, and within a day or so it had gone from either tropical wave or TS (I forget which) to a Cat 4. Then it slammed into the Bahamas.

Anyone in the Bahamas who discounted Andrew was suddenly in great peril.

The directional forecasts can also be misleading. In 2004 when Charley came through, all the forecasters showed it making a beeline up to Tampa Bay. Smart people boarded up and fled; it was like a buzz saw bearing down on a large, closed body of water.

But smart people *also* paid attention to the cone of concern. Punta Gorda WAS in that "cone of concern," but most people in Punta Gorda focused on that center line and were thinking "Phew -- thank goodness we're not in Tampa!"

Then Charley turned to the southern extreme of that cone of concern -- after hurricane shelters here were packed to the gills and doors shut -- and mowed down Punta Gorda. It's amazing the death toll wasn't higher; there are lots of mobile home communities in that area.

From MY viewpoint I would say you were being naive to think a Jordan is overkill in the waters you're planning to sail. For me, the storm my neighbor was in might be the perfect place to use a sea anchor, which might help keep one off the shore. But you would have to know the waters there, because in some places the shallow water extends pretty far out. You don't want anything that will keep you from moving to deep water if you need to. A drogue forces you to sail downwind, and if downwind is southeast, it's probably taking you toward a lee shore.

Not all my sailing is "coastal sailing." You can't hug the coast going from Marathon to Naples, and the fastest route to the Keys and the Tortugas is across open water -- open water that gets very churned up in a storm.

So I think you're making some assumptions. I know about one you've made (i mean, do you really think I would go out in a hurricane, or not know it was there???) Apparently you also now think I would throw out a drogue or a sea anchor if it was raining and 20k wind.

I'm left scratching my head as to why you think just having a Jordan, given where you're going to sail, is overkill.

I think some things get "lost in translation" online, but often it's because people read inbetween the lines and draw conclusions that the poster didn't state and that aren't accurate.

In face to face conversation, facial expression and body language would reveal these "gaps" immediately. Not online.

I completely disagree with you about a drogue never being appropriate for "coastal" sailing. I think my neighbor would have welcomed one that day. Whatever his speed was, it was way too fast, and I think most people know that surfing in truly high waves is dangerous.

Maybe I would put it out before you would, but I'll tell you this -- I have a good sharp knife, and if my only option to keep the boat safe -- say a wind shift started driving me toward shore with a drogue out -- if I couldn't get it in, I would have no problem cutting the line.

I sail my boat with my experience. What is right for you on your boat probably isn't right for me. I would trust you completely on your boat and would not be hysterically screaming what I thought you should do, but on my boat I have to make my calls.
No one is questioning your right and, indeed responsibility to decide what to do on your own boat. Only you can choose the tools and the tactics. We're all just trying to help, and it's up to you to choose which advice to follow.

Just a couple of points, in the hope that they will be helpful:

Coastal sailing is anywhere within a day of a port. Sailing to the Tortugas is a coastal sail. It's what I do, and it's what you do. It's a very different job from real ocean sailing, because when you're coastal sailing, you know (or ought to know) what conditions you are going to get, plus or minus the odd squall or t-storm. There is just no excuse at all for sailing out of a safe port into a storm which requires you to lie to sea anchor while waiting for conditions to improve enough so you can get back in.

Erstarzinger has given great advice and explanations, which I am going to print out and keep on board. But he's really not talking about the conditions we encounter doing coastal sailing -- and I'm sure he would agree that the tactics are not entirely applicable. He is teaching us what to do in the open ocean, in high latitudes, in the North Atlantic, in the Southern Ocean, in the places we sail in so far only in our dreams, places which are very, very different from where we sail. It's important to understand the difference, and not misapply the lessons, or the tactics.

Capta and Foolish Sailor have told you that being aware of the weather and knowing how to handle your boat are what is really important, for the kind of sailing you do. This is good advice.

As to types of storms at sea and sea states -- I'm not the person to teach you, as I'm no real expert myself, and anyway don't have time or patience for it. I can tell you objectively, however, that you have some basic misunderstandings, and it would benefit you a lot to learn more about weather. Understanding weather is really important in our sport, and almost none of us knows enough. The very first book my sailor father gave me when I was learning to sail was a book on weather. Before anything on sail trim, navigation, or anything else. One book is not nearly enough, unfortunately.
__________________
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2012, 09:04   #87
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Drogue vs. Sea Anchor

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeanathon View Post
Guys and gals before you throw up your hands in exasperation know this. The more raku argues with you very experienced sailors both in her area and not. The more I am learning. Thanks.

Me too, Jean! And I don't view it as arguing. It's an animated discussion, animated because we are all so enthusiastic about what we do.

i was just thinking about this. *Surely* all these experienced sailors don't think I would read what they say and not think about it? SURELY they don't think I would just blindly do what they say, when they are of necessity talking in generalities. They would certainly make their own judgment calls, considering and reconsidering constantly. No one here, for instance is advocating what I read yesterday and reported her -- "Put the (drogue or sea anchor) out and then go below."

Believe it or not, I just read that again -- on a Coast Guard site!!

The only place I have gotten truly frustrated was when someone got quite sarcastic with me. I welcome comments and constructive criticism (unless based on unwarranted assumptions, but that's at least understandable online) -- but there's no need to get snide or insulting. But that was just one person in (pardon the pun) a sea of people with lots and lots of knowledge and experience.

It's sailing. Every "answer" brings up another question when circumstances are trying.
__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2012, 09:08   #88
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,374
Re: Drogue vs. Sea Anchor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Exactly. Said better and more concisely than I was able to.
+2

I've only been sailing FL since 1974 from Clearwater to Jacksonville and more than a few trips across the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas. Boats including 25' power boat, 36' cabin cruiser, sailboats 32' 36' 42' 58'.

In my experience the odds of being caught in a serious storm with large waves requiring deployment of sea anchors, drogues, etc due just to the wind and wave conditions is so small as to be negligible. Assuming of course that one is checking the weather carefully as discussed.

I have seen plenty of big nasty thunderstorms and some popped up pretty quckly but none that weren't to some degree expected based on weather conditions and forecasts. They are also visible from miles away as they build, even at night so you usually have some ability to dodge if you need.

On the other hand, I can see the possibility of needing to deploy something due to damage to rig or steering.

Raku, have you considcered that you might be overthinking this just a bit?
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2012, 09:11   #89
Registered User
 
ReMetau's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Marathon, FL
Boat: Hans Christian 33
Posts: 648
Re: Drogue vs. Sea Anchor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post

As to types of storms at sea and sea states -- I'm not the person to teach you, as I'm no real expert myself, and anyway don't have time or patience for it. I can tell you objectively, however, that you have some basic misunderstandings, and it would benefit you a lot to learn more about weather. Understanding weather is really important in our sport, and almost none of us knows enough. The very first book my sailor father gave me when I was learning to sail was a book on weather. Before anything on sail trim, navigation, or anything else. One book is not nearly enough, unfortunately.
The US Power Squadron offers (at least they used to) an excellent course on what is basically weather 101.

I have been sailing and living on the Florida gulf coast and the Keys for 7 years. I have never been in a situation where I felt it would have been advantageous to use a drogue or a sea anchor. The weather we get is either tropical with many days of warning, frontal with a few days of warning or quickly developed storms that don't last through the evening. I think what the others have said that the summer storms are not long developed systems that cause major sea changes.

Was your friend out sailing with the outerbands of Debbie or Isaac in which case these storms were worse than normal summer storms, but there was a tropical system to be wary of?

The worst weather I have experienced was an overnighter from Port Charlotte to Key West with a approaching frontal system from the North. I new about it and went anyway. The weather got worse than we expected and even the cruise ships in Key West stayed over night and the ferry to Ft. Myers turned around. It was rough with 10 ft waves close together and felt like they were coming from all directions, but we were fine and if on a lesser boat would not have made the trip.
__________________
Don & Diana
s/v ReMetau - a Hans Christian 33
http://www.remetau.com
ReMetau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2012, 09:15   #90
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Drogue vs. Sea Anchor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
No one is questioning your right and, indeed responsibility to decide what to do on your own boat. Only you can choose the tools and the tactics. We're all just trying to help, and it's up to you to choose which advice to follow.

Just a couple of points, in the hope that they will be helpful:

Coastal sailing is anywhere within a day of a port. Sailing to the Tortugas is a coastal sail. It's what I do, and it's what you do. It's a very different job from real ocean sailing, because when you're coastal sailing, you know (or ought to know) what conditions you are going to get, plus or minus the odd squall or t-storm. There is just no excuse at all for sailing out of a safe port into a storm which requires you to lie to sea anchor while waiting for conditions to improve enough so you can get back in.

Erstarzinger has given great advice and explanations, which I am going to print out and keep on board. But he's really not talking about the conditions we encounter doing coastal sailing -- and I'm sure he would agree that the tactics are not entirely applicable. He is teaching us what to do in the open ocean, in high latitudes, in the North Atlantic, in the Southern Ocean, in the places we sail in so far only in our dreams, places which are very, very different from where we sail. It's important to understand the difference, and not misapply the lessons, or the tactics.

Capta and Foolish Sailor have told you that being aware of the weather and knowing how to handle your boat are what is really important, for the kind of sailing you do. This is good advice.

As to types of storms at sea and sea states -- I'm not the person to teach you, as I'm no real expert myself, and anyway don't have time or patience for it. I can tell you objectively, however, that you have some basic misunderstandings, and it would benefit you a lot to learn more about weather. Understanding weather is really important in our sport, and almost none of us knows enough. The very first book my sailor father gave me when I was learning to sail was a book on weather. Before anything on sail trim, navigation, or anything else. One book is not nearly enough, unfortunately.

"
Capta and Foolish Sailor have told you that being aware of the weather and knowing how to handle your boat are what is really important, for the kind of sailing you do. This is good advice."


I don't know if I can make this clear, but they both assumed that for some reason I'm *not* aware of the weather.

And I'm sorry, but the notion that just because it's "coastal" sailing means you don't have to maintain control of your boat is wrong. We've had several boats sink in Tampa Bay -- about as coastal as you get -- in gales. Not storms, just lots of wind and waves.

Experienced sailors, too.

Of course you can always know more about the weather, but the assumptions made here, that I "should" know about tropicals, and northerlies in the Gulf Stream, without asking -- IMO that's just wrong. It would be far better to ask. Say, "Are there circumstances where you would avoid the Gulf Stream?" I would have immediately said "significant weather from the north." If it were a strong west current I would avoid weather from the east, too. Same principle.

In the GS it would be particularly bad because the wind is typically some point of east. Then you have the wind from the north, and you've got a washing machine. I grew up in Fort Lauderdale, and my father was in the marine industry, and knew this when I was 12.

But there are all sorts of combination of this situation. It can happen in a "micro-location," one of my examples being Longboat Pass. Surrounded by shallows, we had the waves on the hind quarter while the (strong) wind had shifted to the forequarter, and according to the currents shart, a 3k current against us. It was like being caught in a giant, front-loading washing machine. In this mess we had to thread our way through a very narrow bascule bridge -- on the small side to begin with, and only one side opens.

Virtually everyone here has been tremendously helpful. The discussion has been tremendously helpful. My guess is that I'll come back looking for more discussion about this, and some will roll their eyes, but I'm hoping that you, and other helpful, sensible, experienced people here will realize that I'm working VERY hard to fit your knowledge into mine.

As I say, I'm not convinced that because this is "coastal" sailing, some of these strategies may never have a place. If I have someone seriously seasick on my boat, I'm going to want to settle the boat down and give that person a chance to recover. This is one bouncy boat.
__________________

__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
anchor, drogue, sea anchor

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




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 20:17.


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.