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Old 09-11-2012, 10:42   #16
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Re: Following Seas Dangers?

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Kind of like this?
By the way the Vendee Globe 2012/13 kicks of on Sat. Nov. 10...



Ha ha ha ha ! You bet! Pictures never do the size justice. Big stuff!
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:25   #17
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Originally Posted by Capt.Fred
An advantage of a center board in broaching conditions, is to simply raise it. Your possibiliy of tripping on your keel, then broaching and rolling is substantially reduced.
Capt.Fred
Why can you raise the board on a 40 footer in about 3 secs ? , this advice stops at Lasers

Dave
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:27   #18
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Originally Posted by rebel heart
Just in general the things I don't like about following seas:

- They tend to sneak up on you a bit and although it's sailing 101, people still tend to let it get way too strong before they reef or drop sail when going downwind.
- Reefing can be down right impossible downwind unless you have a winch on the boom. Round up? Yeah, right. Try that and tell me how it worked for you.
- Actively steering around the waves is a pain in the ass and exhausts helmsmen.
- I feel safer holding a loaded firearm than having a mainsail up in a bumpy following sea, preventer or otherwise.

I've never gotten a chance to sail downwind with a manual windvane, but that might change some of my opinions especially regarding the exhaustion at the helm.
Good rate based autopilots can handle quite boisterous downwind stuff these days.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:45   #19
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Re: Following Seas Dangers?

Thanks for all your responces. I was worried that I was missing something about running downwind. But you showed my instincts were more right than I thought.

The boat I've sailed the past 2 years is a Laguna Windrose 18 in Colorado and Montana. My next project boat is a Coronado 27 which I intend to take offshore after alot of modifications.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:47   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow

Why can you raise the board on a 40 footer in about 3 secs ? , this advice stops at Lasers

Dave
I can raise mine in about 30sec on a 45'. Like reefing you do it early anyway.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:50   #21
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Re: Following Seas Dangers?

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Originally Posted by jared View Post
Thanks for all your responces. I was worried that I was missing something about running downwind. But you showed my instincts were more right than I thought.

The boat I've sailed the past 2 years is a Laguna Windrose 18 in Colorado and Montana. My next project boat is a Coronado 27 which I intend to take offshore after alot of modifications.
Nice. You'll find a displacement hull a different beast than the Laguna you're used to. Have fun offshore!
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:53   #22
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Re: Following Seas Dangers?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Why can you raise the board on a 40 footer in about 3 secs ? , this advice stops at Lasers

Dave
You would be amazed at how fast you can do things when you are terrified.
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:09   #23
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Re: Following Seas Dangers?

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You would be amazed at how fast you can do things when you are terrified.


Fear is an incredible laxative and a powerful stimulant.....
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:22   #24
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Re: Following Seas Dangers?

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Why can you raise the board on a 40 footer in about 3 secs ? , this advice stops at Lasers

Dave
I think you misunderstand. Raising a swing keel is something vessels do for the duration.
It might take as long as ten minutes to completely retract on a 50 - 60 footer, so it's not something you do on a wave by wave basis, and it's a decision made as conditions deteriorate.
Not often necessary as boats get bigger, but can be worthwhile in survival conditions.

Swinging it aft is quite often done, though, as it helps reduce weather helm and the resulting risk of broaching.

Wherever it is (unless it's fully up): if it's ballasted, it MUST be capable of being locked so firmly that it would stay where it is if you picked the boat up with a crane and dropped it upside down back in the water.

Because of faulty over-reliance on static theory and lack of understanding of dynamic response of a boat in big waves, many people consider retracting a ballasted keel to be dangerous regardless of context.
While there may be designs where it would be ill-advised, I personally this tactic comes in for a lot of unmerited criticism.
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:35   #25
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Re: Following Seas Dangers?

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I've read many times and heard many people talk about sailing TOO fast when reaching downwind, even under bare poles. I just assumed they were reffering to the possibility of pitch-poling....... Fast Rounding-Up and Broaching.
...
In this scenerio, when they say broaching, do people mean waves are breaking over the stern?
I've done a lot of moderately heavy, and some very heavy, weather sailing on cruising monos and cats, so here's my 2c:

A lot of these issues vary based upon what you are sailing in these conditions. Assuming, given the forum, that we are excluding performance boats:

Aboard a cruising mono: Speed control is less of an issue aboard monos, but "directional" control is more of an issue because those following seas can get on one side or the other of the hull and push your stern to one side...this is usually the first step to rounding up and/or broaching. Thus skill at the helm is critical to avoiding these problems. Traditional fuller keeled hull shapes are less likely to have issues with rounding up and broaching than narrower keels (like a fin keels) because they have more lateral/turning resistance, but it can still happen. Pitch poling: even if you stuff the bow into the wave in front of you, pitch poling a cruising mono is not likely -- only cases I've ever even heard of were in really extreme conditions. More likely to decelerate and then broach/get pooped, or get rolled in really heavy conditions. Getting pooped is something I have only ever experienced on a mono -- usually when they squat down in the trough of a wave and the wave behind you catches up with you. This is why it is important to have everything closed up in heavy conditions -- including the companion way drop boards -- because all that green water on deck may in fact come from behind you!

Aboard a cruising cat: Speed control is a much more important issue aboard cats (and mutli's in general) they tend to be directionally quite stable off the wind, but speed control becomes an issue sooner. This is why I don't head offshore in a cat without at least a drogue aboard. This concerns me less on a mono. The above events are not as likely on a cat, but they can accelerate quite quickly coming off the back of a wave, and surf much easier, thus you are more likely to surf into the back of the wave ahead of you. This results in sudden deceleration, wave behind you catches you and lifts the stern (rather than pooping you), ... and bad stuff may happen after that depending upon wave size. I've been aboard cruising cats and tri's when the bows got stuffed in moderately heavy conditions and they were surprisingly well behaved...dramatic deceleration, followed by a pucker factor increasing lift of the stern, and then...all calm and off sailing again, but I would not want to try that in really heavy conditions (or ever again even in moderately heavy conditions for that matter!).

Oh, and there are lots of broaching images and videos on the net just Google-Fu them up.
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:49   #26
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Re: Following Seas Dangers?

In relation to matters raised in the OP:

While it does intensify the bad outcomes from a broach, I think speed is generally the best defence against pitchpoling, in the VERY rare conditions where this presents a risk.

Provided (as Jeffry points out) there are enough good hands to rotate on the helm for the duration of such conditions, sailing faster in order to spend the longest time possible further down the wave, away from the steepest face under the crest, and minimising the number of waves which overtake the boat, are both risk-reduction factors.

If this is not an option, taking them bow-on with a maximum drag device seems like the best option in theory, but one I have no experience of in practice.

I've only encountered high-risk conditions once, and we were lucky enough to have a couple of talented helmspeople. They found it very tricky changing, though, as the waves were so close together that the person taking over had almost no time to feel their way into the groove. Unfortunately we had to change often because both of them (in varying degrees) would start to feel sick if they stayed off the helm too long, and in any case it was too mentally tiring to stay on the helm for more than about 20 mins at a stretch.

I didn't take a turn because I wasn't feeling sick. I wasn't feeling much of anything, except numb and resigned. With a coastline of jagged cliffs to leeward, being pulverised and overtopped by these same seas, neither a disabled hull nor a raft would have offered any sort of sanctuary.

A fast cruiser-racing sailboat pitchpoled while motoring in a calm near where I'm writing this a few years ago: a single freak wave, while with a mile or so of a significant headland. Pretty unusual story; almost impossible to imagine what they could have done differently.
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:54   #27
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Re: Following Seas Dangers?

I can't find the whole series of pictures right now, but Silk II at Cowes was impressive:

http://sipson.me.uk/2010/08/silk-ii/
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Old 09-11-2012, 13:02   #28
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Re: Following Seas Dangers?

Posted here on another thread. Really good helmsmen needed here. Imagine the result if she rounded 'down' and gybed...

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Old 09-11-2012, 13:30   #29
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Re: Following Seas Dangers?

I enjoy a relaxed helm. If the helm is not relaxed, then I reef. I would rather go two knots less than haul speed with sails reefed than two knots over haul speed and no reef. It is like driving 60 mph on a snow covered road vs. driving 10mph on snow covered road.
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Old 09-11-2012, 16:34   #30
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Re: Following Seas Dangers?

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
- I feel safer holding a loaded firearm than having a mainsail up in a bumpy following sea, preventer or otherwise.
Totally, but I prefer a deeply reefed main downwind than no main. This is a minor difference, but I like the boat being more flexibly setup, so that we can easily go onto a reach, beat, or heave to -- either for wind changes (squalls or just a new pattern), traffic, or for some kind of MOB situation, it just feels more flexible to have the main be one less step. I don't know how common this is, but I have a bit of an 'ick' feeling when the main is completely down, unless the conditions are rare.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I've never gotten a chance to sail downwind with a manual windvane, but that might change some of my opinions especially regarding the exhaustion at the helm.
Vanes work great downwind, it's just a matter of playing with the boat and sail configurations (1 jib with no pole, 1 jib with pole, 2 jibs with 1 pole, different jibs, reefed main, and etc...) to get a graph in your mind of wind angle vs net turning force from the sails. To then know how stable each sail configuration is, and then just look at the seas and see how much you need.
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