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Old 07-03-2015, 13:01   #46
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Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

GILow,

In the case of the guy who hit the ferry the other day, the speculation was that the boat was too overpowered to come up, that the wind was holding the bow down, the rudder was cavitated (or maybe fouled). The link to the story posted has another good picture of a roll cloud, in addition to Cruising Cat 44's pics. If you stay aware, reef early and adequately, should not ever be a problem.

Ann
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Old 07-03-2015, 14:08   #47
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Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

Yes I followed that. But there was also the assertion that the act of rounding up would flatten the boat. This is the idea I am having problems with. I.e. If you still have enough control/grip on the water I struggle to understand how rounding up is a problem.

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Old 07-03-2015, 14:23   #48
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Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate
The link to the story posted has another good picture of a roll cloud, in addition to Cruising Cat 44's pics. If you stay aware, reef early and adequately, should not ever be a problem.

Ann

Thankfully the time we got caught in 54 knots in the Austral 20 we had two pilots on board and they knew what those clouds meant. As a result we had the sails tucked away by the time the wind hit us, I cannot confidently say I would have picked them in time myself. Still a horrible 15 minutes.

After that journey I went to the library and took out a couple of books on weather, including the two most helpful volumes which were written for trainee pilots.

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Old 07-03-2015, 14:31   #49
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Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

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Safe sailing would recommend doing this before the winds get out of control. Better safe than sorry!!
^this.
That old saying about "If you even THINK that it's time to reef, it's time to reef", is one that I have found to be very very true. Far easier to shake out a reef that you didn't actually need than to set one once it it too late.
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:45   #50
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Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

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^this.
That old saying about "If you even THINK that it's time to reef, it's time to reef", is one that I have found to be very very true. Far easier to shake out a reef that you didn't actually need than to set one once it it too late.
There are very rare occasions when reefing may take more time than the situation allows. So fortunately the amount of mainsail deployed is rarely a big factor when hove-to.

Depending on the conditions, sail plan and running rigging, rounding up is more or less safe. Where there are large waves capable of causing a broach, timing when your boat will be beam-on to the waves is everything. Get it wrong and the consequences ain't pretty. There is no room in this scenario for wraps, fouled halyards and or sheets. In conditions where wind and not the size of waves is your primary concern, rounding up should not present a big problem. But there are caveats.

The objective is to quickly dispense with the forsail on the upside of a turn to windward, put the helm to weather and heave to. A hanked on headsail under tension can be dispensed with in seconds by simply letting the halyard go. I've never been able to use a downhaul that did not present problems of its own, but could otherwise be advantageous. This is when lines led to the cockpit through clutches are a big plus but proper flaking of the halyards is imperative to prevent knots. Even if the headsail 'hangs' at some point on the way down, flogging itself to smitherines, you have spilled the wind and are in control. Once down (or nearly down) the sail should be held captive amidship with both sheets. Roller furling systems are in some ways more problematic. Wraps, fouled sheets, and the time and effort required to roll in a headsail under load are all possible issues leading to a sail filled with wind and a loss of control.

When transiting the South Pacific ITCZ in particular where squalls are the norm you can tell from experience which are "in commute" to work or already there. As a matter of course I douse the jib and heave to ("fore reaching" to finicky folks) in advance of an approaching active squall. I once heard a sailor boast that he never stops for anything... Well, Mother Nature has a way of giving attitude adjustments to sailors like him. The question is at what cost?
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Old 08-03-2015, 14:20   #51
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Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

Matt, the "cloud info for trainee pilots", great idea!
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Old 08-03-2015, 14:49   #52
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Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

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Matt, the "cloud info for trainee pilots", great idea!
Better still, have a couple of living, breathing pilots with over 80 years flying experience between them on board! Then delegate. (OK, I know, just kidding, skipper has ultimate responsibility.)
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Old 08-03-2015, 14:57   #53
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Re: How Can You Douse Your Main Sail in a Hard Blow DDW?

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Better still, have a couple of living, breathing pilots with over 80 years flying experience between them on board! Then delegate. (OK, I know, just kidding, skipper has ultimate responsibility.)
Don't know how many miles are under his belt, but here's a CF candidate. Makes great coconut ice cream! Or, so he says.
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