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Old 14-11-2006, 18:48   #1
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Outrunning the storm

There's much discussion here and elsewhere of fast boats outrunning bad weather. I believe it happens, but I wonder how often.

I'd be interested to hear from those who have successfully "outrun" a storm, either in a fast (cat) or a slow keel boat. Likewise, I'd be interested to hear from those who tried to do so, but failed.

Please provide specific weather conditions, forecasts, weather or not you were using Navtext, etc. and the specifics of your boat.
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Old 14-11-2006, 19:36   #2
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whether or not ... sorry, won't let me edit.
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Old 14-11-2006, 19:56   #3
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I would suggest going perpendicular to the storm track and get out of the way. It could turn to where you are heading, but I suppose you need to keep moving perpendicular to its path and hopefully get off the track as it goes on by.

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Old 14-11-2006, 20:04   #4
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I look forward to seeing some comments here as well Scott.

Have always managed to have somewhere to run to before it all went pear shaped on coastal work, and
waited for the right weather window before venturing out onto the big wobbly stuff.

Haven't been touched up badly yet.

Dave
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Old 14-11-2006, 20:15   #5
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I hestiated in answering, but I see no responses as of yet, so I figured I would post even though this story only technically meets your criteria.

I ran before Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Winds were Force 9 to 10. She was moving from the Bahamas East to West towards South Florida, I ran due North from Stuart, FL to escape the storm. As the outer bands caught us, the wind was dead on the nose. I made it to Vero Beach Florida as it came ashore in West Palm Beach, 70 miles south. You might have heard of this storm as it was a big one which destroyed New Orleans.

My "Admiral" still reminds me of the trip as we were bringing our "new to us" boat home. It was our first time on board.

The story is on my web site.

Rick in Florida
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Old 17-11-2006, 06:58   #6
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Could just be coincidence, but it is interesting to note how little enthusiasm this thread has attracted thus far.
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Old 17-11-2006, 08:24   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneuman
Could just be coincidence, but it is interesting to note how little enthusiasm this thread has attracted thus far.
Sorry I can't add valued input.

Suspect most site users (like me) have not had the misfortune of encountering a storm (F10) of any note offshore - and if they have - just maybe they chose not to run before it?

Personally, the longest trips we've made were only 10 days - and on those no storms. Have had F11 come upon us on coastal races - but the objectives then were to finish the race and not run away.

On shorter cruises - across Biscay from UK which is only 550 miles - have left UK expecting stiff winds from behinds which did develop into F8/9 both times. Neither rated as storm force - and no issues running before either.

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Old 17-11-2006, 08:52   #8
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I have pretty routinely ducked storm cells with a comparatively fast monohull. I occasionally get caught where there is no where to run (such as getting caught in the Chester River by a front packing 60 plus knot winds) but more often than not, I have been able to figure out the direction of the cell and be able to move out of its way.

On the other hand I have spent 3 days straight offshore in a 1908 Herreshoff, punching it out with a large weather system, no where to run.

Jeff
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Old 17-11-2006, 08:53   #9
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Considering large storms spinning of North America into the Atlantic can move 600 mile in a day not many boats will outrun them. Only the very large multi's or mono's can make the miles required to stay with a system. Actually many of the new sailing records are probably going to be around for a while because the boats can match the system but are then trapped to the system speed.

Side note: Any note on Doha 2006?
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Old 17-11-2006, 09:10   #10
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Sneuman, our boat has been through one huricane that I know of. The crew I spoke to said it was no fun. They were scared to death driving it down 100 foot waves at 25 knots. It's a weather condition we actively seek to avoid.

Here is a sisterships account of a similar storm in the Pacific:

http://www.cncphotoalbum.com/archive...y/sorcery2.htm

I find it amazing that the boat is still sailing considering what it has been through. Sorcery is currently owned and sailed by a fellow in Newfoundland. I've corresponded with him and he loves the boat and often sails it in rough weather. But, well it is Newfoundland.
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Old 17-11-2006, 11:32   #11
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sneuman,
At sea I have always assumed that you cannot outrun a storm in an 8knot boat. I've tried ducking them but not on a perpendicular course because that might not be the best track. Storm directions and rotation of winds will determine which angle you might want to try.
There are a few formulas for this in a navigation book I have and will have to dig out of my library.
Kind Regards,
JohnL
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Old 17-11-2006, 11:49   #12
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It depends entirely on the storm. Some storms may have high winds, but the actual storm is physicaly moving slowly. Some Hurricanes/cyclones can be like that. Some storms can be moving at very fast past rates indeed. I can only speak of our weather down here, but cyclones that move down from the tropics tend to move slowly and the storm fronts comeing up out of the Indian Ocean and up onto us can be setting a very fast pace. These fronts often are traveling at 25-40knts which is setting a max of 950Nm in a 24hr period. So out running them is a fantasy.
From what I have been told by the guy's that do the Southern Ocean racing, they can align themsleves to catch a wind pattern off a front, but that is only from moving up or down in latitude by a few hundred miles if they get plenty of warning of what is coming.
Up here in the higher Lats, those taking trips to the Islands wait for patterns and take a run at it, but that is tied to seasonal patterns. You just don't go at anytime.
You maybe able to skip off to the side of an approaching weather cell with a multihull. But once you are in it, you are no more likely to take any advantage than a Mono. You just have to batten down and weather it.
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Old 17-11-2006, 12:11   #13
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storm avoidance

I agree that running ahead of a storm is unlikely, and most storm avoidance strategy involves clearing from the path of the storm. IIRC the particular course you choose is dependent upon whether you are in the more dangerous or less dangerous semi-circle. Never had to do it much; unfortunately the navy has a pathological need to be on time, so it would have to be a full-on storm before we would divert.

Kevin
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Old 17-11-2006, 15:54   #14
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Avoiding bad weather does't mean outrunning it. It makes more sense to sidestep it (if there is room) wouldn't you think?
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Old 17-11-2006, 17:15   #15
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By "outrunning" I didn't mean to imply necessarily a specific storm tactic (i.e., running before the storm), but more generally the ability to quickly skirt the path of an approaching system at sea.

The reason I ask is that the ability to do this is often touted as a great strength of catamarans.

I just wondered how often it actually happens.
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