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Old 16-02-2012, 18:54   #61
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ou took my posts out of context. See above for what I really said. At no point did I state that heaving to was not a good strategy for a boat that heaves well, but that in storm conditions with breaking waves the supposed effect of the slick would be lost on a boat that is undergoing a substantial amount of fore reach. Also that if a boats angle to the swell can't be controlled then you are setting up a situation where the beam could be presented to a breaking wave which is the worst of all scenarios. Hence, telling a sailor at a boat show that setting up a heave to with both intentional fore reach and feathering is a good storm strategy is foolish. I stand by that and would never put myself into that position.
This is not a credible argument. In order to heave to, it requires a degree of forereaching, arguably quite a significant degree so for modern boats.

What you have confirmed is in fact heaving too is not a realistic option was the vast majority of boats in survival conditions, that my direct experience too.

As to proper forereaching , ie with the bows almost dead to the waves , let me assure you that is a very good storm tactic, if one has the diesel , running the prop slowly keeps the boats head up, prevent wallowing in the troughs and the scrap of main gives you a lttle power when you need it.

So to contradict you , so called heave too with a reasonable degree of forereaching is a very good storm tactic, but you must retain rudder control.

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Old 17-02-2012, 01:24   #62
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Re: Series Drogues & Heaving To

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Originally Posted by ice View Post
We do have limited language for a whole bunch of different 'techniques':

-Hove to "properly - eg very close to stopped with a DDW drift
-Hove to but with more forward motion (eg sort of forereaching)
-Forereaching "properly" - eg several knots to even faster, with a track quite close to the wind
...
I want to understand this better...

In #3, "Forereaching Properly" -- is the main drawing well or is it mostly pinching and a little stalled? Is the the course wandering in the 'head up, fall off' oscillation like being hove to, or is it more firmly in a groove steadily to windward?
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Old 17-02-2012, 03:32   #63
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Originally Posted by s/v Beth
This thread is incredible. I have never seen so much dogma stated by people without the car-ma in the storm survival business. Lynn and Larry, as well as Beth and Evan contribute frequently to this forum. If they want to state their opinions they will do so. And as for what is a drogue, what is a parachute and what is a warp and where should I tie them on my boat when it gets rough (what are you going to do, have someone come out and slap my hand for placing a warp from the mast to the pushpit??) depends on how much I need to slow down and what part of the boat will responds best to the current sea state.
I, in my very limited experience with gales, storms and one hurricane tend to use resistance that has lots of give, thus putting less wear on the resistance devices and the boat. A broken boat doesn't do anybody any good. But that is just how I managed.
Please stop with the dogma. Its just making you guys look silly.
Now if Evan came up and told me to put pepper on my drogue before throwing it out and only during a full moon, because that is what worked for him in the southern ocean I would listen. But he hasn't told me that ...
Yet.
Newt, there are as many opinions on heavy weather techniques as there are storms. Unlike you I regard the " contributors" you mention to be experienced sailors. But there are equally as many experienced sailors here , that haven't just become "media" darlings.

I base my comments solely on my experiences. I have enough heavy weather experience to last a life time quite frankly, this comes from the delivery business. Equally I don't just accept other " experts " opinions just because they say it. Many peoples expert opinion often related to their specific experience too and often can't be generalised.

I see no dogma here and you said it yourself , you have limited experience. If you haven't anything to contribute don't run down those that feel they do, no matter how trenchant those views are.

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Old 17-02-2012, 07:53   #64
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Re: Series Drogues & Heaving To

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Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
All my bitching and moaning was in reference to this not to what you originally posted which is completely different. My bad, if you look up thread I have already been scolded by none other than starzinger and newt
.
To put me in such company made my day. Please B&M all you want

Dear GBN, I am reading this thread to learn what sailors who have been caught in storms use. I did not say I did not have experience with storms, just limited experience. I have even posted here in the past on what I have learned. (see Straits of Juan de Fuca at 0300) Therefore I try to contribute. But ..when someone quotes someone else as what they are going to use when they get caught- sorry I see that as opinions that have passed on through lore- in other words dogma.

I have long been of the persuasion that forums like CF are great when they are first person to first person information, but they break down to useless chatal when someone quotes something thing they have heard from this famous sailor... In short I would rather hear what you did that worked in a gale than what so and so did during Isabel. So in a way, GBN we are asking for the same thing.
Just the facts ...the first person facts anyway.
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Old 17-02-2012, 08:37   #65
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Re: Series Drogues & Heaving To

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I want to understand this better...

In #3, "Forereaching Properly" -- is the main drawing well or is it mostly pinching and a little stalled? Is the the course wandering in the 'head up, fall off' oscillation like being hove to, or is it more firmly in a groove steadily to windward?
More language limitation . . . because different experienced people advocate and have success with different approaches here. This is really a spectrum - how much to slow down the boat - rather than a binary decision. (speed control is also interesting and important for the downwind techniques).

In the Sydney to Hobart storm, many of the mid-size boats that finished used the more active 'driving the boat approach' (I believe all with the main completely down and lashed to the boom and either using just the storm jib or just the trysail). They would steer off at about 60 degrees to the wind in between the waves and then steer up to perhaps 30 degrees into any whitewater crests. They kept up a pretty high average speed but controlled it (And their angle) enough to make sure they did not fall off the back of the waves too hard. This technique was very successful in horrific conditions in this storm - there is both good video and some good write-ups about it.

Aside . . . That technique may required a helmsman (some vendee boats have used it with autopilot but I am not sure if those were true 'survival' conditions). That's raises another important but rarely discussed issue about various techniques - how long can you effectively steer with how many people on board. Some cruising experts completely write-off any technique that requires steering as impractical for cruising couples. While others suggest an active healthy couple can steer almost indefinitely 2hrs on/off. With 3 people on board (all of whom can helm) most agree you can steer forever. I have always found this topic fascinating - about (some) human capability to rise to the occasion in emergency. There are well documented cases of singlehanders successfully manually steering for 2 days straight thru southern ocean storms.

But back to the question . . . there are other people who suggest and have had success with the 'pinching and slightly stalled' approach. Evans (above) is one, and in the storm they faced to the SW of Chile this is in fact what Lin & Larry did this (with a trysail up) rather than set their para-anchor or heave-to (they preferred to get out of the deep south if they could rather than just sit there and continue to get hammered). The theory being to keep enough speed for rudder response and 'dynamic stability' (whatever that means) but not so much speed to create pounding or increase the wave impact too much. This technique seems to require a greater feel for the particular boat's sweet spot.

I don't know where on the spectrum (or perhaps anywhere depending on the situation) John Neil is - did he say/discuss this in the Chicago seminar?

Just to mention another interesting very experienced guy is Webb Chiles. He's been around five times (I think) in modest boats. He seems to mostly just keep on sailing and leaving it to the Monitor in 'heavy weather', and I think falls somewhere in the middle of this 'upwind speed control' spectrum. But following Newts suggestion I will not put any words into Webbs mouth here, but if you are intersted in this topic (or in fact almost any seamanship topic) Webb's experience and opinion is worth seeking out.

edit: as foolish says below, one of the problems with this topic is that real survival breaking waves are (fortunately) extremely rare. So you need to search out those (very few) sailors who have actually experienced them multiple times to really learn much.
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Old 17-02-2012, 08:47   #66
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Originally Posted by s/v Beth

To put me in such company made my day. Please B&M all you want
.
I don't know you from a hole in the wall, but if you rode out a hurricane at sea as I think you imply you have my respect as you have experienced something I never hope to.

Back to GBW points on weather tactics for fin and spade...

I would have a fair few miles under my belt and more would be pro miles than pleasure miles. I have done part time delivery work on and off for years. Living in europe and having an american passport makes me useful to some of the agencies..

Doing delivery work you are usually going the wrong way at the wrong time and by far my experience has been deliveries tend to consist of fin and spade hulls. Maybe I am the luckiest sailor in this entire forum but in over 20 years of bluewater sailing I have only seen what one would describe as breaking waves once and that was years ago off the gulf of theuanapec in 93 where I was delivering a lagoon 55 and we got absolutely pasted.

But maybe it is also that people think they are in breaking waves if they get pooped or they take green water down the deck. In my mind what really consists of a breaking wave is when there is a substantial over hanging crest that is breaking a decent distance down the face, or wave that are collapsing and producing white water that is more than a meter or so tall and runs down the face.

Regardless, I have found that heaving with a back winded jib on a modern fin keel boat is not a good option and pressing/pinching or fore reaching using only the main are the only upwind or bow up tactic that I have found useful. Going down wind you have the same options as other hulls but tend to be limited to what gear is available on the boat. Just because I like series drouges does not mean I am packing one on the plane to bring to the boat. If the owner has a gale rider or a para tech one better be familiar with deploying them.

I find it exceptionally rare in a delivery situation in a well found boat that one needs to do more than press or fore reach or when running to do more than toss warps to ease the motion for many reasons but mostly because you tend to have strong, experienced sailors when doing a delivery even if they are crew and don't have sea miles they have enough sense to actively steer or observe for problems so the others can get rest...

That is my "first hand" opinion...
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Old 17-02-2012, 08:54   #67
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Re: Series Drogues & Heaving To

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Originally Posted by msponer View Post
I want to understand this better...

In #3, "Forereaching Properly" -- is the main drawing well or is it mostly pinching and a little stalled? Is the the course wandering in the 'head up, fall off' oscillation like being hove to, or is it more firmly in a groove steadily to windward?
It's fairly basic. Start with a reefed main alone, with the sail as flat as possible. Lock the helm at a point where weather helm causes the boat to head up and then to stall. When it stalls it falls off until enough weather helm reestablishes itself so that the boat once again begins to head up. The boat should be making no more than one or two knots at this point.

I like to forereach with the boom centered so that I can tack every hour or so and thus neutralize leeway. This strategy may not work well with older, full-keel boats that may tend to go into irons.

Fin-keeled boats will actually forereach quite high. This is one area where a fin-keeled boat with in-mast furling excels. Control the size of the main so that the boat just begins to develop weather helm after a stall. You don't need much sail out to do this in high winds. It's really quit comfortable.
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Old 17-02-2012, 09:11   #68
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Re: Series Drogues & Heaving To

A bit off thread, but just making the list more complete:

'Bow to' techniques
-Hove to "properly - eg very close to stopped with a DDW drift
-Hove to but with more forward motion (eg sort of forereaching)
-Forereaching "properly" - eg several knots to even faster, with a track quite close to the wind (note there is a range of speed control options, from just enough for steerage way to 'full speed' except slowing in the wave crests)
-Fore reaching with motor assist
-Hove-to with a pardey style bow drag device (with or without any sails up)
-Hove-to with a morgans cloud style bow drag device
-Sitting with a para-anchor straight over the bow (generally without any sails set)

'Stern to' techniques
- Just plain running off (bare poles or with headsail - headsail sometimes set drawing or sometimes sheeted flat on the mid-line to 'autocorrect' DDW course) - usually requires some sort of steering (human or mechanical) and not just a lashed wheel but that depends on the boat design. Debate about whether to run square or slightly across the waves.
- Running off trailing warps (straight back or in bights)
- Running off trailing drogues [makeshift or 'proper', high drag (series) or low drag (galerider), many element series (jordan) or few element series (evans), on centerline or off a quarter]
-Stern to with para-anchor (not very common but a few cases and some theoretical advantages)

'Side-to' Techniques (least commonly recommended but still used by some very experienced folks)
- Lying ahull
- Lying ahull with warp bight secured to bow and stern
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Old 17-02-2012, 09:39   #69
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Re: Series Drogues & Heaving To

I think foolish has the right attitude in a storm- use all you have with all the boat has and don't be afraid to be inventive ( like ducking for cover ASAP). As for my adventures with Erin, maybe someday when we have eaten too much and laughed too hard I can tell you of one of my biggest mistakes and how I was lucky to come out with boat and crew intact. I am really not too proud about it.
Interesting list ice, but I would find Lying ahull a tough recommend. I would not do it unless my boat was broken enough I have no choice and I am not ready to leave. As mentioned above, some control (or at least feeling like you are in control) is important. I would be interested to see if anyone has run off bare poled for any length of time with any success.
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Old 17-02-2012, 09:47   #70
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Re: Series Drogues & Heaving To

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I would find Lying ahull a tough recommend.

I would be interested to see if anyone has run off bare poled for any length of time with any success.

I agree about lying ahull but is has to be on a 'complete' list because some experienced people have and do use it.

Lots and lots of successful bare poled experiences out there. I believe the most 'famous' example of bare poled running is Bernard Moitessier in the southern ocean. He started with warps out and cut them off and reported his boat then felt much more comfortable. He was a proponent of running at a slight angle to the waves rather than directly down them. Vito Dumas apparently did the same (abandoned warps and preferred to run bare poled). However, when the Smeetons tried this, but they famously pitchpoled. Switching to much more modern times and vessels - David Adams (roughly 250,00nm) always ran-off (Successfully), as do most of the BOC/vendee types.
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Old 17-02-2012, 10:24   #71
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Re: Series Drogues & Heaving To

If you are interested, This is an interesting write up of sailing (bare poled) thru a hurricane aboard a more 'typical' cruising boat. It's from 1976 and weather forecasting is better these days, but as Sean showed us last fall, the weather development can still surprise even the best weather analysts.
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Old 17-02-2012, 10:35   #72
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Re: Series Drogues & Heaving To

In a Contessa 26 lying ahull works very well. I've done it many times, including in the storm mentioned in an earlier post with steep breaking waves higher than the spreaders. This storm was in the North Atlantic in the middle of August, 1977 at about 47.5 degrees N, 12.25 degrees W.

To my amazement, with the tiller free, the boat would find its way through the absolute chaos with the end of the tiller oscillating slowly back and forth about eighteen inches. This storm lasted for several days. Lying ahull was the last technique I tried from Adlard Coles "Heavy Weather Sailing" list: 1) Heave to (couldn't get it to work); 2) Run before it (worked great for hours, surfing down huge wave fronts . . . and then I got pooped . . . which led to trying) 3) Lying ahull. I seem to recall that Coles contended that lying ahull was a good technique, IF the boat was "properly designed." The Contessa 26s were properly designed, and very rugged.

I still don't know what the winds were in that N. Atlantic storm, but looking at Beaufort scale photos it may well have been a hurricane. It was damn scary, with streaks of foam on the wave surfaces being the most reliable way to tell which way the wind was blowing. Everything else was just unbelievable chaos.

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Old 17-02-2012, 13:42   #73
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Re: Series Drogues & Heaving To

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(...) I () tend to use resistance that has lots of give, thus putting less wear on the resistance devices and the boat. (...)
A very good point. Sort of like beeing a reed in the wind in that Chinese proverb.

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Old 17-02-2012, 14:15   #74
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Something else that applies to heavy weather survival that I don't think has been touched on here is to know your equipment. Regardless of what strategy you choose to use finding out in the midst of a serious situation that your chosen gear and approach is unacceptable is a hard lesson to learn.

A great idea is to test out any gear and do it in two phases

Phase one: calm flat day

1. Rig your chosen device and deploy, if it is too light you can deploy carefully using the engine to assist and then once deployed to keep tension on the device. Obviously not putting yourself into a situation where you wrap the prop is important. The deployment at this point is less important as you are looking to see if the attachment points are appropriate and if the lines or bridal of the drag device laying across any surface that may chafe through.

2. You can also use this opportunity to check on your chosen retrieval method in a situation where there is little pressure in the system.

Phase two: moderate weather

What moderate means would depend on the sailor but I am recommending 15 - 25 it's

1. Now it is t deployment techniques. Your engine is off so you want to deploy like you would in the real world and see how it goes
2. You are also testing the retrieval method

We spent a day doing this for our Jordan series and our gale rider as well as practicing mob with our last boat while we were sea trialing her.

Edit: meant sea trialing after a massive refit including rig change, not sea trialing when we purchased her...

One thing we learned immediately on the Jordan series was when we used the system of two lines with rolling hitches to haul in the system that it took over an hour, so on a whim we put it on our primaries to see if it would come on board without tearing the cones and as long as the tail was kept tight it came up fairly easily. If we handn't experimented in controlled conditions we would not have learned this and we definitely wouldn't have experimented in heavy conditions to learn it.

Just having a strategy and tools to act on that strategy is not enough.
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Old 17-02-2012, 15:34   #75
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Re: Series Drogues & Heaving To

Wow, Much to learn I have!!! but interesting reading for sure. may all of our storms be little ones LOl.
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