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Old 04-05-2007, 04:51   #1
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Storm Preparation

As the Atlantic Hurricane season approaches, many North American cruisers will be reconsidering their storm prep’ strategies. Perhaps, now would be a good time for experienced cruisers to share some of their favoured tips.

Should even one of these suggestions save a life, prevent an injury, or reduce property damage, their purpose will have been served.

NEVER PLAN TO STAY ABOARD YOUR BOAT DURING A HURRICANE!
Storm conditions are VIOLENT, and tornados are often associated with landfalling hurricanes. First and foremost: safeguard human life!

Nylon dock lines and anchor rodes require chafe protection, especially in respect of storm preparation.
(Rick may offer his advice regarding the chafe-resistance
of Polyester tag lines ~ please, Rick)


~ Remember that the nylon will stretch incredibly in gusts, so the chafing gear needs to be fixed to the boat, and not lashed to the line.

~ This shock-absorbing elasticity also causes the lines to “saw” over the fairleads. The further the separation, the more stretch, hence more sawing action. Mount cleats and fairleads as closely together as practicable.
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Old 04-05-2007, 06:47   #2
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Ahhh spring, time to go to the storage building and dig out the tires... The latest issue of BOAT US magazine also has some interesting things to say about storm preparedness.

During Hurricane Rita many of us along the Gulf Coast prepared our boats for the predicted high storm surge only to find the dirty side of the storm to pass to our east. The result was many boats were left hanging by their dock lines as the storm blew all of the water out of Galveston Bay. Some of those boats that were tied to the tops of the pilings without enough slack suffered broken cleats and subsequently further damage. Plan on the weather effects you don't expect to get.
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Old 04-05-2007, 09:39   #3
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For possible consideration of why nylon may not be a good idea in your anchor rode in extreme conditions, and polyester the better option, please study the following article by Steve Dashew:
http://www.setsail.com/_storefiles/71.pdf
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Old 04-05-2007, 10:29   #4
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Craig,

From looking at that study, when would you want to use nylon instead of polyester? I'll be eventually replacing my anchor rode and was wondering if I should be looking at bringing all polyester lines along instead of nylon.
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Old 04-05-2007, 10:37   #5
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so from the above this boatus site, they would seem to have it exactly wrong

Boating Basics

Polyester line, although 10% weaker than nylon and not as flexible, has some excellent uses. These include running rigging, sheets and halyards. Make sure to use chafing gear with polyester line, as it tends to chafe easily.
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Old 04-05-2007, 11:24   #6
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Polyester line deteriorates in the sun, creates heat at the inner core when stressed and can virtually melt the core under certain conditions. It does not stretch and puts more stress on hardware and cleats. Other than that it feels good in your hand and I don't really think I would consider it. Instead i suggest oversizing nylon lines with short lengths of chain attached to pilings etc. Now understand Sea Trek has only weathered 14 named storms, only three not hurricanes, since we have owned her with no damage. So take my advise with a grain of salt.
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Old 04-05-2007, 11:55   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Baier
Polyester line ..., creates heat at the inner core when stressed and can virtually melt the core under certain conditions.
If I understood it right, this is exactly what Steve Dashew writes about nylon in his article mentioned above. This ("internal heat degrades the structural performance of the nylon, by as much as half..."), together with better chafe resistance ("polyester line is as much as ten times better than nylon in dealing with chafe.") and lower elasticity of polyester ("Elasticity is a definite negative here.") leads Steve Dashew to recommend polyester over nylon for anchor rodes (at least for sea anchors where loads come not just from wind but also from waves).

I think Chuck's experience is very relevant, maybe "oversized" is a key work here?
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Old 04-05-2007, 12:26   #8
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Oversized and nylon brait. Brait dissipates more energy than 3 strand nylon. Also it is good to have a line with little stretch anywhere the line is likely to chafe, so a polyester line at the cleat and where it may rub (with chafe protection) joined to a nylon brait line for shock absorbsion connected to a piece of chain at the dock.
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Old 04-05-2007, 14:15   #9
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Screw that... I'm going to book an appointment with the Travel Lift if there is a signifcant threat.

Failing any open lifts, I plan to cram my boat so far up river that wind will be the major issue, not tidal surges.

Not the same approach as the experts down south, but up north here, we just aren't experts, having not been through much tropical weather.

Worst I had was a hurricane that grazed us while I was crewing on megayachts in the Caribbean and a tropical depression last fall "Ernesto", which set up a big pressure gradient putting out 50 kt straightline winds gusting to who knows what. I just sat on my 45lb CQR with the cockpit enclosure still up. No issues.

Really though... hurricanes freak me out. I have no experience... only theory to try and protect my home from one.
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Old 04-05-2007, 15:08   #10
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After anchoring through a hurricne in Huahine in the 80's I found my 3 strand nylon had gone all shiny and slick on the interior surfaces - it had started to melt, that's when I learned about internal friction.
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Old 04-05-2007, 15:39   #11
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Nylon Braid Size?

So what size of the incredibly expensive nylon braid do members recomend?
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Old 04-05-2007, 22:17   #12
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Gord-
"NEVER PLAN TO STAY ABOARD YOUR BOAT DURING A HURRICANE!"

Sorry, mate, Captain's Perogative is to go down with the ship if he so chooses, and no one else has a say in it. If you want or need to fight to keep it, you do. If it's only fungible goods and you can afford to replace it, you walk away.

(Isn't that what a lot of gold coast boat owners in Florida are accused of doing? Walking away without a care, and leaving the insurers to deal with it by increasing rates?)
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Old 04-05-2007, 23:26   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schoonerdog
Craig,
From looking at that study, when would you want to use nylon instead of polyester? I'll be eventually replacing my anchor rode and was wondering if I should be looking at bringing all polyester lines along instead of nylon.
Notice that most of Dashew's negative examples concern 3-strand. We would use recommend nylon 8-plait in short lengths as snubbers, particularly if 100% chain is being used. For long lengths, polyester. We actually use polyester for snubbers too, although they are longer than most, and we are talking a big boat where slightly less shock absorption is required.

Boat US: frankly, yes. They are just repeating lore which is full of misconceptions... just as you can easily find dozens of websites which will tell you in all sincerity that the CQR is the best anchor .

-------

Chuck / BambooSailor, possibly Chuck is confusing polyester with polyprop? If he is actually talking about polyester, he is quite wrong. Polyester does stretch, just not as much as nylon (this is a good thing when used in long lengths). The other characteristics he describes are those of nylon!

Polyester 8-plait happily also tends to be slightly cheaper than comparable nylon.
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Old 05-05-2007, 06:07   #14
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Boat US?

Quote:
Originally Posted by craigsmith
Boat US: frankly, yes. They are just repeating lore which is full of misconceptions... just as you can easily find dozens of websites which will tell you in all sincerity that the CQR is the best anchor .
Surely commerce has influence here. Boat US is one of the largest pleasure boat insurers in the world with a large number of hurricane claims to use as a base for their advice. Additionally they have a huge financial risk that would really be a motivator to getting it right. Are they are capable of mistakes? Certainly. But writing them off as not knowing the factors that cause boats to get damaged in storms is mistaken.

Sean has the right idea.
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Old 05-05-2007, 10:02   #15
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If you google < polyester rope + chafe >, you'll find a number of BoatUS articles; which are inconsistent with one another - just as are some of the expert opinions expressed, by different authors, on the CruisersForum.
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