Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 21-01-2014, 06:06   #16
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,751
Re: Storm Tactics for light production boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
The tricky bit is actually after the winds die but the huge seas are still running

The worst case I encountered was big waves running perpendicular up the troughs of even larger waves astern. Getting slapped on two sides was challenging to say the least

Anyone experience that , any strategies ??

Dave
The worst sea state I have ever seen in all my decades of sailing were actually during a calm, after having stupidly left Dartmouth en route towards Plymouth a couple of years ago the morning after hurricane-force winds blew through the Channel.

I stood well off Start Point but as I got there, the seas were gigantic and confused, running almost perpendicular to each other as you mentioned. It looked like Hell's washing machine, or like some science-fiction movie about a watery end of the world. The seas towered above us up to something like the second spreader; I guess they must have been 12 - 15 meters high and quite steep with some breaking. So no way to point the boat in a direction favorable to that -- they seemed to be coming from all sides. My father, who is in his '80's, and a veteran of a lot of hairy ocean passages, says he had never seen anything even remotely like that, and was sure we would be rolled. The crew was terrified and seasick.

As to strategies -- I guess I can't say anything of value -- I could think of nothing to do except hold on, keep way on, and try to get out of the area of confused seas, and just take our knocks as they came. We got tons of green water on deck and in the cockpit (we were life-jacketed and clipped in, of course), but were not rolled nor pooped, and my dinghy, hanging in davits with the motor on, was not touched. We eventually got away from Start Point and out into the Channel where the sea settled down a bit. Out of mercy for the seasick crew, we diverted to Salcombe and gave everyone a rest. I guess it was just pure luck that we did not encounter one of those breaking seas on the beam, which would have surely rolled us. I hope never to see such conditions again -- I have nightmares about that morning sometimes.

It was incredibly stupid of me not to think about the fact that the sea state would outlast the strong storm. It was calm and seemed like a good time to set off. I'll never make that mistake again.
__________________

__________________
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-01-2014, 06:17   #17
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Alert Bay, Vancouver Island
Boat: 35ft classic ketch/yawl.
Posts: 937
Images: 4
Send a message via Skype™ to roland stockham
Re: Storm Tactics for light production boats

If you want to cross ocean short handed but safely don't do it in a light displacement boat with a spade rudder and short fin keel. You wouldn't enter a jeep in a formula one race or go off roading in a farari would you. So why do the same in a boat. And yes I know the round the world race boats as 'light displacement' but they also have lots of pro crew who breack lots of things, they also don't expect them to last very long either.
__________________

__________________
roland stockham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-01-2014, 06:27   #18
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4,960
Re: Storm Tactics for light production boats

Boats of all types are crossing oceans these days and as long as your luck does not completely run out and you stay near central latitudes then most any one of them should get you to the other side.
To get an idea what its like when you have an unlucky period find the documentary on the "Queens birthday Storm" just out of New Zealand and it will have you rethinking some of your boating decisions.
__________________
robert sailor is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 21-01-2014, 06:31   #19
Nearly an old salt
 
goboatingnow's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,649
Images: 3
Re: Storm Tactics for light production boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by roland stockham View Post
If you want to cross ocean short handed but safely don't do it in a light displacement boat with a spade rudder and short fin keel. You wouldn't enter a jeep in a formula one race or go off roading in a farari would you. So why do the same in a boat. And yes I know the round the world race boats as 'light displacement' but they also have lots of pro crew who breack lots of things, they also don't expect them to last very long either.
To imply that modern boats with fin keels and spade rudders can't safety cross oceans is utter nonsense. Just how many crossings do you wish to see before you'll accept it can be done safely. 10000s, 100000. Perhaps you'd like to list the company's producing long keel + barn door rudders , ???

Perhaps we should examine all the long keelers that have foundered over the last 100 years and make your assumptive conclusion to them!,

It's not the boat

Dave
__________________
Check out my new blog on smart boat technology, networking and gadgets for the connected sailor! - http://smartboats.tumblr.com
goboatingnow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-01-2014, 06:51   #20
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Alert Bay, Vancouver Island
Boat: 35ft classic ketch/yawl.
Posts: 937
Images: 4
Send a message via Skype™ to roland stockham
Re: Storm Tactics for light production boats

Don't rely on the idea of staying near central latitude either. I got caught in the tail end of Sandy and spent a week with seas breaking over the boat. Never went above 40knts but the sea state was bad enough to loose a mast (lightweight mizzen but it had the radar on it...) and have us sleeping in oilskins for a week. Took out both autopilots, the electric one snaped a belt (I know I should have had spares but could not get any!!) and it ripped the underwater paddle clean off the wind vane. I was very glad we could hove too for a rest when needed. We where 5000miles from the storm center! In a good sea boat it was a pain but not a worry. Also took out all the 'shore' electronics, computer, mobile phones etc. All the important systems where fine because they where designed to take it but the fatigue levels on boat and crew were high. Tackticks where to reduce speed and sail and hove too when needed.
The other point is experience, I had previously crossed biscay in a winter storm (F11). Conditions where much worse but the boat was bigger and I was not skipper, its a good way to learn.
__________________
roland stockham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-01-2014, 07:23   #21
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,751
Re: Storm Tactics for light production boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by roland stockham View Post
If you want to cross ocean short handed but safely don't do it in a light displacement boat with a spade rudder and short fin keel. You wouldn't enter a jeep in a formula one race or go off roading in a farari would you. So why do the same in a boat. And yes I know the round the world race boats as 'light displacement' but they also have lots of pro crew who breack lots of things, they also don't expect them to last very long either.
I disagree respectfully, but entirely.

If I couldn't do it in my own boat, or one similar, and had to choose a smaller boat on a limited budget, for crossing oceans at trade winds latitude, I would much prefer a modern light displacement boat to a heavy clunker. The chances of encountering hard weather are much lower than, say, where I sail, and the speed and good sailing characteristics of modern boats would be great benefits.

In other words, give me a Beneteau over an Island Packet any day for doing, say, the ARC, if I were forced to choose between those two.

Opinions, of course, vary quite a bit.
__________________
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-01-2014, 07:36   #22
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: PORTUGAL
Posts: 20,217
Images: 2
pirate Re: Storm Tactics for light production boats

Solo'd a 321 and a 331 Bene across the Atlantic W - E... considered the 'Hard Way' to cross.. no real problems apart from popping a stay.. mind.. one was an '87 and the other an '01... not sure they'd be considered 'Modern'..
__________________


Born To Be Wild
boatman61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-01-2014, 08:16   #23
Registered User

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Mangareva, French Polynesia
Boat: Heritage West Indies 36
Posts: 513
Re: Storm Tactics for light production boats

I haven't yet found a modern, fin-keeled boat that will hove-to well. The worst weather i have ever seen at sea was between Bermuda and the Caribbean in December 2008. Wind was 50 knots sustained and seas were steep and 20 feet (so 40 feet from trough to peak). Some were breaking but not all. In those conditions there was no way anyone was going up forward to mess around on the foredeck with drag devices (or a storm jib) as the deck was awash frequently when the breakers came over the boat. We tried hoving-to first. Didn't work too well. Tried stemming the waves under power, which was fine but we were burning diesel and not going anyway. In the end i set a home-made cone drogue off the stern (made from some old canvas and some webbing). 6-foot diameter at one end and down to about 6 inches at the other. It was secured by 2 lines made off to the primary winches. Then i went to sleep for 16 hours :-)

The drogue off the stern worked beautifully. Since it could be set from the cockpit the safety was good. It wasn't too big (not like a parachute anchor) so the loads on the gear were not too massive. Having 2 lines (5/8" 3-strand nylon, 250 feet long each) allowed me to take up more on one side than the other, so that as the wind shifted i could keep the stern more or less into the waves, which were still coming from the same direction. Chafe was also not a problem off the stern as it wasn't moving up and down as much as a bow would be. I was able to lead the lines off the quarters through the blocks for the spinnaker sheets.

Waves did break into the cockpit and we were pooped a few times but it was no big deal with big cockpit drains and decent solid wood companionway washboards. I would highly recommend this system. In even heavier conditions i might set a second drogue in tandem, as i can see how a single drogue could pop out of the front of a wave and come pinging towards the boat. This didn't happen though in the conditions we were in. The one thing i neglected (i was very tired and just wanted to get the damn thing overboard so i could go to sleep!) was setting a trip line................ which meant it took us about 3 hours to get the drogue back in the next day.

I have seen the Jordan-series drogues and they look really good, but personally i wouldn't bother with one as they are expensive and it's really not that hard to make your own drogue. You could even make 4 or 5 small ones if you are worried about them popping out of waves and set them up just like a jordan.
__________________
DefinitelyMe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-01-2014, 08:37   #24
Long Range Cruiser
 
MarkJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Australian living on "Sea Life" currently in England.
Boat: Beneteau 393 "Sea Life"
Posts: 12,828
Images: 25
Re: Storm Tactics for light production boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I would much prefer a modern light displacement boat to a heavy clunker.

In other words, give me a Beneteau over an Island Packet any day for doing, say, the ARC, if I were forced to choose between those two.
+1



Mark
__________________
Notes on a Circumnavigation.
OurLifeAtSea.com

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
MarkJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-01-2014, 10:25   #25
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Santa Cruz
Boat: Boatless Again
Posts: 4,334
Re: Storm Tactics for light production boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
If you deploy a drag device from the bow, then your rudder is at risk from the boat's reverse motion. A Jordan series drogue is deployed from the stern, so you sail forward, without any risk to your rudder.
From the USCG study on series drogues:

"In a typical event, the boat will be pulled up to the wave crest by the drogue and then pulled through the moving water of the crest. For a wave with a wave length of 300 feet, the water in the breaking crest will be moving near wave phase speed or 39 ft/sec. Computer simulation indicates that a drogue may decelerate the boat to a speed of approximately 15 ft/sec"

So you don't think being pulled backwards at 24 ft/sec is without risk to your rudder??
__________________
donradcliffe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-01-2014, 10:47   #26
Registered User

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Mangareva, French Polynesia
Boat: Heritage West Indies 36
Posts: 513
Re: Storm Tactics for light production boats

Hmmm, i see what you are saying. All i can say is that i didn't lash my helm and the only thing securing it was the friction break. It didn't move much and certainly wasn't slammed over to one side by the following sea. Perhaps this is because the rudder is not on the surface, so the speed that the water is moving at is less? Even with the drogue set i was moving at about 5 knots average - near stopped in the troughs and up to about 8 knots at the peaks. Maybe that was enough water moving over the rudder to avoid this problem? Maybe the drogue they were using in the simulation was slowing the boat down more than mine. Personally, given enough sea room, i don't want to slow the boat down too much as that means more pooping and much higher loads on the gear. Ultimately, i'm not sure what the cause was, but it wasn't a problem for me in the abovementioned situation.
__________________
DefinitelyMe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-01-2014, 11:00   #27
Registered User
 
Stu Jackson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
Posts: 6,389
Re: Storm Tactics for light production boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
So did you invent "ignorance is bliss".
Yup, and he's the happiest person we know!

And a real straight-shooter...
__________________
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
Stu Jackson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-01-2014, 11:19   #28
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: PORTUGAL
Posts: 20,217
Images: 2
pirate Re: Storm Tactics for light production boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Yup, and he's the happiest person we know!

And a real straight-shooter...
Guns...!! GUNS...!!! Who mentioned bludi Guns...
__________________


Born To Be Wild
boatman61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-01-2014, 11:31   #29
Don't ask if you can't handle it
 
sailorboy1's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: On the boat somewhere
Boat: Hunter 410
Posts: 12,319
Re: Storm Tactics for light production boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Guns...!! GUNS...!!! Who mentioned bludi Guns...

calm down, I thought you were all in bliss
__________________

__________________
jobless, houseless, clueless, living on a boat and cruising around somewhere
sailorboy1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 20:12.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.