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View Poll Results: Wave Height Decider
+2m Seas if it is a short wave period 5 14.29%
+3m Seas if it is a short wave period 14 40.00%
+4m Seas if it is a short wave period 3 8.57%
+5m Seas if it is a short wave period 2 5.71%
I would hold position at sea anchor or hove to and wait it out 11 31.43%
Voters: 35. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 13-01-2011, 20:24   #1
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Wave Height . . . When Would You Turn Around ?

I think it would be interesting to Poll and discuss when a sailor half way thru making a +15day Ocean passage would decide that beating to weather is no longer worth it?

When a given wave height and your own dis-comfort level is too high to continue and you would either tack dramatically off course or turn around because you have found yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time.

We will assume it is an almost stationary Low, with little movement expected in the next week, so riding at sea anchor is a long term option

That the wave period is an uncomfortable 1.5 times your 40ft boat length (mono or multi not part of this discussion)

Crew condition is healthy but tired and miserable

What would you do if you had the option to head back the way you came and when would you do it:
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Old 13-01-2011, 20:27   #2
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We once did 11 days hard on in 30 kn, about 6 days in hove to for a night to get some much needed rest, current put us back about 25 miles in 10 hours so strapped it in and kept bashing. Bloody orrible it was.
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Old 13-01-2011, 20:56   #3
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dayummm-- depends on the wave--if windblown tops, i woudnta sailed the 30 footers i sailed in 1994, jan...
depends on wind direction as opposed to current and alladat weather stuff, fetch, seas, yada yada,, ye know....comfort of the boat which i am sailing....is she comfortable or is she working herself to death??? .
level of exhaustion....
havent sailed 50 footers, and have no ambitions to so do...
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Old 13-01-2011, 20:59   #4
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I would examine how my boat and crew were holding up.

If the trampolines were blowing out and the boat was taking a beating, I would first slow the boat down half speed and see how it handled the seas. If it was still taking a beating, I would probably lie to a parachute until conditions improved.

If the crew couldn't take it any longer, I would probably go to the parachute. Some people call it the Para-Hotel. As long as you are not in the shipping lanes, and there are no medical emergencies, life can be quite nice at the Para-Hotel.
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Old 13-01-2011, 21:02   #5
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makes a difference if the boat is heading into the seas or surfing them.....downhill with seas is soooo much more tolerable than uphill against seas
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Old 13-01-2011, 21:11   #6
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I question the reality of this scenario. Lows aren't really stationary. Long passages such as you describe mean that 'turning around' may not be the best solution. Changing plans, of course, could be part of the solution. A more comfortable angle may be available. If the conditions persisted for a week, then the wave size won't remain the same. Ocean sailing really isn't about comfort. We hope that we have more days that are enjoyable than we have that fall in the unenjoyable category but... Ask most of the Pacific Puddle jumpers who transit each year from various points in Mexico to the South Sea Isles whether it was truly all starry, starry nights and constant, predictable trades that varied only slightly each day and night in force and direction. Perhaps you could rephrase the question......?
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Old 13-01-2011, 23:55   #7
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Gee guys and here I thought I was very specific:

Beating into it. (ie…to windward…)

Wave period short 1.5 x your length and your chosen speed

cchesley…Monsoonal Lows can be very disorganized wandering around a given area for over a week, so this is part of the problem where normally you could just anticipate and steer to avoid it or just slow down. This bugger is doggedly in front of you and wobbling all over the place. Showing a frustrating trend to stay just in front of you

As to wind strength… variable with lots of squalls, so you keep having your rest interrupted by manageable but uncomfortable changes that make for confused seas.

It is really the misery factor versus our stubbornness to keep on plodding thru when a viable alternative is to add another week to your passage by backtracking to more comfortable waters.

At what point, in your pleasure boat experience have you said…enough is enough… these (?) waves are just too high, I am turning around ! or….??
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Old 14-01-2011, 00:27   #8
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On January 3rd we were heading straight into it from Coron to the bottom of Mindoro. The seas were around 3 metres. We could only motor but were punching into a short sea for about 6 hours often burying the bow sprit. Suddenly the pulpit gave way. We turned around and headed back to Coron to make repairs (still doing them but almost finished) turned out the cross trees had some rot and that is why it gave way. I would do the 3 metres again if I had to but on the turnaround we made the same distance in just about 3 hours. and that was comfortable. Unfortunately crossing this straight is not easy with a strong ENE.

The point is I would handle 3 metre seas but would not like much more if going into it. 5 or 6 down wind is pretty comfortable.

Cheers

Mark

PS where are you?
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Old 14-01-2011, 05:27   #9
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Reload this Page Poll: Wave Height . . . When Would You Turn Around ?

Before it is too late to avoid.
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Old 14-01-2011, 09:05   #10
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we made passsages in gulf in seas and winds fr om storms that would curl your hair. when you are out and aa storm hits, you either run with it, thru it, or stick to your sea anchor stuff-- we didnt seanchor-- we sailed thu some and motored thru others-- sailing thru was a gas-- 71kt winds inside a thunderstorm-- was a gas.... a lil scary , but the sailing was awesome....turning around was option only one time-- leaving ft myers in a tstorm-- the wave height and shap was not conducive to sailing without damafe-- we lost nav lights and a short length from the middle of furling line--so we kind had to come in....is only time in sailing with y former sailpartner that we even attempted to "turn around"
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Old 14-01-2011, 09:25   #11
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Interesting question. Giving up seven days to weather would be tough. If the boat was making progress I think I would keep on going as long as the health and morale of my crew was good (adequate). The next step would be to lie to my Jordan Series Drogue for 12 hours or so to get the crew rested. If I had a possibility of changing my destination I would look at that as well but for purposes of this I assume that I can't do that. Finally if everything just looked like hell I would turn around and go back from whence I came.
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Old 14-01-2011, 14:26   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie View Post
Finally if everything just looked like hell I would turn around and go back from whence I came.
Great answer Charlie.

Perhaps a Poll was the wrong way to discuss this but the nub of the question is: when would you turn around given such a bleak forecast?

I think it is in all of our make-up... to just “press on”, rest a bit, and tough it out.

But are we sometimes too stubborn for our own good, when it comes to mother nature?

I am just wondering if we should not “as recreational sailors” , discuss and impose a threshold so that the boat and the crew do not get beaten up.

……Where turning around is not seen as some kind of failure???

Just thinking
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Old 14-01-2011, 14:53   #13
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had this scenariou in june in a moderate way,heading for brisbane from vanuatu via top end of new cal and above chesterfield reef,so fairly hard on the wind any way.

any way front came off australian coast giving sw winds then southerlies,deemed brisbane was no longer an option,phoned the owner on the sat phone,told him boat was being delivered to bundaberg or gladstone,instead of brisbane,since the crew and my self both had broken ribs.

long story short, owner happy his boat was not getting trashed,bore off by 15 degrees,amazing what a difference in the comfort level a few degrees make,arrived in bundy 4days later, boat still in one piece................
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Old 14-01-2011, 15:18   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post

I am just wondering if we should not “as recreational sailors” , discuss and impose a threshold so that the boat and the crew do not get beaten up.

……Where turning around is not seen as some kind of failure???

Just thinking

When I find myself thinking that maybe I should turn around, which I talk myself out of, and this happens a few times in a reasonable period of time; that's about the time that I do in fact turn around.

This of course has to be balanced aganist whether I think whatever is behind me is safer.

On my boat the rule is that we do whatever the safer more conservative action is that anyone voices.
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Old 14-01-2011, 15:32   #15
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Not sure when I "would" turn around....but definately been in one too many situations when we "should" have turned around!!!

I can only hope I will remember that lesson next time
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