Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 12-08-2006, 22:19   #1
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nevada City. CA
Boat: Sceptre 41
Posts: 3,745
Images: 9
Worst Storm You've Been Thru at Sea

I'll start this one off by saying I've never been in a named storm. Worst seas I've ever been in was off Half Moon Bay in a MORC (Midget Ocean racing Club) boat > 30' Winds weren't that bad maybe 30 to 40 knots. but when you got to the bottom of a swell you couldn't see the tips of th masts around you.

Worst winds I ever saw were in SF Bay went out sailing with a friend out of Berkely on an Olson 25. Tucked in a couple of reefs before leaving the dock. Winds kept getting stronger and by the time we had sailed for an hour or two the wind was a steady 45 knots with stronger gusts. Went up around Alcatraz saw the two red flags with black dots on them and thought We should head home. My friends wife said that she wasn't worried until she realized that she had only seen one other boat out all day and it was partially dismasted. -- Fractional rig with tip of the mast folded over.

I'm sure some of you have better stories to tell. Lets hear them.
__________________

__________________
Fair Winds,

Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
Charlie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-08-2006, 02:12   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
SkiprJohn's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Kea'au, Big Island, Hawaii
Boat: Cascade, Sloop, 42 - "Casual"
Posts: 14,192
Aloha Charlie,
"What would be the Strongest Storm?" Was the title of a previous thread which pretty much covered this subject. I've been through 2 hurricanes and 1 typhoon aboard Navy Destroyers/Cruisers. By far the worst was in the Straits of Taiwan which is relatively shallow and with more than 100 knots of wind and 50 foot waves even on a Destroyer was pretty bad.
Regards, --JohnL--
__________________

__________________
SkiprJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-08-2006, 18:30   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: cairns australia
Boat: now floating easy37
Posts: 636
Images: 41
category 2 cyclone on passage from nz to vanuatu we tryed to avoid it but ended up sailing through the eye, this was on a 65 foot ferro ketch rig, other than a few broekn ropes not a lot of damage, it was actually for a young 20 yr old guy pretty cool and exciting, looking back now that i have 3 kids i would avoid this situation, sadly for us on our boat at the time we only had an average speed of 5-6kn and couldnt avoid it this was in 95 and supposedly the cyclone season was over
sean
__________________
northerncat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2006, 11:12   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Seattle area (Bremerton)
Boat: C&C Landfall 39 center cockpit "Anahita"
Posts: 1,076
Images: 6
Hurricane

I got caught in the dangerous semi-circle of a hurricane which had just turned from a tropical storm. Had been monitoring the weather yet couldn't avoid the bad position due to a lee shore off to starboard. What a ride!

After clawing down the double reefed main (early) and then the small poled-out jib I was worried that with no sails up the boat would really roll. Wrong! To get back to the cockpit in a hurry I lashed the pole to the headstay rather than attempt to stow it. The wind resistance of the pole and rigging alone made the boat stop rolling alltogether and stand straight up! Had 67 kts windspeed over the boat and the knotmeter showed 10-12 knots through the water downwind.

First day was very dark and I had to use the decklights to see what I was doing on deck (and get the hell back to the cockpit). Busy, busy, busy helps keep fear at bay so that you can function. Adrenalin totaly squelches sea-sickness yet you wonder just how much of the stuff your body can keep making before running out and what then?

I have good power in the autopilot and a compass sensor which detects compass magnet instad of weak earth field directly and could take a huge roll without fooling the heading as a result. Before taking down the jib I tried to steer and could not hold a course due to the lack of a horizon and all the huge wave action. Kept the autopilot on after that all the time which did a great job. The scariest waves were the ones which came at different angles along the face of the huge breaking waves behind. Pure luck seemed to keep the boat safe. I could hear (couldn't bear to look behind for fear of fear that might create the deer-in-the-headlights syndrome freezing one into inaction) the breakers coming behind and then water and foam would cover the entire boat leaving the center cockpit the only thing above it. At that time the boat would seem to just hold position and then slowly stagger back higher in the water as the decks began to clear.

Finally the center began to move away allowing us to veer out of the bad position away and away. We knew that everything would be O.K. when we no longer had to shout to be heard right next to each other and had to raise a sail again to keep from rolling. Pure pucker power! Glad the boat was better than me and that I had put in such a good autopilot.
__________________
Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2006, 11:20   #5
CF Adviser
 
Intentional Drifter's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Pac NW
Boat: Boatless, for now, Cat enthusiast
Posts: 1,283
Rick --

"Glad...that I had put in such a good autopilot." OMG. I bet you've been a loyal customer ever since! (I know I would be.) Care to share the brand and details?

ID
__________________
Intentional Drifter

Observations are gold; hypotheses, silver; and conclusions, bronze.

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.--Ben Franklin

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.--Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Intentional Drifter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2006, 20:41   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2005
Boat: amel super maramu 53 Kimberlite
Posts: 114
2 hurricanes a few storms

been in hurricane georges and michelle in my tartan 37.

also in a VERY bad storm in about 2001 3 lows came together-weathermen said to stop and do not go further north in our tartan 37.
wound up with the jordan series drogue out (worked like a charm) about 500 miles south of bermuda.
when the srorm was over 7 boats were abandoned. after that 2 water spouts and 2 more gales before reaching bermuda.

this november we were heading to the carib from newport just south of the stream. . we were sailing in 50+ knots on our Amel as was my friend
bill in a 64 Oyster. he was hit with a microburst , which he feels was over 100 knots. knocked down, main destroyed, dodger and bimini mia.
made it to bermuda and ordered new sail.

we dont count Gails anymore.as it is common to run into one in november or late april in the atlantic.
fair winds
eric
__________________
Kimberlite
Amel Super Maramu
kimberlite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-08-2006, 12:13   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Seattle area (Bremerton)
Boat: C&C Landfall 39 center cockpit "Anahita"
Posts: 1,076
Images: 6
Intentional Drifter...

I still have that autopilot and it is over 25 years old. I've rebuilt the motor and pump assembly. It is a Wagner with the higher cost optional Japanese compass/sensor (still used in some other autopilots. The drive circuit will deliver sufficient drive for 1/2 HP with good battery terminal voltage. In my opinion, a 35-40 ft cruising boat needs a minimum of a 1/4hp motor pumpset to drive the rudder fast enough in a heavy following sea to avoid excessive yawing possibly resulting in a broach.

One interesting facet about those Wagner autopilot servocontrols is that they use tach feedback for the motor which gives superior control over rudder feedback only, which most of todays autopilots require due to the expense of adding a tach to the motor assembly. I notice that there is one autopilot manufacture using tach feedback yet I don't recall the brand. Their engineer has a servocontrolls background and that is why he designed in tach feedback (that is also part of my background).

What most system designers don't think of is that if one has a minimum sized motor pumpset with tach feedback AND a drive circuit capable of delivering much more current one can merely add almost anyone's pumpset not having tach feedback in parallel, both electrical as well as hydraulic (assuming that the pumpset has built-in check valves). It is less expensive that way to get high power when needed. If the autopilot cannot drive the rudder from dead ahead to hardover in about 3 seconds then you risk over yawing in heavy seas.
__________________
Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-08-2006, 04:25   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
sneuman's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2003
Location: Jamaica
Boat: Tayana 37 Cutter
Posts: 3,167
Images: 37
Typhoon in South China Sea last year. Sailed thru it (or it sailed over us!). Force 10-11, seas 30-40ft.

Overall it was a good experience, and one I hope never to repeat.
__________________
sneuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-08-2006, 09:46   #9
Registered User

Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 58
Worst I saw was in the NE quad fringes of hurricane Gladys in 1968 aboard an empty 500' freighter. Winds were minimal cat 1 and waves reported 30'+ (we were heading south on the western edge of the Gulf Stream and the hurricane heading west). The waves looked like mountains and the whitecaps big enough to toss any 60' sailboat on it's beam ends. A 40' ocean cruiser would have been doing 360s and impossible for a crew to be on deck. A fully loaded tanker passed and I could see waves breaking over the bow and making solid water over the deck and half way up the pilot house near the stern. Our ship was steaming slowly into the waves and little to no green breaking over the bow. We could walk on deck but had to hold on. Nobody was eating or able to stay in their bunk. Lesson learned was to stay FAR away from hurricanes...and double that distance if in a multihull (there would have been no pieces big enough to hold on to and wait for rescue no matter what the advertising says).
__________________
BBill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-08-2006, 10:36   #10
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nevada City. CA
Boat: Sceptre 41
Posts: 3,745
Images: 9
Sounds like people have had some adventures.

Skpr J: I would think that destroyers would have enough speed to run away from storms. Was it a case of having to be somewhere?

Rick: More I think about it the more important a reliable autopilot is. After using one going down the ICW in Florida I really thought I wanted a Ray Marine. Simple to use. Now my thoughts are more towards durability and longevity. The existing one is an Alpha 3000. I'm ging to talk to service today and see what kind of deal I can work with them on a trade in. Also Cptn Happy has an old non working one I might buy for parts.

Northncat: Was that the "Queen's Storm" you are talking about. Saw a video on it a few months ago. quite a path of destrcution. Really makes me want to get one of those Jordan seroes drogues.

Kimberlite: Can you share with us your experiences with the JS Drogue. I am seriously thinkgin of getting one. I want to mount some chain plates on the stern of the boat running longitudal that would stick out a few inches past the transom so that I could put a shackle on the chainplate to hook up the JS drogue. A few specific questions: Was the ride as smooth as the website says? How did you retrieve the dorgue? Did your cockpit get pooped?

Snueman: Read your article. Was actually too scared to reply. Perhaps you could post a link on this thread. It was really interesting. I only read the press release version if you could please link to the more detailed version I'd like to read it.

BBill: I guess in 1968 they didn't have the communications systems available to know how to avoid 'canes as well as they have now. OTH I was tlaking to a friend who is a master on a ship. He told me a story of a guy who completely ignored the Admiralty Book and did a great circle route from Alaska to somewhere south. Went over the Aleutians and got hammered by a few storms to save a few hundred miles. Cost lots of extra time and fuel(translated to $$$).

My storms don't seem like much now. In reading over Beth Leonard's and Hal Roth's books tshey both take alot of time studying there routes to be places when there is the least likelyhood of hitting gales. I hope to be able to do the same. But I'll prepare for 'canes anyway.seems to
__________________
Fair Winds,

Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
Charlie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-08-2006, 17:28   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
sneuman's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2003
Location: Jamaica
Boat: Tayana 37 Cutter
Posts: 3,167
Images: 37
Hi Charlie,

Here's a version that ran in Power Squadron's Ensign:

http://www.usps.org/national/ensign/...m#featurejump1
__________________
sneuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-08-2006, 20:03   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2005
Boat: amel super maramu 53 Kimberlite
Posts: 114
charlie--jordan series drogue

Charlie,
on my tartan we fastened the drogue to the primary winches and it worked fine.
i know jordan suggests straps on the stern- but when it gets to drogue time i doubt you want to be hanging over the stern. i have the new drogue for my amel set up to attach to my stern cleats and use rolling hitches to adjust the bridle with the primary winches.
the ride on the tattan with the jordan series drogue was smooth and we were only pooped twice by a couple of humongous breaking waves.Nothing would have helped in those conditions.

I am suspicious of the worth of the gail rider and others as they rely on one device. if it pops out of the water you are screwed. watching the jordan working was amazing some of it was in the water some was out but always a constand pull on the bridle and no tugging or jerking of the boat. i doubt one device would behave the same way.
incidentally I had installed 2 inch scuppers in the tartan 37 and the cockpit drained quickly. once i was in the cockpit once i was below. quite an interesting experience to be rolled over by a wave.
fair winds,
eric
__________________
Kimberlite
Amel Super Maramu
kimberlite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-08-2006, 20:11   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2005
Boat: amel super maramu 53 Kimberlite
Posts: 114
retreival

i forgot to mention the retreival.
when the wind dropped to 40 knots the boat started rocking swiftly from beam to beam. Very uncomfortable. We were told by herb to stay where we were and not to head further north (7 boats were abandoned to our North). when morning finally came i called ACE sailmakers and asked Dave about the rolling--he had no answer. he said to call mr jordan (on the sat phone) I discussed the problem with Mr Jordan--he sounded like a very old man. he finally said "i know what the proiblem is" i asked what is it . he said " not enough wind" we all got a chuckle out of that.

later we retreived the drogue. it was rather easy. as the boat rolled we pulled in the drogue when it was slack on a primary winch. when the boat rolled back it tightened up the drogue and when it rolled back we had more slack, i never had to winch it in the rolling and pulling made it simple. it took about 20-30 minutes to pull it all in.

DON"T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT>
fair winds,
eric
__________________
Kimberlite
Amel Super Maramu
kimberlite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-08-2006, 20:28   #14
Bob Norson
Guest

Posts: n/a
I am very pleased to say that most of y'all have been through far worse than me! Our best/worst was in Moreton Bay near Brisbane. not because the winds were the worst (mid 40's gusting into 50's) but because we were in shallow water amongst narrow channels and shoals.

The best account I have ever read of someone going through a storm is accessed with the link below. Written by an American guy who crossed the pacific in a Nordhaven 46 and got slamed pretty good out of NZ.

It's 4000 words (two pages) and very very good. he really puts you there.

see www.thecoastalpassage.com/storm.html

cheers
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Old 15-09-2006, 16:52   #15
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Out there doin' it
Boat: 47' Olympic Adventure
Posts: 2,634
bump

I haven't been checking in as regularly as I like, so I missed this when it was posted. Thought others may have missed it too and that would be a shame. Although the author tends to poetic over-dramatization, the story in The Coastal Passage is excellent. Thanks Bob.

Kevin
__________________

__________________
Lodesman is offline   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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sea Trial in Vancouver BC Charlie Monohull Sailboats 6 30-07-2006 11:00
Storm Preparations - What Do You Do? markpj23 Seamanship & Boat Handling 14 12-07-2006 15:38
Tropical Storm watch online RPC General Sailing Forum 0 13-08-2004 08:12
Hurricane advice links GordMay The Library 2 12-08-2004 08:26
A Long Storm Seas0n GordMay Atlantic & the Caribbean 0 09-12-2003 12:24



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:51.


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.