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Old 06-06-2022, 11:02   #61
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Re: How to get heavy weather ocean sailing experience

The more sailing you do will give you the experience.

We certainly didn't go looking for it, but we managed to get heavy weather anyway.

If you have truly been out in 70 knots then you have experienced it already.

When we were cruising we didn't have the amazing weather reports you can get today.

Having your experience already you should have a plan. Every boat is different. When we got in heavy weather we heave-to. Works well for us
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Old 06-06-2022, 12:47   #62
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Re: How to get heavy weather ocean sailing experience

Join the Navy---The only way I'd want to be in 20+ feet. Went through a typhoon on the USS Blueridge LCC-19 many moons ago and would not like to every do it again.
In my boat 10' is duck and hide time.
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Old 06-06-2022, 15:11   #63
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Re: How to get heavy weather ocean sailing experience

Don't know how anyone figures out how large the swells are what size.

We were on our way from Costa Rica and Panama.

The wind was 60+ knots. Still had a hard time figuring out how big they were.
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Old 06-06-2022, 15:59   #64
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Re: How to get heavy weather ocean sailing experience

That's an interesting question...how high were the waves in a 60 knot storm ? I was asked that same exact question many times.

They were " bloody big" I would opine.

When pressed, I would say " I estimated 15-18' "

I used the spreader height on my mizzen mast , which was about 15' above the deck as a gauge. There would be a time or two, standing on deck, when I would look aft, and the waves were at or above spreader height, but hard to say exactly as boat motion was all over the place.

That's my best " guess"....though " bloody big" seems more appropriate...certainly bigger than anything Ii had ever seen.

Another thing was the distance between the waves. To my eye they appeared to be stacked quite closely...how close....another guess....100' ???...maybe closer....sometimes there would be a wave on top of a wave....and they were coming at me at some speed...barely enough time to recover from one before the next one was on top of you..

And finally, while the waves weren't breaking per se, the tops were being blown off, and the face of the wave was quite steep. It was these breaking crests that would roll over the boat and try to roll the boat in the process.

There was another sailboat over the horizon somewhere and we stayed in touch thru' SSB. He told me he got rolled, mast in the water, but that never happened to me.

I'd be interested to hear someone else's view. The worst of it lasted about 18 hours or so, then the wind started to ease, but it took another 24 hours or so for the seas to settle down and we could put up sail again.

There were only two people on the boat. Myself and a friend, bless his heart, he was a trooper. We tried out best to maintain a 45 degree angle going down the waves. It wasn't easy. Our homemade drogue wanted to pull the stern perpendicular to the wave, but we were trying to " steer" the boat to some degree.

For either of us, this was a trying time. While, we were experienced " yachties", we had never experienced this kind of weather before, so everything we did was " experimental" based on something we had likely read before.

My boat was fin keeled with a skeg hung rudder.....a ketch....towards the end, we could last about 15 minutes behind the wheel before handing it off for a quick catnap...

Would love to hear someone else's experience.
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Old 06-06-2022, 16:44   #65
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Re: How to get heavy weather ocean sailing experience

We were hove-to and not steering.

I guess about 18 feet,but it generally fairly comfortable considering the circumstances.

As you mentioned the worse part was when the wind died and there was nothing to keep us stable in the sea
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Old 06-06-2022, 17:11   #66
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pirate Re: How to get heavy weather ocean sailing experience

The blow I was in in the Biscay Spanish Marine reports were 60-70kts and sea's from 9-11metres.. certainly big enough to sink 3 x 90ft fishing boats within 50nm of me, 2 Spanish and 1 Portuguese.
Contrary to many big boat advocates I feel it was being so small was a bonus, bobbed like a cork instead of offering resistance..
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Old 06-06-2022, 23:56   #67
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Re: How to get heavy weather ocean sailing experience

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Pacific Ocean weather systems are very large and can last a long time. Then there are the ever present swells that accentuate the waves. Bad weather is one thing but taken in the context that you are thousands of miles from the nearest land is the realistic venue you must remember you are operating in.

Those who race push their boats hard in an effort to go as fast as possible...that's understandable, its a race which usually lasts only a day or two. If you sail an ocean the objective is to keep the boat and crew together long enough with the stores and spare parts onboard to make your destination. My last roundtrip to Hawaii lasted 22.5 days going over and 21.5 days coming back (a longer distance) through a gale off the coast of Washington (Graveyard of the Pacific), hove-to for 30 hours.

Be careful what you wish for.
Well said
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Old 07-06-2022, 00:13   #68
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Re: How to get heavy weather ocean sailing experience

Heavy weather skills are very useful to acquire. However the trick is to experience enough but survive! The best heavy weather reports would be written by the dead !

Anyone that has experience of serious heavy weather generally arrives at the conclusion that itís best avoided !!
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Old 07-06-2022, 11:23   #69
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Re: How to get heavy weather ocean sailing experience

Try to sign on as crew on a East to West Atlantic crossing from Europe to New England or Canada that is not stopping in the Azores. You will experience gales and 20+ waves as the lows roll off Canada.
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Old 08-06-2022, 03:45   #70
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Re: How to get heavy weather ocean sailing experience

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... We left Halifax on the heels of a gale and proceeded to side step 4 major lows on the way across. Hilgenberg keep us out of the worst ...
Herb Hilgenberg was an icon of dedicated service, to the cruising community!
Herb Hilgenberg, “South Bound II” [VAX498], retired from weather forecasting & routing, after 25 years of FREE service to offshore sailors, in 2013.
<strong>South Bound II VAX498 - Ship routing and weather forecasting</strong>

Herb, in action ➥ https://youtu.be/s68HawOMXMM
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Old 09-06-2022, 11:24   #71
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Re: How to get heavy weather ocean sailing experience

Sign up with Skip Novak !
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