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Old 20-07-2018, 09:23   #46
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Re: Hurricane staying aboard

Tigerpaws, Belize and others here have it right! After spending many years commercially on the water, I cannot agree more. A hurricane or even tropical storm is not where you want to be aboard or even shoreside.
Get the hell outa Dodge at the first forecast of an H an do not return until you get an all clear.
Unless, of course, you have a death wish...
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Old 20-07-2018, 09:25   #47
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Re: Hurricane staying aboard

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Originally Posted by Mark Johnson View Post
I was in Pensacola for Hurricane Ivan, (the year before Katrina) which was just 1 mph shy of a cat 4, and WORSE than H Katrina, except we only had a 14’ storm surge, and in Katrina the surge was much worse because of the lay of the land. Ivan had been a 4 or 5 longer than any storm EVER, generating the largest verifiable waves at sea ever recorded.

In H Ivan, (Bayou Chico) I prepared and saved all 4 of the boat’s required to save my boat, or to help friends save theirs.

I had 21 lines on my boat, and staying on shore about 500’ away, swam out 9 times to loosen my lines (under water) as the surge came in. I also secured the boats directly upwind if me.

MY PILINGS WERE PURPOSELY, 12’ out from my boat! Any slip must be twice as large as the boat, minimum!

In the worst of it, the house I was staying in was filling full of water, and I walked with armpit deep water a block, to the only stilt house near by.

Of the 200 or so boats on our hardest hit side, all but a few ended up in their yard! All but a few of the 60 + anchored out boats did as well.

Two of those I saved were anchored out, and were boats I had secured before the storm. One (a Searunner 34 sistership trimaran), was in 3’ of water, on the far end of the Bayou, so shallow that it took weeks to get a tide that would float her out. It too, was undamaged except for the bent wind vane.

If you really want to save your boat, all it takes is the skills, and a willingness to do it. I did, In winds gusting to over 150 mph!

Sir it takes more than willingness and skills, it also takes the physical ability, some people do not have that for many reasons. To suggest that anyone can save their boat is simply wrong and you are encourging someone to risk their life for what a boat? A home or something else?

The entire story, is in my book as well, and exactly how to make a three anchor hurricane mooring, which I have used many times.
People like you get others killed.

Stop selfishly promoting your book.
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Old 20-07-2018, 09:26   #48
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Re: Hurricane staying aboard

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Originally Posted by Capt Phil View Post
Tigerpaws, Belize and others here have it right! After spending many years commercially on the water, I cannot agree more. A hurricane or even tropical storm is not where you want to be aboard or even shoreside.
Get the hell outa Dodge at the first forecast of an H an do not return until you get an all clear.
Unless, of course, you have a death wish...
Phil
Agreed!!!!
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Old 20-07-2018, 09:28   #49
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Re: Hurricane staying aboard

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Originally Posted by TigerPaws View Post
Sounds to me like you are promoting your book more than sound advise.
I am 63, and not as strong as I once was, but none of the techniques I am referring to take strength, just skill. If one lacks the skill, as almost everyone does, then it is different for them. I often used their own lines to secure their boats in a hurricane, (after THEY left town) if they were upwind of me and they had that “I’m insured” mentality, so did not adequately prepare for the storm.

Nothing wrong with insurance, but most folks will pay for it over years, but balk at spending $2,000 in ground tackle. Go figure?


I have been a multihuller on homemade (3 self built boats) since the 70s, and NONE of my cruising contemporaries had hull insurance, as only Loyds would offer it, and it was ridiculously expensive. I am now a consultant in these matters...


Down in the Caribbean, far less than half of the boats overall are insured... I use “Assurance”, by anchoring to stay put in the first place.
I carry cheep liability insurance, but your liability insurance is useless to me, because if your boat damages mine in a storm, it will not pay, and even if you payed I still have to fix the boat, as no one else can fix my boat. Insurance will not pay a person to fix their own boat, EVER!


I have been around you guys dragging all over the place in just a 60 knot thunderstorm, over 100 times. In my estimation, that overt lack of knowledge, or that level of laziness, is irresponsible.


To learn how... read the book.
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Old 20-07-2018, 10:00   #50
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Re: Hurricane staying aboard

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Your boat. Your life. Your call.

Me, Im not going to risk my life for ANY inanimate object. To try to safe a life, maybe (depending on circumstances), a boat, no.
Did you ever go on a cross country car trip? If so, that was FAR more dangerous than doing what is necessary to keep your boat from crushing mine in a hurricane.

It may be “just a material object” to you, but my 3 boats took me 21 years of 70+ hour weeks, (NO days off) and that was at considerable risk! It has been my life... I can not afford to “buy” a boat, and folks who can, are far too cavalier in their anchoring skills. I see them all the time, not properly setting their hook, 95% of the time!


I still measure the risks I will take VERY carefully, and I always take the route of least risk. If the situation allows you to tie your boat with 21 lines, soooo loosely that a surge can definitely rise and fall without problems, then at that point, evacuation make the most sense.


When the boat was my ONLY home (for 15 years), and I was living on a shoestring, working as I went, evacuation was never an option for me. I had neither the money nor a place to go.


For you, in that scenario, it makes sense. I have friends that successfully rode out a cat 5, but it was intense. Also, I have friends who have ridden out a cat 2 at sea, with 55’ waves, in a trimaran, surfing them for days... Talk about PTSD!


I will say, that each category is TWICE as bad as the one before it, and having been in, swam around in, and worked my lines in a borderline low 4, if it was a cat 5, I would secure my boat, and do whatever was necessary to get out of town. At that point, the risk has gone up exponentially, and the likelihood of doing much has gone down exponentially. < cat 3, however, staying with the boat (in a hidey hole) is totally doable, for anyone who has few options, IF they carry hundreds of feet of H lines, know what to do, and are willing to take a relatively small risk to save their boat. In this context, for this person, it is FAR more scary than it is dangerous.


I have friends from all over the world, and they have all been through a dozen or more hurricane drills on the boat, often spiderwebbed in a creek or the mangroves.


I am not trying to make another $2 on my book, I was just trying to help folks who do NOT want to lose their boat, or crush mine. I really appreciate that!
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Old 20-07-2018, 10:04   #51
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Re: Hurricane staying aboard

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Originally Posted by Mark Johnson View Post
I am 63, and not as strong as I once was, but none of the techniques I am referring to take strength, just skill. If one lacks the skill, as almost everyone does, then it is different for them. I often used their own lines to secure their boats in a hurricane, (after THEY left town) if they were upwind of me and they had that “I’m insured” mentality, so did not adequately prepare for the storm.

Nothing wrong with insurance, but most folks will pay for it over years, but balk at spending $2,000 in ground tackle. Go figure?

I have been a multihuller on homemade (3 self built boats) since the 70s, and NONE of my cruising contemporaries had hull insurance, as only Loyds would offer it, and it was ridiculously expensive. I am now a consultant in these matters...

Down in the Caribbean, far less than half of the boats overall are insured... I use “Assurance”, by anchoring to stay put in the first place.
I carry cheep liability insurance, but your liability insurance is useless to me, because if your boat damages mine in a storm, it will not pay, and even if you payed I still have to fix the boat, as no one else can fix my boat. Insurance will not pay a person to fix their own boat, EVER!

I have been around you guys dragging all over the place in just a 60 knot thunderstorm, over 100 times. In my estimation, that overt lack of knowledge, or that level of laziness, is irresponsible.

To learn how... read the book.
Your answer always seems to be selfserving, read your book.

People are irresponsible everywhere, get used to it. I had the honor to command a number of Air Force PJ's (Para Jumpers) these are the men who go were others feared to tread, some lost their lives saving others because someone thought they could handle it.

Mother Nature is not to be underestimated but people are irresponsible and will generally take the easy way out. I paid for full insurance for my boat (sold today) and I will pay for full coverage on my new boat when it hits the water.

To do otherwise is irresponsible.

I lived on my boat and sailed up and down the Caribbean for the past 10 plus years and I have never been through a Hurricane because I make certain that I am not around when one is coming.

I have seen 60 plus mph winds and microbursts which were stronger, boats dragged and some beached. As long as they do not come my way that is their owners problems not mine.
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Old 20-07-2018, 10:42   #52
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Re: Hurricane staying aboard

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Maybe you misunderstood my post. I didnt say there was nothing you could do to prepare for a major hurricane, I said there was little you could do while aboard the boat in hurricane conditions.

Absolutely prep the boat well, as you described in your post, ....then get outta town!
Nothing could be further from the truth, IF it is less than a cat 4, in a protected little hidey hole. This truism is just not true!
You can put dozens of lines on the boat, which may well require loosening as the surge moves in. You can not tighten loaded lines, but you CAN loosen them! I have done it hundreds of times.
The smaller the H hole you are in the better, but more loosening may be required. You will likely not be alone in there, and will need to tend lines to the other boats, which may all be tied together.


Also, if you secure your boat properly for the storm, the main risk is OTHER boats dragging down on you. (Folks with that “there is nothing you can do” mentality).


You can put on a snorkel and fins (even in 100+ mph winds) and using two boat fenders to float them out, you can swim out, upwind, to the dragging boat, drop the hook, and attach the rode through a chock and around a cleat or to the mast.


If you can not get on deck, you can do a rolling hitch around the boat’s existing anchor lines.


This stuff requires that you be a good swimmer, but wearing a wetsuite, you are very buoyant, and are never holding up the weight of the anchor or the rode bag... fenders, tied to them with a bow knot, hold them up. Untie the bow, and the anchor drops right there.

If it is a Cat 1 or so, you can fall back if drug down on, and fend off the boat that is dragging down on you. I have done it! You can also move your boat a bit to the side with the engine as the dragging boat passes...


Risks?
Since your body is 95% under water, it has no windage nor a large target area for debris to hit. It is FAR easier and safer to swim around in a hurricane, than walk around in one, with all of the debris flying!


Also:
You can observe a chafed line on your boat, and using another line, throw a rolling hitch around it, and cleat that, etc.


There are a dozen more examples, but it gets too long to explain. Cruise long enough, and do the drill enough times, and you developed the skills.


I have saved my boat during the height of a storm over a dozen times, from being on it during the storm, and there is a LOT you can still do.



Btw, when doing deck work in a hurricane I wear my glasses, which protects my eyes from the 100+ mph rain, and I tighten the hood very tight around my face, so that only my glasses and eyes can be seen. When swimming, I usually have on my fins and prescription dive mask and use a snorkel with a one way valve, and Kevlar gloves. This protects my hands.


It is all about developing the skills and a willingness to save your boat and the boats that your boat might crush. The risks, are like parachuting, SCUBA diving, etc... they are not a 50% likelihood of being killed, but more like .1% likelihood, IF you have the skills.
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Old 20-07-2018, 11:03   #53
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Re: Hurricane staying aboard

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Originally Posted by Mark Johnson View Post
I have ...been through well over 20 hurricanes.

...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Johnson View Post
...

I have done it over 20 times...and there is OFTEN no other option...
I was born in the hurricane belt and have spent most of my life in it. Ive prepared/helped prepare or moved out of harms way countless boats, including my own.

Given your stated track record of riding out hurricanes, maybe one of the "skills" you should work on is interpreting forecasts.
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Old 20-07-2018, 11:17   #54
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Re: Hurricane staying aboard

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
I was born in the hurricane belt and have spent most of my life in it. Ive prepared/helped prepare or moved out of harms way countless boats, including my own.

Given your stated track record of riding out hurricanes, maybe one of the "skills" you should work on is interpreting forecasts.
While what you have said is true, staying aboard is going to get you killed someday and while that is acceptable if only you die, your actions may cause someone else to be injured or killed while trying to help you or even worse rescue you because of your ill-advised decision to stay aboard.
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Old 20-07-2018, 11:22   #55
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Re: Hurricane staying aboard

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Originally Posted by TigerPaws View Post
While what you have said is true, staying aboard is going to get you killed someday and while that is acceptable if only you die, your actions may cause someone else to be injured or killed while trying to help you or even worse rescue you because of your ill-advised decision to stay aboard.
Oops, think you quoted the wrong person. Im the guy who would NEVER intentionally stay aboard a boat in a hurricane or advise anyone else to either.
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Old 20-07-2018, 11:36   #56
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Re: Hurricane staying aboard

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
I was born in the hurricane belt and have spent most of my life in it. Ive prepared/helped prepare or moved out of harms way countless boats, including my own.

Given your stated track record of riding out hurricanes, maybe one of the "skills" you should work on is interpreting forecasts.
If you were doing this 40 years ago, on a self built boat, while living hand to mouth and free diving for your food, you would know that NOAA weather radio on the vhf was our only weather forecasting tool. I always made the most logical choice while living and working in the FL Keys, to find the best H hole, but sailing offshore, (out of range of the VHF) with no weather forecasting at all... and risking being hit, WOULD be dangerous.


I have always made rational choices, and it is cowardly and/or just plain ignorant, for anyone to say that riding out a small hurricane, in a well secured boat, in a SMALL protected H hole, in order to adjust lines and save the boat, is an irrational choice. If the alternative is being caught at sea by one, it is the ONLY rational choice.


Just because so many people lack the skills, focus, and courage to cruise responsibly, and make sure their anchoring techniques are sufficient to keep the boat where they left it, does not make it right.


I have had to fend off and tie off dozens of boats, owned by self centered people who simply do not care about others. It is your responsibility! If you do not have what it takes to keep your boat from crushing mine, then you are living your life at the expense of others.
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Old 20-07-2018, 14:35   #57
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Re: Hurricane staying aboard

"First thing, if you have sufficient warning and can do so safely, try to get out of the track of the hurricane or at the very least, out of the dangerous semicircle.

If you plan to stay onboard make sure you are in a location that you can safely bail out and reach land if you drag. This would have to be in a spot where you won't be hit by large waves so an enclosed harbor or river. If you beach in big surf you will possibly die.

In the Keys everyone, his brother, cousin and next door neighbor is looking for a hurricane hole. If you find one when you get there you'll probably find 4-5 other boats beat you there.

Don't know the 34 Morgan but if it's shoal draft like the Out Islands then way back in the mangroves with every line you have tied to shore."

Well said skipmac. I could not agree more.

The safest place for your vessel is a tree-lined Mangrove creek, preferably one that has only a small flow, so that the ensuing deluge of rain will not drive logs and other debris into your hull at great speed.

Having secured her with LONG ropes, placed anchors with long scope fore and aft, stowed sails, cordage and anything else loose on deck--you can either do as I did and bolt, or you can stay aboard as my friends did and sit through a category four cyclone, so strong that one gust of wind lifted my friend's 42 foot catamaran completely out of the water to a height of a metre or so until it dropped back in, one hull at a time. Terrifying stuff..

I got back expecting to see my masts sticking out of the water--but the vessel was fine--just covered in branches and leaves--but the deck and cockpit drains had been blocked by leaves and water had gone below. The boat was dry--the bilge pumps had done their thing--but the battery bank was flat. I had been able to get further upstream than most--so I did not have any idiots coming adrift upstream of me and bearing down in a creek in full spate.

That is the only reason to stay aboard--preservation of one's own and the vessels of others in the event of yours coming adrift. Properly fastened--that should not happen. Any vessel is replaceable, or expendable, compared with your life. I tied mine with about four or five long nylon ropes, shrouded at fairl eads to avoid chafe, anchors on chain rodes fore and aft and abeam, as well as removing anything loose and rigging extra tie-downs for the aft cabin roof and all hatches.

I could have stayed aboard--but elected not to do so. I motored all the way back to the boat ramp, trailered the dink--and came back a week later when it was all over.

The devastation was particularly bad at Cardwell--where a marina had floated off its pylons in a tidal surge. There it had reached Cat 5. The pylons had been made a few feet shorter than the design length on the whim of some fool developer who thought shorter pilings "Looked better".
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Old 20-07-2018, 14:50   #58
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Re: Hurricane staying aboard

Having experienced Debbie a category 3/4 cyclone first hand I would never ever contemplate staying aboard. Not even in a marina. The force of the wind once over a 100 knots is unstoppable and makes escaping once your in it unlikely.
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Old 20-07-2018, 16:53   #59
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Re: Hurricane staying aboard

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Originally Posted by Mark Johnson View Post
If you were doing this 40 years ago, on a self built boat, while living hand to mouth and free diving for your food, you would know that NOAA weather radio on the vhf was our only weather forecasting tool. I always made the most logical choice while living and working in the FL Keys, to find the best H hole, but sailing offshore, (out of range of the VHF) with no weather forecasting at all... and risking being hit, WOULD be dangerous.

I have always made rational choices, and it is cowardly and/or just plain ignorant, for anyone to say that riding out a small hurricane, in a well secured boat, in a SMALL protected H hole, in order to adjust lines and save the boat, is an irrational choice. If the alternative is being caught at sea by one, it is the ONLY rational choice.

cowardly/ignorant. These are strong words for people you do not presonally know. What you do is up to you, you are more than welcome to get yourself killed or worse. As long as you do not call for help when something goes wrong and risk someone else's life then please take unnecessary risks, sooner rather than later something will happen to you.

Just because so many people lack the skills, focus, and courage to cruise responsibly, and make sure their anchoring techniques are sufficient to keep the boat where they left it, does not make it right.

Courage? You know NOTHING of true courage, face down armed and determined men bent on killing you, fight your way back to help a wonded man on your team while under heavy maching gun fire. Know that any of the men in your team would die to save you, carry back under fire the lifeless bodies of those who died fighting next to you. Courage is kicking down a door knowing full well that you will be shot at.

I had the honor and privilege for 35 years to fight along side and to command some the finest young men in the world. Men of true courage who without a second thought would run towards the sound of battle.

You speak of a lack of courage when facing a Hurricane, knowingly facing a major storm when you have to oppertunity to get out of harms way is the very definition of the word insanity.

I have had to fend off and tie off dozens of boats, owned by self centered people who simply do not care about others. It is your responsibility! If you do not have what it takes to keep your boat from crushing mine, then you are living your life at the expense of others.
Sir please stop berating others whom you do not know for choices they made under circumstances you know nothing about.
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Old 20-07-2018, 18:08   #60
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Re: Hurricane staying aboard

In the 80's I was fortunate to work aboard a classic sailing yacht . We were in the middle of a complete refit , motor not operable . The yacht was over 100 ft tyed up at the marina motor inn 17st causeway in ft lauderdale . A hurricane threatened 😖 . I had moments of panic , I called the old captain and asked for his thoughts . His only suggestion was to dbl tie everything batten down the hatches , go below with your favorite bottle and pray !!! He then proceeded to tell me a story about a sailor who went through a hurricane on his boat . When the hurricane was over the sailor wanted nothing more to do with his boat he grabbed an oar from his dinghy and started walking inland and when he was far enough away from the ocean and a stranger asked him what was he carrying (the oar ) he decided he was far enough away and that's where he settled down .the hurricane passed us by in ft lauderdale, forever thankful , would not have wanted to lose that yacht . There is no safe harbor in a hurricane...to much can go wrong .....my 2 cents
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