Favorite rough weather technique

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by gonzo, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I heave-to routinely. That is, back up the jib and set the tiller to leeward (or the rudder to windward). It is easy, fast and settles the boat into a relatively easy motion. It makes it safer to, for example, take a reef down.
     
  2. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Do you mean a reefer furling main? I mean how do you slide the main down the track when the slides are loaded in heavy winds?

    Before I wised up and bought a power boat my 63 foot sloop needed to shake the main down by holding her into the wind.
     
  3. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I heave-to with any kind of reefing system or with the main doused. The jib is doing the work.
     
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  4. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    For now, at the first sign of bad weather I goose the throttle and aim for shelter at 20-30 mph. This is pretty much the best storm tactic a small runabout has to offer. On the occasions where I have been caught in significant seas, modulating the throttle to maintain steering control and stay on the backs of the waves (if running) or aim for the destructive interference nodes (if beating) works very well, but requires a lot of concentration. (On several occasions, I've run a 5-metre boat into 2-metre seas this way, and ended up with slightly spray-dampened crew but a dry bilge.)

    Of course, this is in small, fast powerboats; tactics will differ greatly when you go from 20 to 500 lb/hp and add a deck, keel, etc....
     
  5. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Modulating the throttle is crucial. I remember my sister cutting the throttle suddenly while surfing a 18' runabout and getting pooped. She was really embarassed to sink her friend's boat.
     
  6. Kay9
    Joined: Oct 2006
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    Kay9 1600T Master

    My Favorite heavy wx tech is to stand on chicken point in Winchestor bay Oregon and watch other people trying to get across the bar.

    ;)

    K9
     
  7. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    Reminiscent of the surest cure for Mal De Mer! (Take a nap under an apple tree)
     
  8. capt vimes
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    capt vimes Senior Member

    gonzo

    you never got caught by the so called 'bora' off the coast of croatia...
    if you are sailing there and do not see the signs in time or ingnore them or are not able to read them, winds with forces 9 and higher might hit you within less than an hour... leaving you trapped in the middle of a lot of stoney and ugly islands... you definitely do not heave-to there... :p

    what i am trying to bring across:
    heavy weather strategies are very much dependent on the situation and location you are encountering it...
    you got a lot of water around you - you actually could do as fits you...
    you are close to land - reach open water as fast as possible... even if this means beating upwind for hours and knocking the crew about on the ship...

    generally i am trying to get out of the weather with all speed and sails up the ship can bear and on the safest yet fastest course... and i have to confess - i like riding a storm very much! :p ;)
     
  9. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I learned to sail in the Plata river. There is an average of nine hurricane force winds a year, plus several gales. The "Pampero" is similar to that. The wind dies down, the temperature drops twenty or more degrees and within ten minutes the front arrives with hurricane force.
     
  10. capt vimes
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    capt vimes Senior Member

    so you know how fast a front with dangerous windforces can hit you...
    but it was not the point of my posting...

    any weathering strategy capable of getting the ship and crew through the rough times unharmed is dependend on the circumstances you are facing... different circumstances - different strategy
    a good skipper should be confident with any strategy there is...

    but to be honest - i like to sail it out with a course having the wind on the beam to aftship depending on the seaway and the traveldirection of the waves... and with enough water ahead of me....
    you see - there have to be a lot of conditions met before i can do what i like most... ;)
     
  11. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    In extreme cases my favorite is to panic, run in circles and scream. It is what I read in most "disaster" sailing stories :)
     
  12. capt vimes
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    capt vimes Senior Member

    hehe... unfortunately this is the case with most skippers... :)
     
  13. bntii
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    bntii Senior Member

    I never remember to heave to or do anything sensible when the circumstances call for a clear thinking.
    I always just fight it out- half under water with gear flogging about.. and tell the stories in the bar afterward.
     
  14. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Now there is a truth full man.
     

  15. ancient kayaker
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    That would be from the WITOIDRICSAS school of mamagement theory: "When In Trouble Or In Doubt Run In Circles Scream And Shout"

    I'm a JGOWI man myself (Just Get On With It)

    Hm: this might need a whole new thread ...
     
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