Favorite rough weather technique

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

  1. Eric Sponberg
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    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    More often than not, I will run with the wind and tow warps. This is because most of the time, I am probably on off-wind courses anyway. When on the wind, and not wanting to lose too much leeway, I lie ahull and wait it out--lash tiller over to leeward and go below. I do not believe in storm trysails, I would rather proceed under bare poles. Off the wind, this isn't a problem. On the wind, even with trysails, you can still go too fast.

    Eric
     
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  2. MikeJohns
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    MikeJohns Senior Member


    I was at a boat show recently and when I asked the fst talking salesman what he thought the chances were of the racing-cruiser he was toting being able to heave-to he said "No one heaves to any more "

    I've always found heaving-to to be a very stress reducing and easy manouvre if you are on a passage and need some rest, but I'd be wary of doing it in a 'performance-boat' as I think you might compromise your safety.

    On passages we usually just abandon our intended course and change course to wherever we get the most comfortable ride if its more or less in the right direction, otherwise we heave to. As the seas build you need to run with them with the wind over 40 knots the bare mast on a sloop provides 5 to 6 knots and then you may need to tow something to slow down .

    Overall comfort goes up and you be miserable more comfortably when hove-to :)
     
  3. jim lee
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    jim lee Senior Member

    Boat wouldn't heave to. Tried with no success.

    We would remove the jib, reef the main, then point close hauled into the wind 'till the speed dropped to about 3 kn. Using wind vane to hold the angle.

    Get book, read & nap.

    -jim lee
     
  4. simon
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    simon Senior Member

    instead of heaving to, I go upwind with very reduced sails. you can pick the speed and the boat is under control. Waves seem to slap the stern and not the stem. Going downwind raises the risk of broaching and going out of control. I could not make the warps work. Maybe drogue would work. but puts a lot of strain on the boat.


    Simon
     
  5. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    I'm surprised that nobody seems to have mentioned lying to a sea anchor yet..... a lot of the more recent literature on seamanship discusses a big (10 to 30 foot) parachute anchor as a good strategy for staying bow-to-the-waves in seriously rough stuff. Thoughts?
     
  6. simon
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    simon Senior Member

    a friend of mine used a para anchor once and he told me that he did get rid of it after that. He deployed it from the bow. I don't think that he used a bridle to angle the bow to the waves. He said that the bow slammed from one side to the other and everytime reaching the end of the stretch his boat was strained and I think that he said that he ripped a deckgear of the deck. The strain on the rudder was huge and he was afraid of breaking it.

    Simon
     
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  7. MikeJohns
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    Mat

    I guess this will depend a lot on the size and style of the boat and just what you call 'rough stuff'. It's propable the best option for multi-hulls

    I suspect if deployed you'd end up cutting it away if the weather built past the point where you could lie ahull anyway. Every big sea would sweep the boat and then I'd worry too...
    If the gear parted rising on a big breaker, then with no control you would be backwards pitch poled. At that stage you are much better running with it.

    I see a lot of marketing for para anchors but I think thier real worth is to postpone drift onto a lee shore. I think the best strategy for a monohull would be to stream a small one astern to slow down.
     
  8. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I've never used a sea anchor. They seem more like a marketing gimmick than anything. If I am going to put that much strain on my boat, I rather it had some steerage.
     
  9. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    Avoid?

    In order ... :)

    Avoid if possible any wind/sea state combination I don't want to sail in. Even in a 5 knot boat you have some control of how bad conditions will be if you have decent forecasts aboard and can update them every 6-12 hours. SSB radio helps here.

    I tend to have the next sail change down ready whenever it is likely to kick up. #4 Jib hanked on inner forestay, with storm jib ready. When #4 goes up, the storm jib gets hanked on below. Trysail lives in its bag on its own track all the time with ability to tack above boom or at deck level.

    Jordan Series Drogue is ready at all times. I don't know of any boat ever capsized while streaming a JSD. If I can get 100 miles of sea room before it goes to hell the JSD should limit the drift to about 1.5 knots ... 36 miles in 24 hours. Yes it depends on what side of the weather you are on.

    The only time I ever have to heave too or run about in a panic is when I've forgotten #1 ... avoid the worst weather if possible. Having a boat that is quite happy to sail in 30-35 with the #4 and two reefs in helps. Also heaves too nicely with that sail combo.

    We actually took advantage of a hurricane for a delivery up the west coast of Mexico from Manzanillo to PV. Rather than beat up the coast, the circulation gave us about 20 knots from the South and we surfed around Cabo Corrientes in 10 foot swells. I'll take running in 20 over beating into it any day! :)

    If we were going to Cabo San Lucas, we would have stayed in the bar.
     
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  10. john.G
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    john.G Junior Member

    If I'm out there to work...

    Go surfing!!!
     

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  11. john.G
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    john.G Junior Member

    seriously though...

    My first choice is always to find a nice place to belly up and wait it out.

    My second choice is always to run for deep open ocean. more boats sink by running into things ( or being driven onto them) then ever get overwhelmed by bad weather. So I get sea room.

    My third action is to reef early and reef deep.

    I will always choose to run if I can. That's why my own boat has a canoe stern... not one of them flat assed things that get slapped and pushed around by following seas until they broach.

    If I can't run, even under a scrap of canvas the size of my wife's bikini, then I'll come about.

    At that point I will swing the other half of the wife's bikini off the other mast. See, it's not just there to lean against taking sights. As long as I can maintain steerage I'm happy, even if I'm going backwards across the ocean.

    If I'm going backwards I will stream a rope off the bow. And while I've never had to do it, i am prepared to lay a slick if necessary.
     
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  12. ancient kayaker
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    Any chance of getting your wife's input on this?
     
  13. john.G
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    john.G Junior Member

  14. magwas
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    magwas Senior Member

    In blue water, deploy your Jordan series drought.
    In coastal waters choose a good anchoring site before the storm hits you. Anchor from stern, and make sure than no boat leaving anchor will foul yours.
    Always be up to date on weather forecasts, so you won't get caught in a storm unprepared.
     
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  15. magwas
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    magwas Senior Member

    Sea anchor is the answer to a question involving old style ships. Modern yachts should be slowed down from the stern, And it helps to have a system which doesn not depend on setting the rope length according to wave length.

    http://www.jordanseriesdrogue.com/D_3.htm
     
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