Favorite rough weather technique

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

  1. sabahcat
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    sabahcat Senior Member

    Read somewhere that green on a boat was bad luck (or was it good ?) and that it's bad luck to leave port on a Friday.

    Of course this is all made ok by having green naked woman onboard
  2. MikeJohns
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    Yes you're right of course, I wasn't actually considering cyclones only normal storm fronts, and gales.
  3. Zappi
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    Zappi Senior Member

    Absolute agreement!
  4. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    It seems then all one has to do is keep some naked woman aboard.
    They will turn green by themselves when the rough weather arives.
  5. Manie B
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    Manie B Senior Member

    Nothing like hands on experience in the artic circle on a small boat

    in later articles that he wrote the SERIES DROGUE is a must and was used plenty


    Attached Files:

    1 person likes this.
  6. bntii
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    bntii Senior Member

    Yep- that gear is going on my boat.
  7. BeauVrolyk
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    BeauVrolyk Sailor

    The right tool for the job - absolutely!


    I think you're basically saying: Choose the right boat for the task. This is something I completely agree with and have put into practice.

    For example, from '91 through '95 I sailed from San Francisco to New Zealand with my family. Two children who were then 3 and 7 (when we left SF), my x-wife, and occasional friends as crew (who were almost all very good sailors). For this trip we decided on a 65' Tom Wyle designed ketch named "Saga". She is steel hull, double bottomed, center board with a stub keel that holds the ballast. Gigantic internal tankage, which allows the skipper to shift 500 gal of fuel and 750 gal of water from side to side to stand her up. A tall rig and an easily driven shape that rides very nicely at 11 knots and starts to leap about a little at speeds of over 14 knots. She would surf along at 15 to 17 knots when pressed - while running away from bad weather. Thus, avoiding being pooped by moving as fast as the waves. But, would beat to windward all day long in 45 knots of wind with the main staysail and triple reefed main. She was, by most people's estimate, a medium displacement boat of 70,000 pounds at 65' LOA, with full ends that were kept entirely empty to make it easy for her to pitch.

    In a contrasting example, when sailing with one other person, my first choice is a 40' boat built in epoxy and carbon, with a much deeper keel. A sloop, with deck tacked staysail, and an easily set trisail. She has few hatches or any other places for water to get in, is much stronger than the steel hulled larger boat, and far lighter. Most importantly, she'll go 18 to 20 knots downwind with great control and can easily surf all day with the autopilot driving.

    Why the difference? The larger boat required electric winches to allow my and my x-wife to sail her double handed. While she was very seaworthy, everything was larger than could be easily handled by one or two people. The 40' boat is easily sailed by one. Due to the much lighter weight of the 40' boat, the rig is smaller, the cloth of the sails lighter, the lines lighter, everything gets much much easier. The boom on the 65' boat weighed about 280 pounds and was alloy. It also cracked under the strain of one bad storm. The 40' boat has an alloy boom that weighs 50 pounds and is (relative to loads it receives) much stronger. We took the 65' boat cruising in large part because we were a family of four and expected to add two or even four guests at a time when in popular places. However, it was really too large a boat for two adults to sail safely. The 40' boat is much safer.

    There has been a great deal of discussion in this thread claiming that larger boats are safer. I don't agree with this in all cases. I race a 24' 2000 pound ultra light boat (Moore 24) out of San Francisco in all manner of terrible weather, and it has proven to be astoundingly seaworthy. In seas where my old 65' steel ketch would be slamming and crashing, the little 24' sloop just climbs up and over the waves. It acts like a cork. I will repeat something believe quite strongly - it is always safer to go over the water than through it. I do think that riding on a larger boat is more comfortable, and in many ways could appear "safer", but there are plenty of times when my little 24' sloop can continue to surf along in front of the seas quite comfortably when the big boats are being pooped hard.

    Finally, you are quite correct that most of this discussion is based upon opinion. This has always been the way with sailors as they base their opinions upon experiences and trust those experiences at sea much more than the output of a piece of software or the answer to some formula. Most sailors hold the opinion that a slow rolling somewhat heavy boat feels more safe. This is something I disagree with a lot. Certainly, the smooth ride of a heavy boat is easier on the crew. But, it is not always safer. Often the slow roll rate is the result of high polar moment caused by heavy keels (which could be a good thing), by heavy rigs (always a bad thing), or by a heavy hull. It is my opinion that what most people consider a "comfortable" sea boat are far too heavy to be able to avoid being washed over repeatedly in extremely large seas. I would go so far as to say that any boat that can't easily surf down waves without loosing control is not as safe as a boat that can. You touch on this in an earlier post you made. The issue of control and safe steerage while surfing at the speed of a wave (which is typically about 15 knots) is critical. If you can't do this, you'll find yourself pooped. As my 24' boat (which easily surfs faster than the waves) proves the ability to travel downwind at the speed of the waves is not related to the size of the boat. Again, it's my opinion, but I will happily defend the position that a strong light fast boat, which sails well and in control, while traveling with the waves is always the safest position in truly bad weather. This, obviously, explains why I don't like drogues and sea anchors. The goal is to be surfing downwind fast, not slowing down to let the seas catch you.

    I know this position is quite controversial amongst cruising sailors, because most can't bear to leave all their junk at home. But, their desire to bring a lot of stuff on an already heavy boat is putting them at risk, not making them safer.


  8. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    The snotgreen sea, The scrotumtightning sea." - James Joyce, Ulysses - In my parts, we call that "puckering" but "scrotumtightening" works for horrible weather.

    To find storage for this thing...
    ....you'll need a bigger boat!
  9. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    In case 1 Richard, I would probably have fresh tan marks :D

    In case 2, I hope I would not be there, or parked behind an island for those two days :D I hope this is not the kind of weather following me around ;)

    BV, I hear what you say, but it may not always be desirable to run as fast as the waves go. I think a drogue could maintain as close to the current position as can be expected without tying the boat to the sea bed, which of course offer other problems. You'll be testing those big windows if the anchor drags you through them large swells :D
  10. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    As long as you run away, it is VERY desireable to be as fast as the wave pattern, or even faster sometimes.

    When you are not running away, you are steaming towards it, you are much slower than the waves in that case.

    I do´nt know (by own experience) another tactique, and are not comfortable with others.
    Though I have to confess, that I have absolutely zero experience in light sailing boats on the open ocean!

    For motorships and yachts I found one technique only, worldwide, steam towards it. Commonly at SOG zero.

  11. capt vimes
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    capt vimes Senior Member

    i agree completely to 200% with all of your points... and to the above statement:
    its always my wife who brings all the unnecessary/additional stuff onboard... ;)

    i neither do see any advantage in drouges/sea anchors... i really never even understood the idea or the whole concept when i learned sailing and did all my courses... this is something i just cannot grasp...

    why should i want to 'tether' my boat and expose it to the full force of the waves when running with them would take out a lot of energie of any sea hitting the ship?

    @richard - i am not refering to motorboats... with one of those thingys i do never ever want to hit bad weather at all! ;)
  12. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Well, each his own!:D

    Fact is, that some motorboats are far more seaworthy than sailing boats.
  13. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    What about lee shore situation? or being just too tired after 30h of surfing..
    Anyway, I don't wonder why you don't prefer long keeled gaffers :D Merry Xmas
  14. magwas
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    magwas Senior Member

    Think of two scenarios:

    1. Blue water.
    Huge breaking waves. The boat surfs down the wave, gathers huge momentum, and at the bottom hits the next wave. Now THAT causes huge forces.

    2. Small searoom. You are running with the waves, right into that rock... Again huge forces.

  15. capt vimes
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    capt vimes Senior Member

    it doesn't... it just slows you down by burying the bow in the wave - making the ship prone to broaching... any helmsman letting this happen should get keelhauled... ;)

    if you have no searoom running with the waves and the skipper is still doing it - he should get shot at the spot!

    each course, strategy is always dependent on the loacation and situation you are in...
    but sea-anchors are nothing but a reminiscene from the past when it was absolutely impossible to make any way into the wind and the drouges just reduced the way those ships made to windward...
    with the modern boats nowadays you have always the option to sail upwind to a certain extend and thus avoid getting pushed to the shore...
    you could even move sideways like a crap keeping the distance to the shore and it will be a comfortable ride...

    what would a sea-anchor bring if you are facing leeshore?
    nothing but extend your suffering a little before the inevitable is going to happen...
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