Sailing into an offshore storm with a tiny boat on purpose

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by ImTheFlyingDutchman, Jul 19, 2018.

  1. ImTheFlyingDutchman
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    ImTheFlyingDutchman New Member

    I don't know much about sailing, but I've ridden in a boat a few times, and I have an overwhelming urge to experience a storm at sea. By "at sea", I mean halfway in between the Americas and Europe, the biggest storm I can find. It sounds terrifying and exhilarating.

    As you might imagine, there's little information or resources for people attempting this sort of trip, so I'm asking the internet for help.

    I found this forum via an old thread for the safest small boat that can cross an ocean, and most of the people here were telling the guy that he has no idea what he's doing and to make sure that he leaves info with someone who can tell the coast guard where to look for him when he doesn't return.

    Anyways, assuming I did attempt this, how dead would I be, and how quickly? What would my chances of survival be? And what, exactly, kills people on long voyages in small boats? Is it the freezing waters, or just drowning should you capsize and fail to reunite with your boat? If I were caught in the middle of a bad thunderstorm or a hurricane, am I almost certainly a goner, or do I have a good chance of staying alive if the dice rolls come up right? Are dangerous animals a concern? Will the boating people refuse to rent me a boat if I tell them what I'm planning on doing?

    What about a much larger boat? How often do competent boats get capsized and/or deaths result when caught in a huge storm?

    Are there any good books on this subject?
     
  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    You can forget about renting a boat to do that. Read Alain Bombard's account as an example. However, he did it in tropical waters. Most likely you will die, but that is the price to pay for adventures. Good luck.
     
  3. JamesG123
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    JamesG123 Senior Member

    Cheaper and more convenient for everyone to just stuff yourself into a large clothes dryer on low/no heat with a bucket of ice water. Have someone who hates you keep turning it on.
     
  4. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    This is a psychological issue, not a boating one. It is probably an example of sensation seeking behaviour, which I suppose is OK if it does not put anyone else at risk. You are literally "on a hiding to nothing", possibly not an expression with any currency in the US, but meaning you are exposing yourself to serious detriment, with no upside benefit in prospect. And consider this, you can't just hop off the fun ride, and walk away, when you've had a gut-full of being tossed around.
     
  5. ImaginaryNumber
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    ImaginaryNumber Imaginary Member

    Here is a non-exhaustive list of some notable small-boat crossings. Some of the sailors have written about their experiences. I doubt that any of them intentionally tried to experience the largest storm they could find.

    Famous Small Boats (compiled by Dave Bolduc)

    Maybe you would be vicariously satisfied by watching this video of a large sailing ship being bashed by a major ocean storm. I've watched it a number of times and have not gotten seasick or wet once!! YMMV :)


    THE PEKING BATTLES CAPE HORN By Irving Johnson
     
  6. Lepke
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    Lepke Junior Member

    Hopefully anyone trying this plan just sinks and dies without a radio message. At least other people wouldn't have to risk their lives to save an idiot.
     
  7. alan craig
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    alan craig Senior Member

  8. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    Life and death are binary.

    Your post asking 'how dead would I be' is either an illustration of poor grammar, or too many video game respawns warping your mind into thinking otherwise.

    The seastate isn't the only thing that can kill you, but there are many ways to drown. If getting hit by lightening or eaten by a small shark or hypothermia thrills you; try just squeezing off your small finger with a plier. It should help.

    Honestly, all sorts of people have destructive thoughts and this is not much different. Typically thinking destructive thoughts results in bad things, but humans are well capable of this horrible.

    See a doctor if you can't turn it off.

    On the other hand, you can also go on a fishing charter in poor seas without Dramamine and head to the bow and see if you like it. If you don't get ill; it can be a 'fun' ride versus a death wish. If you get ill, then reflect on getting sicker while you are the skipper of a dink alone at sea.

    Wanting rough seas is likely a deeper problem for you that you may seek out in life. Good luck.
     
  9. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I think that wanting to be in a storm at sea, without any previous experience, is a romantic idea. However, like many other ordeals, they are fun to tell the story later if you survive.
     
  10. goodwilltoall
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    goodwilltoall Senior Member

    It would have to be a purpose built boat with kind of like a bolger gimbaled helm, strapped in like the coast guard surf boats, padded all around. Maybe go out 400 milea to get blown back to shore still would be full effect possibly even steeper waves, steel hull for lightn, stay in the tropics and, yea prolly still a death wish. Bolger wrote about his most seaworthy boat being one of the shallow draft sharpie type boats "beluga" being caught in a hurricane with the captain satisfied with how it performed
     
  11. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    You can get in a barrel and it will survive a storm. It doesn't need gimbals or any complication.
     
  12. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    Yuk
     
  13. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    Well, there are grey areas. He could survive but be physically crippled, broken up and paralyzed and the like. Or he could end up neurologically screwed with brain damage caused by being smashed around inside a boat. He could have psychological trauma, PTSD, nightmares, rampant fear and paranoia, little jerky quirks. You can pretty much be alive and dead at the same time.
    On the practical side, you have a much better chance of survival going over Niagara Falls in a barrel, compared to a boat, but as for bobbing around in the ocean for weeks, a boat may be better.
     
  14. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    I have met people who wish they were conscripted to go to Vietnam, so they could have experienced war, another who was enchanted with the idea of experiencing a raging cyclone, on shore. High-wire walkers without a net, people who base jump off buildings etc etc, People who tear around on motorbikes at break-neck speed. The thrill of cheating the coffin !
     

  15. JamesG123
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    JamesG123 Senior Member

    Mostly they are just stupid.
     
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