Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Auckland New Zealand
Thanked 34 Times in 31 Posts
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I'm not going to make reference to lee shores - let's assume that we all know the perils of those.
Lying a-hull will almost certainly have you beam on to the wind and unless it's shifting around you will probably be beam-on to the seas as well. If the waves aren't breaking this may be OK. We tried this in a 60knt+ storm with big seas that were occasionally breaking. Sods Law says one will get you. One did, smashed all the cabinetry off the inside of the boat and stuck the mast in the water. I won't do that in a hurry again.
Running off the wind in a strong blow with a large following sea also has a habit of getting your boat surfing - way more exciting than I need!! Character-building stuff indeed. And especially at night when it's real hard to judge the size of the seas or where they will break next.
So what other choices do you have? Well, my choice is to motor into the seas at an angle to enable you to ride over them in some comfort and (if you can see them) drive around the ones likely to break. This of course on a little boat with an outboard may be very challenging indeed.
Squalls should be run ahead of ideally under a furled jib. The seas are not likely to be an issue because most squalls, even tropical line squalls come and go in a short enough time window to not generate enough fetch to build the seas.
But I agree with Chuck - heaving to in 60kn with anything but the toughest storm sails is a quick way to reduce your sail inventory and you'll soon enough be back at one of the other choices.
And like I said in an earlier thread, maybe the choice you make takes you temporarily away from your chosen destination, it's better than head for the nearest solid ground which is directly under your keel.