SailNet Community - View Single Post - First storm in a sailboat; lessons learned, advice wanted.
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Old 06-06-2010
Tempest Tempest is offline
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It's always good to live to tell these stories..
You got your ship and crew home safely...so kudos!

I concur with a working Jib...a 150 is more often than not imo too much headsail except in light winds.

install Double reefs in the main. Practice reefing. You can reef a mainsail from a hove-to position, so you don't have to start the engine and put her in irons.

Reefing early is always wise, but I completely understand that you wanted speed to get you in ahead of the storm...sometimes you win that race..
Once you realize you are losing the race..it's best to stay well outside the inlet and turn into the weather imo.

If it's a line squall, I usually double reef the main, drop the jib or furl the genny and start my engine. Turn into the wind and fore-reach following the wind shifts. You want just enough speed to hold you to wind and give you steerage. Usually, as in your case the storm is short lived and there's not enough time for the seas to build that much. Once the storm passes, you can head for home.

As Charlie mentioned...I might have doused the main and ran before the wind ( broad reaching ) with the genoa. The main is what kept heading you up.
But then if you don't get in ahead of the weather..you're stuck with the big headsail up and lee helm and no way to hold you to weather..with a small outboard. So it's a judgment call as to who's going to get there 1st.
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Tempest
Sabre 34
Morgan, NJ
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