SailNet Community - View Single Post - Got caught in a Squall today
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post #17 of Old 04-29-2011
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Originally Posted by Tempest View Post
Hi Aac ..I'm a little afraid to ask this...but do you have an engine?

My tactics with those fast moving squalls, I've been hit with 70mph winds, has been to start the engine, roll up the genoa tight, double reef the main and hold the boat as close to the wind ( sometimes directly into it ) as I can. I have felt that shudder as it gets over 50's eerie.
You never really know how much punch those squalls have until it's too late, and I don't want to deal with a poorly shaped headsail that's set too high or a loose sheet that might get away....

The combination of the engine with just enough power applied to hold me to wind or pinching .and the double reefed mainsail has worked for me.
The squalls are often relatively short lived ( 20 minutes or so). Then I'll make decision of what to set up to get sailing again.

I also don't like being pushed off the wind with just a DR mainsail up, I've seen boats get knocked down like that, If the wind finds a fifth gear.

I do have a gale sail,,,,,, with 15 minutes to prep... single handed..I could probably set the reefs in the main and get the storm jib up...get foul weather gear on..but it might be close. I should time that process someday.
I was totally in the engine mindset until I read a story around here about Jeff-H in a squally using sail to help him out will the engine-only dudes were having trouble. After he'd explained it, it made perfect sense - although it was counterintuitive.

I'll try to find that story. I think it's in the Holiest of Holies...the BFS Thread.
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