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To the OP i would , first go sailing, then see what questions you ask. You dont have to ever go near an ocean until you feel ready. I would actually say ocean crossing is easier and less nerve racking then coastal sailing.
To people you say lying ahull or even hove to is a way to see out survival storms, I say nonsense, very few boats can keep their occupants safe without active management and this is especially true of modern fin keelers. Im always suprised that often is husband and wife crews that seem convinced they can handle survival storms that way , it seems a mental crutch.
on a roll over, you will be dammed luckly to emerge with the rig attached, irrepective of the "preparation", virtually nothing built is so capable. Equally loosing a deck hatch etc can be terminal. Hence at all costs the boat must be managed to prevent knockdowns and rolls.
People who point to boats that have survived storms intact , with the crew lifted off even with deck striped of gear etc or make the " bottle in a storm" analogy simply havent experienced the inside of a boat in such conditions. Its almost impossible to prevent injury and the movement of the boat and especially a dismasted boat is so violent that sometimes it is impossible to inhabit. ( this is from a first hand account of a fastnet survivor to me)
Very few sailors meet survival storms , especially now with modern technolgies and the inbuilt caution that most normal recreational sailors have. WHen they do, its requires reseves of skill and experience and not really a check list approach.
There are times when you probably would be more safe to close up the boat, run under bare poles, and strap you yourself down below. What if it is at night and you cannot see breaking waves to steer around? What if water temps are 33 deg F (or even 60 deg F) and a person cannot take the water and wind without going hypothermic and has reached point of exhaustion. What if the boat does roll, even a watch stander cannot prevent all roll overs. During a roll over would you be more safe inside or outside. I have read books and accounts by Jesse Martin, Jon Sanders, Jessica Watson, and David Dicks all doing single handed non stops circumnavigations in same boat as mine. They all used the tatic of closing the boat up and going down below and strapping in. They also all got rolled and survived as did their rig and this was in southern ocean. The previous owner of my boat used the same technique when hitting a storm in the pacific. I guess every boat is different but if I were faced with the same conditions, I would close her up and ride it out below.
Last edited by casey1999; 05-06-2011 at 02:48 PM.