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  #11  
Old 02-10-2008
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dodger, fun stuff ain't it? I wrote on here about a knockdown I took on Oh Joy. One of my Son's and I went out in 10-15 for some spirited sailing with all the white sails up on a beam reach in Southerlies. Oh Joy is a 1961 Knutson Yawl, 39'4" LOA, 10' Beam, 14K#'s and a full keel with spruce sticks. We have blasted along towards the San Juan de Fuca at 7 knots for about 25 miles when we noticed rain about 10 miles off to the West. I knew a cold front was coming but the forecast was for 15-20 from the West after the change. Seeing it was 3PM and sunset was at 4:30 (PNW) I figured it was time to run for home. The winds clocked around to the West and stayed at about 10 so we beat off for room to fly the chute. I have an Assym with an ATN tracker and sock and was getting everything squared away and ready for hoist while Jay drove. Just as I was reaching for the scoop line a monstrous puff (30 knots or so) hit and the scoop line pulled loose from the cleat. Instantly, the chute self deployed and the boat laid over with me on the foredeck. I stepped from the deck to the side of the staysail boom and looked back at Jay who was laying on the low side trying to steer. I looked to see if water was coming in the house, as it was open, or the cockpit. Not a drop in either and us with the spreaders in the water for both sticks along with the sails. She shook herself off and sprinted around to the wind and I stepped down from the boom I was standing on to the deck as the chute was pinned to the shrouds. As she started falling off again, I blew the halyard and dumped the chute in the water. Now there's a lot of lines on the chute so while Jay kept her pinned to the wind, I ran around unhooking everything. While we started pulling the chute aboard the rain and the cold hit. By the time we got everything squared away, the Main down and the staysail up, the temp had dropped to 38 F, the wind came up to 50 knots and we were soaked. We fell off downwind to Flounder Bay under staysail alone running 8.5 knots and freezing. I showed Jay how to surf the waves coming off the quarter and we made it back in a little over three hours. Other than catching pneumonia, it was a great sail. Chute scoops are great, until that line gets away from ya.
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Old 02-10-2008
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and when how did you feel at that moment, its hard to explain the adrenalin rush when people ask, but to me was very rewarding, one has to experience to understand
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  #13  
Old 02-10-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theartfuldodger View Post
Yes was alone as my mate likes to arrive when I make harbour when on a long sail, and personally would sooner sail solo, as then wouldn't have to worry about anyone else, as I've read in most cases the boats usaully come out okay its the crew who bail first. But this year have made my mate captain and added more stuff to make sailing easier for her. Once I have some sort of comfort zone that she might be able to handle watches then we set sail, with a five year sail plan, I find the preparation very consuming and exciting, and this site is very informative for me.
I guess it's the journey not the destination. As for sailing alone I'm with you. Once you reach that comfort zone though I think a person can really expand there horizons. It's a big responsibility.
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Old 02-11-2008
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Is there a difference

between a knock-down and a broach?

Charlie Cobra said: "Instantly, the chute self deployed and the boat laid over with me on the foredeck." IMHO there is a considerable difference between a broach and a knock-down. This sounds more like a broach.

Having to actually go through stuff to be considered an experienced sailor is clearly nonsense. I have friends who have done three different circumnavs over 25 years and have not had to weather a full-blown storm. They have enormous reserves of experience but not in certain areas.

However, here is a quote from Eric Hiscock (Cruising Under Sail): ". . . fortunate is he who early in his sailing career encounters and successfully weathers a severe blow. No one who has done so can honestly say that he has enjoyed it, nor would he readily seek to repeat the experience but in no other way can he gain confidence in his ability as a seaman . . . ."

We got caught in a squash zone off Raratonga with windspeeds that locked our windspeed indicator at 74 knots and seas that were huge (don't ask how big because I would probably lie). We were all down below lying a-hull waiting for first light when a wave broke and hit us beam on and laid the mast in the water. It smashed all the cabinetry off the starboard side of the boat and we all ended up sitting on the port side port-lights for a short time.

A few hours later, sailing out of the storm, we were again unable to avoid a breaking wave and with two people in the cockpit, the mast was again laid in the water but into the trough of the wave so it was way below horizontal. That is what I consider a knock-down.

In both of these, the boat stood up quite quickly. The cockpit was filled to the top of the coamings and the drains took a while to empty it out so we took huge volumes of water into the boat through the cracks and gaps in the washboards. We soon learned a better way to avoid breaking waves. We never got knocked down again.

What we will never know is how much more it would have taken to turn the knock-down into a roll-over.

This experience has definitely made me less scared of severe weather but as Hiscock said, I have no burning desire to repeat it. And you don't have to experience this sort of stuff to be an "experienced" sailor.

Andre
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Old 02-11-2008
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Perhaps but when the sticks are in the water, it's hard to argue the results. The mast tips were in as well as the spreaders but she didn't stay that way long. I was surprised how quickly the main dumped the water but I suppose having it sheeted out helped.

How did I feel? Surprised, edgy and pissed that I let it happen in the first place followed by calm and thoughtful action to rectify it. Yeah, there was some adrenaline but that's cool too. Having been in much worse situations than this (non sailing) it wasn't that hard to recover and do what had to be done afterwards. Another lesson learned cheaply. Don't get cocky!
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Old 02-11-2008
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Twice

But not in conditions you discribed...but we almost lost the boat on the second one...
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Old 02-11-2008
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To me, the term broach is when a boat inadvertently turns broadside to the wind or waves and the result is sometimes a knockdown. The knockdown could be caused by either the wind or breaking waves (worse) but the broach is a function of loss of steering for a variety of reason.

Broaching and taking a knockdown with a kite up is quite common amongst racers but being knocked down while cruising is a whole different ball game. Unless the conditions are extreme it is probably a result of poor seamanship (too much sail, badly balanced helm, broken windvane/autopilot)
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  #18  
Old 02-11-2008
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But not in conditions you discribed...but we almost lost the boat on the second one...
Care to elaborate? Inquiring minds wanna know.
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Old 02-11-2008
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Probably would not want to try that in one of those boats with all them hulls and no weight to push them back upright
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Old 02-11-2008
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Did one ever figure that mother nature has a mind of her own and what ever you have done and prepared for she might just do something else as in my case throw another 40 plus wave at me. If the case was do be prepared guess when winds are up and seem a little unsettled stay at the dock, NOT. I would think that second guessing is okay, until your in it.
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