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  #21  
Old 02-11-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plumper View Post
Unless the conditions are extreme it is probably a result of poor seamanship (too much sail, badly balanced helm, broken windvane/autopilot)
And sometimes, no matter how good you are or how well trimmed the boat is, the waves get big enough with short enough wave periods that you actually fall off them! I was knocked down twice in one storm, The Perfect Storm (and not even near the bad parts), once by falling off the wave and the other time was by having the bow stuffed by a huge wave which resulted in a "broach" as you guys call it. Semantics aside when the mast goes in the water, for what ever reason, I call it a knock down.

In my experience you will:

1) Get hurt (it's hard not to when a 50 foot vessel is dropped like a toy boat) I've broken fingers been smashed in the head by a flying VHF and a wine glass and had my eye swollen shut from a stopper knot that was whipping around at light speed! If you want my advice wear a bike helmet & ski goggles when it gets that rough!

2) Not have time to be scared! Your too busy..

3) Will at times lose control of the vessel no matter how good you are. Even hove to you can take a knockdown. Displacement hulls are not designed to go 14 knots down the face of a wave and when they do they don't handle the way you might think.

4) The boat will right faster than you thought possible. Everything happens in slow motion except the boat coming back up and the water draining from the cockpit..

5) Things will be broken no matter how much thought went into being prepared.

6) You will most likely not be knocked down due to wind but rather short and steep waves (unless racing with a chute).

7) Fast building storms IMHO are the most dangerous because the wave periods are very short compared to slower building storms which tend to have bigger overall seas but are more spread out..

8) The forces on the rudder in this type of weather are astronomical! Even with wheel steering your entire upper body will be sore for weeks! This is NO place for wimpy rudder designs..

9) Lock the lazarettes!

10) You can make decent head way under bare poles but do give up some control!!! I find sail "slivers", such as two tiny feet of genny, work better than a storm sail in some conditions..

11) Lash the dinghy to the fore deck with ratchet straps and have good pad eyes for this purpose!!

12) Desitin! In this kind of weather the LAST thing you want is SWAMP ASS. Trust me you're already miserable enough! Gold Bond does not cut it with industrial grade, Ocean induced, salty swamp ass. An NO there is NO WAY to stay dry even with your gourmet brand Henri LLoyd or Musto gear...

13) Vaseline petroleum jelly. Put it on your face! Trust me on this one it feels like your being sand blasted and the Vaseline helps....

If I think of more I'll add it...

That being said I have not encountered real sever weather since the 90's!! Woo Hooo, cross my fingers, and knock on wood!!!!
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 02-11-2008 at 05:01 PM.
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  #22  
Old 02-11-2008
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Maine Sail, I've seen 13 knots down a wave on a boat with a theoretical hull speed of 6.9. It ain't fun. If it's a tiller boat like mine, you're arching back and using rowing technique with your feet planted on the opposite seat. Your neck gets a crick in about 30 minutes with hours to go. However, remember these other guys have seen worse crap than I.
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  #23  
Old 02-11-2008
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Charlie

I've written of them before...

First one pretty uneventful between Mukilteo and Hat Island back in 76 in our Mac 21. Popped back up in about 30 sec with full main of water with me standing in the sail.

Second was last summer in a friends (Bayliner 20) I think??? ... was believe it or not on Lake Pearrygin...One of thoes Eastern Washington 10 second 50knt wind gusts had half the tents in the campground riped from there stakes and tumble weeding and us laid down flat...the problem with this one was two fold...The swing keel retracted up and I had a dickens of a time clawing it out of the keel stub only to loose it again having to claw it out again ,,riped a few fingernails on that one I did..second the design of the boat has to wide a hatch for the beam of the boat and with the washboards out it started to immediately take on LOTS of water so much so that when we finally righted her she just kept rolling over and pined me under the main under water..no big deal really I am a very calm type and swam free..needless to say she is turtles now and I told my friend the owners we were going to loose her...well she kept an air pocket and about 6' of the bow above water albeit mast straight down...we were of coarse able to get a ski boat to come out to us and SLOWLY pull us in and by getting the keel finally out again and the two of us standing on its very end could keep the mast horizontal enough not to dammage it as we neared shore...once there we had lots of help to lift mast and weight keel to right her and bail...by then the Park Rangers had arrived to do a head count...

The real scary thing was my friend and the owner (our Assoiate Pastor) No green horn he delivers boats for a brokerage on the side... had just been given this boat a month before and had soloed it from Washington Park to James Island to meet up for a weekend mens group crab fest..oblivious to thease design problems..

Anyway... more campfire fodder then I'v had in a long time...

PS after this experience this is the only thing I now worry about my Irwin swing keel... and am trying to figure out some sort of down locking system... The Mac's never retracted but it does make you wonder...

Last edited by Stillraining; 02-11-2008 at 08:50 PM.
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  #24  
Old 02-11-2008
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I had my V-21's stick in the water and the keel stayed down without a locking pin, luckily. Strange to sit on the side of the hull while the boat decides whether to stand back up or not. On a lake with no lifelines so the transition was easy when it finally made up it's mind.
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Old 02-11-2008
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The reason for me starting this thread has been met, and have enjoyed hearing of personal accounts and personal reactions. Sitting here right now in Quidi Vidi aboard Artful, with 100 kilometers winds and blowing snow out side. Mother natural is handing out her best.
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  #26  
Old 02-11-2008
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To Bad

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  #27  
Old 02-11-2008
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Mainsail

Love the helmet and ski goggle Idea...Im going to use it...going to use a whitewater helmet though ...I think bike helmets are the goofiest looking thing invented...
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  #28  
Old 02-11-2008
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by halekai36 View Post
And sometimes, no matter how good you are or how well trimmed the boat is, the waves get big enough with short enough wave periods that you actually fall off them!
Wouldn't that be a fall down?
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  #29  
Old 02-11-2008
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I've never experienced a knockdown as a result of waves, and would prefer not to. I have cruised my 22' trailer sailer quite a bit and because of that purposely sailed in thunderstorms on protected waters to gain experience handling bad weather and have had the mast in the water several times (I replaced all of the rigging on the boat before doing this). What got me in those circumstances were wind shifts associated with gusts. They just blew me on my side and held me there until the gust slacked.

The first time it was kind of tense, but the boat righted quickly. If there is any chance of bad weather I always batten down like a hurricane is coming, everything has to be stowed. I lock all the lockers and hatches, and don't open them once the weather hits. Life jackets and jacklines are used. The worst thing that ever happend was one May when we we playing in a thunderstorm. I was on the low side and the water was like ice. One of my friends said I was a lovely shade of blue.

Playing in the storms was a great help because when I've been in places where there was no land in sight and a squalls hit I was able to deal with them comfortable, because I'd already experienced bad weather. Once the boat was under control I would try diferent tactics to see what I could do with them. I must confess that there does seem to be a big difference of wind power in protected waters and open waters. The weather service and locals with anenometers would say there were 30-40 MPH winds with gusts in the 50's on the lakes but when I've been in open waters 20-30 with gusts in the 40's (according to the weather service) was a lot more intense. It must have something to do with turbulence from the trees and shore clutter on lakes vs nothing to disturb the wind over a longer fetch on more open water, but that is a pure guess on my part. The waves were of course much bigger, but we are only talking 6 or 8 feet with a 10 to 20 foot period in open water.

I don't plan on purposely trying this where big waves are involved. There is just too much risk. Actually I don't go out asking for it anymore, I learned what I needed to and now I just use the lessons when required.
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Old 02-11-2008
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Does motoring in 7 foot seas and while coming down the hatch headbut the person coming up count for a knockdown? AFOC wants to know..if so did that wore the bruise...
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