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  #11  
Old 06-16-2013
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Re: Sailing 3 miles off shore and Thunderstorm moves in from the east. What do you do

Don't let this sour you on sailing, milk the wind for all it is worth getting off a lea shore. Last thing anyone here would want is to see your sailboat pasteurized.
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  #12  
Old 06-16-2013
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Re: Sailing 3 miles off shore and Thunderstorm moves in from the east. What do you do

First, you don't want to be trying to go into a port under the conditions you describe. The land is your enemy. It is hard and unforgiving.

Depending on the number of reefs you have available in the main, take the most you can or drop it if you don't have deep reefs. Assuming that you have a roller furling jib, roll it up to about 70-80%. Batten down the hatches, put on you foul weather gear and you running lights and sit back and enjoy it. A thunderstorm won't kick up much sea, so you'll have wind and rain but it will be fresh water. And once again, stay away from land!

As to the cow, I defer to the judgement of my other colleagues on the board, having lived my life in big cities and thus having no agricultural experience what-so-ever.
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  #13  
Old 06-16-2013
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Re: Sailing 3 miles off shore and Thunderstorm moves in from the east. What do you do

Thanks for all the actual sailing advice. It is very good. I need to remember that brief thunderstorms moving through downy always kick up big waves the way an extended blow would on a long fetch.
As for the Cow jokes... As Bob Hope sang "thanks for the mammaries"
(Bad joke but as close to a 'cow' and 'milk' that I could come up with)

Bottom line: I appreciate the sailing feedback- I guess I just need to go through a few so I can scratch them off my 'scared of it- run to the fear to overcome it' list.
For some reason bad sub-tropical thunderstorms still make me feel panic and I just need to toughen up and have my rational plan of action. Maybe I should go out ON PURPOSE in a thunderstorm just to get over the fear. Anyone want to come and observe me turning white? Let me know if you are sailing off s Florida or even the Cheasapeake in the July/August and we can go out a bit in a storm. I'll buy the milk or beer or whatever you want.
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Sailing 3 miles off shore and Thunderstorm moves in from the east. What do you do?

This is the feminine side speaking: calling your "crew" a cow, may be more perilous than any thunderstorm at sea!
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  #15  
Old 06-16-2013
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Re: Sailing 3 miles off shore and Thunderstorm moves in from the east. What do you do

I've had that experience a couple of times sailing out of Key Largo and Port Canaveral......typically I try to drop the main, leave a little bit of jib rolled out, and either (preferrably, if there is room) run downwind with it or (if running room is restricted) try to point up into it and crank the engine if necessary to keep the bow to the wind. The power in these summer thunderstorms is intense and it can be pretty exciting when one hits. Not uncommon to see winds go from zip to over 50 knots in just a few heartbeats.

Here's a picture of one of the most intense squall I've been in....

[IMG][/IMG]

....we were coming out of Angelfish Creek in north Key Largo in my old Irwin 25 headed out into the Atlantic as this thing rolled up on us. That's my dad in the picture acting all calm and collected. My two brothers are down below putting on raingear and saying prayers. I had to put the camera away a few moments after I took this - we had all the sails down and were motoring with my little 3.5 hp Tohatsu, and when the wind hit us we heeled over to the point the starboard spreader was not more than a few feet from the water....but she came back up, and we flew downwind (and out toward Pickles Reef) with buckets of rain sheeting down at hull speed with no sails. It was raining and blowing so hard I couldn't see the bow of the boat, and was trying to use a little handheld Garmin GPS to help keep me off the reef. Damn that was fun!

But, about 30 minutes after it came up on us it was gone.......we managed to avoid the reef, just barely, and lesson leard for me was that in that situation (reef close by and downwind of our location, puny outboard with no hope of making significant way into the wind, and in only 10-12 feet of water) it may have been better to try to get an anchor down and ride out the squall on the hook.

That experience was kind of a confidence builder, too. I wouldn't want to experience those conditions for a long duration way offshore, but knowing that these summer squalls move pretty quickly and you can always hunker down and ride them out makes it a lot less scary these days when I'm a few miles offshore and the sky starts turning black.
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  #16  
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Re: Sailing 3 miles off shore and Thunderstorm moves in from the east. What do you do

Having been there, and done that Struck by lightning

I furled everything, kicked on the iron genny and headed directly into the storm cell, as the shortest amount of time spent in the cell is traveling through it opposite the way it's moving. If winds build to over 60 mph, then go with the storm. Unplug everything electrical/electronic you can and enjoy the ride.
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  #17  
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Re: Sailing 3 miles off shore and Thunderstorm moves in from the east. What do you do

Quote:
Originally Posted by Advocate777 View Post
Thanks for all the actual sailing advice. It is very good. I need to remember that brief thunderstorms moving through downy always kick up big waves the way an extended blow would on a long fetch.
As for the Cow jokes... As Bob Hope sang "thanks for the mammaries"
(Bad joke but as close to a 'cow' and 'milk' that I could come up with)

Bottom line: I appreciate the sailing feedback- I guess I just need to go through a few so I can scratch them off my 'scared of it- run to the fear to overcome it' list.
For some reason bad sub-tropical thunderstorms still make me feel panic and I just need to toughen up and have my rational plan of action. Maybe I should go out ON PURPOSE in a thunderstorm just to get over the fear. Anyone want to come and observe me turning white? Let me know if you are sailing off s Florida or even the Cheasapeake in the July/August and we can go out a bit in a storm. I'll buy the milk or beer or whatever you want.
Obviously going tit for tat is pointless (groaningly entertaining as bad puns may be). Thunderstorms happen; inland or close to shore often the condition is often and usually predicted. There are phone apps that localize the weather to a scary degree or logic and darkening clouds will tell you all is heading for a bad place quick.
It is a big world; lightening bolts are relatively small. You can put tinfoil in your hubcaps and sailing helmet, maybe feel better but it will make no difference. What would you do, stop sailing?

Last edited by Dfok; 06-16-2013 at 11:05 PM. Reason: lightened up the negativity about dying in thunderstorms and such
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  #18  
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Re: Sailing 3 miles off shore and Thunderstorm moves in from the east. What do you do

Normally, the storms build over land and then move over the water in FL although in Clearwater I have seen it do the opposite.
I simply take down all sail and turn on the engine. Check to see what direction storm is moving. Do you have time to get "inside" before it hits? If so, consider carefully probable wind direction. Consult your compass frequently. Once you are lined up in channel and committed, keep track of your heading and consider your leeway.
If you do not have time to get inside, simply run away from it to get sea room and wait it out.
If you get into water shallow enough to anchor say 20' or less, simply anchor and wait it out.

I do not recc'd sailing into these storms to get experience as you might get far more than you want. Most such storms are short lived and almost predictable but every now and then one gets truly nasty. However, with sea room and tied down sails and a running motor, you are in good shape. With only a tiny scrap of jib tied securely so it cannot unroll further, you will have good steerage way downwind if necessary.
I try to point into the wind with the engine and maintain just enough forward speed to control my heading.
Before the storm hits, get a good position and then note the compass course toward any danger lines.

Very often at sea, you can avoid such storms provided you can tell what direction they are moving. Near shore, NOAA weather has a good warning on the appropriate VHF channel to warn you of the position and movement of such storms. This is very good info to have.

My attitude toward sailing in T-storms is that this is 2013 and we have engines and motors, far more reliable than sailing in such with far more control. In a T-storm, your sails are a backup option not your primary propulsion. Just like you should not sail under drawbridges, you should try not to sail in a T-storm. Use your motor.
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  #19  
Old 06-16-2013
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Re: Sailing 3 miles off shore and Thunderstorm moves in from the east. What do you do

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
Some would damn you and call you irresponsible for putting yourself there in the first place. They would tell you should have a drogue to heave to. They would say you should never have venture out knowing there was even a possibility of a T storm.

I say do what Rockdawg said....
Dave
Whoa..... this is shocking. I take it as a complement. Thank you. :P

It must be Father's day. Even my son took time to call his old man and talked to me for 30 mins and updating what his has been doing, and discussing his career path. His anniversary is up with Silkorshy Helicopter.

He is the one often tells me or my wife, he has "friends".

Happy Father's Day to all Dads.
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  #20  
Old 06-17-2013
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Re: Sailing 3 miles off shore and Thunderstorm moves in from the east. What do you do

Quote:
Originally Posted by TropicCat View Post
Having been there, and done that Struck by lightning

I furled everything, kicked on the iron genny and headed directly into the storm cell, as the shortest amount of time spent in the cell is traveling through it opposite the way it's moving. If winds build to over 60 mph, then go with the storm. Unplug everything electrical/electronic you can and enjoy the ride.
Sounds like great advice, thanks! Oh, wait.... you got struck by lightning.

MedSailor
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