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  #31  
Old 09-27-2013
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Re: Got to Stop being Stupid

I would of had my main down to the second reef. If you don't have a second reef you should think about putting one in. You most def. should have had a hankerchief of main up and set to the right angle of wind. You should also think about roller furling and put just the smallest tiny triangle out. I have a tiny heavy headsail for these situations. With the right heavy little sails, you will find the boat will handle these conditions pretty well. It's all that violent motion with out sails up that makes it seem so much worse. That is also when the engine will quit. Either like it did from sucking air, or sludge loosend from the motion. They just don't like to get thrown around like that, hoses chafe, wires loosen etc. You have a sail boat designed to handle wind and ocean swells with it's sails up. I'm glad you stuck your nose out in those conditions. I hope you try it again better prepared. It's called a shake down. I spent 4 day's 100's of miles off shore last spring in 20 to 30 knots, running down 'em with a tiny little head sail and no main in my 28 footer. I sail every afternoon on Honduras in 25 knot winds when the trades pick up, it's all about putting just a little sail up and letting the boat do it's thing.
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Last edited by Capt.aaron; 09-27-2013 at 04:13 PM.
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  #32  
Old 09-27-2013
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Re: Got to Stop being Stupid

I have been trying to warn folks about the Gulfstream in northerly winds since I began posting on these sites. As a professional captain, sometimes you do not have the choice whether to go or not, unless you want to lose your job. I have been in the stream in unbelievable seas with winds of just 10 to 15 knots and in some cases it would have been life threatening had the vessels I was operating been a bit less well found; though it was never fun or desirable to be out there.
In one case, returning from Brazil on a small freighter, I pumped out the ballast (to lessen my depth for an entry into the Port at Riviera Beach) as I passed Miami. Soon after, a norther set in and within minutes one third of my ship was coming out of the water as she pounded into the seas. I had to reballast quickly or she might have broken her back!
Another vessel I operated was a 65' twin screw crew boat for the Naval Surface Weapons Center out of Port Everglades. We were the safety boat for the mother ship, which anchored in the stream to do secret navy stuff (we'll leave it at that, OK?) and we had to remain on station behind her in case anyone fell overboard from the anchored vessel. 25 to 40 knots of north winds in a north bound current created waves that completely hid the mother ship from my sight at times. The job quickly became one of survival and staying on station became a secondary consideration. There was nowhere to run to; I couldn't put her beam to those seas, not for a second! It lasted over 24 hours and it was worse than any of the few hurricanes I've experienced at sea.
Those waves were like breakers on a beach, towering above us, then we would plunge into a trough that was only half the length of the boat! Thankfully she was a steel boat, but the rails and gunnels were all bent afterwards and the hull was seriously scalloped forward.
Anchored at Great Stirrup waiting out a norther, I watched a 200' motor yacht pass, heading for Fla, thinking they were crazy. They were back and anchored near us within an hour!
So, once again I caution all of you who plan to sail the stream; do not venture forth if there is the slightest possibility of northerly winds, from slightly north of east or west, even fairly light ones. Just don't do it. Harborless was lucky because if you do get caught a bit offshore, the is no where to turn to; no better way to go, no easy way out or home. It becomes a matter of survival, trying to keep her head to seas, not broadside to those breakers created by wind against the current.
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Last edited by capta; 09-27-2013 at 04:24 PM.
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  #33  
Old 09-27-2013
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Re: Got to Stop being Stupid

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Originally Posted by Harborless View Post
Had the engine not started within 5 seconds I would have had to run up and raise the jib. With the wind I had it would have been no problem sailing in the inlet but the problem was where it died.
Harbors' post is why I mentioned having some sail up. So, what does Harborless do if the engine doesn't re-start? I don't make it a habit of sailing into inlets, but many times, while coming in, I have thought...What if the diesel dies? Things will happen quickly.

For us, if it's too windy to put sails up, we don't leave our anchorage/mooring/slip. I always check multiple weather sources, and sometimes I get the right feeling. If not, we don't head out. And like Mark says, you need a longer range forecast, because at some point, you'll be coming back in. I think the "getting in" part, is the most important. From the little sailing we've done on the east coast, the tides and currents sure play a huge part of our planning, as does that particular inlet. Not only has the weather got to be right while leaving, planning for the other end is just as challenging (winds/tides).

Great thread, Harborless!

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  #34  
Old 09-27-2013
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Re: Got to Stop being Stupid

Looks like your boat at the 7:30 mark?
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Old 09-27-2013
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Re: Got to Stop being Stupid

You are home, nothing broken, lessons learned. Good on ya!

After 42 years, the Commodore is the boss. We don't do "twos" in the weather. We don't do two metre seas and we don't do twenty knot winds.

She loves the boat and sails with me all the time.



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  #36  
Old 09-27-2013
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Re: Got to Stop being Stupid

Quote:
except forecast call for winds up to 25 with 30 possible Friday Morning. Wind out of the west by north west suppose to carry around to the north and a little north by east overnight into Friday.
The above was the bit where you tested the limits of stupidity. Please do some research into sailing weather in your area BEFORE you venture out into the gulf stream.

I used to sail a BULLET PROOF STEEL ocean crossing 38ft ketch and would not have set out on that forecast UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES when I was in that area.

I will give you a quick rule of thumb. If there is ANY north in the forecast period when you are going to be out in the stream DO NOT GO.

This is serious stuff, 25 to 30 knots from the north in the gulf stream is serious survival sailing. You won't find many videos on the tube on this, WHY because they were too busy trying to stay the right side up.
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Old 09-27-2013
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Re: Got to Stop being Stupid

Glad you are able to write about it...good job getting back
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Old 09-27-2013
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Re: Got to Stop being Stupid

First off hats off to you for coming through unscathed and more than likely a little bit wiser. The whole time I was reading your post I was thinking "man this guy needs a roller." This was my first year with one and the difference is night and day, not just in normal sailing but in a situation you get out of control with. Last year I got caught out in a storm with winds that were sustained 25 with gusts to 35 with a hank on jib and non reefing main, it was brutal. Fast forward to this June, I have the admiral, my 18 year old son and 16 year old nephew with me and get caught in the same type of storm, but with a roller and main with two reefs. The admiral being the smartest of the bunch jumped in the cabin and shut the hatch, the son and nephew rode it out on deck with me as we reefed the main and pulled the roller in until the boat was manageable, and although we ended up soaked it ended up being a great learning curve for me. That's the one piece of equipment I'd look into buying, no leaving the cockpit, the ability to help control your situation and makes single handing so much easier.
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  #39  
Old 09-27-2013
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Re: Got to Stop being Stupid

Quote:
Originally Posted by TQA View Post
The above was the bit where you tested the limits of stupidity. Please do some research into sailing weather in your area BEFORE you venture out into the gulf stream.
I don't think the OP was anywhere near the Gulf Stream. He's going in and out of the Ponce Inlet - I'm just saying it doesn't apply here.

Gulf Stream Hazards

North-northwest winds up to 20 knots this morning becoming north-northeast this afternoon. Seas building to 6 to 7 feet overnight into Saturday. The approximate location of the west wall of the Gulf Stream based on data from the real time ocean forecast system on Thursday September 27th. 41 nautical miles east of Ponce Inlet. 33 nautical miles east of Port Canaveral. 29 nautical miles east of Sebastian Inlet. 19 nautical miles east of Fort Pierce inlet. 12 nautical miles east of Saint Lucie inlet.

Read more at Marine Forecast | Weather Underground
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Last edited by RTB; 09-27-2013 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 09-27-2013
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Got to Stop being Stupid

Would agree with the roller. Didn't have one until my current boat - what a difference. It's like having four head sails in one. Now if I could afford a roller main...
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