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  #1  
Old 10-26-2013
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How long do you leave before a storm?

I am in an annoying little weather window: I want to go due north about 350 miles and the weather comes from due east.
Had a storm here last night but decided not to leave today as its still unsettled and there's another storm hitting this area in 48 hours but NOT the area I am going to, just till half way up, 200 nms.

So I could leave today and get north of the storm. However, and here's the question, if anything goes wrong and I am stuck at sea for a day I get the storm down around my ears.

In a hypothetical situation: how long do you like before the weather window closes on you?


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Old 10-26-2013
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Re: How long do you leave before a storm?

mark...i like sailing prefrontal winds but i have a heavier boat than yours. you may find the prefrontals that grant me smooth sailing make for a rapid and busy passage...kinda what i found in a seidelmann sloop in gom when i was sailing there--seems we were always in either prefrontals or the damn storm.
whatever ye decide--give yourself a nice out--somewhere to duck into when the storm catches up with ye.- if storm has name--use icw if possible, even if your mast may be a little tall.....at least there are hiding places along the way with icw.
dont get caught with your skirt up, amigo. be safe and have fun!!
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Old 10-26-2013
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Re: How long do you leave before a storm?

Hi Zee,

Thats not what I'm asking. What I'm asking is if you have an storm comeing up that you would not sail through (unless you were already at sea) how many hours in front of it would you consider safe?

I undertsnad you pre-frontal bit, but thats not the front. So how long before the front or dangerous weather would you sail?

And its not me, or about me, as I know what I do, its about you and what you do


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Old 10-26-2013
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How long do you leave before a storm?

Mark as salty a dog as you are a little rough weather on an island hop is Vegemite on toast to you!
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Re: How long do you leave before a storm?

On a passage of that length, If leaving a safe harbor; I'd want a forecast window that gets me to the next harbor. I wouldn't attempt to thread a needle in hopes of beating a forecast storm.
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Old 10-26-2013
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Re: How long do you leave before a storm?

Better to be on shore wishing you were at sea...than on the sea wishing you were on the shore! I'm sure you know all this...and you'll end up making your own call. Thats part of the ethos of being a salty-dog, right? (Go your own way).

I'm the kind of guy that waits for the perfect weather window...or at least more perfect than the one you're describing.
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Old 10-26-2013
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Re: How long do you leave before a storm?

Not enough information.

How fast has the front been moving? What has been happening to the steering lows and highs over the last four or five days? You have been saving weather fax synoptics for analysis haven't you?

There is no number. It all depends.

By the way is it a real storm, a gale, or just a frontal passage?
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Old 10-26-2013
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Re: How long do you leave before a storm?

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Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
Not enough information.

You have been saving weather fax synoptics for analysis haven't you?
Sorry, the question is not about ME or this particular bit of weather its about YOU and what YOU would do in your own weather situations where you sail.

See? Its purely hypothetical.

Quote:
I'm the kind of guy that waits for the perfect weather window
So am I

I won't sail on a 'mixed sky' whereas some have to every day they sail, like in New Zealand, PNW etc.
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Re: How long do you leave before a storm?

As we are almost entirely coastal, I will outrun a storm by 30 mins, assuming I have a place to bail, if I'm wrong. In fact, I took off on the north side of a nasty storm that was maybe two miles to our south this past summer and got around to the west, while it slid below us. Not fun, but doable, with plenty of places to drop the hook and wait below, if necessary. Lightening was my only real concern.

Offshore, there are a lot of factors. For a 350nm hop, you should be able to motor the whole thing, if it were necessary. Meaning that you could rely on your own boat speed. That reduces one factor. Now you have to account for the possibility that the weather rolls in faster. I would want a half day on top of the fastest prediction. This assumes I believe I could handle the storm, even if very uncomfortable, in the worst case scenario. If it's a survival level storm, I want a full day or two lead time, maybe more.
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Re: How long do you leave before a storm?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
Not enough information. You have been saving weather fax synoptics for analysis haven't you?
Sorry, the question is not about ME or this particular bit of weather its about YOU and what YOU would do in your own weather situations where you sail.
Then the answer is still "it all depends." What are the steering forces? What do the 500 mb charts indicate is coming? How bad does it look? What is the protection where I am now? Crew condition and experience? Boat condition, sail suite, and windage?

On my boat (no enclosure, pretty low windage, full batten main with three reefs, choice of headsails, and staysail) with two to four aboard I'll take risks I wouldn't take delivering someone else's boat (fiduciary responsibility) with a full enclosure (windage), furling main (more failure modes), and a furling genoa (poor pointing in weather).

Timing is also affected by the availability of bailouts.

It's an interesting question suited to having a bunch of charts and synoptics to talk over. I love "what if" discussions. They are great training for when things go pear shaped.
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