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  #81  
Old 06-03-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailhog View Post
Too late! We've got a cat 5 bearing down on Hilton Head Island right now. NWS is saying it's ten minutes from making landfall! Thanks a lot, CD! Maybe next year you'll remember that hurricane season begins June 1 and not June 3!
You have Wednesday night Mexican Food in SC??

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  #82  
Old 06-04-2009
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Originally Posted by sailhog View Post
Too late! We've got a cat 5 bearing down on Hilton Head Island right now. NWS is saying it's ten minutes from making landfall! Thanks a lot, CD! Maybe next year you'll remember that hurricane season begins June 1 and not June 3!
I just want to say that I reminded him about this -- but he replied "What's the rush? We've only got one member in that area and it's only Sailhog afterall."


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  #83  
Old 06-04-2009
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Floating vs. Fixed Piling Dock: Just to confuse the situation, I really think fixed piling piers are better for hurricanes because of the storm surge and wave action which accompanies these storms. Generally, floating docks rely on just a few large steel pilings to hold all the floats and all the boats. That's a lot of force pulling on the these pilings when the high winds and waves hit. With the fixed piling piers, there are usually lots of somewhat smaller pilings with each boat clinging to a few of its own. Normally, the cross section area of these pilings (i.e. the bearing surfaces vs the mud/sand bottom) will cummulatively be greater for the fixed pier than that of the few steel pilings of the floating pier. Then, there's the possibility of floating piers floating off the pilings due to storm surge. Of course, with fixed pilings, your lines have to be tightly secured to the pilings so they also don't work off the pilings when the surge is present, and there has to be enough room in the slips so that you can accommodate the upward motion of the boats due to surge. Also, with most floating docks that I've seen, there are relatively few cleats or other tie points tol which to connect extra lines. With the fixed piling piers, there are usually more points to tie to and you can tie directly to pilings vs. to cleats, which have a tendency to pull out. I am a great believer in tying as many lines to piers as you can, so as to spider web the lines (watching for line to line chafe). My normal tie up for these storms is 26 lines to 8 - 10 different tie points on both the pier and the boat. It's important to tie the lines such that they tend to load up evenly so a particular line or tie point is not over stressed. If you tie across adjacent empty slips as I do, some lines will be longer than others. Put an initial tension on these longer lines, since the long lines will stretch easier and could result in uneven loading during the height of the storm if not prestretched a bit. Typically, all my lines are 1/2 in. nylon for a 32 ft. boat. In my opinion, if you use mixed sizes of nylon, you should tie all sizes as if they were a common size (that's at odds with another post on this thread), but if you mix nylon with polyester, or use old halyards (low stretch) as additional backup lines, you should give some consideration to the variations in amount of stetch each type will have to avoid overstressing a given line. Finally, while the stretch of nylon is good in absorbing shock, it can also be bad if the stretch is enough to let you boat bang against the pier or piling...keep in mind that the stretch under hurricane conditions is a lot more than you see when you are preparing the boat for the storm. Lastly, in my experience, the boat, if it is exposed to wave action, is going to be bucking up and down wildly, so put the lines on and adjust them before the storm. Wish the boat well and seek higher ground for yourself. Keeping boat at the docks will work only if your lines can accommodate the surge, and in some places that's not possible. In my area of NC, about 1/3 of boats are pulled out for storm (but the storage areas are low lying), 1/3 go to anchor bouys or anchor out, and 1/3 stay at the pier. Damage usually occurs with each strategy, with no one of these being clearly the best in this area. Just my thoughts.

Last edited by NCC320; 06-04-2009 at 12:51 PM.
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  #84  
Old 06-06-2009
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Hi CD

Is it true some yachts sail out of the way of the hurricane path ie to another Island. Has anyone done this ,is the passage rough??

Can anyone predict hurrcanes ? this year I was in The Gambia west Africa and it was the coldest its been for 20 years,they also had double amount of rain. This reduced the sea temperature around west Africa . Interesting to see what affect this will have on the Hurricane season if any.

Gafferduck
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  #85  
Old 06-06-2009
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being behind the New Bedford Hurricane Barrier is nice. Prevents much of the storm surge problems seen in other places

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCC320 View Post
Floating vs. Fixed Piling Dock: Just to confuse the situation, I really think fixed piling piers are better for hurricanes because of the storm surge and wave action which accompanies these storms. Generally, floating docks rely on just a few large steel pilings to hold all the floats and all the boats. That's a lot of force pulling on the these pilings when the high winds and waves hit. With the fixed piling piers, there are usually lots of somewhat smaller pilings with each boat clinging to a few of its own. Normally, the cross section area of these pilings (i.e. the bearing surfaces vs the mud/sand bottom) will cummulatively be greater for the fixed pier than that of the few steel pilings of the floating pier. Then, there's the possibility of floating piers floating off the pilings due to storm surge. Of course, with fixed pilings, your lines have to be tightly secured to the pilings so they also don't work off the pilings when the surge is present, and there has to be enough room in the slips so that you can accommodate the upward motion of the boats due to surge. Also, with most floating docks that I've seen, there are relatively few cleats or other tie points tol which to connect extra lines. With the fixed piling piers, there are usually more points to tie to and you can tie directly to pilings vs. to cleats, which have a tendency to pull out. I am a great believer in tying as many lines to piers as you can, so as to spider web the lines (watching for line to line chafe). My normal tie up for these storms is 26 lines to 8 - 10 different tie points on both the pier and the boat. It's important to tie the lines such that they tend to load up evenly so a particular line or tie point is not over stressed. If you tie across adjacent empty slips as I do, some lines will be longer than others. Put an initial tension on these longer lines, since the long lines will stretch easier and could result in uneven loading during the height of the storm if not prestretched a bit. Typically, all my lines are 1/2 in. nylon for a 32 ft. boat. In my opinion, if you use mixed sizes of nylon, you should tie all sizes as if they were a common size (that's at odds with another post on this thread), but if you mix nylon with polyester, or use old halyards (low stretch) as additional backup lines, you should give some consideration to the variations in amount of stetch each type will have to avoid overstressing a given line. Finally, while the stretch of nylon is good in absorbing shock, it can also be bad if the stretch is enough to let you boat bang against the pier or piling...keep in mind that the stretch under hurricane conditions is a lot more than you see when you are preparing the boat for the storm. Lastly, in my experience, the boat, if it is exposed to wave action, is going to be bucking up and down wildly, so put the lines on and adjust them before the storm. Wish the boat well and seek higher ground for yourself. Keeping boat at the docks will work only if your lines can accommodate the surge, and in some places that's not possible. In my area of NC, about 1/3 of boats are pulled out for storm (but the storage areas are low lying), 1/3 go to anchor bouys or anchor out, and 1/3 stay at the pier. Damage usually occurs with each strategy, with no one of these being clearly the best in this area. Just my thoughts.
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  #86  
Old 08-10-2009
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Starting to Plan

So far so good for East Coast 2009 season, so I thought this would be a good time to work on a plan. I have lots of questions, so bear with me. I will throw in pictures to make it more interesting, as this may take awhile. I have read through this thread and many others and have a good understanding of the preparation of the boat (remove everything, chafe, etc) my concerns lie with securing the boat for our conditions.

This is my first boat and the first time to deal with Hurricane prep. We bought "HERON" last summer in CT and sailed her down to our home in NC last fall. The boat is a 35' swing keel model 'Clearwater,' built by Holby Marine (Bristol, RI) in 1990. With her keel and rudder up she draws a little under 2'! She is listed at around 12,000 lbs, the swing keel is 3,500 lbs of lead. I posted more about the purchase and the boat here last year. She is currently at our dock on a creek just outside of Oriental, NC.



I am considering 3 options for hurricane prep; haul her, leave her at the dock or anchor/moor in the local creeks. I am looking for comments and suggestions on the 3 approaches as I work through the options and the details. As NCC320 stated above they all have their virtues and risks. Hauling her is straight forward, other than having to do it early as the local yards get busy. And as mentioned all the yards are at the same land elevation so there is no added protection other than being up on jack stands. Also, the yards get overloaded and boats can end up on stands along local streets, with no tie down options. So its an option, but not particularly what I want to do as I cannot see hauling her 4 days before every storm that 'may' hit the NC coast.

Speaking of the NC coast, where we are at is pretty much where Isabel came ashore in 2003. We are 35 miles northeast of Cape Lookout, across 30 miles of low lands and 5 miles of the Neuse river. It is the exposure to the Neuse and wave action that worries me about staying at the dock. Looking at the picture above, it is a new concrete dock, definitely not floating. There are 6 tall pilings on each side of the dock. There are no other boats at our dock and the nearest neighbors dock is several hundred feet in either direction. This set of pilings has the largest separation at 18 feet, the boats max beam is roughly 11'. The nominal depth at the dock (shown here) is 4 1/2 ', so the keel and rudder are in their up configuration pretty much all the time in the creek. Normal dock lines include 2 spring lines each fore and aft, 2 stern lines and 2 bow lines. The lines are wrapped around the pilings and tied off with half hitches. There are 4 cleats on the boat and they can handle 5/8" line, but 3/4" is too big to get 2 lines through the cleat. A cleat is shown here with 1/2" line, I later replaced them all to 5/8". With my 8 nominal dock lines, the cleats are all used up (with the no more than 2 lines per cleat rule), so I am not sure where I would tie off more lines. Would I use the keel stepped mast? the winches? or would I have to add more cleats?



The pilings are probably 6' above the water line, but the surge from Isabel was greater than that, probably more like 10'. The high mounted cleats on the pilings will keep the lines from coming off, but I don't know how I would arrange it so that she would not ride into the pilings at real high water and yet be free to float to whatever height necessary.




This is the exposure to the Neuse River. The dock direction is at 162 degrees, so the exposure is centered at roughly 155 degrees with about 10-15 degrees of exposure. It makes for a great view from the house (thats another whole hurricane issue to deal with) but we get some wave action from big boats in the Inter-coastal as well as from storms. I can imagine, in a hurricane, there would be periods where the boat would be riding some rough waves from that direction. My concerns are staying off the pilings and not being pounded into the sandy bottom if the water is out. We have had wind associated tide this summer where the bay and the river where blown north and I have been sitting on the bottom. I don't have enough knowledge to know if the water always just blows in and then moves out as a hurricane passes. In general that surge (in both directions) is the major concern for this area, but I don't think it is a smooth monotonic process.


So my questions for staying at the dock are. Can I really expect to keep her away from the pilings given the stretch in lines, the freedom of motion needed and the kind of wind and wave that it would be exposed to? I can spider more lines from my other pilings, but where would I tie them off on the boat? I could put out anchors for and aft in addition to the pilings, can I tie off to the windlass? The dock pilings are tied together, the outside pilings are not, is that a major concern? The boat is a sitting duck for floating logs, will the dock and pilings offer enough protection? If the worst that happens is that she floods and sinks, at least I know where to find her and it is not that deep. Of course, the 30 hp Yanmar may not be happy.

thanks for any thoughts or suggestions. I will consider my anchoring/mooring options in a separate post (without so much as a by-your-leave, I guess).

cheers
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  #87  
Old 08-10-2009
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Hello Capt Ron,
Heron is a beautiful yacht. We are now near Southport (our side of the world)
When we were in cyclone country, a creek with not much flow was my choice for cyclone hole. Luckily and hopefully - all academic.

A few months ago I was anchored at Pt Stanley (Flinders Group - Far North Queensland) in flat, quiet conditions. Cape Grenville was 10nm away and we copped 45kn of breeze on the nose and a narrow channel to get through - under sail. My arms were stretched that morning- over 10 tacks to get through.

As I was anchored in Pt Stanley, I was reading of a cyclone that went through the same location 100 yrs ago. The pearling fleet were anchored in 40' of water and were bottoming out with each swell/wave. They found bits of boats, bodies and fish/dolphin hundreds of miles inland. It was a very sobering thought.
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  #88  
Old 08-10-2009
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Heron

Thanks for the compliments on our boat. We really like and enjoy her, she sails well, is nearly ideal for our area and is a sturdy well built coastal cruiser. Given that they only made 7 of this model, to find one that was so well kept and maintained, she was a rare find.



We hope someday to find our way to your side of the world, we hear it is a beautiful and amazing place.

thanks and cheers!
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  #89  
Old 08-11-2009
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Ron...forget the two to a cleat rule or add more cleats or larger ones. You have high exposure but an ideal position for a spiderweb and I would certainly take steps to implement that in a named storm warning... though my own reaction is YES....haul her on every hurricane watch that has you in the cone at the 3 day mark. All it takes is one direct hit. Some insurance companies will pay 1/2 the cost of a haul in a named storm.
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  #90  
Old 08-11-2009
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My experience is more from the Carib... but my take on your situation (Heron) is:
  • Too much exposure at the dock and not enough riding room. For a small blow, yes, but a big one no.
  • I am not a fan of hauling: storm surge, too many boats, lots of windage, cost, etc.
  • I would go with the creek alternative as you can have long lines for better riding/stretch (you can rise way up and down) and a softer landing should Heron break loose (assuming creeks are lined with trees, bush, mud).
On the creek idea, my suggestions:
  • Plan now... go scout a spot in a dink with a sounding pole. Your 2' draft is a huge bonus. Look for large trees close to the water. Measure the amount of line needed now, not when it is blowing 40.
  • Get some form of a rat stopper for all lines... assuming you have rats in your cricks.
  • For lines and chafe, old fire hose works well for long runs through trees.
  • If you have a keel stepped mast, devise some way to back up cleats or the lines to the mast. Yes, it will cause damage to lifelines, etc. But if your cleats break out, you have much more to worry about.
  • get to know the people who use the creek you plan on using and try to work together. It can be stressful on the day of tie up and tempers can flare. Better if you already know the one who is going off. Now Dave, it is just a Cat 4, it will be ok... ;-)
Good luck with the process. We are looking at TD 2... lots of unknown at this point, but best to be ready.

Gil
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