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  #1  
Old 11-03-2007
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Storm video - Newport, RI

No sailing today since sails are removed, boat gets hauled out next week and a major storm is currently battering New England's coastline. My wife and I took a drive along the waterfront this afternoon to check out the storm's effects. The peak has yet to hit us, but took some photos before the sun set - and was amazed at what we saw.

The beach behind our house abuts the Sakonnet, a tributary of the Atlantic Ocean. Waves were at least 6-8 feet and causing some beach erosion . . . minor compared to what was happening just 5 miles south.

This very short (2+ minutes) footage, for some reason, doesn't project the impact of wind and wave height experienced first hand. Reports of 20 foot offshore waves may have been a slight exageration, but the inner Harbor was in total turmoil. I saw several sailboats break free from their moorings, crashing onto the rocky cliffs of Brenton Cove, a few with soft groundings along the sany beaches.

Unfortunately, my camera's batteries were drained just after I took the footage showing Kings Park, south of Newport Harbor. So I could not take photos or videos of the worse boat damage seen later. The small sailboat shown beached, broke free just minutes before we arrived - fortunately a soft grounding. Minor compared to the damage I saw with the other boats, as a result of Noel's late season wrath. Truely a sad situation.

Newport Storm Video
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Last edited by TrueBlue; 11-03-2007 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 11-03-2007
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It hurts me whenever I see a sailboat on the rocks.
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Old 11-03-2007
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TB, I went to that SSA meet today in Newport; with the wind from the North, you should have seen the site from the bridges - breaking whitewater all up and down the bay!! A part of me said, I would like to know how would my boat handle that, another part said, I really would not want to find out.

Last edited by max-on; 11-03-2007 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 11-03-2007
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TB...I was going to say "nice video", but I am not. Not because the video is bad, its not, but because I feel the pain for those affected by the storm.

So you made a good bad video.

Hope the owner recovers his boat before it gets more damaged...
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Old 11-04-2007
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TB—

Thanks for the video. Unfortunately video always tends to flatten out the seas quite a bit, so it never looks anywhere as impressive on the camera. I hope your boat made it through safely.

However, I'm a bit curious as to why the owner of the boat seen beached in the video didn't remove the dodger and sails, to at least try and minimize the windage of the boat. It is very possible if he/she had done so, that their boat would not have dragged and gone onto the rocks on the beach. It isn't like this storm popped up out of nowhere.
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Old 11-04-2007
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I was thinking the same SD, since most of the boats on their moorings, still had their dodgers and sails in place . . . that is, the ones that weren't ripped off by wind. Our boat was fine thank you - due to the excellent shelter of our marina's lagoon.


You may recognize the above scene as Brenton Cove, at the SW section of Newport Harbor. The rocky shoreline forms a funnel, ending in a narrow cove surrounded by high rocky cliffs. On this day, these rocks were a lee shore posing serious threat to any boat that broke free from it's mooring.

As I mentioned above, I didn't realize my camera batteries needed recharging and went dead too soon. Otherwise I would have taken pictures and video of two boats being battered against these cliffs - just to the right of the above photo. They also had their dodgers and sails in place, although the main boom on one was snapped in two. Many sailboats in the harbor could be seen with their sails in shreds.

The mooring pennant can be seen on the foredeck of the beached boat below with a short single section of the rope intact. It apparently had abraded against the chock from the force of waves and 60 kt winds (gusts were reported to 89 kts). It amazes me that these boat owners made no attempt to use a double bridle, or at least double tie their mooring lines.


Giu, This boat grounded right before our eyes with the only visual damage being a dented bow rail from hitting the concrete seawall and some obvious gelcoat abrasion from the gravel beach. Who knows how much more damage was caused after we left? I'm sure salvage crews got to it before the Owner did and will be negotiating with his insurance company for profit . . . vultures.

Max - my office meeting concluded by noon yesterday - could have joined you at the Newport Yacht Club, but my wife was feeling neglected and needed a little time with her husband. I'll look into future SSA meetings.

tomaz, It's a terrible feeling helplessly watching a boat being beached and battered by high surf - especially this section of Newport Harbor which is typically calm. The boat seemed to be alive, making lunging motions with the force of waves, akin to a dying animal struggling for it's life.
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Old 11-04-2007
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Two things I always do before a named storm hits... reduce windage and double up on the lines. I also double check to make sure chafe protection for the lines is in place... and add more if I have any doubts.

The worst part IMHO is that these same owners who don't take the basic precautions will then file their claims with the insurance companies and all of our premiums will go up as a result. Don't they have any sense of personal responsibility to their boat?

One reason I chose the marina I'm currently in is that it is behind the New Bedford Hurricane Barrier, and as such doesn't generally see much storm surge. It is also fairly well sheltered from winds in almost every direction but the Southwest, and even then the fetch would be less than two miles in the worst case scenario.

While I hate to see boats, whether they're sailboats or powerboats, on the rocks and lost to a storm like the one that just passed, in the case of some of the boats you show in your video, I think the owners have much of the blame to accept for the loss or damage to their boats.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 11-04-2007
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It is amazing how some owners are pretty irresponsible when it comes to how they treat their boats. I am located on Lake Champlain, far away from any effects of the storm.....but even I have been following the GRIBS on this one since Monday!
My question as we are contemplating keeping a boat on the coast in seasons to come....Are there Hurricane holes around where these photos were taken? Safe harbors where a couple of hooks could have been dropped to be more protected? If I were hanging on one of these exposed moorings, my first thought would be to move somewhere else for a day or two untill the effects had passed. Seems like many boats just had to bear the brunt of this one!!
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Old 11-04-2007
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That's definitely the roughest I've seen Brenton Cove. The times I've been there it was the sheltered cove it's known as.
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Old 11-04-2007
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Storm

I also moor in New Bedford Habor, just behind the hurricane barrier in front of Bayside marine. The worst case scenereio for me is a NE wind as that would drive my boat right into the barrier. I was out on Friday removing sails, dodger and putting on a extra line on the mooring. Went out at 6 Am today (Sunday)to make sure all was well. Came through unscathed. Did see one PB that had smashed up against the dock at the Giffrod ST boat ramp. Half sunk and moved the dock about 4 feet off line. I will haul the boat later this week. Love that Fall sailing but it can get nasty this time of year.
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