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  #2031  
Old 10-14-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinsdad View Post
Hi St Anna,

Things are good here, except sailing season is over. ): I will get some specific info for you on the research, but from short personal experience you can use the autopilot in the conditions I've been in. I have read that the autopilots work until real nasty weather. Has to do with the greater propensity of a cat to stick to more of a straight course, and the effect of twin rudders. Will come back to you on the research, but I don't want to make this a cat vs mono thing since I like sailing both.
Hiya TD,

Sailing season over - for winter I guess. We are about to go into summer, but have had just rotten weather (as I posted before)

OK, I get the twin rudders keeping a course for the auto, it was ust the lighter weight and course keeping stuff. My little beach cat used to get treated badly but jeez it was fun.

I, also definetely dont want to cause another debate over # of hulls. [I just like the comments that SD and I sometimes throw to each other over it- never meant to ignite dramas] Maybe we should 'pm' if it may cause grief.

Anyway, have fun, dont get too cold!
regards
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  #2032  
Old 10-14-2010
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Libera Classe in a Thunderstorm

This story has to do with both the verb and the noun: sailing Libera Classe boats in a summer thunderstorm on Chiemsee in Bavaria, e.g., central Europe just north of the Alps. This happened in the summer of 1986.

For those not familiar with the Libera Classe, they are boats that are limited only by the most basic constraints: the boat must be trailerable, so the mast must be less than 20 meters, the hull 40 feet long and 2.5 meters wide. Monohulls, with racks that are not more than 2.5 meters.

The boat I raced on, for example, was a cold molded wood hull much like a Soling but 35 feet long, 2.5 meters (8 feet) beam. It had racks on each side that were aluminum frames with trampolines. The racks were 2.5 meters (8 feet) to each side, and went from the mast aft to the transom. The mast was from some IOR race boat, was multi-spreader aluminum 20 meter (66 feet!). The number 1 masthead genoa was tacked to the bow and sheeted to the corner of the transom. The main, with a lot of roach, was about 2 feet off the deck and also sheeted to a traveller at the top of the transom. Downwind, the big runner chute when full and drawing still kissed the surface of the water, with a "penalty pole" about 10 feet beyond the bow.

This one summer day, we were headed upwind in about 12 knots of breeze, with that big number 1, full main, with the entire 12 man crew on trapeze off the racks. And to get maximum stability, we did a pyramid, such that 6 had their feet on the racks, 4 stood on those shoulders, and the two of us (who were lightest and usually were responsible for trim) would be on the shoulders of those. The crew were all big men, most of the Olympic Star sailors for Germany, so probably 5 feet from sole to shoulder. So my head was about 4+8+5+5+5.5=2.7.5 feet from centerline!

As one would expect, we had pretty good upwind speed. In fact, we were about a knot or more faster than a Tornado upwind! Probably about 12 knots very close hauled.

There was a similar boat near us on this beat. The boat was new, carbon, and had integrated solid wings on each side, rather than the racks like we had. We were having a hell of a competitive series.

Central Europe, like the middle of the USA, has dramatic thunderstorms during the summer. These storms develop rapidly and can be violent. Therefore, the lakes all have towers around them with very bright strobe lights that go off when a thunderstorm is approaching.

The strobes went off!

We immediately put on life jackets, and dropped ALL sail as fast as we could. The Libera near us also dropped their sails. Then the front hit with perhaps 40 knots of breeze, hitting RIGHT NOW. The lake was covered with spume, low level spray flying horizontal.

The other Libera demonstrated why solid wings are a bad idea -- those wings were effectively unreefable sail area. The breeze got under those wings and lifted the ENTIRE 40' BOAT up into the air, and it started tumbling down the lake. All the crew were thrown off. Over and over that 40 footer went!
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  #2033  
Old 10-15-2010
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U4EA

Wow, something to remember. It would also have been a very cool experience to be a part of that, sailing in those lakes. Wonderful stuff.
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  #2034  
Old 10-15-2010
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Multihulls tend to have fewer handling problems and are less likely to broach in heavy weather due to the multiple hulls allowing the boat hold a track and no asymetric hull shape leading to massive weather helm and a tendency to turn the boat that happens when a monohull heels heavily.

However, no boat should be run in heavy weather under autopilot. Autopilots can not react to the quickly changing conditions found in most storms. The recent capsize of an Atlantic 57 catamaran was attributed to several factors, one of which was being under autopilot at the time of the accident. Another factor in the capsize was the fact that the sheets were locked and NO ONE was at the helm to release them when the 60+ knot gust hit the boat. If the mainsail had been released or the boat had been steered to ease the pressure on the sails, there is a good chance that the boat would NOT HAVE CAPSIZED.

Quote:
Originally Posted by twinsdad View Post
Hi St Anna,

Things are good here, except sailing season is over. ): I will get some specific info for you on the research, but from short personal experience you can use the autopilot in the conditions I've been in. I have read that the autopilots work until real nasty weather. Has to do with the greater propensity of a cat to stick to more of a straight course, and the effect of twin rudders. Will come back to you on the research, but I don't want to make this a cat vs mono thing since I like sailing both.
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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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  #2035  
Old 10-15-2010
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Thanks U4EA!!
Cool story! Extreme sailing for sure. Libera class? Wow!
86? Cool. a lot of great, wild, and new stuff. We (yanks) didn't get into that era of big, extreme, badass, sponsored, new tech, "dinghy" racing.
I'd love to see it. I guess you didn't have a mini helmet cam?
Competition in open classes, and spectator support, has resulted in huge advancements in boat design(too much to list).
Ya, wings have a pretty limited wind range. It's sucks having too much sail. It must really suck to know there's no way to reduce sail - knowing you're about to get an arsekickin.
I think I'll look for vids of Libera, Aussie 18, unlim 40s, etc
by the way - all boats are different. I like considering all of it.
I'm not anti-multi. It ain't multi vs mono - to me.

I look forward to more cool BFS.
Max
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  #2036  
Old 10-15-2010
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Very nice u4. Are you still in Europe?

I assume this is is the modern version of what you sailed?





That is crazy cool. Great BFS dude. Thanks.

And welcome to SN.
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Last edited by smackdaddy; 10-15-2010 at 09:08 AM.
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  #2037  
Old 10-16-2010
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In Progress BFS....and some philosophising!

Hey All,

I am writing this onboard at the end of a sail up the Aussie coast from Port Jackson(Sydney Harbour) back into Broken Bay our home port.

We had about 30-35 knots when we set out, with rough seas but luckily the swell has been minimal, and the wind has been easing. We actually agonised over the decision to depart and delayed it several times until we were comfortable. I guess this then is ummm a BFS?

Maybe it is the sunset, the salt or the sea.......too much Man v Wild or perhaps the Gin and Tonic I have now allowed myself, but as I sail along I have been pondering this whole BFS philosophy.

What has hit me most is the just enormous chasm between the reality of being out here in this.......the actual experience, the sore muscles, the rawness of the wind on your face and having to back your own ability versus how easy and theoretical it all may sound when one either types or reads it on the internet or out of some great cruising book. This stuff can be frightening!

Now I am definitely an advocate of BFS but not BL ( Blind Lunacy).

I believe what we did today was the former not the later, but there are others who may disagree...

What we had going for us today, the factors that I believe add up to make the difference between a BFS and BL were the following...

1) My wife and I understand and have studied basic Meteorology. We monitored and understood the weather and were comfortable with the situation before we set out. We knew we were on the back of the front and that conditions were easing.

2)I am 100% confident in my boats ability to meet the conditions. The rigging is in A1 condition and was inspected by ME prior to this trip or any trip. The engine though old and gutless is reliable. The boat is solid and I know how to sail her.

3) I am confident in our ability as sailors to face these conditions. We have gradually built our experience over the years, we don't panic when things get all noisy and bumpy.

Still though the reality is that we could of sailed back tomorrow morning in a forecasted 15 knots. So what we did was a calculated risk, taken because we wanted to build our experience further....all in all it was worked well, but I guess the reality is that it may also not have.
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  #2038  
Old 10-16-2010
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Chall,

"What has hit me most is the just enormous chasm between the reality of being out here in this.......the actual experience, the sore muscles, the rawness of the wind on your face and having to back your own ability"

You've been there now. Next time you see a forecast or see the wind speed reach 35kn, you'll remember- that you guys were fine. [only because of good seamanship, a sound boat and experienced crew, with quiet self confidence].

If you are ever up this way, I would be very happy to shout you a drink and hear all about it.


with respect
VMQ9575
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  #2039  
Old 10-16-2010
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Chall...as far as I'm concerned, you absolutely, completely NAILED what BFS is all about.

I really wish I could have been with you guys.

Killer BFS dude. The Supersouthies ARE IN DA HOUSE!
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  #2040  
Old 10-17-2010
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Chal - thanks,
Cool BFS. Here's what comes to my mind. Good job of explaining stuff.
I think guys might want to learn from this forum. So...
Again, my mind - these points are great!
You thought it all out.
Confident in your plan, based on solid thinking. Cool that you mentioned wx window, boat, crew ability, and that you thought out the whole deal.
You considered all factors. You're confident that you know what to consider.
For others:
Wx fcast is uh.... A thing (us). Areas vary.
Fcast of 30 means ya better know more about stuff.
Unless you're cool with 60.

A side story:
fcast was 30-35, 12'
4 hrs later, my wx obs report was 40-50, gusts 65, 28' to NWS
2hrs later, fcast hadn't changed.
I was in it.
The next day I asked (local wx guy) why they didn't even mention how bad it really was?
He said that the official forecast comes from NWS HQ(Fla) and he couldn't alter it. Even if he knew it ain't right. He'd be happy to share all- one to one, and off the record.
My reply: That's FUd. What about the little guys making life/death decisions thinking the fcast is solid?
We agreed that guys workin central-western AK know wx enough to live. Or not.
No matter where you are(almost) wx is what it's about.

Max
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