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  #2241  
Old 10-11-2011
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Have fun Smacky!

Hey, I think I finally won my BFS cred! First was our downflooding incident in Sept. (Lesson learned: know where ALL hull penetrations are in your boat, not just seacocks. And note that some which are above water at the dock, may be below water underway or when heeling.) Then, quite possibly the worst conditions I've been in ever; and certainly the worst conditions I've been in on our own boat, were on Day 2 of our trip, right at the mouth of the Potomac. Winds predicted to be 10-15 on a broad reach were 25 and gusting higher forward of the beam in a squall, and the very confused seas where river emptied into Bay. (Lessons learned: NOAA doesn't always know-a! Plan your passage for winds 5 knots stronger, 45 degrees to the head, and for weather to arrive 12 hours sooner, than predicted. Second lesson: no matter how tempting it might be to run gently downwind on genoa only, we would have done far better with a balanced set of smaller sails. As it was, when the squall hit, we couldn't steer, the headsail + waves were throwing the bow around, and all we could do was make for the far shore, not necessarily make for the direction we wanted to go. We know better!) No pix, sorry, we were much too busy hanging on!

Currently in Morehead City, NC, about 1/3 of the way to our warm winter hangout.
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  #2242  
Old 10-11-2011
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Good story, WnW. I agree, I'd always rather have two small sails and a balanced helm than just one sail or the other.
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  #2243  
Old 10-11-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingNwing View Post
Have fun Smacky!

Hey, I think I finally won my BFS cred! First was our downflooding incident in Sept. (Lesson learned: know where ALL hull penetrations are in your boat, not just seacocks. And note that some which are above water at the dock, may be below water underway or when heeling.) Then, quite possibly the worst conditions I've been in ever; and certainly the worst conditions I've been in on our own boat, were on Day 2 of our trip, right at the mouth of the Potomac. Winds predicted to be 10-15 on a broad reach were 25 and gusting higher forward of the beam in a squall, and the very confused seas where river emptied into Bay. (Lessons learned: NOAA doesn't always know-a! Plan your passage for winds 5 knots stronger, 45 degrees to the head, and for weather to arrive 12 hours sooner, than predicted. Second lesson: no matter how tempting it might be to run gently downwind on genoa only, we would have done far better with a balanced set of smaller sails. As it was, when the squall hit, we couldn't steer, the headsail + waves were throwing the bow around, and all we could do was make for the far shore, not necessarily make for the direction we wanted to go. We know better!) No pix, sorry, we were much too busy hanging on!

Currently in Morehead City, NC, about 1/3 of the way to our warm winter hangout.


Nicely done WnW!!! You guys made it through safe and sound and brought back good lessons learned. That's what it's all about.

I kind of had the same experience this past weekend helming a Pearson 365 ketch in 20-25 winds. We had a double-reefed main and full 140 jib flying (practicing for a race) - and although we were screaming along at 8 knots, I would have liked to experiment with a bit less jib and more main. I'll do that next time.
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  #2244  
Old 10-11-2011
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My BFS (OK pretty small but my first overnight)

Here is my little BFS. First day out was in solid 15-20 mph winds with the occasional gusts to 30.

So I decided I would head down to Lake Marion in SC this weekend just to sail somewhere different. My local lake, Lake Norman is relatively narrow so the winds can be flukey. Plus I figured I would make a weekend of it and camp out on an island somewhere. Turned into quite the adventure, but I learned a lot about my boat (Newport 16) and gained a few new skills. Plus any trip where you wake up to this view can't be all bad, right?



So here is a view of the google earth track. Navionics is a great little application (Lakes East is what I have), but I have heard the new version is not as good.



   There was a lot of wind, white caps on the lake, but overall not too bad. Probably should not have chosen to launch on the lee shore at a place called Stump Hole Landing though! It lived up to its name with a lot of stumps and in fact the whole lake has good stretches of stumps as well as cypress trees popping up. There was one lonely little tree right out in the middle of the lake. Considered changing my plans to come from the north side of the lake which would have made more sense. But I got out, had a great downwind run making over 4 knots with just the genoa out (the roller furler worked well although I need a longer reefing line!).

  I made it under 95 and got greedy and tried to hoist the mainsail. Well the new tiller tamer had been working great except that my tiller moves up and down so when I am not holding it it basically falls down and locks the tiller. So when I moved forward and was pulling the main up a good gust of wind came up, pushed the boat out of the wind and caught the sail. When the boat heeled over, I heard the crack of the rudder. The wind was pushing me hard into the shore for a while until I got things situated.

  So I got to to learn how to sail for the next 7 miles by playing with sail trim. I was losing light since I got a late start playing with things around the house, so I decided to hit a nice harbor I saw on the charts and just managed to glide up to a great little island and get everything on the shore and my tent set up in the last bit of light. I had a nice little spot and the Newport floated out in about 8 inches of water. Great sandy spot for my tent, sheltered from the wind and I slept like a baby, except at one point when my forearms got tight (from holding the sheets for two hours steering along) and I woke up with my hand asleep.



But again, got a perfect spot to camp and had a great night.

Last edited by tschmidty; 10-11-2011 at 05:08 PM.
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  #2245  
Old 10-11-2011
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I know all too well the nasties of the lower potomac.
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  #2246  
Old 10-11-2011
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Day two started with a beautiful sunrise. I made some coffee with the JetBoil french press and got going. Still no rudder but the wind had shifted a little and lightened up some so it wasn't hard to get out and get going. Mainly steering by my position on the boat occasionally hanging over the side to get it to turn windward. Without a rudder I had a lot of lee helm which was a hassle. After a nice long close hauled reach trying to steer through the stumps to the deeper water on the other side I got into a weird situation where I could not get the boat pointed. I finally rolled up the genoa and that helped balance things out although I did lose some speed. After a couple wasted tacks going nowhere, I got it settled into a nice groove and managed to get a couple good long tacks and then got a nice wind shift headed back to get up to the bridge.



The one long tack from Vance back across the lake looked like this and was the best part of the day. Note the lack of a tiller. I just sat with my back on the cabin occasionally leaning a little left or right to adjust my heading. The engine there became just for show since it wouldn't run after a bit, just started leaking gas. I was guessing that the float in the carb got stuck or some such. I am definitely going back to the trolling motor because it has been nothing but trouble.



I was ghosting my way under the bridge close hauled and just about through the second span when a gust of wind came up and grabbed the front of the boat, smashing the bow. Yay. Got a pretty good bit of damage to a spot that had already been repaired once prior to me, so now I get to repair it again for real. Slightly ironic in that I have a rub rail I am working on that will look nice ad would have been great protection for that but oh well. On the other side of the bridge the winds got flukey which are a real pain to deal with when you are steering by jumping around the boat. I did get a good wind for a while but I started figuring that it was going to be tight making it to the landing by dark and if the wind died I wasn;t going to make it. So I bailed out at a boat ramp with a nice beach next to it. Tied the boat off and got to enjoy a nice 8 mile run back to my car. Well I probably ran about 6 of it and walked 2, took me about an hour and 15 minutes or so. Well I did want to get some exercise this weekend.



All in all, it was quite an adventure. What is it they say, "It's not an adventure until something goes wrong." I was happy that despite all the setbacks the boat did get me back home in one piece and I learned quite a bit about the boat and how to sail it. I'd actually sail Lake Marion again. It was a nice wide lake, the camping was beautiful and there were plenty of spots to camp. The cypress trees are vary nice. I'd launch closer to 95 to avoid the hairy sections and try to generally stick to the south side where the main channel is (the blue line in the google earth pic above) to avoid the hazards.



The rest of my pictures are up on picasaweb at https://picasaweb.google.com/110586701752725030552/LakeMarion

And the blog with a few other bits is here: Gone Ridin
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  #2247  
Old 10-11-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tschmidty View Post
Here is my little BFS. First day out was in solid 15-20 mph winds with the occasional gusts to 30.

So I got to to learn how to sail for the next 7 miles by playing with sail trim.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tschmidty View Post
Day two started with a beautiful sunrise. I made some coffee with the JetBoil french press and got going. Still no rudder but the wind had shifted a little and lightened up some so it wasn't hard to get out and get going. Mainly steering by my position on the boat occasionally hanging over the side to get it to turn windward. Without a rudder I had a lot of lee helm which was a hassle. After a nice long close hauled reach trying to steer through the stumps to the deeper water on the other side I got into a weird situation where I could not get the boat pointed.
Oh yeah...definitely...



Hey t, if you don't mind, also post your GPS tracks and links to your pics in this thread:

Passages, Pics & Platitudes

We're trying to get a collection of tracks, pics and videos for various sails so people without boats can at least see what we see when we're out. And it's fun to see what various parts of the world look like.

Great job dude.
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Last edited by smackdaddy; 10-11-2011 at 06:23 PM.
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  #2248  
Old 10-12-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post

I kind of had the same experience this past weekend helming a Pearson 365 ketch in 20-25 winds. We had a double-reefed main and full 140 jib flying (practicing for a race) - and although we were screaming along at 8 knots, I would have liked to experiment with a bit less jib and more main. I'll do that next time.
Thanx Bubble & Smack. Along with my shiny new BFS cred, is a new "balanced sail plan" cred! And I agree with you Smack, 140 jib with teeny-tiny main would feel screaming ... as long as you don't need to turn into the wind ...
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Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable. - Sidney J. Harris


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  #2249  
Old 10-12-2011
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I have a dinghy capsize story where I could have died of hypothermia induced drowning... does this count?

It was 70 degrees one day in March. I had to get out on the water. I got to the harbor at Liberty State Park, where I often launched my dinghy, and it really blowing, prob 20 knots.

The boat had been in storage all winter, so it took me a while to put the sails on the spars and rig up the boat again. It turns out I really should have taken longer to do this. I tied in my flotation, which consisted of a water resistant dufflebag filled with styrafoam. I donned my surfing wetsuit and launched, wondering if I should even bother with the wetsuit it was so hot, but nevertheless I zipped it up and dealt with the heat.

I had some serious issues with the setup of my rig. I hadn't sailed the boat all winter, and during the summer I rarely if ever sail single handed. So in this blow I had my hands full. The tiller wasn't long enough, so every time I went forward to fix something on the rig, I had to let go and the boat would head into a broad reach. I kept fiddling, and I realized that the halyard wasn't tight enough and the front of the boom was getting caught on the hull sides. I have been out in this kind of weather before, with crew, and in a serious gust I have always just let go the mainsheet (the beauty of an unstayed mast) and been fine. Now the boom was stuck and I couldn't release. The wind caught the scoop in the sail created by the stuck boom and over I went.

The water was COLD, about 40 degrees F. I got dunked, and when I came up felt like I was having a heart attack. COLD SHOCK!!! I coughed, I couldn't catch my breath, I could do nothing but instinctively doggy paddle and grab onto the gunwhale of my submerged boat. It took about 30 seconds to gain my senses, and as the freezing water that entered my wetsuit finally warmed a bit I realized I needed to get the boat upright ASAP. I swam around to grab my bailing bucket, which was tied in. I fiddled with the knot, until I realized my fingers were completely numb from the cold. I fiddled with it for about 30 seconds more before my dull brain realized I have a knife. One cut with the knife (I just sharpened it fortunately) and I was good.

OK, now time to get this boat upright. I unstepped the mast. I put the boat on its side as I had planned to do, and guess what. The flotation bag came loose!!!! It was tied in, but floating about a foot or so off the floor and was useless. My hands were too cold to tie anything (though I tried), so I attempted to stuff the bag under the CB case and get water out of the boat that way. My cold brain messed up again, trying to lift the boat the wrong way relative to the powerful wind, and it was not happening. I had to get out of the water soon, before I got blown out of the harbor and into the Hudson river, and I was going probably 1 knot in that direction just being blown by the wind. I began to realize that I might be in some serious trouble. I contemplated leaving the boat and swimming the 100 yards or so to shore, but fortunately I stayed with the boat. I would have to swim it the 100 yards to shore.

Well I started swimming, first pushing the boat then pulling it. I am 26 years old and in very good shape, but I could barely breath and was struggling to stay afloat myself. In fact, I found myself sinking and fighting harder and harder to keep my head above water. DUH! My dull brain finally clicked and I realized I needed to get my pfd on NOW. I grabbed it, somehow got it unbuckled with my numb fingers, and put it on. I was instantly feeling much better. I breathed easier and could concentrate on pushing the boat rather than staying afloat. Again, my dull brain wasn't thinking about wind, and I swam into the powerful gusts to try and reach the nearest shore. I got nowhere, and was getting exhausted. DUH! I finally changed course and went with the wind to the lee shore, which was rocky and less than ideal but at least within reach. Once I swam with the wind (actually sort of diagonal to it) I made progress and finally made it to shore. I stood up out of the water, and within 30 seconds of getting my torso out of that icy water was warmed up enough to catch my breath and assess the situation.

I was on a rocky shore, standing on razor sharp barnacled rocks. I dragged my boat up out of the water (it kept wanting to run away with the wind) and I finally thought enough to use the wind to help lift the boat sideways and empty out the water.

Done. No more sailing that day! But now what? I had lost my seat and a bottle of water, but everything else had been tied in. The wind was relentless. I put the boat back in the water, and launched with oars alone. I had to row against the hard, gusting wind to get back to the dock/ramp I launched from. There was nowhere else to go, except out into the Hudson river. That is where the wind wanted me to go, and I knew the tide would kick up and pull me out soon too so there was no time to waste. I jumped in and rowed, stowing gear as I could. Without a seat, the already too short oars (6 ft) combined with the already short (for my body) oar sockets made rowing hellish, using more forearms than back. The wind was ferocious, and for a while I didn't think I would make it. I contemplated letting the wind drift me back to where I came from. Then I decided to "man-up", I stopped worrying about making progress and just concentrated on rowing. After a hellish row, fortunately directly into the wind (not much weathercocking as long as I kept it straight) I made it back.

This was over a year ago, and I now keep my pfd on at all times, I'm actually paranoid about it. Oh, and I keep a sharp knife on that pfd, and a whistle... and a waterproof flashlight at night... :-)

Last edited by peterchech; 10-12-2011 at 05:31 PM.
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  #2250  
Old 10-12-2011
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The day I went to sea trial my current boat the wind was in the low 20's and the fella I was buying from never sailed in this weather. So I went alone and tested her out, while out the wind was still on the rise so I was able to also test out the roller furl boom (which did not work due to lazy Jacks) and managed a sail change in 6+ foot rollers from the 135 to the working jib.
Soon the wind was really howling and I made my way in on just the working jib and doused main. Come to find out wind was gusting upwards of 50 mph and still rising. Travel lift got my new to me boat out and placed back to cradle. deal was completed, I figured I got her out there and she brought me back in one piece so the match was made..

Later that night 4 boats fell off cradles and winds hit near 90 mph, late May 2011 in Port Dover.
3 days later I was bringing her home, a 9 day rain filled sail from Lake Erie (Port Dover) to East side (Picton) Lake Ontario.
It was filled with lots of wind, more rain and cold water, and being on the great lakes on the 01 June made me pretty much the only boat out there. Coast guard Axillary crews were still on the hard in lake Ontario.
BFS all the way and both boat and myself enjoyed the ride.
I am a firm believer now that the Grampian 26 is a great lake bluewater boat made for heavy weather.
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