In 1974 my wife, Kitty, and I were sailing from St Thomas to New York in July. We were completing a three year circumnavigation in our 30 foot Allied Seawind Ketch. Half way between Hatteras and Bermuda, we got hit by a hurricane and at 0200 July 14, while lying ahull in 85 kts of wind, a huge wave came and we fell off the top of it. When we hit the water it seemed as though the whole boat exploded. Actually the main hatch was blown off, as were the teak grab rails on the cabin top, the spray dodger, the wind-vane self-steering device and the stanchions on the lee side were flattened against the cabin top. When we righted, the water was up to the level of the bunks. Luckily we had the most efficient bilge pump in the world, ...a frightened woman with a bucket! While Kitty got us bailed dry, I bolted a piece of plywood over the companionway hatch opening. There was no time to even think about how much peril we were in. We just did what we had to and by 1100 the next day the wind was down to a mere 35 kts.
First, we always keep our life raft on the floor in the cockpit and have a piece of plywood supported by fids fastened to either side of the cockpit well jut below the sail locker hatches. Had the life raft been kept on deck it would have been torn off the cabin top by the force of the water. It was that piece of plywood we used to cover the companionway hatch that was ripped off.
The main boom, which had been sheeted tight to the mizzen mast, was severely bent. Using a block and tackle secured to the toe-rail and the boom we were able to almost straighten it out. By 1200 (the knockdown was at 0200) the wind was down to 35 kts and we were able to set a storm jib, a reefed main and the mizzen. (I believe that we did not lose the rig because we had re-rigged in New Zealand with galvanized rigging three sizes larger than what was on there as it was the only wire available at the time)
With that rig we sailed into New York harbor and after cleaning up the engine, I was able to get it started (the engine was an 18 hp Albin diesel that I could hand crank) to get through Hells gate and around to City Island. The next day we sailed to Westport CT our home port and spent the rest of the summer fixing our 30 foot Allied Seawind Ketch "Bebinka" and in the fall we sailed her back to St Thomas to spend another winter in the Caribbean. Below (if I have figured out how to do this, I have posted a picture of what the interior looked like the morning after the knockdown
Here is what the deck looked like after the knockdown.