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  #11  
Old 04-29-2011
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Hell, 50 knots seems benign after 68 knots.... It's all relative. Ya ever come off the freeway after doing 80-90 MPH, slow down to 35 and it feels like you're crawling? Same effect.
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  #12  
Old 04-29-2011
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I was in the slip working on the boat when a 50 knot squall came through. I can not even imagine being out in that. HOLY CRAP!

One step at a time.

I'll tell you one thing...I want to make sure my boat is WAY more solid than the Smacktanic currently is before I face something like that. (And that I have clean underwear on.)
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  #13  
Old 04-29-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
...I'll tell you one thing...I want to make sure my boat is WAY more solid than the Smacktanic currently is before I face something like that. (And that I have clean underwear on.)
Actually I think it would be more important to have clean underwear to change into, if you know what I mean.
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  #14  
Old 04-29-2011
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I have only had the fun of Sailing in 40+ knots once. But an experience like stays with you as if it were a few hours ago. My take is that while we think of wind as constant speed and direction, it is anything but constant in either speed or direction. So, when the speed is up, the forces are magnified. At those high speeds, a small change in direction will make the boat shudder. Also, the forestay that was taught at 15 knots seems loose at 40 knots which only adds to the problems. There is nothing to do do but either tough it Out and cope with the shuddering or remove sail and motor in. I thInk your instinct to have-to was a good one.
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  #15  
Old 04-29-2011
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Hi Aac ..I'm a little afraid to ask this...but do you have an engine?

My tactics with those fast moving squalls, I've been hit with 70mph winds, has been to start the engine, roll up the genoa tight, double reef the main and hold the boat as close to the wind ( sometimes directly into it ) as I can. I have felt that shudder as it gets over 50 mph..it's eerie.
You never really know how much punch those squalls have until it's too late, and I don't want to deal with a poorly shaped headsail that's set too high or a loose sheet that might get away....

The combination of the engine with just enough power applied to hold me to wind or pinching .and the double reefed mainsail has worked for me.
The squalls are often relatively short lived ( 20 minutes or so). Then I'll make decision of what to set up to get sailing again.

I also don't like being pushed off the wind with just a DR mainsail up, I've seen boats get knocked down like that, If the wind finds a fifth gear.

I do have a gale sail,,,,,, with 15 minutes to prep... single handed..I could probably set the reefs in the main and get the storm jib up...get foul weather gear on..but it might be close. I should time that process someday.
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  #16  
Old 04-29-2011
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Actually I think it would be more important to have clean underwear to change into, if you know what I mean.
You have a point. I guess I just always assume the "shat shorts" are inevitable. I haven't thought past that. Very salty advice RD.
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  #17  
Old 04-29-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest View Post
Hi Aac ..I'm a little afraid to ask this...but do you have an engine?

My tactics with those fast moving squalls, I've been hit with 70mph winds, has been to start the engine, roll up the genoa tight, double reef the main and hold the boat as close to the wind ( sometimes directly into it ) as I can. I have felt that shudder as it gets over 50 mph..it's eerie.
You never really know how much punch those squalls have until it's too late, and I don't want to deal with a poorly shaped headsail that's set too high or a loose sheet that might get away....

The combination of the engine with just enough power applied to hold me to wind or pinching .and the double reefed mainsail has worked for me.
The squalls are often relatively short lived ( 20 minutes or so). Then I'll make decision of what to set up to get sailing again.

I also don't like being pushed off the wind with just a DR mainsail up, I've seen boats get knocked down like that, If the wind finds a fifth gear.

I do have a gale sail,,,,,, with 15 minutes to prep... single handed..I could probably set the reefs in the main and get the storm jib up...get foul weather gear on..but it might be close. I should time that process someday.
I was totally in the engine mindset until I read a story around here about Jeff-H in a squally using sail to help him out will the engine-only dudes were having trouble. After he'd explained it, it made perfect sense - although it was counterintuitive.

I'll try to find that story. I think it's in the Holiest of Holies...the BFS Thread.
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  #18  
Old 04-29-2011
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Hello,

I was caught in similar conditions a few years ago. My family (3 kids plus my wife) were out for a simple day sail on the Long Island Sound. My wife pointed out some thunderstorm type clouds and asked me if we should head in and get off the water. I remarked that the storms were far way and moving further away.

I was wrong. We sailed for a bit, maybe 30 minutes, and then I saw what appeared to be a solid wall of water moving towards me. I didn't even have time to scream 'holey sh*t' before we were hit. I sent the kids below, put my wife on the wheel and I went below (just kidding). I had her steer into the wind while I started the engine and rolled up the headsail. Then I sent her below and I hung on while I pinched up into the wind. My wife asked if we were going to head in now. I said 'no way, we're going to open water so we have plenty of room.' The rig made a lot of noise but the boat was easy to control.

This past summer we were stuck in similar conditions. I was (a little) smarter this time and rolled up the headsail and started the engine BEFORE we got it. Unfortunately, this time we were in the ocean and the waves got large. With the engine on and the main up I was able to pinch up into the wind and things weren't so bad. About 30 minutes later it was all over.

Barry
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  #19  
Old 04-29-2011
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With the risk of coming off as a purist (which I'm definitely not, having probably motored 50% of the time when we were out cruising)... in a storm, on a sailboat, sail it. Don't depend on the motor. They give out at the most inopportune times (as I can tell you from experience). When you get hit by a storm there's the opportunity for waves and wind to thrash your boat around, stirring up all sorts of muck in the tanks and sending it to your filters where it will clog them and then stall the engine. If your engine goes out and you're not prepared to deal with it (i.e. you're not set up to sail), it can get very dangerous. Once again - I've had my engine conk out at very inopportune times. So... use your engine if you want, but be prepared to fall back to your sails if there's a failure.

We got hit with close to 70mph winds while sailing from Norfolk to NYC. We were off the New Jersey coast with no place to duck in. We had our genoa completely furled and a double reef in the main (in retrospect we should have put our third reef in but didn't think the wind would be getting that high). We ran in front of the storm at a slight angle to it, keeping the wind on our aft quarter. Our main was sheeted out pretty far. When I'd head up even a few degrees, the rig would bang itself crazily due to the amount of wind turbulence spilling off it. We definitely got some good harmonics coming off of our genoa furler. It's just what happens.

The most important thing to do is to make sure you get your standing and running rigging inspected as often as possible (once a year in our case for the standing rigging) - even checking the chainplates where they enter the deck (this is where the highest chance of failure is) - and then trust in the rigging. If the mast topples, it topples, but set your sails for the appropriate trim and then commit. I don't think I'd head into the wind or even slightly off the wind in a big blow. There's too much chance of losing momentum, falling off and then broaching as a result. You could do it with an engine and no sails, but see my above warnings. The best bet in VERY heavy winds (50+) is to run ahead of them, heave to (if you're far enough away from a lee shore) or forereach. We've done all three and make our decision based upon the anticipated length of the storm and the wave conditions. When we got hit by the almost 70mph winds we knew the storm would only last about 45 minutes, and we had headed close to shore so we knew there would be minimal fetch (wind was blowing away from shore). We picked running ahead of the storm. If it was going to last more than an hour we probably would have heaved to. As it was, we hit over 9 kts with just our double reefed main and I wanted to let out a little whoop of excitement (but my wife would have killed me since we had lightning crashing around us too).

Anyway - I wouldn't worry as much about the stress on your rig from the harmonics/wind shear/turbulence as much as I'd worry about damage to your sail. If you have your genny out, just tighten it up as flat as it will go, yank down on the leech line if you have one and try not to freak out too much . The decision on whether to have your genny out should be partially made by understanding how your boat sails under main alone and whether you want to heave to or not. You certainly don't want to have to be dealing with letting your genny out in 40kts+ of wind (make sure you have several wraps of the furling line around a winch if you do need to ease it out).
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  #20  
Old 04-30-2011
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If you doon't see it you should at least feel the tempature drop. Any sudden tempature change is a huge warning...........i2f
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