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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #51  
Old 03-08-2008
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Not to restart a squabble, but Sailingdog might've seen what he seen, yet Plumper might have a technical point as well. Both the Gemini and the Telstar draw less than 18 inches of water, so we often anchor close to shore. In shallow anchorages, we are often protected from wind and seas by the lay of the land, whereas keeled monohulls in deeper anchorages farther out in the same bay may be getting pounded. That might explain Sailingdog's observation. That is, it may not be that multihulls are impervious to rolling, so much as we get to park in more protected anchorages. Just a thought.
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  #52  
Old 03-08-2008
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Thanks guys. Now I have to convince my wife that we should turn out to see when those dark clouds approach so I can get experience

I've been heaving to regularly, but never in the kind of conditions we're discussing. I'm just excited to get out and get some experience under my belt so I can captain a boat through anything that might be thrown at us.

This year I hope to take a few 50+ nm trips up to Maine and to the tip of Cape Cod this season, so I'm trying to read up on the possible issues that might pop up.

Thanks for the advice.

-M
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  #53  
Old 03-08-2008
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TominDC2—

I'd agree about the visibility from the cabin. Most multihulls have fairly good visibility in most directions, but you may have to move around the cabin a bit to get the best view. Many monohulls have huge blind spots, making going below a different story.

As for the anchorage in question, I don't know the name of it and would have to check my logs to find it, since we followed our friend's boat there. However, were were anchor in probably 10-15' of water. We were probably less than 200' from the monohull I described. There were several other monohulls, which didn't seem to be affected to the same degree, but these were much beamier designs. Also, the boats were not all pointed in the same direction—Chris's boat and mine were, but Chris's boat was only 60-75' away from us.
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  #54  
Old 03-08-2008
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Hi Birdface, I would not advise intentionally steering into harms way for educational purposes. My observation is that most sailors have no idea what weather looks like, probably because their concepts have been shaped by weather on land, a few hundred hours of underway experience, and sailing mostly in local bay and off-shore conditions. My concept of really nasty weather was shaped by navigating Navy destroyers through several typhoons in the Pacific, once in the dangerous semicircle. "The Perfect Storm" movie comes closest to giving you a vicarious taste. While squalls pass relatively quickly, they can promote radically different seas with rain sometimes driving parallel to the surface (into your eyes -- ouch); worse, winds can change radically as the center passes. Few sailors can manage canvas under such conditions. Although a squall might not sink you, it can leave the crew on deck both shaken and stirred -- not to mention bruised and humbled .

Regarding your excursion, the farthest off shore I have been in a monohull is about 120 nm while sailing with friends one June up to the Vineyard from Pax River in an open-cockpit 38 footer. My luck, we got 3 days of gale all the way up to Gay Head. Seas were generally 8 to 12. Winds were so strong that despite the rock-n-roll we were averaging 6+ kts SOG on the 3rd reef with the jib furled. The second gale day, roughly 50 nm off shore, the CG asked mariners to look for survivors of a 40-foot monohull that went down in our area. Nobody found them. Though nasty, any experienced crew could safely handle such seas, so we speculated that the crew must have been unprepared for the weather. In weather, panic can have the same effect as an open hatch on the focsle.

The best way to gain weather experience is probably through unavoidable acts of nature; not by looking for trouble.
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