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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Hurricane season in Florida
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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-28-2001 02:35 PM
rfha
Hurricane season in Florida

Hi fellow blow boaters! I''ve been looking over the discussion on hurricanes and have some observations, having been in 9 hurricanes and one typhoon. Even had a hurricane form right on top of me off of Haiti back in 1988. Fun!

I agree with the comments that most hurricanes cannot be predicted well. Neil Frank, former director of the NOAA Hurricane Center, likened it to a top, "You can tell the general direction it is going, but the wobbles get you every time."

Most of the writers have had small craft which are easier to secure. I have a 45 foot steel ketch that weighs in at 42,000 lbs. I contracted the hull and built the rest, so I am well aware of her strength.

She cannot be left in a marina for a hurricane simply because she is capable of destroying most of the marina! Shortly after she was launched in June of 1996, and at her very first night on the hook, twas time for Hurricane Bertha to come roaring into the New Bern, NC area. A large surge had built up as she came up Pamlico Sound and the Neuse River. Over 80 percent of the boats docked at the two major marinas in town were sunk or simply destroyed. Floating docks are not nice in a hurricane.

One butt ugly steel trawler was seen to seen to sink 8 boats on her way upriver, and there she went right through the other marina with similar results. She ended up 10 feet above the water on a rock railroad embankment. My personal inspection showed one broken portlight and some dents and scratches. Around her lay the remains of 4 glass boats, hardly identifiable.

My Shiloh was anchored a few miles away and we had very little problem, using a 45# CQR and a Fortress FX23.

So where is all this going? My personal hurricane strategy is to:

1. Go where no one else is if you can so you only have to worry about your own ground tackle, and

2. Stay aboard through Category 2 (praying it doesn''t get worse). You can do a lot for your baby in a Cat 2, but you can hardly move in a 3.

Now, obviously, this decision has gotta be made early on as the storm advances since you are not going to leave her once aboard in a blow.

Finally, we get to my question. I run the boat as a charter vessel out of Stock Island, next to Key West. We draw 5-1/2 feet. The bottom here is quite shallow in Florida Bay, and mostly coral elsewhere. Does anybody know of a good anchorage within 25 miles of Key West with good holding? (No, I ain''t going into the inner harbor at Marathon!)

Sorry for the verbosity.
Rick Hill

08-05-2001 12:42 PM
firemanbob
Hurricane season in Florida

greetings fellow sailor. live near orlando and have sailed both coasts and know of many such places. call me if you like and i''ll give you a list. firemanbob55@hotmail.com
08-05-2001 12:40 PM
firemanbob
Hurricane season in Florida

greetings fellow sailor. live near orlando and hav sailed both coasts and know of many such places. call me if you like and i''ll give you a list. firemanbob55@hotmail.com
08-05-2001 12:39 PM
firemanbob
Hurricane season in Florida

greetings fellow sailor. live neer orlando and hav sailed both coasts and know of many such places call me if younlike and i''ll give you a list. firemanbob55@hotmail.com
07-23-2001 09:03 PM
BigRed56
Hurricane season in Florida

Ahoy, Rob,Iron Wind, any other interested sailors January''s race is open to all as far as I''am concerned. Gentleman''s rules we can handicap on simple factors of boatlength,sail area,max hull speed. I''ve got a chute of my own I''d like to see fly legally in a race. Heck I might even break out the mule if I have too. Never have to much sail I say. Plot out a course on the harbor and let me know. Big Red
07-23-2001 06:15 PM
RobHoman
Hurricane season in Florida

I''m game for a race in January!! But lets make the prize a "beer" or something more useful!!

No offense taken really, and hopefully none really given. Its what the forums are all about...the freedom to voice our opinions... even of we are wrong (the we is oft times me).

Yep....got some real high tides here lately!!
Just about need a parachute to jump off this Out Islander to get down to the dock!! Now know one drawback of this boat...the deck is so high.....even with dock steps. The water is almost up high enough to go over the dock.
07-23-2001 04:48 PM
IronWind
Hurricane season in Florida

No Problem Rob
As you know the rain around the harbor here has been bad at times. Noticed a higher tide today, more than normal.
A race in Charlotte Harbor??Can we come {grin}. Dying to try this chute out.
Iron Wind
07-23-2001 08:29 AM
BigRed56
Hurricane season in Florida

Ahoy Iron Wind, and I guess Rob too. I think the curt nature of my first message may have led to a great misunderstanding of my opinion. Iron wind has more eloquent response of my opinion and I thank you. But to set the record straight I love Florida and Lee and Charlotte counties. I live and sail here too. I''ve invested my money in what I feel is the best place in Florida for me. I like the change of weather and I prefer the rough stuff as a welcomed chance to test my and my vessels abilities. The people and the lifestyle of southwest Florida is as close to perfection as I have found for me. I apologize if my original remarks, however well intended may have offended anyone. I do not accept responsibility for the nasty and stupid comments which followed the mis-interperated tone of my message. The war is over Rob, we all know who won. I will be ready for a match race on Charlotte harbor in January if you''d like to test yourself in the old custom of a duel. I''ll bet my carpet bag of bricks as a prize if you win and I''ll accept your bucket of sand if I win. Lets go sailing.
07-16-2001 05:42 AM
RobHoman
Hurricane season in Florida

Thank You, Iron Wind!

That is exactly the point that I have tried to make. The weather here is a fact of life.
You learn to live with it and accept it as it comes and do what you have to when the heavy weather comes.

Its no different than being up in the great white north in the winter...take Illinois for instance....blizzards, ice storms, hellacious cold in the winter, severe thunderstorms and tons of tornadoes in the spring and summer. They learn to live with it or move somewhere else.

I am in complete agreement with you. You cannot allow the weather here to determine what happens in your life. You have to take your fun where you can and get on with your life.

Also, based on the history and frequency of hurricanes actually hitting any one part of the state and impacting lives.....the average boater probably will have bought and sold several different boats before he ever experiences a hurricane...and chances are at least equal that when a hurricane does show up that he won''t be in possession of a boat at that particular time.
07-16-2001 01:59 AM
IronWind
Hurricane season in Florida

Having been here most of my life, there is NO safe place.. One just accepts the fact and does the best one can.
Tornados, Wind Storms ect this tiem of year are to be expected along with tropical depressions.
Today while on the water We seen a nasty waterspout... All normal in This area.
Onlything one can do on a upcoming Hurricane is pull the boat out.
In 98 I was trying to gey my boat pulled quick as Hurricane Georges was on the West Coast.. Everybody was freaking out and one could not get into a hauler... I wound up Anchoring in the middle of Charlotte Harbor
on 500 ft of line.. Hurricane passed offshore by about 90miles.. We still had wind gusts 40-50 mph..
Hurricanes... dont worry of them, but evac if they come..
Its nomal Florida Cracker life to accept them
Dont ruin your fun in dread of them.
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