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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Tornadoes and boats...
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Thread: Tornadoes and boats... Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-14-2014 03:08 PM
Ulladh
Re: Tornadoes and boats...

Think about what would happen to an RV in a Walmart parking lot subject to tornado and supercell, the boat may suffer the same fate.
09-11-2014 06:51 PM
leighm
Re: Tornadoes and boats...

I'm a novelist & could use some sailing expertise!

Disclaimer: I am not a sailor or boater of any type (so please be gentle . . . and clear in any replies)

Disclaimer #2: This is a novel, so the drama element might require suspension of belief on the question of how the characters landed up in this quandary.

Setting: Sailing on Lake Eufaula in Oklahoma. The characters have heaved-to (hope that's the right term) & had some lunch, drifted off to sleep under sunny skies. Wake up to find a giant supercell looming overhead (it's late June by the way). Too far to try and get to the nearest dock or marina. They are stuck & need to ride it out.

What would the sailor (the guy) do, if anything, to secure the boat before heading below deck? I've described heavy rain, lightning all around, dark skies, greenish hue to the sky, choppy heavy waves, howling wind - that all seems right. Assuming the actual tornado (or water spout) moved over the boat - what might happen? At the moment, I've described things sliding around in the cabinets inside the boat, the boat moving quite a bit.

My sense is that the NOVEL needs amped-up conflict/drama, even if the reality is that maybe that's all that might happen. Any thoughts on this? If wind blew out window(s) in the hatch, what then? Any likelihood of the hatch door being ripped off?

Any thoughts or help would be greatly appreciated -- thanks so much!
06-11-2013 12:06 PM
denverd0n
Re: Tornadoes and boats...

I grew up in tornado alley. I have friends whose homes were turned to rubble by the tornado that ripped through Omaha, NE in 1975. I have hunkered down in the basement many times when tornadoes were nearby. No offense, really, but I would consider it quite insane to stay on a boat with a tornado approaching, and better shelter available nearby.
06-11-2013 10:08 AM
chef2sail
Re: Tornadoes and boats...

https://www.facebook.com/capitalweat...89511421081448

Tornado damages Locust Point warehouse; another reported near Kingsville - Baltimore Sun
06-11-2013 07:26 AM
Roger Long
Re: Tornadoes and boats...

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
Pictures of water spouts here in Baltimore this afternoon.
Pictures appear to have been removed.
06-10-2013 06:49 PM
chef2sail
Re: Tornadoes and boats...

Pictures of water spouts here in Baltimore this afternoon.

These occurred within 3 miles of my, Tartan37, and 4arches boats and no I didn't run for my boat for protection. No way.


Check on the pictures on the local screen of the waterspouts

National Weather Service issues tornado watch | Weather - WBAL Home
06-10-2013 05:46 PM
Group9
Re: Tornadoes and boats...

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
I just sailed NY to FL and encountered a couple of waterspout warnings. Front after front moved through in May. Never saw one but certainly made me nervous. If caught in a boat in a tornado or spout, it could certainly knock you down, even under bare poles so one part of the plan would have to be to get hatches all battened down, boards in. Also, jackets on and clipped in, engine running to try keeping head to wind. Attached picture is just outside Norfolk. Not only did I have this nasty TS to deal with (moments later, I had ski goggles on, wind blowing 40) but there was a warship and sub exiting and a tanker behind...eeek!
I was about 20 miles off shore Saturday, two days ago, south of Alabama, and watched a waterspout work around us for about twenty minutes before it died. I've known people who have had them come within yards of their boats, and not really do any damage except to their underwear.

Sucking all of that water up really seems to take up a lot of their energy.
06-10-2013 05:40 PM
mad_machine
Re: Tornadoes and boats...

I am not surprised the hatches are ripped off. Ever look at how well built they usually are? they are more meant to keep water out than air in.
06-10-2013 03:45 PM
casey1999
Re: Tornadoes and boats...

Quote:
Originally Posted by T37Chef View Post
Interesting, it appears many of the sailboats faired pretty well, hard to tell but saw what seemed to be more power boats with their decks ripped off and turtled. Not surprising the pontoon boats were overturned, I am guessing a Catamaran would do similar, my guess is in this case a heavy keel would help keep the boat in the water
At first look it does look like the sail boats did better. Looks like they held in the water. But closer inspection shows the companion way hatch boards were ripped out and the deck hatches on some were ripped off. If a person was inside the boat, they probably would have been sucked out, or hit by flying debris. Of all the boats, a heavy keel sail boat looks to be the best.
06-10-2013 03:38 PM
T37Chef
Re: Tornadoes and boats...

Quote:
Originally Posted by casey1999 View Post
Found this video of a marina hit by tornado:

pics of tornado damaged boats - Bing Videos

Seems you are at risk of deck getting ripped off and/or having projectile debris coming through the boat.
Interesting, it appears many of the sailboats faired pretty well, hard to tell but saw what seemed to be more power boats with their decks ripped off and turtled. Not surprising the pontoon boats were overturned, I am guessing a Catamaran would do similar, my guess is in this case a heavy keel would help keep the boat in the water
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