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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation > Heavy Weather Sailing
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Thread: Heavy Weather Sailing Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-11-2014 06:28 PM
smackdaddy
Re: Heavy Weather Sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by clip68 View Post
To paraphrase from an 80's movie: "Strange game, the only way to win is not play at all". Sounds like the best idea is to run for cover and stay there.

Thank you very much for your input.

-Chris
I agree with Ausp. In general I'd much rather be offshore in the stink - lots more room. This was a squall that briefly hammered us in the Gulf with 35 knot winds - but it was coming off the land so we had plenty of sea room (and the waves were steep but manageable due to the lack of fetch):



On the other hand, sailing inland lakes sometimes gives you a place to hide when a huge squall like this comes through with 40 knots and a tornado touching down...



We pulled in behind a cliff and waited it out.

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/710145-post2106.html

So each have their own excitement. We came through both just fine.
09-11-2014 02:48 PM
SVAuspicious
Re: Heavy Weather Sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by clip68 View Post
To paraphrase from an 80's movie: "Strange game, the only way to win is not play at all". Sounds like the best idea is to run for cover and stay there.
"How about a nice game of chess?"

A lot depends on what you are facing and where you are.

A summer afternoon Chesapeake or Long Island Sound thunderstorm would not drive me off the water. Radar helps a lot. Passengers below, Janet below but nearby, reef, and stay away from everyone else.

Same conditions on the ICW and I'll look for a place to tie up until it blows through. If not reasonable, radar again, and hunker down.

For larger storms (local weather forecasting at least, hopefully smartphone weather radar, and at best radar on the boat) I find someplace to tuck in. The good news is that the bigger the storm the more notice you have and therefore the more preparations you can make.
09-11-2014 02:30 PM
clip68
Re: Heavy Weather Sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
Waves in shallow water will be shorter and much less pleasant. You are more likely to have other traffic nearby. Tugs and barges in high winds deserve MUCH more clearance - lots of sail area over which they have no control. In really bad weather there is a higher risk of flying debris. Get your own decks clear to reduce windage as you will have less maneuverability also. The anchoring process is more challenging in heavy weather and more prone to error. Reduction in visibility is the same but with more traffic a bigger deal. You are much much more likely to encounter someone else that has no foggy idea what they are doing. You are more likely to hear a call for help and feel obliged to assist. There are hard bits of material around the edges of pretty much everything that can poke holes in your boat. Running aground is really bad.

I'll take offshore any day.

I hope this helps. I'm not sure how....
To paraphrase from an 80's movie: "Strange game, the only way to win is not play at all". Sounds like the best idea is to run for cover and stay there.

Thank you very much for your input.

-Chris
09-11-2014 02:18 PM
SVAuspicious
Re: Heavy Weather Sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by clip68 View Post
Are there any specific things to look out for on an inland waterway during heavy weather? We don't get the waves like you blue water sailors but I'm sure there are other hazards to consider.
Waves in shallow water will be shorter and much less pleasant. You are more likely to have other traffic nearby. Tugs and barges in high winds deserve MUCH more clearance - lots of sail area over which they have no control. In really bad weather there is a higher risk of flying debris. Get your own decks clear to reduce windage as you will have less maneuverability also. The anchoring process is more challenging in heavy weather and more prone to error. Reduction in visibility is the same but with more traffic a bigger deal. You are much much more likely to encounter someone else that has no foggy idea what they are doing. You are more likely to hear a call for help and feel obliged to assist. There are hard bits of material around the edges of pretty much everything that can poke holes in your boat. Running aground is really bad.

I'll take offshore any day.

I hope this helps. I'm not sure how....
09-10-2014 04:58 PM
clip68
Re: Heavy Weather Sailing

Are there any specific things to look out for on an inland waterway during heavy weather? We don't get the waves like you blue water sailors but I'm sure there are other hazards to consider.

-Chris
09-10-2014 01:24 PM
Nancyleeny
Re: Heavy Weather Sailing

That tanker video just scared the hell out of me. Unbelievable, how big the seas get. I don't ever, ever want to be out in a boat in seas like that.
09-10-2014 11:45 AM
Pupil2Prodigy
Re: Heavy Weather Sailing

tagging this for later
08-24-2014 05:09 PM
sneuman
Re: Heavy Weather Sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Night_Sailor View Post
I spent many passages with more experienced skippers before I skippered myself on the ocean. Crew for someone else first.

If doing it on your own start with many coastal passages--which are in many ways tougher as you have to do a better job navigating. The most important think when sailing near coastal is to always know exactly where you are. One reason I like sailing offshore, is you don't need to know exactly where you are, you just need to watch for traffic and point in the right general direction.

Lots of people talk about hot to prepare for heavy weather, I won't rehash that. The best thing to do is avoid it. Being able to function in heavy weather is the most important thing. Being able to rest. Being able to eat. Not being sick. Not folding up on your crew mates. Get up, puke if you have to, and then get on deck for your watch, no matter how bad you feel. Because they feel bad and need to rest when it is their turn.
I agree. All the hashing and rehashing of which method to apply, what sail configuration, drogue, sea anchor, etc. gets to be purely academic until you're there. It's good to be familiar with it all so you are aware of options, but chances are -- if my experience counts for anything -- that you won't have a sudden epiphany that tells you exactly what to do and when. Every situation is different and I have no idea what I'd do next time. Having said that, I like this novel strategy of just trying not to be there when the excrement hits the wind generator.
08-24-2014 04:37 PM
Night_Sailor
Re: Heavy Weather Sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by sab30 View Post
I was just curious, as there appear to be many offshore experienced sailors on this site, how do you prepare and deal for heavy weather sailing (or worse weather than you have ever seen) without the experience of having encountered it?
I spent many passages with more experienced skippers before I skippered myself on the ocean. Crew for someone else first.

If doing it on your own, start with many coastal passages--which are in many ways tougher as you have to do a better job navigating. The most important thing when sailing near coastal is to always know exactly where you are. One reason I like about sailing offshore is you don't need to know exactly where you are, you just need to watch for traffic and point in the right general direction.

Lots of people talk about how to prepare for heavy weather, I won't rehash that. The best thing to do is avoid it. Being able to function in heavy weather is the most important thing. Being able to rest. Being able to eat. Not being sick. Not folding up on your crew mates. Get up, puke if you have to, and then get on deck for your watch, no matter how bad you feel. Because they feel bad and need to rest when it is their turn.
01-28-2012 01:00 PM
Rockter I have never faced an inshore gale, but did encounter a mid-Atlantic gale, and had to fly storm sails. They were surprisingly effective. They heel the boat very little but there is tremendous drive from them. We got absolutely drenched more than a few times, and one rogue wave clobberred the ship, at the port bow, loosening the accomodation.
The forces are terrible though. The storm trysail pulled the rail out of the deck.

Avoidance of inshore gales is largely a matter of weather forecasting, so we can avoid them.
In settled weather I would practice rigging storm sails and dropping the boom and such stuff, but I don't recommend that you go out purposely to fly storm sails, unless it is with a very experienced, heavy-weather crew.
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