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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #1  
Old 08-17-2007
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Hurricane Reactions

In watching the projected path of Dean online, I wondered what sailors are doing in the area to get out of its path. I have done only coastal cruising up to this point, but what if I were out in the Gulf? How do you Blue Water sailors react to a real live hurricane? I'm sure everyone is trying to get out of its path, but what is standard procedure for avoiding it? Not everyone has online resources on their vessels - what is the standard procedure for blue water sailors who find themselves days from any port with knowledge of a hurricane coming fast?
Steven
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Old 08-17-2007
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Lying Ahull

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHays View Post
In watching the projected path of Dean online, I wondered what sailors are doing in the area to get out of its path. I have done only coastal cruising up to this point, but what if I were out in the Gulf? How do you Blue Water sailors react to a real live hurricane? I'm sure everyone is trying to get out of its path, but what is standard procedure for avoiding it? Not everyone has online resources on their vessels - what is the standard procedure for blue water sailors who find themselves days from any port with knowledge of a hurricane coming fast?
Steven
I have no experience in this, however here is a good article about "Lying Ahull" a tactic the skipper of the s/v Satori used during the "Perfect Storm". It also contains book references.

It is a good synopsis
http://www.westsail.org/satori.html

p.s. I totally agree with CD's comments below, I don't advocate weathering a hurricane or typhoon, unless it's in a nice safe warm bar

Last edited by GySgt; 08-17-2007 at 04:30 PM. Reason: Book/ CD
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Old 08-17-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SHays View Post
In watching the projected path of Dean online, I wondered what sailors are doing in the area to get out of its path. I have done only coastal cruising up to this point, but what if I were out in the Gulf? How do you Blue Water sailors react to a real live hurricane? I'm sure everyone is trying to get out of its path, but what is standard procedure for avoiding it? Not everyone has online resources on their vessels - what is the standard procedure for blue water sailors who find themselves days from any port with knowledge of a hurricane coming fast?
Steven
Steven,

I would be very suprised if there are any sailors caught off guard with this. I sure hope not, with todays communications. Would it be prudent to say that ANY offshore sailor should carry a SSB and/or have weatherfax capability?

That is my opinion.

I hope any offshore boats are quickly making for the closest shore in time to prep and GET OFF! No boat is worth your life.

My opinions.

- CD
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Old 08-17-2007
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Exactly what I needed to know - a system for getting weather offshore - thanks for the info on the SSB

steven
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Old 08-17-2007
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I will also say that there is talk about scrapping that system. It is being debated right now.

- CD
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Old 08-17-2007
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Dad,
What would take the place of SSB? Sirrus?

thx
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Old 08-17-2007
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If the USCG cancels the MF weather updates, it would likely only be replaced by weather routing services, like Herb and the ilk.

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Dad,
What would take the place of SSB? Sirrus?

thx
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Old 08-17-2007
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In answer to the original question...we have friends presently in Grenada who we were in touch with earlier this week. They were preparing their boat as of Monday and were prepared to head to Trinidad 80 mile further south on an overnite sail (where there has never been a hurricane) on Monday nite if the 5PM forcast from NOAA did not show the storm gaining latitude. They reported a lot of boats arriving from further north in the islands and some people heading directly to Trinidad.
On the SSB one has access not only to the HF forecasts from the weather service but also to routing/weather guys like Chris Parker who sell their serivces services to cruisers and provide personalized guidance via SSB and/or e-mail to clients while the rest of the cruisers listen in. So...no one is caught unawares these days...but some are still caught because they make poor decisions. The object is to pay attention and make decisions to get out of the way early. Laying a-hull is the last option!
There is nothing economical that can presently replace SSB which makes it important for cruisers and potential cruisers to make their concerns known in the request for comments that has been put out by the government.
That has been discussed before...I will try to find the link and post it here unless someone else has it handy.

EDIT: Here's the pertinent thread: USCG Public Comment On The Need For HF Radio Broadcasts
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Old 08-17-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SHays View Post
How do you Blue Water sailors react to a real live hurricane? I'm sure everyone is trying to get out of its path, but what is standard procedure for avoiding it? Not everyone has online resources on their vessels - what is the standard procedure for blue water sailors who find themselves days from any port with knowledge of a hurricane coming fast?
Steven
If you are asking about yachts caught at sea I think it boils down to where you are compared to the storms path. There is the navigable semicircle and a dangers semicircle of a hurricane and if you are to the left of the direction of rotation you are in the navigable semicircle where the wind is less because the storms speed of advance and rotation speeds subtract. You are also not likely to be forced into the path of the storm from the navigable semicircle unlike the other side where you will be sucked into the path and run over by the storm. That’s not any fun and I have been there and done that. I do not recommend it.

The tactic is to maneuver the boat to get to the correct side of the storms path early in the game so that you will be in the most flexible position in reference to both sea room and maximum wind speed. Then handle the boat as appropriate to her type. Some boats will be most comfortable running and other will lie a hull without any problem. It all depends on the rig and hull form.
Good luck and all the best,
Robert Gainer
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Old 08-18-2007
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thx, for the good info Camaraderie, Tartan and Dog.
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Last edited by ccam; 08-18-2007 at 09:56 PM.
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