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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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  #11  
Old 08-23-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
Get the sails down...the pfd's on and motor into the wind.
My tactic too.
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  #12  
Old 08-23-2007
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camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough
I actually have quite a bit of squall experience on the Ches bay for 22 years where they tend to be a regular experience and winds can quickly get to 60+ for short periods of time.
I distinctly remember one squall crossing the mouth of the Potomac heading south in our 44 footer where we could see the squall coming down the river and took all sail down but continued under power heading south. We were broadside to the wind with no sails and in one minute had more than our rail in the water and were blind to anything around us, such was the violence of the squall. If I had a small motor then, I might not have been able to turn into the wind, such was the force of the wind and steep seas. The time to head up is as the strom is hitting...not after.
The point of motoring into the wind is to keep the bow pointed up to provide a more comfortable ride and to keep the windage at a minimum...it is not an attempt to make progress...Indeed, you may even lose ground for a bit but while you do so, you are not at risk of running out of room as you would be on a downhill run or at risk of broaching as you would be if on a beam tack. Squalls are over quickly despite their violence and different tactics are called for than one might employ in open water during real storms.
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  #13  
Old 08-23-2007
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Cam,

Had many of the same experiences in the bay. Once was in a cell when the motor quit, we had no sails up so our only option was to turn and run with it. We hit 8.9 knots on a bare pole

Lets not forget the Heave to option!! That way you can get some coffee and watch the storm pass. Practice is everything, and we do it often.
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Old 08-23-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel73 View Post
When faced with an oncoming squall and rough chop... what do you do?
After adjusting the sails and course, don safety gear as many have already stated...I usually go down below and change my underwear
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  #15  
Old 08-23-2007
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Down in the Gulf of Mexico we have not so open waters. Meaning that the thousand or so oil platforms are either a navigation hazard to you or a secure tie off point that you can use to ride out the T'storms. If you do the latter then use about 200 or more feet of line. Then you have to watch out for shifting winds. For you do not want to be wrapped around a rusty steel platform. So be prepared to sacrifice the last bit of line that is on the platform. Say 200 feet of good line and have about 50 to 75 feet of old line married to the good line with a schackle or a double becket bend. With a sharp serated edged knife, ready on hand, for cutting the line if necessary.
You will see a lot of parted mooring lines hanging off these platforms. That is normal out there. When I was working out there, had parted many a line while doing our jobs along side the platforms. And our mooring lines are much thicker than what you normally are using. But then again we are on much bigger vessels also.

Last edited by Boasun; 08-23-2007 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 08-23-2007
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If I can, I reduce sail and try to maintain my original heading, but if conditions are so sever that you are endangering your self or your crew as well as the boat, I tend to turn and run if there is ample sea room.
We sail the Great Lakes and generally have enough room to turn to open water.
If the seas are building to the 6'+ side, I don't like to be dead down wind but more on a broad reach. Stern dead to the wind gives me a very uncomfortable feeling going down the face of a very steep wave. I rather they were on my quarter.
If need be, go bare poles, but generally keep up a little sail if conditions permit; they help to stable the ride.
In tight quarters stuck close to shore with the wind blowing me against the shore, start the motor and claw away from shore to safety. If the engine is not strong enough to overcome the wind and I am being blown onto a shoreline, drop the hook.
But I always try to look for open water; sea space and deeper water are your friends this case.
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  #17  
Old 08-23-2007
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Thanks for all the replies... good info and i appreciate it very much!

Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
Get the sails down...the pfd's on and motor into the wind.
I think this is the option i would feel most comfortable with mainly because if we leave any sail out at all i would think that the high winds in a squall would make it harder to manage the boat than with bare poles.

Cam, i know you're familier with the Pamlico Sound but for those who aren't: average depths of 15-18' and Max depths of 26' which makes for a lot of chop when the wind picks up due to shallow water. For this reason i think the suggestions of a broad reach whould not be as appropriate for me as they would be for someone who is weathering a storm in deep ocean water. I think i'm talking about "Fetch" here... correct?


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Originally Posted by cjmcfall View Post
Lets not forget the Heave to option!! That way you can get some coffee and watch the storm pass. Practice is everything, and we do it often.
But at what point is heaving to not safe anymore? If i'm expecting a heavy line of storm activity then i would think that i want to have as little sail out (if any) as possible.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nolatom View Post
So, if you have good holding ground, and it's not too deep, consider dousing all sail and dropping the hook. Do it before the squall hits. This works on Lake Pontchartrain, where I sail and teach sometimes. Bottom's only 15 feet down, easy to get plenty of scope.
26' max depths where we will be so dropping the hook could be an option if all else fails. We have 200' nylon rode w/ an additional 20 feet of chain so scope should not be an issue. We could potentially have out the 7:1 ratio with 182' and still have about enough for a 8:1 ratio if we let it all out.

Does anyone else prefer to drop the hook instead of riding it out? Are there any concerns with that suggestion out there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickm505 View Post
Should this happen, I trust you all have your track enabled on your GPS. I go with the wind and with near zero visibility use the track on my GPS to keep me floating on the blue wet stuff. This works for almost all scenarios, but the last time out we were actually struck by lightning.
You got struck??? YIKES! What happend to the boat? I assume you were safe from the strike since your posting on sailnet now! Good reminder about the GPS... i always have the track on.
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  #18  
Old 08-23-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T37Chef View Post
After adjusting the sails and course, don safety gear as many have already stated...I usually go down below and change my underwear
lol... that's pretty much what happend to us after getting caught in a lightning storm three years, one month, three weeks and one day ago!!!!

OK so we are a little scarred from that trip!!! That's what prompted us to take the US sailing and red cross courses. That trip literally scared the sh#t out of Jayme... she headed straight for the bushes after we got of the boat! lol. Poor girl. I'm surprised she still likes sailing after that experience. It did take us almost a year to feel comfortable again on a boat. Now anytime we hear thunder we head in immediately.
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Old 08-23-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
Get the sails down...the pfd's on and motor into the wind.
I've only been caught in a squall once, and this is what the captain of that boat did. However he motored only hard enough to maintain way. The rain was coming down so hard you couldn't see more than a few boat-lengths in any direction. The wisdom of his actions was proven when the squall let up and, lo and behold, there were boats all around us. None closer than a few hundred feet, but still...

Jim
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  #20  
Old 08-23-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Reduce sail before the squall line hits... If possible, get to an area where the you're in the lee of the shore, so the force of the squalls is weakened. If near a lee shore... head for deeper water and further from shore. Rig jacklines and put on your PFDs, harnesses and tethers if you've got them.
PDF's will either already be on or very close.

I'm confused about the leward vs. winward shores. Which side is leward? the side that the wind is blowing TO... correct? Wouldn't that be where the larger waves would be though?
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