What do YOU do in a squall? - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 59 Old 08-23-2007
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I think SD is saying that the "lee of the shore" is protected from wind and waves by land, but a "lee shore" is on the windward side of land, subjected to unbuffered wind and waves.

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post #22 of 59 Old 08-23-2007
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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.
I haven't heaved to at this wind speed before, but from what I understand you can heave to (with a tiny portion of sail showing) to 70-80kts of wind. You just have to keep a careful watch on wind speed and be ready to reef your sails or let them out more as wind speed increases. You also have to remember that you are still moving - just slowly - and keep an eye on your position relative to shore.

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post #23 of 59 Old 08-23-2007 Thread Starter
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I think SD is saying that the "lee of the shore" is protected from wind and waves by land, but a "lee shore" is on the windward side of land, subjected to unbuffered wind and waves.
OK... got it, that makes sense. Thanks TB!

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post #24 of 59 Old 08-23-2007
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One item that I think has been missed is if you have a relatively small boat or a tender boat you should make sure your cockpit lockers lids are secure and you should put in your hatch boards, at least your bottom board and have a way to secure it. If you get knocked down you could take on a lot of water through them in a very short time.

I have been though a ton of squalls on Lake Huron, most are fun, especially if you have been in light or no wind for hours. You can sort of judge how strong they are likely to be. The size and darkness of the clouds and how much they are "roiling over" gives you some idea. When racing I try to make a judgment call to how much sail area we can carry, the opposite to cruising.
Of course I have 4-6 experienced sailors on board to get a sail down if I judge wrong.

The strongest one I was ever in was in Saginaw Bay and it looked real nasty so we took down the Genoa and put a reef into the main. I guesstimate the wind strength at 80 knots. It blew my new main out in about 10 seconds. We dropped it and sailed under bare poles for about 20 minutes till it passed. The wind was so strong I can remember having to cup my hand over my mouth so that I could suck in air. I really never want to find out what hurricane wind strengths feels like.

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post #25 of 59 Old 08-23-2007 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by labatt View Post
I haven't heaved to at this wind speed before, but from what I understand you can heave to (with a tiny portion of sail showing) to 70-80kts of wind. You just have to keep a careful watch on wind speed and be ready to reef your sails or let them out more as wind speed increases. You also have to remember that you are still moving - just slowly - and keep an eye on your position relative to shore.

I think the higher the wind got over 25-30, the more i would be thinking about the diesel and not the sails. The problem in a squall would be sudden down bursts and so i wouldn't really be able to watch the wind... it would be there before i knew it was coming.

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post #26 of 59 Old 08-23-2007
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Depending on what you are expecting...Squall line with lightning? Then physically disconnect and ground the radio antennas and power lines, main instrument power as well, to protect them. Secure hatches, seacocks, including head and galley. If a knockdown can flood you through the lazarettes--secure then or tape them over. (Yes, a keelboat can borach and flood and sink vrom a lazarette opening up during the broach.)

Before you disconnect that radio...there is nothing wrong with calling the local USCG and asking the to listen for you contact in a half hour, or to try raising ou in a half hour, for a radio security check. (Or using you cell phone and askihng anyone else to do the same.) There's nothing "chicken" in asking someone to make sure you're OK after the squall moves through, when you are not familiar with the wx about to hit you.
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post #27 of 59 Old 08-23-2007 Thread Starter
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Depending on what you are expecting...Squall line with lightning? Then physically disconnect and ground the radio antennas and power lines, main instrument power as well, to protect them. Secure hatches, seacocks, including head and galley. If a knockdown can flood you through the lazarettes--secure then or tape them over. (Yes, a keelboat can borach and flood and sink vrom a lazarette opening up during the broach.)

Before you disconnect that radio...there is nothing wrong with calling the local USCG and asking the to listen for you contact in a half hour, or to try raising ou in a half hour, for a radio security check. (Or using you cell phone and askihng anyone else to do the same.) There's nothing "chicken" in asking someone to make sure you're OK after the squall moves through, when you are not familiar with the wx about to hit you.
All very good suggestions... thank you. I didn't even think about the Lazarette... I never keep a lock on that but maybe i should get a clip that could be used to keep it secure but would also be something i don't need a key for if i need to open it up in a hurry.

File under "Gear & Maint": I put in a new VHF cable this spring and ran it the same way the PO had it because it was an easy path to follow. It's not grounded and if i disconnected it i'm not sure where i would ground it... maybe to the AC ground terminal which goes to the Keelbolts? The worst part is that the VHF cable runs back past the engine and sits parallel to the raw water intake hose! So if we did get hit i'd most likely have to worry about a severed raw water line too. I've since figured a different way to run the cable but haven't had the time yet.

USCG call: Good advice... can't hurt if you think you're in for a rough ride. I'll definately keep that in mind.

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post #28 of 59 Old 08-23-2007
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Thanks for clarifying my previous point TB....

Hiding behind a big rock makes good sense....Hiding in front of a big rock... not so bright...

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post #29 of 59 Old 08-23-2007
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I will chime in here with agrees and dissagrees.

First, we always drop/reef sail. We dealt with these EVERY DAY in SW Florida (during the summer). THey come on you fast and strong and leave fast and strong. You need to know which primary sail works best for your boat. My guess is that it is the main for most boats, but the jib is easier to handle and reef. Regarding starting the engine... I can almost guarantee you that your main will not keep up in a strong blow. Cam is right, if I read him right, that it was not the point to make headway... but you will lose it so make sure you have some sea room. If you don't have sea room, you need to be thinking about motor sailing.

If I am anchored at the time and the anchor is holding, I will not weigh anchor even if up against a lee shore. I will often start the engine and motor into them if I have to. THis goes against some logic, but when it is blowing hard you almost cannot get away from a Lee quick enough. The closer in you get the more the waves break and the harder it becomes.

Another comment on the lockers is the anchor locker and anchor itself. When beating into the wind, the bow will drop in the seas and hit hard in the swells. This has a real tendency to try and jerk the anchor loose. Keep it WELL secured at all times.

Those are a few lessons I have learned the hard way.

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post #30 of 59 Old 08-23-2007
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CD-

If you just extinguished your BBQ grills, chances are likely that the resulting atmospheric cooling would extinguish the storm.

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I will chime in here with agrees and dissagrees.

First, we always drop/reef sail. We dealt with these EVERY DAY in SW Florida (during the summer). THey come on you fast and strong and leave fast and strong. You need to know which primary sail works best for your boat. My guess is that it is the main for most boats, but the jib is easier to handle and reef. Regarding starting the engine... I can almost guarantee you that your main will not keep up in a strong blow. Cam is right, if I read him right, that it was not the point to make headway... but you will lose it so make sure you have some sea room. If you don't have sea room, you need to be thinking about motor sailing.

If I am anchored at the time and the anchor is holding, I will not weigh anchor even if up against a lee shore. I will often start the engine and motor into them if I have to. THis goes against some logic, but when it is blowing hard you almost cannot get away from a Lee quick enough. The closer in you get the more the waves break and the harder it becomes.

Another comment on the lockers is the anchor locker and anchor itself. When beating into the wind, the bow will drop in the seas and hit hard in the swells. This has a real tendency to try and jerk the anchor loose. Keep it WELL secured at all times.

Those are a few lessons I have learned the hard way.

- CD

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Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
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