What do YOU do in a squall? - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 59 Old 08-23-2007
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post #32 of 59 Old 08-23-2007
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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.
The boat will ride much better with the sails up, especially at wind speeds north of 30kts. GENERALLY, if you don't care about making headway towards your destination, heaving to would be safer than dropping the sails and using the engine. While I said that I haven't been heaved to in wind speeds between 70-80 knots, I have been heaved to in wind speeds of 35-40 and I've also been under motor power during the same wind. The boat was in a much safer position with the squall passing over us while heaved to. While under motor, we had to fight to stay nose to the wind, and if we started drifting beam to we immediately started heeling dramatically. During high winds, put a couple of reefs in the main or drop it completely and then heave to. It's simple and safe. Of course, mileage may vary and so will opinions

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post #33 of 59 Old 08-23-2007
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How does one drop the main and then heave-to? I thought you needed the main to balance the backed foresail -- will the bare pole suffice in high winds?
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post #34 of 59 Old 08-23-2007
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It really depends on the specific boat, and how it is setup. Different boats will heave to under different conditions. Also, the same boat may heave-to slightly differently depending on the wind strength. Some, don't really need to main up at all, especially if it has a rotating mast, which can act as a storm sail in some cases. Things like a dodger or bimini can also affect how a boat heaves to.
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How does one drop the main and then heave-to? I thought you needed the main to balance the backed foresail -- will the bare pole suffice in high winds?

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post #35 of 59 Old 08-23-2007
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Heaving to is only an option if you have miles of sea room. If you don't and if you don't know for certain that the weather is going to pass before you get pushed onto the rocks, it can be a dicey thing to do.

If the waves are getting big - you want to keep your bow facing into them. If you can't do that, then keep them directly on your stern.

If, for some reason, you have to turn the boat, do it on the TOP of a wave - not in the trough. It is not hard for a combination of high winds and breaking waves and a beam-to position to turn into a broach and knock down.

The first few times out in bad weather it can be kind of terrifying, and I don't think anyone out there ceases to get a little nervous when things start to get messy, but if you stay calm, you'll be amazed at what your boat can survive.
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post #36 of 59 Old 08-24-2007
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One should also be prepared for the fact that squalls and thunderstorms may involve radical wind shifts as well. Anchoring, even dragging anchor, or deploying sea anchor are viable options for weathering the tumult.

Most are probably not equipped to reef their main deep enough for the possible conditions. Unless you are willing, and equipped, to rig a storm jib and trysail it might be best to get all sail off her. The potential for a knockdown makes battening down imperative. Reliance on the motor may be found to be misplaced. It's called an auxilary for a reason, unless you're on one of those 50 horse Mac's. (g)

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post #37 of 59 Old 08-24-2007
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Even the 50 HP outboard on a Mac is no good if the boat is heeled over 45˚.

Anchoring is a very viable option, provided you have a properly sized and decent primary anchor and very sturdy ground tackle. If not, then it may be worse that trying to run off or heave to. Not a big fan of sea anchors.

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One should also be prepared for the fact that squalls and thunderstorms may involve radical wind shifts as well. Anchoring, even dragging anchor, or deploying sea anchor are viable options for weathering the tumult.

Most are probably not equipped to reef their main deep enough for the possible conditions. Unless you are willing, and equipped, to rig a storm jib and trysail it might be best to get all sail off her. The potential for a knockdown makes battening down imperative. Reliance on the motor may be found to be misplaced. It's called an auxilary for a reason, unless you're on one of those 50 horse Mac's. (g)

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Last edited by sailingdog; 08-24-2007 at 07:36 AM.
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post #38 of 59 Old 08-24-2007
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You really don't get these much in a squall line, usually more in a storm with lots of fetch coming into shallow water.

Running with a sea is probably ok in rollers. However, if they are breaking, all the rules change (in my opinion). If you take a breaker on the stern, it will kick your stern around and put you bean on to the next sea. It also makes for a VERY rough ride. Also, by running with the breakers, it is more difficult to manuever the seas. Bow on is by far the best way to take a breaker. I don't think it is hard, but it takes thought and attention. It is interesting to note that not all seas break. I am sure there is some physics formula that defines when it breaks (matter of fact, think I have seen one), but it is best just pay close attention.

When the seas break in a wind (in my experience), they roll to one side flowing the wind. You want to manuever just to the winward side of the break or between the seas when possible. If you steer between the seas, sometimes that puts you in the red zone on the next sea. You just have to get your timing down.

I am not an expert here. I am only giving my experience, which honestly is limited in breaking seas... but I have done it. Breakers are very dangers and make for a very long ride. Avoid it if possible, but if you have to be in them, here is what I look for. Others feel free to comment.



Looking at that pic, it gives the apearance of being under a breaker (in the yellow). THat is not right. THat is the timing area for if you are making a point to steer to. You have to be in that area after the breaker. That is not real clear in the pic.

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post #39 of 59 Old 08-24-2007
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damn cd... have you been taking lessons from Giu???

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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
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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