Lesson from TS Faye - SailNet Community
Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.

LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 3 Old 08-26-2008 Thread Starter
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Jacksonville, Fl
Posts: 317
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
Lesson from TS Faye

The other day, at the height of the wind here in Jacksonville, a couple of things were going on. The conditions: wind was steady at around 50 mph, according to the Weather Underground station just up the creek a bit. It was raining hard. My old Morgan 36T, Ruffian, was in a little trouble.

The river was up higher than I have ever seen in here in Jax. It had the main dock awash under an inch or two of water. (Fixed dock, the whole distance.)

As a consequence, the dock lines had gone slack, and with a SSE wind, Ruffian was jamming herself up against the dock on her port side. I made it to the end of the dock, got aboard, and attempted to pull her off.

People, you don't pull 13,000 pounds of sailboat, even with bare sticks, against a 50 mph wind with gusts to 60 or thereabouts. I'm an old geezer, but still reasonably strong, and all I was able to do was give myself a set of sore muscles. In addition, with the wind velocity, the raindrops felt about like small shot fired at long range. It was seriously painful.

Ultimately, one of the extra stern lines I put on for the storm was just long enough to make a couple of turns around my spinnaker winches, and I was able to pull Ruff's stern out a bit, which got her off the piling she was bashing into.

The lesson I learned the other day is that from here on out, my 'storm' lines are all going to be long enough to reach a winch somewhere, and I'm going to have snatch blocks set up in advance to reeve those longer lines through, rather than trying to do it in a storm.

The simple truth is, I should have known this, because when I was riding Wilma out aboard Island Breeze down in Coco Plum (Coral Gables), I had a similar problem. I didn't think about it, though, and paid the price. During Wilma, Breeze was being heeled over to starboard, and her lifelines and stanchions were being smashed by the fixed concrete dock. I crawled forward (yes, crawled. Walking was out of the question), and got the storm line wrapped around the windlass and used that to winch her over a few inches.

While I was doing that, my next slip neighbor's outrigger came crashing down, and the pointed end tried to poke a hole in the dinghy. I had to scramble back into the boat, find a set of heavy wire cutters and cut the S/S guy wires from the Hatteras to the outriggers to get the outrigger off of my boat. All of this in 75 knot winds. I tied a small piece of line to the outrigger and threw the whole thing in the drink between our two boats, which saved both of us from any more damage. (The Hatteras, which was only a month old had a couple of small scratches in the paint, and I had a scratch on the outboard for our dinghy.)

All in all, having a set of storm lines that can be winched in against heavy loads is now number one on my list of storm preparedness. Number two is having a way to cut S/S wire rope quickly and efficiently.

BTW, Ruffian did okay in the storm the other day. The old girl has a couple of new scratches, and an inch or two of water in the bilge, but otherwise no problems.

Cap'n Gary
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Gary1 is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 3 Old 08-26-2008
Telstar 28
sailingdog's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 43,290
Thanks: 0
Thanked 16 Times in 13 Posts
Rep Power: 14
I carry a three "storm" docklines that are 40-50' long and can be lead to the genny winches or the anchor windlass to get leverage. They're also 5/8" rather than the normal 1/2" lines I use on a daily basis. I do need to get new snatch blocks for them though. Of course, my boat is a lot lighter, and generally doesn't require winches to brute force her around. Less windage too I'm guessing than a Morgan 36T.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

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
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Last edited by sailingdog; 08-26-2008 at 09:20 AM.
sailingdog is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #3 of 3 Old 08-26-2008
Senior Member
imagine2frolic's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,830
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 8
I am just outside of Jax, and mostly was pushed off the dock. For a while it was on the nose, and I idled the motors until the wind moved. The whole time I was adjusting lines as the river rose, and the wind changed. Winches, windlasses, and any other tool that is available will get used. We had a 2 docks sink, and almost drag one boat under.
imagine2frolic is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook

Quick Reply

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Taken a lesson now, buy or rent? senatorcongressman Learning to Sail 20 06-05-2008 06:21 PM
First Lesson Today. mmcginnis Learning to Sail 7 10-04-2007 09:32 AM
Stupid Sailor Tricks! Gavin1 General Discussion (sailing related) 3 04-02-2002 08:53 AM
A Lesson in Navigational Strategy Dobbs Davis Racing Articles 0 01-07-2001 08:00 PM
Cedric and Sylvia Learn a Lesson Sharon Cuthbert Learning to Sail Articles 0 07-23-2000 09:00 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome