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post #111 of 499 Old 12-10-2008
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With Oh Joy, running offwind in a Gale, the tiller pressure get enormous at times. On our delivery sail, it took both of my crew to handle it so I could get a break. I had to use my legs and a rower's technique to stay on the helm and control her for hours without wearing out. One thing I noticed early, if ya get into a rhythm, it's easier. I'm not sure that there's a tillerpilot out there that could handle the helm when it's up like that. A windvane? Probably but I won't find that out until a later date.
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post #112 of 499 Old 12-10-2008
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The main function of a drogue is not in the speed component, but in the directional aspect, I think. If you think of it as a sort of "super long rudder assist", you can keep your stern at the right angle to the wave trains to both avoid getting pooped and to avoid having gravity itself take you down a wave front like a freight train.
Spot on , couldnt agree more, its not about slowing her down and most books mention this point incorrectly , its to aid teh rudder and keeping her a$s pointing at the dirty stuff.
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post #113 of 499 Old 12-10-2008
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Originally Posted by johnshasteen View Post
In a full gale or higher, you'll find that much of what you read and all of what you think, goes out the window and swing keel or not, the boat must be strong and seaworthy.
With that said, I agree with GOBOATINGNOW on active storm management. Paloma has endured two Force 10 storms (winds gusting above 60 and 30+ foot seas. We ran before both storms (one for 36 hours, the other for 48 hours), making better than hull speed (according to the GPS). Heaving to would have been disasterous - we would have broached, drogues would have been a problem by slowing down the boat, in the sometimes confused seas, when we most needed the crisp steering response.
Okay, John, you know me. I'm always trolling for good BFS. And the above sounds like some damn fine BFS. Go over to the thread and throw down will ya?

You know, this whole thing would be a lot easier if there was just one way to do it! Can't we all just get along?

So - active management, probably with a drogue (series is best) especially with a modern fin keel. I'm also like the the idea of the wind vane rudder. Seems like a good solution for shorter-handed crews?
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post #114 of 499 Old 12-11-2008
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It's the physics of the thing...

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You know, this whole thing would be a lot easier if there was just one way to do it! Can't we all just get along?
There would be one way to do it if there was only one type of boat, one length, one wind speed, one sea state and one type of gear aboard.

What I do in my light fin keeler and what I do in my big-arsed steel full keeler are not only different, but have to be different, because the boats ride the waves with very different motions. So every scrap of good advice has to be prefaced with "this worked for me on this boat in these conditions" and "your experience may vary".

That said, there are common sense rules and certain attention paid to the physics of the operation that have been stated here: Most modern boats (light fin keelers perhaps with near plumb bows and high cabin tops) should run off and be helmed actively. Other boats of different design can have different options...if the crew know how to sail the boat and how to sail to the conditions. Inertia dictates a lot of these decisions, because as anyone who has been even in a fair-weather broach or a full-hoist knockdown can attest...it is immediately obvious when you are sailing the boat, and when you are no longer sailing, but merely one of many variables in a very large fluid dynamics experiment.
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post #115 of 499 Old 12-11-2008
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Valiente said "it is immediately obvious when you are sailing the boat, and when you are no longer sailing, but merely one of many variables in a very large fluid dynamics experiment."

LOL, very well said, almost as good as a picture and very true.

John
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post #116 of 499 Old 12-13-2008
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[quote=smackdaddy;414885]Okay, John, you know me. I'm always trolling for good BFS. And the above sounds like some damn fine BFS. Go over to the thread and throw down will ya?quote]


Smackdaddy, of course I know you. But, where's the thread?

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post #117 of 499 Old 12-15-2008
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Hey John,

HERE YA GO....BFS.

Throw down, dude.
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post #118 of 499 Old 01-16-2009
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Okay - still reading and researching and I gotta ask again...

Does ANYONE around here advocate the drogue-off-the-bow technique for riding out big seas and wind? Most of those herein have been on the side of the running with warps/drogues/etc. off the stern - or actively running when possible.

But then I keep seeing issues of rudder breakage, pooping, broach, etc. with these techniques.

Keeping the bow into the waves seems intuitively right - and is advocated in several of the books I've come across. But, apart from the Pardeys, I'm not finding any other "real world" back up for this.

Sorry to re-hash, but it sure can get confusing. And I really don't want to screw up in my first blow!
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post #119 of 499 Old 01-16-2009
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Don't wait for your first blow, then.

There is NOTHING to stop you practising heaving-to, sea anchor, warps, drogue, etc. in first 15 knot conditions, and then 20 knots conditions, and so on.

In fact, I endorse it.

For one thing, you will learn how to get a drogue back aboard without blowing out a back disc...and for another, you will get a sense of scale about how these methods and gear work when it's 40-50 knots and you really want to slow down or fore-reach at a knot so you can catch some sleep.

And if anything breaks at 20 knots...it's not a life-ender, and you have time to repair it for the ocean conditions you hope you'll never see.

Every May after launch, my wife, son and I go out and chuck a ring overboard and say "MAN OVERBOARD". Then we run time trials for quick-stops, coming about, and retrieval. It is exceptionally instructive.

Can't sleep? Read my countdown to voyaging blog @
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post #120 of 499 Old 01-17-2009
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Smackdaddy,

I don't think there is one right answer, it depends on a range of factors, including the type of boat, weather conditions, level of experience, equipment on board, etc.

I believe a lot of lighter boats have trouble heaving too or keeping their bows pointed into the wind in really heavy conditions. Therefore these boats would do better running, which I think includes the majority of modern production boats, and hence explains why running is so popular. If you look at the Pardey's boat it is a heavy long keel boat which would be great for heaving too, but is in the minority if you look at the average modern fin keeled cruisers.

Also with a para sail off the bow you should have some heavy duty fittings on the bow as it places enormous forces on the front of the boat. There have also been plenty of recorded cases where conditions got so rough that people were not prepared to go onto the bows to rig up a para anchor.

However, there are lots of recorded cases of people successfully using para anchors off the bows, hence its a legitamite technique.

I think Val's right in saying you need to figure out what's the best technique for yourself. For my boat heaving too appears to be the best technique for extreme conditions. With my boats' heavy construction (D/L of 388) , long keel, mizzen mast and pilot house a fair way back, my boat easily heaves too without having to worry about a para anchor or drogue.

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