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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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  #201  
Old 04-24-2009
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Pretty interesting discussion. Let me add my own 5 cents.
Back in the 70ies I learned sailing in the rough waters of the Northsea, out of Germany, with boats from 27' - 38'. I had to cope with 30kn wind and more against tidal currents of 5kn, and water temperatures in the 30ies/low 40ies (in summer). In preparation and since I was young, I read all I could get about circumnavigation, heavy weather sailing (Adlar Coles and Bernard Moitessier come to mind), seamanship, and I always followed the advice of the great French sailor Eric Tabarly: go out when the others stay in. Prepare your boat well, because you know what to expect. And I did that. Now, everyone has his/her personal threshold. If 25kn seems to be a lot for you, go out in 25 kn and try out how your boat works and behaves under different scenarios, don't do it with your little children and your family pet though. Heave to, use a sea anchor, run before the wind. Reef in, reef out. Reef in your jib and reef out your main, and/or vice versa. Thereafter and if you performed to your satisfaction, go to the next level, go out with 30kn wind and so on and so forth. Just not, when it becomes a life threatening excercise. I wouldn't want to practise in a Hurricane, but I did in a tropical storm and in the Gulfstream, after I bought my Moody 41 some years ago. But then again, this is everybodies' own choice, i.e. the maximum wind speed for practising. I just want to be prepared when the 'big one' hits me, which is just a question of time.
My philosphy is, I am not scared of the sea, but I respect her very much - and I hope I am prepared.
As to the right tactics? Well, there is no "one fits all" answer. It very much depends on the type of boat, size, keel form, weight, mast height and it is always recommendable to have a plan....
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  #202  
Old 04-25-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by St Anna View Post
Its all live and learn , isnt it. Obviously you never stop learning and respecting the sea. What is the Gulf of Mexico like- quite shallow??
It depends on where in the Gulf you are. If you are near shore - a few miles out, it's kind of shallow, it's a big coastal shelf. But once you pass the 20 fathom line - and it's easy to know when you have, the water actually changes color to a much darker very inky blue, you are in deeper and deeper water as you continue on out. In both of the big storms we endured, we were 150 miles out in the first and 30 or so in the second - the water was deep enough to sustain the 30+ foot seas and they were giant rollers, no breaking seas at all. The only got nasty was when the storms, which were out of the west in one storm and the north in the other, abated and the southerly breeze filled in, the subsiding seas collided with the southerly seas and it was sloppy and unpredictable for a couple of hours.
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  #203  
Old 04-25-2009
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Thanks John,
I was asking because the wavelength will control how steep and that of course also depends on the depth. Yeah I hear you about the weird swells when they come from 2 different directions, they can stand up. On one occasion, We were fighting a windward run to get away from a nasty place, when on 3 occasions, the whole boat ( a 36' flush deck van de stadt) fell into a trough and only the doghouse was out of water. We had the washboards in , the boat stopped in the water, shook free like a terrier,and continued. I cant say what went through my mind - we were harnessed on!!
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  #204  
Old 04-26-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mclaus View Post
As to the right tactics? Well, there is no "one fits all" answer. It very much depends on the type of boat, size, keel form, weight, mast height and it is always recommendable to have a plan....
Very good advice I have always tried to follow. Your boat (unless it's a really terrible boat or in bad condition) will be tougher than you in a heavy sea. So you need to see how you, as skipper or crew, cope with weather the boat can usually handle. After a while, you remain careful and cautious, but it doesn't bother you much, because you know how to deal with it.
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  #205  
Old 04-26-2009
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Originally Posted by St Anna View Post
Thanks John,
I was asking because the wavelength will control how steep and that of course also depends on the depth. Yeah I hear you about the weird swells when they come from 2 different directions, they can stand up. On one occasion, We were fighting a windward run to get away from a nasty place, when on 3 occasions, the whole boat ( a 36' flush deck van de stadt) fell into a trough and only the doghouse was out of water. We had the washboards in , the boat stopped in the water, shook free like a terrier,and continued. I cant say what went through my mind - we were harnessed on!!
Okay St - that sounds like a sweet BFS to me. Go on over to that thread and throwdown the story, dude!
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  #206  
Old 04-26-2009
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OK Smacker,

In hind sight, it was just a normal day at the office. A bit like your recent family weekend. Good stuff to the Smacktets.

A couple of days in heaven. A place called Pearl Bay, then a quiet sail with drifters to a rocky island called Hexham. The forecast said that in about 3 days, a trough was going to pass over and we could expect northerlies. I thought, this is cool - well be long gone in when they hit.

Well it went from picture perfect of 10 kn SE, anchored in a rocky bay on the N side of the island to 35kn gusting 45kn N -NW at 1 am. Surf coming in the bay. We sat up on anchor watch, the bow dropping under each wave. We werent dragging, so we stayed put. At about 6.30 am, when their was enough light to see, we decided to move.

I pulled up the anchor and apparenty the surf was boiling around my waist in each trough. Anyway, we got out of the bay and could only beat to the NE under 3rd reef in main and 8' of genny out. The swells were about 3-4 m high but coming in from NE and NW. They either sort of cancelled out or added up together and 3 times, we fell into the trough, the deck under green, white water hitting the doghouse. The breeze was over 40kn , gusting higher.

St. Anna just pulled free. water got in through the dorades, but not much in the cockpit and the washbourds were up. We were harnessed on. Another step in the learning curve where I (Mr Intelligence) put myself somewhere and the boat got us out!! Next anchorage was a dream place just up the road called Middle Percy Island (google it)
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  #207  
Old 04-26-2009
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Tartan builds the best heavy weather boat in the World!
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  #208  
Old 04-26-2009
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Originally Posted by Tartan53a1 View Post
Tartan builds the best heavy weather boat in the World!
The Tartan salesman must have told you that, I will agree with you that Tartan builds a capable heavy weather boat, but, "the best"? There a number of boats that will take Force 10 and heavier weather quite as well, if not better, as Tartan, including: Westsail, Alajuela, Alberg, Cape Dory, Bristol, Hinckley, Pacific Seacraft and the list goes on.
In the second Force 10 storm that Paloma has endured, one of the other two sailors aboard has a Tartan 37 and wondered if his Tartan would handle the 30+ foot seas and winds gusting over 60 as well as Paloma - the three of us decided that it probably would.
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Last edited by johnshasteen; 04-26-2009 at 08:04 PM.
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  #209  
Old 04-27-2009
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Forgive the engineer in me ;-) but couldn't you use the 1st haul with the rolling hitch'd line to simply get some slack in the JSD line and get that around a winch - and just haul it in?

Great thread btw.

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Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
.. back to the genoa winches. Attach one line to the JSD with a rolling hitch and winch in about a boat length of JSD... then attach the other line to the JSD and do the same... Go forward and untie the first line and bring it back to the cockpit to retrieve another boat length of JSD... and repeat until the JSD is all back aboard.
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  #210  
Old 04-27-2009
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"couldn't you use "
That's SOP, if you have another winch in the right place, or can lead a line in the right direction. And assuming crew on board know how to make a rolling hitch!
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