Ilenart, I don't disagree with Jon Sanders observations, but what everyone that goes to sea has to know is that when you are beset with heavy weather, it won't be quite like anything you've read or heard - it will be you, your boat and your storm. Your survival will be 75% your sailing skills and 25% your boat being sturdy enough and well prepared enough to stand the stress.
Paloma and I have been through two Force 10 storms at sea (winds 50-60, gusting higher; seas 28-30, not breaking) and we have run before both storms - no heaving to, no drogues, no parachute, no laying ahull, no passive tactics. In the first storm we were on our way to Vera Cruz and since the storm was a northerly, we decided that since we were headed south anyway, we would run with a storm jib and the third reef tucked in the main; in the March '08 storm, we were knocked down and lost the engine and the main, so we had no choice but to run bare poles - the bimini and stern was plenty of power - we made 10mph on the GPS from time to time while being whooshed along, way above hull speed. Did I read in a book somewhere about running before a storm that big? No, it was a decision made on the spot, in that boat, in that storm.
My advice is, read everything you can about every tactic you can - then put it all in your "toolbox", when the time comes, you can't be a one-trick pony. Make sure your boat is sturdy enough for and well prepared to go offshore and to be ready for any tactic you may employ. Then, finally, hope you never have to stare into the abyss.
s/v Paloma, Bristol 29.9, #141
Slipped in Bahia Marina, easy access to Corpus Christi Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
Last edited by johnshasteen; 08-16-2009 at 10:11 PM.