Rough couple of days almost didn't make it - SailNet Community

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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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Old 09-29-2011
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Rough couple of days almost didn't make it

I figured I would go sailing yesterday about 4PM. It was a little foggy but decent wind. It was definitely foggy but it looked like the visibility was enough to be safe.

I got to the entrance buoy and since I know the distances to close by landmarks I noticed that the visibility was really less than 2/10th of mile. I came back in.

Today it was supposed to be 20 knots so I figured I would give it a try. I get out to the entrance buoy and find it was 20 knots plus, often 25 knots. It was looking more and more like rain and I was by myself so I didn’t figure I didn't want to work that hard so I headed in again.
The wind was strong enough for the Catalina 25 with a 9.9 HP motor that I could not steer the bow through the wind with the motor and tiller alone.

The current was running out probably at least 2 knots.
The prop was popping out of the water due to the chop. The 20-25 knots was at right angles to the channel.
I had to point the boat about 30 degrees up wind to stay in the channel which meant that a significant vector of propulsion was not moving me down the channel.

All of the forces combined slowed me down so it took probably 15 to 20 minutes to clear the channel that was only 2/10 of mile. Very slow I almost didn’t make it.

If I figured I couldn’t make It I probably would have had to anchor or hang out until the tide changed and hoped the wind didn’t get worse. I did get back in eventually and it rained.
I’ll try again.

Last edited by davidpm; 09-29-2011 at 12:08 AM.
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Old 09-29-2011
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Sounds like fall weather.
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Old 09-29-2011
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You broke the prime directive...

Never leave a warm pub, or a warm companion, to go out in bad weather!

However, you now have experience that you did not have before. And experience is always hard earned.

Phil
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Old 09-29-2011
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However, you now have experience that you did not have before. And experience is always hard earned.
... and useful.
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Old 09-29-2011
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Good job david. I have a 4hp ob on my C27, so I can totally understand the issue with wind. You made it back safe, and it sounds like you had good back-up plans. And, hey, 20 knots is a fun ride. You at least have to go check it out, right?
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Old 09-29-2011
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Old 09-29-2011
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You did better than me!

Hey,

You did better than me: I couldn't even make it to my boat!

Yesterday I figured I would go down to boat around noon. I planned on eating lunch, working (there is wifi in the marina) with my computer, and just spending a few hours on board.

The marina is about 15 minutes from my house. I didn't check the tides, but I must have arrived at high tide. When I got down to harbor the road was flooded. The road runs right along the harbor and then between the beach on the north and the harbor on the south. Between the east wind blowing water into the sound and the new moon high tide, the water came up and up and up and over the road. I drove through the first part and saw minnows swimming over the road. I made it to a dry section, but saw at least a foot of water ahead of me and I know that it would be deeper after that so I turned around and went home.

Later I intentionally drove in the rain, looking for puddles to wash the salt off the bottom of the Honda Odyssey van.

Map of the harbor:
mt sinai harbor - Google Maps

BTW, if you zoom in enough and know where to look, you can see my boat in the picture.
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Last edited by BarryL; 09-29-2011 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 09-29-2011
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So with your Catalina 25, are you reefing at 20kts? I am assuming so but everyone has their own "guidelines" on that.
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Old 09-29-2011
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SAILING ain't always a slick magazine cover! Those days, and nights as typed just makes you smarter, and more prepared. You have to know your, and your boat's limits. Eventually you can expand those limits, and then sail over the horizon.......i2f
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Old 09-29-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb32863 View Post
So with your Catalina 25, are you reefing at 20kts? I am assuming so but everyone has their own "guidelines" on that.
I actually reef before 20 because it seldom blows steady around here. If it is 20 it is really 20 to 25+. If it is 10 it is really 10 to 14+

I've had had great sails at 7 knots with the 150 all the way out.
If it even feels like the boat is working slightly too hard which can happen as low as maybe 12 to 17 I roll up to 100% and put in the reef.
The boat handles better, seems just as fast, and I don't have to worry as much about breaking something.
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