Originally Posted by MastUndSchotbruch
How do you avoid tornadoes when you are cruising? Even in relatively tame (weather-wise) Maryland we have tornadoes all the time. I would imagine they are more common in Florida and the Gulf. Case in point: summer before last when I was coming up the Bay (cruising!), the weather started to look pretty threatening and I was pondering if I should hunker down for a bit in the Severn River. Well, the decision was made for me when the CG came up on 16 with a tornado warning (not watch) for -- tadaa-- the Severn River!
I stayed in the middle of the Bay and things went well, never saw the tornado though A LOT of wind, thunder and lightning. I certainly don't want to get hit by a tornado at any time and I would expect very severe damage to my boat including dismasting. But I do not expect that it flips upside down (and stays there) or sinks. And you consider this normal for a catamaran, and that at anchor, with no sails up?
So, my point is, a boat for which encountering a tornado is "far beyond the envelope" is by definition not a boat for cruising.
Well, keep in mind that I live in Texas and we had our boat in Florida. So tornadoes and major-storms/hurricanes are relatively common in our lives. Avoiding hurricanes is not that hard as I've discussed in my videos. You get off or stay off the boat after making it as secure as you can. In that case, boats of all kinds are still destroyed - but you are safe.
But again, that's not "cruising". That's simply a place where boats are sitting (either on the hard or in the water) getting hit and destroyed. So the type or make of boat doesn't matter. That's what we're seeing in the above examples here and why I'm not sure they really mean much to this discussion. Cruising, at least the kind where you travel longer distances from place to place, typically happens away from these anchorages in the examples.
Now, avoiding tornadoes can be very easy as well, or impossible. Every Texas and Florida sailor knows the maxim "Never cruise in Kansas". And we all pretty much stick to that. If you run the numbers, you'll see that there have been very few cruising sailors killed in Kansas by either tornadoes or hurricanes in either monohulls or multihulls. Heh-heh.
On the other hand, it can be impossible to avoid in JUST the right circumstance - like getting hit by lightning...especially if you're relatively close to land where thunderstorms can be far more powerful (like your example which I would equate to sailing in Galveston Bay like we used to do - but I wouldn't call that cruising).
We got fairly up-close to one (actually a big waterspout) while cruising off the coast of Florida...
Now, just like lightning, had this thing been coming right at us I don't think we could have avoided it. And had we gotten a direct hit - who knows what could have happened. And, to the point I think you and others are trying to make, it would have potentially been more dangerous in a cat simply because air can get under the central platform and make the boat fly (though that's impossible to say for sure). This is what I assume happened to that other boat shown in the Florida video that was hit by the tornado - and maybe even that Prout that Noelex mentioned.
But, I personally don't buy boats for their tornado or hurricane performance. I have no interest in that. I buy them to cruise. Our Hunter did very well on the hard in a direct strike from Category 2 Irma - and we were safe at home. But there were also a few cats in the same yard that did just as well. So, again, I'm not sure what that has to do with cruising.
As for the tornado, we got lucky. I think Charlie Doane frames your concerns about this best in that article on the CWD capsize I linked above...
Discussing the event with Charles Nethersole, it really did sound to me like the purest piece of bad luck a bluewater sailor could ever hope to encounter, as though God himself, with no warning, had suddenly decided to poke you with a finger and squash you like a bug.
Indeed. Thar be dragons - and they don't care what kind of boat you're on.