Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: somewhere south of civilization
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Re: Water Spouts
Most waterspouts are F-0, with wind speeds of 40-72mph. Most.
That's plenty of wind to make for a troubling few minutes at anchor, but as mentioned above it seems, in this case, to have done little damage to the boats. Not much more than a severe squall line, but certainly something one would want to avoid if possible.
I have only heard of one boat (about 45') actually picked up and moved by one, from her anchor onto a reef in Fiji, but it is unsubstantiated; no pictures or anything.
When I have had the opportunity to actually got quite close to some in the NE/NW Providence Channel in the Bahamas, where they are extremely common, I chose to power away from them even though we were on a pretty big 80' motorsailor. But there was that urge to investigate.
They pass over the Keys from time to time, usually at night and it's always interesting to drive by the swath they carve through the mangroves in the morning, but I don't remember any causing damage to structures or boats.
It was thought that firing a cannon ball into the cone would dissipate them in the days of armed sailing ships, but I have never read any reports that it worked.
"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
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