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post #1 of 11 Old 04-03-2019 Thread Starter
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Big Blow Yesterday

Experienced my most frightening wind event yesterday. I'm at anchor in North Palm beach in a fairly crowded anchorage and a storm just blew in. Was getting tossed around like a rubber ducky toy and at one time I swear I saw my dinghy fly sideways. Rain so hard I couldn't see the end of the boat. The boat next to me says he saw 47 knots and doesn't think that was the highest. Lots of reports of power and telephone poles just around the little lagoon here. There was 3" of water in my dinghy after 15 minutes.

Amazingly I think only 1 boat dragged, which was good as during the event there was nothing you could do but hold on.

Don't blow air up my rear, be useful and blow it at the sails!
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post #2 of 11 Old 04-03-2019
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Re: Big Blow Yesterday

Snorkling goggles work ok for horizonal rain/razor blades.

Its the other boats...
Last summer had a super yacht drag 300 yds or so...was within beer can throwing range.
Put a tie around the jib if you see it coming
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Re: Big Blow Yesterday

Welcome to the world of tropical thunderstorms, with perhaps a small tornado thrown in. 47 knots isn't even a particularly strong one. It is not too uncommon to have 65+ and a 180-degree wind shift, putting your stern to the beach (or you on the beach, if anchored too close) and in breaking seas.
All you can do is anchor as if you'll get one every night, and have a plan to slip your anchor and get out into deep water till it passes.
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"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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post #4 of 11 Old 04-03-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Big Blow Yesterday

There's nowhere to run here and I'm already pretty much in the middle. I've tried that snorkeling face mask thing in past and it was little help.

The event wouldn't have bothered me as much I think if I had a 7:1 plus scope out, but the 4-5:1 I have is different. On the other hand I've been here over a week and there has already been lots of 20 knot wind days and my anchor has never drug in 2.5 years once it was fully set.
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Don't blow air up my rear, be useful and blow it at the sails!
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post #5 of 11 Old 04-03-2019
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Re: Big Blow Yesterday

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Originally Posted by RegisteredUser View Post
Snorkling goggles work ok for horizonal rain/razor blades.

Its the other boats...
Last summer had a super yacht drag 300 yds or so...was within beer can throwing range.
Put a tie around the jib if you see it coming
You're supposed to toss splits of champagne, not beer. Better stock up so your'e ready for next time!
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post #6 of 11 Old 04-03-2019
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Re: Big Blow Yesterday

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There's nowhere to run here and I'm already pretty much in the middle. I've tried that snorkeling face mask thing in past and it was little help.

The event wouldn't have bothered me as much I think if I had a 7:1 plus scope out, but the 4-5:1 I have is different. On the other hand I've been here over a week and there has already been lots of 20 knot wind days and my anchor has never drug in 2.5 years once it was fully set.
Something very interesting has happened since I got the 88# Rocna and the ˝" chain.
When I was using the genuine CQR (or Rocna) and 3/8ths" chain I always put out as much chain as I could, stating that the chain did me no good in the locker. But with this rig I rarely use more than 3:1 plus the snub, and the boat stays put better and sits much better on the anchor (less swinging and sailing).
Obviously, should a big squall blow through, I could put out a lot more chain, but as yet I haven't had to, even in winds over 60.
I was taught 3:1 for all chain and 5:1 for chain and line, and at one point I had 125' of chain out in 15 feet of water for Christmas Winds in the Tobago Cays, which left others a lot less room to anchor around me. When asked, I still say I've 30 meters or more, just so we have a bit of room between us and the bareboats.
So, we rarely have more than 50' of gear out now, trying to anchor in 15' of water as often as possible. This is also adding to the longevity of our chain, as we aren't dragging it across the bottom so much.
I know anchoring is a very personal thing, but I believe with a properly matched anchor tackle setup, one doesn't need to put out a whole bunch of extra gear. Using an extra heavy anchor with lighter, stronger chain is completely a false sense of security, making the chain the weak link in the system. None of us can carry chain that is actually strong enough to hold the boat, once the chain is stretched tight from the anchor to the bow, so a weaker, heavier chain may be better (and cheaper), just by virtue of the catenary effect being the difference in shock factor.
The new gen anchors can definitely create new gen thinking about anchoring, though really, I was taught the above formula in the '60s.

"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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post #7 of 11 Old 04-03-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Big Blow Yesterday

The hardest time I've ever had getting the anchor back out of the bottom was in sand when it had dug in for a 3 day gale at a 3:1.

Anchors continue to amaze me! I trust this little $500 60 pound piece of curved metal to hold my expensive (to me) 22,000 pound boat in questionable bottoms under nasty conditions.

Don't blow air up my rear, be useful and blow it at the sails!
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Last edited by Don0190; 04-03-2019 at 05:41 PM.
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post #8 of 11 Old 04-03-2019
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Re: Big Blow Yesterday

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Originally Posted by Don0190 View Post
Experienced my most frightening wind event yesterday. I'm at anchor in North Palm beach in a fairly crowded anchorage and a storm just blew in. Was getting tossed around like a rubber ducky toy and at one time I swear I saw my dinghy fly sideways. Rain so hard I couldn't see the end of the boat. The boat next to me says he saw 47 knots and doesn't think that was the highest. Lots of reports of power and telephone poles just around the little lagoon here. There was 3" of water in my dinghy after 15 minutes.

Amazingly I think only 1 boat dragged, which was good as during the event there was nothing you could do but hold on.
I'm currently in Key Largo for a one-night stopover on my road trip to Key West. My hotel room is overlooking a canal and it's blowing pretty good here too. I can only imagine what it would be like in an open Anchorage let alone out by the reefs. Your description reminded me of something I experienced while on a charter in the Bahamas in May a few years ago. Boat behind us had their dingy flip with a brand new outboard on during the squall.


Mike
Currently: Enjoying Summer's sailing season

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Last edited by mbianka; 04-03-2019 at 07:00 PM.
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post #9 of 11 Old 04-03-2019
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Seems like the east coast has gotten more than its ration this year.
Big stuff pushing down the coast.
Im in marathon for another couple of weeks.
Nothing too bad here....far enough south.
A squall is one think..but when something sets in for a while then it starts to eat at you.
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post #10 of 11 Old 04-04-2019
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Re: Big Blow Yesterday

Now you know why most long term cruisers have 2 anchors on the bow rollers with two lots of chain and have a plan to get out into safe deep water leaving the first anchor behind on a buoy

I have only done it twice in 15 years full time cruising but both were situations where boats were being blown ashore or damaged by other boats.
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