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<HTML><P><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR><TD width=8></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left width=300><IMG height=239 src="http://www.sailnet.com/images/content/authors/readerswrite/091803_RW_Fran96.jpg" width=300><BR><DIV class=captionheader align=left><FONT color=#000000><B>In 1996, hurricane Fran wreaked havoc along the coast of North Carolina.</B></FONT></DIV></TD></TR><TR><TD colSpan=2 height=8></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><P><STRONG>By Gene J. Parola </STRONG></FONT></P><P><B>If you missed part one of Gene's article, click <A class=articlelink href="http://www.sailnet.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=22120">here</A>.</FONT></B></P><P>As we discussed last week, storms at sea often approach too swiftly for the sailor to outrun them. There is no place to hide and one must face the tempest and minimize the threat under the most adverse conditions. But the largest majority of boats lie in marinas or at moorings 98 percent of their lives and when threatened by storm, there is time to prepare the boat before it's in danger. And there are places to hide.</FONT> </FONT></P><P><B>Chafing    </FONT></B>Chafe is always an important concern on a boat.  Under </FONT>storm conditions its wear is increased exponentially.  Small rough spots on the inside surfaces of the chocks will make practically no difference in regular usage.  In a storm, under constant pressure and movement, these same rough areas become effectively abrasive and can significantly weaken an anchor line.  Considerable wear occurs even when those surfaces are very smooth.  </FONT></P><P>If your chocks are mounted atop a toe-rail and are not through-bolted, you may be better off to remove them.  If they pull out during the storm and expose the line to screws, rough edges of the misplaced chock, or broken wood or Fiberglas, the line may chafe through before the storm passes.  If the chocks are small and will not accommodate the larger anchor rodes plus the chaffing gear, then that should be determined in plenty of time to replace them with larger, more substantial models.<BR><BR></FONT>To determine this correct size we must look at the chafing gear applied to the harness.  I handle the problem by passing each harness line through a three foot length of clear plastic, reinforced hose just large enough to accommodate the rope's diameter.  I position this hose six feet from the shackled end (just aft of the snubber) so that one foot of it will extend outboard of the chock and two feet will lie on deck.  I carefully punch holes in each end of the hose and secure it to the line with a strand of small stuff.  Then I lightly grease the middle </FONT>two feet of this hose with water pump grease and insert this </FONT>rig into a similar four foot length of hose one size larger. The larger hose is again secured at each end to the line.  <BR><BR></P><P><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR><TD width=8></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left width=300><IMG height=235 src="http://www.sailnet.com/images/content/authors/readerswrite/091803_RW_hurricanefran.jpg" width=300><BR><DIV class=captionheader align=left><FONT color=#000000><B>Hurricanes pack the power to reduce well-found vessels to mere playtoys.</B></FONT></DIV></TD></TR><TR><TD colSpan=2 height=8></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>This entire diameter fits into my chock.  If yours doesn't, then a larger chock is necessary.  When the line stretches under strain and its diameter shrinks, the rope will move slightly within the first hose, the first hose will move slightly within the second and the second will move minimally within the chock, thus reducing the possibility of chafe to near zero.  I strongly disagree with those who advise duct taping strips of canvas around the rode at the chock to act as chafing gear.  If you have ever seen a rode that has weathered a severe storm you will know that such a method may allow for the entire padding to slip or be stripped off.  At a minimum you will be left with a mess of sticky goo on the rode that will require removal. <BR><BR><P><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=10 width=160 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR><TD><IMG height=2 alt="" src="http://www.sailnet.com/images/content/authors/bullets/black_1pix.gif" width=160 border=0></TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top align=middle width=160><FONT face="Arial, Helvetica, sans serif" color=black size=+1><B><I>"The bitter end of each rode will be shackled to the swivel after all the anchors are deployed."</I></B></FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD><IMG height=2 alt="" src="http://www.sailnet.com/images/content/authors/bullets/black_1pix.gif" width=160 border=0></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Once made up, this harness can be kept in your dock box against any storm warning. When employed, the swivel end of the harness is placed outboard of the bow chocks and the two lines are led inboard through the port and starboard chocks and then aft to the ginny winches and cleats.  If they are led through snatch blocks or fair leads, so much the better, but be sure to <I>add additional chaffing gear</I> at any place where they may rub against fair leads or anything on deck.</FONT> <P>The bitter end of each rode will be shackled to the swivel after all the anchors are deployed.  Again<SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; FONT-FAMILY: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold">—</SPAN>the pins of all shackles and the swivel must be wired to prevent them from unscrewing under the constant stress of the storm.</FONT></P><P><STRONG>Cleats</STRONG>     There is an old saw that says that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.  It goes without saying that the cleats to which the harness lines are secured must be strong enough to withstand the pull of the storm.  Most cleats on sailboats are through-bolted and back-plated because of the tremendous tonnage of pressure to which they are subjected in normal use. But if your boat has been built in the last 15 years, I'd look closely to be sure that this item was done correctly at the factory.  While it may have been engineered to meet most of the demands of the Sunday sailor, it may not stand up to the rigors of a hurricane. I would not recommend securing any storm anchor line to any cleat that is not properly backed, bedded and through-bolted. <BR></FONT><BR><STRONG>Windage     </STRONG>Windage is an important consideration for the sailing skipper as well.  I always remove my mast because it greatly reduces the windage, hence the strain on mast tangs, standing rigging, chain plates, etc.  In addition, and perhaps more important, it gives me access under bridges, up rivers and around bends <I>that are close to my regular berth</I>.  Some of my sailing dock mates, reluctant to go to the trouble and expense of pulling the stick, powered six hours to safety prior to Gloria while I was up-river and anchored 90 minutes after leaving the slip.  Total cost to pull the stick and restep it: $150.00. It took one hour from release of the first turnbuckle to having the mast tucked inside the large steel boathouse. <I>Its safety was then the liability of the marina's insurance.</I></FONT></P><P><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR><TD width=8></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left width=250><IMG height=340 src="http://www.sailnet.com/images/content/authors/readerswrite/091803_RW_sunk.jpg" width=250><BR><DIV class=captionheader align=left><FONT color=#000000><B>A sight that every boat owner fears finding after one of these powerful storms makes its way through.</B></FONT></DIV></TD></TR><TR><TD colSpan=2 height=8></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><P><B>Finding Shelter     </FONT></B>Choosing your hole is the next thing that you can do ahead of time.  I talked to as many old fishermen as I could find.  In my area there are a lot of retired watermen who still remember the bad storms and know where the boats were taken in the old days.  Look into each suggestion.  Times change, rivers silt up, trees are cut, and things are just generally more crowded.  Choose a stream that is deep enough at low tide and that bends three or four times between the tidal bay or sound and your anchor pool.  The pool should be at least 300 feet in diameter. If there are trees lining the shore, so much the better.  Ideally they will be on both banks in order to provide a lee before and after the storm's eye passes.  Since trees can be blown down, anchor far enough from shore to avoid them should they fall.  There are a few narrow streams deep enough for a keel boat to navigate and, all alone, to tie between the trees on each bank. If there is any other traffic on that stream they will not like your blocking it.  It may be better to set two bow anchors and tie stern-to to a tree.  Falling trees near the bank are a consideration again.</FONT></P><P> In checking out a hole, don't depend on chart indicated depths<SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; FONT-FAMILY: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold">—</SPAN>take your dinghy or other small power craft and sound it out. Better yet buy fuel for a powerboater friend and have him criss-cross the route upstream, checking the channel with his depth sounder.  Sound the hole itself, particularly the points of the triangle where the hooks will be dropped.  Determine the type of bottom.  Assign the proper type hook to the task.</FONT></P><P><STRONG>Storm Anchors     </STRONG>Let's talk about anchors.  Most of us have our regular heavy anchor that we use for storms and for overnight when gunk holing, and the lighter 'lunch hook'.  Now we need a hurricane hook.  The question arises:  How big should it be?  The answer is a question:  How much can you lift?  I bought the largest CQR that I could handle (I store it ashore and only bring it aboard when ready to use it.)  An investment in the larger anchor is just that<SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; FONT-FAMILY: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold">—</SPAN>an investment.  <BR><BR></P><P><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=10 width=160 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR><TD><IMG height=2 alt="" src="http://www.sailnet.com/images/content/authors/bullets/black_1pix.gif" width=160 border=0></TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top align=middle width=160><FONT face="Arial, Helvetica, sans serif" color=black size=+1><B><I>"Prepare three anchor buoys with sufficient light nylon line for the depth of the water at regular high tide plus 15 feet for the storm surge."</I></B></FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD><IMG height=2 alt="" src="http://www.sailnet.com/images/content/authors/bullets/black_1pix.gif" width=160 border=0></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>There are only six or seven months between hurricane seasons and unlike fresh fruit, the big anchor will not spoil in storage. This is the anchor that I deploy first in the direction of the oncoming storm. The other two are my regular Danforth and a trusty Fisherman that I keep for rock or coral. This might be a good time for you to be sure that the anchors that you regularly use are of the proper size, because if you use their weight as a benchmark to upgrade for the storm anchor and they're really too small, then your chain has another weak link  Speaking of chain, each anchor should have at least six feet of appropriate size chain. This helps to hold the stock in as near horizontal position as possible as the bow rises under each wave.  Temporary anchor sentinels (weights located on the rode half way between boat and anchor) can be made from plastic milk jugs filled with sand and shackled to the rode with a snatch block and 100 feet of light line. These can be run down each rode after the hooks are set. Again all shackles must be wired.</FONT> <P>Prepare three anchor buoys with sufficient light nylon line for the depth of the water at regular high tide plus 15 feet for the storm surge.  These should be stored separately and attached to the hook at the last minute before it is deployed.(If you have only one buoy, two empty plastic milk jugs painted international orange will do for such short term use.)</FONT></P><P><STRONG>Practise     </STRONG>Now your preliminaries are done. The next thing to do is to practice.  This can be done with out pulling the stick.  Find a place similar to your real pool in terms of size and depth. Make sure it is sufficiently out of the traffic.  Locate the boat in the center of this pool, point the bow into the wind (of the oncoming storm) and designate that as 12 o'clock.  </P><P>Find two o'clock to your starboard and approximately 200 feet away.  Power up to that point and deploy the first anchor as you would in any normal anchoring procedure.  Back into the center of the pool again, setting the hook with the engine.  Attach an old rode to the end of the first anchor's line and Buoy that end with an empty gallon milk jug. Power over to the 10 o'clock position and repeat the process. Back again at the center, attach the end of the second rode to the end of the first, keeping the old rode attached.  Back down 200 feet astern to the 6:00 o'clock position and drop the third hook, and return to the center. Collect the eyes of all three rodes and shackle them to the swivel on the already rigged harness.<BR><BR></FONT>Your boat is now rigged to three anchors and will pivot in the center of the pool as the wind tracks around the horizon giving you purchase on two of them at any given time.</FONT></P><P><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR><TD width=8></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left width=300><IMG height=211 src="http://www.sailnet.com/images/content/authors/readerswrite/091103_RW_boatmarsh.jpg" width=300><BR><DIV class=captionheader align=left><FONT color=#000000><B><DIV class=captionheader align=left><FONT color=#000000><B>Combine wind, flooding rain, and storm surge, and you never know where you'll end up.</B></FONT></DIV></B></FONT></DIV></TD></TR><TR><TD colSpan=2 height=8></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><P>If the pool you have sought out is acceptable in every way except its size, then shorten the rodes so that they will shackle on at an appropriate length.<I> Remember, however, that the effectiveness of an anchor is in direct  proportion to the length of rode.</I>  If normal circumstances demand seven feet of line for every one foot of depth, and your pool is 15 feet deep, plus four feet for trapped high tide, plus 12 feet for storm surge, equals 31 feet, times seven, equals 224 feet of rode.</FONT></P><P>Now, I round out at 200 feet because as the storm tracks </FONT>around the compass the boat will almost always be dividing </FONT>its pull between two anchors.  The area beyond my pool is small and it is in the lee of tree bound shores and thus has a minimum of fetch to allow for large waves which would repeatedly raise the boat and lessen the ideal angle of pull on the anchor.  These deviations from the ideal I accept because of my specific circumstances, but I would not recommend them to others. <I>Each set of conditions must be </I></FONT><I>weighed and action determined accordingly.</FONT></I></P><P>Do this first rehearsal on a calm, sunny Sunday afternoon, then do it again on a gray, blustery Saturday morning.  You'll learn something new each time.  Don't make the same mistakes on Saturday that you did on Sunday.  Make new ones. Learn from them.</FONT></P><P><B>D-Day    </FONT></B>On the day that the first warning comes and the direction and proximity tells you that it's time to move, take everything of value off the boat except the VHF.  Be sure that anything which ordinarily moves or shifts and is to be left aboard is wedged and/or padded, lashed, braced or otherwise made stationery. This is important because any loose object will move perhaps <I> several million</I> times during the hours of the storm. Tape all opening ports from the inside with <I>new </I>duct tape. Hurricane force winds can drive water in through the tiniest cracks.  Duct tape is probably best for this chore, but don't use old stuff that's been lying around, it'll leave difficult to remove mucilage when you take it off two or three days later.</FONT></P><P>Go through your well-rehearsed procedures.  When the anchors are set, dog down your forward hatch(s), take your VHF, close and tape the companionway and, if you haven't forgotten to bring the dinghy, go ashore and find a safe place to wait out the blow.</FONT></P><P>You'll worry, but not too much, because you'll know you did the job right. </FONT>A word about locking the boat against theft.  This problem is no less a threat during a storm warning.  My recommendation is to take everything of value<SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; FONT-FAMILY: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold">—</SPAN>everything hockable<SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; FONT-FAMILY: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold">—</SPAN>off the boat and don't lock it.  Locks indicate something of value is inside, and force the would-be thief to break in.  The resulting damage may be more expensive to repair than what the booty may be worth. </P><HR align=center width="75%"><P clear=all><P><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR><TD width=8></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left width=175><IMG height=162 src="http://www.sailnet.com/images/content/authors/readerswrite/091103_RW_Paola.jpg" width=175></TD></TR><TR><TD colSpan=2 height=8></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><STRONG>About the author:</STRONG>  Gene J. Parola is a sailor of 45 years experience, having sailed the Great Lakes, the islands of Hawaii, Bahamas, and the Florida Keys, the Aegean and the Chesapeake and Penobscot Bays. Until his recent return to Hawai'i, he kept his 32-foot sloop on the eastern shore of Maryland.You may contact him at [email protected]</P></FONT></HTML>
 
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