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Discussion Starter #1
I just finished studying Pardey's book on Storm Tactics. It gives me great comfort knowing that I can sail offshore and have a reliable tactic that can "save" me during a blow.

My question is: How does one attach the pennant line to the anchor rode? Surely we don't entrust our life to a rolling hitch knot, do we??
 

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On the DVD they show a giant professional grade load tested swivel that Larry got galvanized. I think they used shackles to make the connections. What kind of boat do you have? There has been considerable debate regarding the Pardeys approach. What works for them might not work for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I thought the swivel shackle was attaching the anchor rode to the para-anchor, not to the pennant line? I am planning to gain experinece by crewing with OPO and eventually buy a blue water boat for offshore sailing---likely in the 40-48' range. Why would you hesitate to heave-to with breaking waves?
 

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Sorry.. didn't have to book but google books does! Looks like they are calling the pennant line the line used to set the boat at an angle to the direction of pull from the sea anchor. It isn't fixed to the anchor line. They use a snatch block with the sheave clipped to the anchor rode which allows adjustment of rode length.
It is setup just like a barber hauler on a jib sheet.

I'm not saying I have any particular problem with their arrangement, just noting there has been considerable discussion and criticism on the internet and on the docks regarding their method.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Perfecto Sailboy!! Now I understand. Thanks for your response.

One further clarification point, will the snatch block ride up to the bow under pressure?? Should it be attached at the bow after all the anchor rode is deployed, then when being winched in, the snatch block will travel down the pennant line until the proper angle is achieved? Is this correct?
 

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One further clarification point, will the snatch block ride up to the bow under pressure?? Should it be attached at the bow after all the anchor rode is deployed, then when being winched in, the snatch block will travel down the pennant line until the proper angle is achieved? Is this correct?
Yes, I believe so.
 

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Why would you hesitate to heave-to with breaking waves?
Heaving to as opposed to lying to a drogue of some sort will often place you beam on to the weather and consequently beam on to the sea. If a wave is big enough and breaks alongside you, the chances of being knocked down or even rolled are reasonably good.
 

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Perfecto Sailboy!! Now I understand. Thanks for your response.

One further clarification point, will the snatch block ride up to the bow under pressure?? Should it be attached at the bow after all the anchor rode is deployed, then when being winched in, the snatch block will travel down the pennant line until the proper angle is achieved? Is this correct?
The movie helps a lot. If you are going to follow their advice to the letter I highly suggest you buy the DVD. They do a really good job working out the details, and even film a deployment in what appears to be 30-40 knot wind from a light displacement boat. Plus there is some pretty cool footage of far off places, and some good shots of their boat.
If the pennant block rides up to the bow they advise letting more line out quickly to get the block off the bow.
 

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Read all that you can, learn everything you can. But, when you get caught in a big storm, it doesn't matter what Lin and Larry did, it will be your storm in your boat and you trying to survive. So, in your own boat, learn how to reef down or drop sails quickly, how to run before a storm with or without sails, claw off a lee shore and practice laying ahull. Know your engine - how to change an impeller, how to change a clogged fuel filter , how to bleed the engine, etc.
<!-- / message --><!-- sig -->And know that if you get caught in bad weather, you will run into situations that you haven't read about or seen. Here's some examples: In the last Regata de Amigos, the keel fell off of the s/v Cynthia Wood taking an experienced sailor to Davy Jones Locker. Aboard the s/v Satori, the boat was fine, but the crew was seasick and frightened and couldn't function, they abandoned the boat which was later found on a lee shore with little more than cosmetic damage. In the March '08 full gale that Paloma was caught in, after a knock down, the main hung up in the spreaders, ripped and couldn't be dropped and a line wound around the prop, so no engine. And the list goes on . . . . .
 

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Heaving to as opposed to lying to a drogue of some sort will often place you beam on to the weather and consequently beam on to the sea. If a wave is big enough and breaks alongside you, the chances of being knocked down or even rolled are reasonably good.
It depends on the boat, heaving to on Oh Joy does not put you beam to the sea but rather a 45-50 degree angle.
 

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You probably don't want to be hove to at a greater angle that that anyway. The corkscrew motion is not as "restful" as people say, except when contrasted to active helming in survival conditions, I suppose!
 

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It depends on the boat, heaving to on Oh Joy does not put you beam to the sea but rather a 45-50 degree angle.
I suspect that is reasonably unusual. By implication heaving to sets the boat at an angle that precludes it making way. If the boat is at a 45 degree angle off the weather, that qualifies as an open reach and the boat should be making way.

So you are probably saying that the boat sets at 45 degrees into the weather. Does that not have a tendency to allow the boat to be pushed backwards by waves (because your not making way), thus placing your rudder/steering at some risk?
 

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I suspect that is reasonably unusual. By implication heaving to sets the boat at an angle that precludes it making way. If the boat is at a 45 degree angle off the weather, that qualifies as an open reach and the boat should be making way.

So you are probably saying that the boat sets at 45 degrees into the weather. Does that not have a tendency to allow the boat to be pushed backwards by waves (because your not making way), thus placing your rudder/steering at some risk?
When I'm hove to there is always some forward movement and some leeway. I've never hove to in large waves so any comments on the subject is appreciated. I do have a problem with getting the boat to set at a 50 degree angle to the wind and suspect that too much head sail is backwinded. In fact I might be able to heave to under reefed mainsail only assuming that the boat will not tack through.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
According to their book, the ideal position to be in is 45-50deg into weather making about 1knot headway. If she keeps forereaching too much, the boat will not lay inside the "slick" she creates, which disrupts breaking wave formation. If she does forereach, either adjust sails or set a sea-anchor, which prevents forereaching and she is supposed to lay inside her slick. Omatako, you are correct about the possibility of going backwards, yet the drogue prevents much of that and they recommend tying down the rudder to prevent it going over too far, if it does go backward. They "say" running before the wind causes you to stay inside the storm longer where fatigue or chance rogue wave can get you. so, I guess it's pick your poison. According to the Coast guard, they have never had to rescue a boat that was properly hove-to.
 

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For those interested in the Pardey book/movie, I can also highly recommend the new Hal Roth book on the same topic, "Handling Storms at Sea". Hal gives a very thorough analysis, some additional options (like the series drogue), pros and cons of each technique for varying scenarios, and limits of the various approaches for different kinds of boats (i.e., fin keel vs. full keel) and different sea states (e.g., breaking vs. non-breaking).
 

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They "say" running before the wind causes you to stay inside the storm longer where fatigue or chance rogue wave can get you. so, I guess it's pick your poison. According to the Coast guard, they have never had to rescue a boat that was properly hove-to.
Tha's probably because those that have been properly hove to in deep ocean in a viscious storm have been too far away or have never survived long enough to call for help :)

I use the term "running before the wind" reservedly. The drogues I typically use streamed from the stern would not allow my boat to make more than about 2 knots through the water. That is slow enough to keep you safe from the odd surf whilst allowing the storm which typically travels at about 25 knots to pass quickly enough.

Also "running before" should mean "running diagnally across" and if you invoke the wonders of Buys Ballot's rule, deciding which way to run is not that hard. That said, being pooped at an angle is a character-building experience.:p
 

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I use the term "running before the wind" reservedly. The drogues I typically use streamed from the stern would not allow my boat to make more than about 2 knots through the water. That is slow enough to keep you safe from the odd surf whilst allowing the storm which typically travels at about 25 knots to pass quickly enough.
Good advice. I know you've delivered a few boats now, so do you have experience using different drogues with different hull types? I instinctively favour the logic of the Jordan Series drogue, because I have the bollards aft to secure it and the idea of a bridle makes sense to me just as a bridle-type snubber makes sense with ground tackle.

While I have come to the conclusion that, as with heaving to, there isn't one answer for storm tactics, but a range of answers from which some boats in some conditions will benefit, I would appreciate your comments.
 

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For those interested in the Pardey book/movie, I can also highly recommend the new Hal Roth book on the same topic, "Handling Storms at Sea". Hal gives a very thorough analysis, some additional options (like the series drogue), pros and cons of each technique for varying scenarios, and limits of the various approaches for different kinds of boats (i.e., fin keel vs. full keel) and different sea states (e.g., breaking vs. non-breaking).
MC - thanks, I'm ordering that book today. And welcome to Sailnet, dude!

Also thanks to you other guys (Omatako, Val, Charlie, etc.) for the taking the time to continue this conversation. There are new bits to learn every time!
 

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Good advice. I know you've delivered a few boats now, so do you have experience using different drogues with different hull types? I instinctively favour the logic of the Jordan Series drogue, because I have the bollards aft to secure it and the idea of a bridle makes sense to me just as a bridle-type snubber makes sense with ground tackle.

While I have come to the conclusion that, as with heaving to, there isn't one answer for storm tactics, but a range of answers from which some boats in some conditions will benefit, I would appreciate your comments.
I heard about series drogues a long time ago and have wondered about them and whether Jordan invented them or just commercialised an older idea. Originally I got the idea that the series drogue is like sailing on a bungee with the different areas of the drogue located in different waves, cushioning the tug. At least that is what I think the priciple is.

Anyway, the point of that is that I use the same principle but I'm too tight to buy expensive stuff. Once it gets someone's name attached, it gets expensive. I use knotted warps and have used a kedge anchor off the back.

I was lucky enough to be given discarded superyacht jib sheets. Braided line, 40mm diam, 140 feet long. I tied it in a series of knots that are evenly space along the line and they reduced the line to about 90 feet long. When fully deployed, I reckon it will span at least two swells behind me and will work (I think) the same as a series drogue. When I made it, I deployed it in calm weather and with the donk at full throttle (normally about 8.5 knots) I couldn't get more than 3 kn. I have yet to use it in anger.

I have never considered using a parachute sea anchor - the thought of recovering something like that in a huge sea after the wind has settled to 30 or 40 knots holds no fascination for me. Even recovering 80 feet of heavy wet rope will be a mission. A parachute??? I don't think so. I reckon the sea floor is covered in parachutes cut loose by their erstwhile owners because they had no chance of getting them back on the boat.

Actually my storm experiences have been relatively limited as will most cruisers'. It has been said that most ocean voyagers will only experience one serious storm in their lifetime. I've had mine and I'm holding onto that theory.:p
 
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