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Kain_Kelly

A few questions on hurricanes

76 posts in this topic

I was looking at hurricanes, and any boat I buy or build I will have hurricanes on the mind when I make that investment. Anyways I was wondering two things, if there is a accepted tactic to sailing around a storm using the wind from the storm. Lastly, would a boat with a lifting/removed keel fair better then a boat with a fixed keel, as well asshould the mast of a sailboat be left on or removed and strapped down else where. In the event you were to haul out and strap down for a storm. I know the bow should point to the expected wind direction, I ask this incase for what ever reason wind hits the boat broad side. My thinking is that a keeled boat would have more area to pose drag on the wind, but my concern is that I am simply over thinking this, am I?

Sincerely,

Kain Kelly

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Look up navigable side of the hurricane.  Lots of sites on the, google it.   If at sea, you want a good barometer onboard.  If you know a hurricane is in your vicinity and approaching (increasing wind and dropping pressure) and you have a good idea of the predicted path, sail towards the navigable side and away from the center as quick as possible.

On and near land, all bets are off other than secure your stuff and get outta there.

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Having sailed through one, my suggestion is = get good weather reports/forecasts and then stay the fuck away!!!!

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6 hours ago, Kain_Kelly said:

I was looking at hurricanes, and any boat I buy or build I will have hurricanes on the mind when I make that investment. Anyways I was wondering two things, if there is a accepted tactic to sailing around a storm using the wind from the storm. Lastly, would a boat with a lifting/removed keel fair better then a boat with a fixed keel, as well asshould the mast of a sailboat be left on or removed and strapped down else where. In the event you were to haul out and strap down for a storm. I know the bow should point to the expected wind direction, I ask this incase for what ever reason wind hits the boat broad side. My thinking is that a keeled boat would have more area to pose drag on the wind, but my concern is that I am simply over thinking this, am I?

Sincerely,

Kain Kelly

The best strategy with hurricanes is to not be there. 2nd best is to be well secured in a well sheltered area, such as up on jack stands in a boatyard at least 12' above MHHW. 3rd best is to strip the boat of sails, dodgers, and other exposed canvas, and put it on strong ground tackle with good chafe gear. 4th is in a sheltered marina, again strip canvas + chafe gear, and doubled dock lines with plenty of room to rise/fall.

By far the last option is to try and ride out a hurricane at sea, or to sail around one. In the Northern Hemisphere cyclonic storms pin counter-clockwise, so if you put your boat on starboard tack with the wind at about 100 relative (ten degrees below a beam reach), you will be sailing away from the center as fast as possible. Unfortunately cyclonic storm tracks often curve to the right and so this may keep you in the path of the storm longer, but each storm is it's own history. As mentioned by 'bytr' the left side of a cyclonic storm is weaker (I've heard it called the "safe" side which is a horrible misnomer) so -if- you will have sea room then going on port tack to get there may be a better idea (but still a very poor option). The best defense is 1- paragraph above and 2- get the best weather info you can.

Trying to choose a boat type based on sailing thru hurricanes is not the path of wisdom IMHO. I have ridden out hurricanes at anchor (very much not recommended) but not at sea, and I never want to do either. Get a boat that is best suited for the 99.9% of your sailing/cruising that doesn't involve hurricanes or other severe storms.

FB- Doug

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The safest boat for a hurricane is one that you can trailer. Get that sucker out of there!

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Underway, head for the safe quadrant, forecasts aren't too bad for Cat1-2 a few days out. Cat 4-5 make their own plans. 

If you are moored in hurricane country, you won't have time to haul, pull the stick, etc unless you "chicken little" it every time you are in the 5 day cone. In a lot of places, you only get hauled if you are a tenant in a full service marina and get on the list early. If you can't get above surge levels, it's a crap shoot. SF has great advice. 

Finally, if ashore, prep the best you can, secure all loose gear, go home and pour a large scotch and read your coverage limits on your insurance policy. Riding out the storm on the boat when you have other options is risking your life. 

If you are a full time cruiser, have a plan well in advance. 

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Don't be anywhere near a cyclone or hurricane when their in season.  That's the best strategy.  

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With modern weather forecasting it's not difficult to stay away from hurricanes. They are well tracked. 

Must agree with others here....stay the hell away from the hurricane zones during the season, follow the wx forecasts and get out of the way days in advance. You DON'T want to be anywhere here near one.

If you must be in front of a hurricane, the best boat is a submarine!

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Hurricanes and typhoons have sunken warships. 

IOW if you're buying a boat for hurricane resistance, you're kidding yourself. 

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3 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

The best strategy with hurricanes is to not be there. 2nd best is to be well secured in a well sheltered area, such as up on jack stands in a boatyard at least 12' above MHHW. 3rd best is to strip the boat of sails, dodgers, and other exposed canvas, and put it on strong ground tackle with good chafe gear. 4th is in a sheltered marina, again strip canvas + chafe gear, and doubled dock lines with plenty of room to rise/fall.

By far the last option is to try and ride out a hurricane at sea, or to sail around one. In the Northern Hemisphere cyclonic storms pin counter-clockwise, so if you put your boat on starboard tack with the wind at about 100 relative (ten degrees below a beam reach), you will be sailing away from the center as fast as possible. Unfortunately cyclonic storm tracks often curve to the right and so this may keep you in the path of the storm longer, but each storm is it's own history. As mentioned by 'bytr' the left side of a cyclonic storm is weaker (I've heard it called the "safe" side which is a horrible misnomer) so -if- you will have sea room then going on port tack to get there may be a better idea (but still a very poor option). The best defense is 1- paragraph above and 2- get the best weather info you can.

Trying to choose a boat type based on sailing thru hurricanes is not the path of wisdom IMHO. I have ridden out hurricanes at anchor (very much not recommended) but not at sea, and I never want to do either. Get a boat that is best suited for the 99.9% of your sailing/cruising that doesn't involve hurricanes or other severe storms.

FB- Doug

I didn't mean to imply I would sail through the eye, I just meant if under normal circumstances if you could sail out of the path under normal conditions. (I now know is a cone.) I was looking at trimaran plans that have dragger boards and I was curious if a lifted or removed keel would offer significantly less wind restaince. I don't see why not, I figured I would ask here. 

As for riding it out at at sea or anchor, I am going to use a dual sport to take the back roads as far inland as I can get before the storm makes land fall.

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2 hours ago, TQA said:

Get a copy of Heavy Weather Sailing by Adlard Coles

https://www.amazon.com/Adlard-Coles-Heavy-Weather-Sailing/dp/0071592903

Read the section where people describe being caught in storms.

That will make you realise that sensible people do not go sailing at times and places where they could get caught in a hurricane. 

I live in Texas and before I go north I will be on the Texas coast. I would just rather be safe then sorry plan wise.

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1) Avoid hurricanes. Stay nearshore when cruising in the hurricane belt in season, so you can seek shelter quickly. 

2) Best boat is a trailerable, so you can haul it inland if a storm threatens. 

3) Larger boats.... Many boats hauled out topple over like dominos. The boat stands sink into the water-soaked ground, and windage of mast tips them over. Stands have to be on concrete pads, mast removed, and boat secured to several screw-in type hurricane anchors. Few boatyards do this. 

4) In the water... In general, marinas are bad spots. Find a mangrove creek or protected canal on 'safe' side of the projected track. You have to plan this in advance, draw bridges may close the day before. Tie multiple lines to anchors, trees, and other immobile objects. Dock cleats tend to fail and pilings can break off. If the shelter is well-protected, the bow doesn't have to be into the wind. You're at the mercy of those upwind of you, so everyone must help each other to secure boats. Use lots of chafe gear on lines. If the boat's cleats aren't well fastened, you're pretty much fucked.

5) most important...strip off the sails, especially roller furling sails. Strip off biminis, solar panels, anything else that's windage. Run halyards to top of mast to keep them from chafing, , put a light tracer on the main halyard so it can be retrieved and used with a bosuns chair to retrieve the others. Store sails, cushions, dinghies, and other gear ashore. Make sure batteries are fully charged to run bilge pump, as some water will get below. Not a bad idea to remove expensive electronics. Close all seacocks except cockpit scuppers. Make sure the scuppers are clear. 

6) If at all possible, do not stay aboard. Boats can be replaced, lives can't.

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18 minutes ago, Kain_Kelly said:

I didn't mean to imply I would sail through the eye, I just meant if under normal circumstances if you could sail out of the path under normal conditions. (I now know is a cone.) I was looking at trimaran plans that have dragger boards and I was curious if a lifted or removed keel would offer significantly less wind restaince. I don't see why not, I figured I would ask here. 

As for riding it out at at sea or anchor, I am going to use a dual sport to take the back roads as far inland as I can get before the storm makes land fall.

You do not want to be at sea in a hurricane. Particularly in a multihull. The only advantage they might offer is speed to avoid the storm, perhaps. Buy ocean crossing guidebooks and pilot charts, and avoid the hurricane belt in season. Most likely your insurance policy will specify this.

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14 minutes ago, RKoch said:

 1) Avoid hurricanes. Stay nearshore when cruising in the hurricane belt in season, so you can seek shelter quickly. 

2) Best boat is a trailerable, so you can haul it inland if a storm threatens. 

3) Larger boats.... Many boats hauled out topple over like dominos. The boat stands sink into the water-soaked ground, and windage of mast tips them over. Stands have to be on concrete pads, mast removed, and boat secured to several screw-in type hurricane anchors. Few boatyards do this. 

4) In the water... In general, marinas are bad spots. Find a mangrove creek or protected canal on 'safe' side of the projected track. You have to plan this in advance, draw bridges may close the day before. Tie multiple lines to anchors, trees, and other immobile objects. Dock cleats tend to fail and pilings can break off. If the shelter is well-protected, the bow doesn't have to be into the wind. You're at the mercy of those upwind of you, so everyone must help each other to secure boats. Use lots of chafe gear on lines. If the boat's cleats aren't well fastened, you're pretty much fucked.

5) most important...strip off the sails, especially roller furling sails. Strip off biminis, solar panels, anything else that's windage. Run halyards to top of mast to keep them from chafing, , put a light tracer on the main halyard so it can be retrieved and used with a bosuns chair to retrieve the others. Store sails, cushions, dinghies, and other gear ashore. Make sure batteries are fully charged to run bilge pump, as some water will get below. Not a bad idea to remove expensive electronics. Close all seacocks except cockpit scuppers. Make sure the scuppers are clear. 

6) If at all possible, do not stay aboard. Boats can be replaced, lives can't.

Is shallower better when looking at a creek, and what about Marshs or bayous? I am not planing on staying abroad if avoidable, I will be useing a dual sport for a bug out vehicle.

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11 minutes ago, Kain_Kelly said:

Is shallower better when looking at a creek, and what about Marshs or bayous? I am not planing on staying abroad if avoidable, I will be useing a dual sport for a bug out vehicle.

Marshes, bayous, are common hurricane holes. Shallow draft does increase options. You mostly want protection from the waves. Storm surge can be allowed for when securing boat. If sails, biminis, etc, are stripped off then wind is typically not the problem.

 

image.jpg

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6 minutes ago, RKoch said:

Marshes, bayous, are common hurricane holes. Shallow draft does increase options. You mostly want protection from the waves. Storm surge can be allowed for when securing boat. If sails, biminis, etc, are stripped off then wind is typically not the problem.

 

image.jpg

What about from a theft stand point? I know that may sound miss guided, but what are the odds of someone breaking in?

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1 minute ago, Kain_Kelly said:

What about from a theft stand point? I know that may sound miss guided, but what are the odds of someone breaking in?

Yes, the boat should be secured, but it's unlikely someone is going to break in during a hurricane. It's dangerous just to be outside, with blowing debris, and difficult to impossible to stand or walk. 

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57 minutes ago, RKoch said:

Yes, the boat should be secured, but it's unlikely someone is going to break in during a hurricane. It's dangerous just to be outside, with blowing debris, and difficult to impossible to stand or walk. 

True, I guess I was thinking of New Orleans post Katrina.

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3 hours ago, Kain_Kelly said:

True, I guess I was thinking of New Orleans post Katrina.

Then you have bigger problems. As mentioned above, Cat 4/5 and big surge changes everything. Possible for the boat to survive but get it secure and get out. Take valuables off if possible make sure you take condition and prep photos and a copy of your registration and insurance docs with you when you evacuate. 

 

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I stay 500 or more miles away if possible. The problem with the safe quadrant sailing advice, in my limited experience is the winds tend to be very calm in hurricane areas...until they are not. The sailing away in the safe quadrant idea may be futile.

Fortunately the forecasting seems to be reliably accurate. That can give a false sense of security as it is often too late to sail away when it becomes obvious that us what you should do.

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What if a meteorite hits the boat while it is tied in a shallow mangrove creek? Will the thieves aboard sue? And the unicorns, what about the unicorns?

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46 minutes ago, Innocent Bystander said:

Then you have bigger problems. As mentioned above, Cat 4/5 and big surge changes everything. Possible for the boat to survive but get it secure and get out. Take valuables off if possible make sure you take condition and prep photos and a copy of your registration and insurance docs with you when you evacuate. 

 

Shouldn't you be doing that every six months for insurance? Yeah getting out sooner is better is the basic idea I am getting.

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40 minutes ago, daddle said:

I stay 500 or more miles away if possible. The problem with the safe quadrant sailing advice, in my limited experience is the winds tend to be very calm in hurricane areas...until they are not. The sailing away in the safe quadrant idea may be futile.

Fortunately the forecasting seems to be reliably accurate. That can give a false sense of security as it is often too late to sail away when it becomes obvious that us what you should do.

True, and fair enough. I guess that would be a mix of skill and luck for that too pan out right....

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24 minutes ago, bstamerjon said:

What if a meteorite hits the boat while it is tied in a shallow mangrove creek? Will the thieves aboard sue? And the unicorns, what about the unicorns?

+100

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5 hours ago, Kain_Kelly said:

True, I guess I was thinking of New Orleans post Katrina.

Well, it's much more likely that thieves & looters will go after closed stores than boats out on a mooring, or even marinas. OTOH if the power is out, and there is a certain level of civil disorder ongoing, I'm sure that after a few weeks it would occur to them "Hey there is booze on boats, right? Let's go get some." And boats that are anchored out in an isolated place are always vulnerable to be "salvaged." The answer is, don't walk away for lengthy periods.

Another problem is that hurricane-stricken areas is that you can't go in. Sometimes the roads are impassable for a few days, sometimes the police set up barricades and keep people out.... even if you live there. I have had this happen once, fortunately I knew a way around that was not blocked off.

Thinking it all thru, many times, this is how I came up with the options I laid out above, in the order of desirability. OTOH I didn't live on the New Jersey coast during H. Sandy, which busted a lot of the norms. One of the things to remember is that Mother Nature holds all the high cards. But on the whole, being well prepared is much better than not.

-DSK

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Kain_Kelly If you are intending to insure your boat the insurance company will almost certainly impose restrictions on where you can sail during hurricane season. 

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25 minutes ago, TQA said:

Kain_Kelly If you are intending to insure your boat the insurance company will almost certainly impose restrictions on where you can sail during hurricane season. 

Finding insurance for the gulf coast may be a trick, marinas require it so someone must do it.

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1 hour ago, Steam Flyer said:

Well, it's much more likely that thieves & looters will go after closed stores than boats out on a mooring, or even marinas. OTOH if the power is out, and there is a certain level of civil disorder ongoing, I'm sure that after a few weeks it would occur to them "Hey there is booze on boats, right? Let's go get some." And boats that are anchored out in an isolated place are always vulnerable to be "salvaged." The answer is, don't walk away for lengthy periods.

Another problem is that hurricane-stricken areas is that you can't go in. Sometimes the roads are impassable for a few days, sometimes the police set up barricades and keep people out.... even if you live there. I have had this happen once, fortunately I knew a way around that was not blocked off.

Thinking it all thru, many times, this is how I came up with the options I laid out above, in the order of desirability. OTOH I didn't live on the New Jersey coast during H. Sandy, which busted a lot of the norms. One of the things to remember is that Mother Nature holds all the high cards. But on the whole, being well prepared is much better than not.

-DSK

Do you ever drill your plan?

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One of the basic rules for good seamanship is always planing ahead, always anticipating.

That way, you can make the right choice long before the shit hits the fan.

Practice that, and you'll probably never see a cyclone or hurricane.

If your unfortunate enough too live and sail where cyclones and hurricanes are a regular part of your sailing season, then you need a plan too get yourself and your family out of harms way, via land and early.

Don't count on an undamaged boat when you get back, that's just mother nature, teaching you yet, another lesson.

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You cruise long enough, you will eventually hit some weather you wish you could avoid.

If you are within a day of a lee shore, make for shelter or claw your way free before it becomes impossible to do so.

When in the open ocean, always secure all your gear and supplies every minute of every day, storm or not. As the wind and seas increase, tighten up your stowed gear. No rattling!! If you can hear anything slide back and forth or otherwise move, secure it. Always.

In the end, surviving a storm relies on staying rested and fed. You need to have a berth where you can lie down without having to grip hard just to stay in bed. I have awoken to find myself wrapped around sturdy table legs like a pretzel.

 

The US Navy publishes a book with practical rules like, if the wind is blowing from X, steer Y. Wish I could find the title of that.

 

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7 hours ago, Kain_Kelly said:

Finding insurance for the gulf coast may be a trick, marinas require it so someone must do it.

Insurance is available for coastal crauisig on the Gulf Coast, as it is in the South East US. You just pay more for it. 

Big difference if you plan on being where you might get caught out as opposed to living and keeping a boat in the hurricane belt. Make no mistake, getting caught out in a hurricane is survival sailing. Living and keeping a boat on the gulf coast is managing risk. Generally a lot more boats than hurricane holes and you may find prepping the boat, doubling lines and having good coverage is the best you can do. If you can find and secure a hurricane hole, that is great but there are a lot more boats than hurricane holes.  

I'm in the mid Chesapeake on a sheltered creek with a wide and protected slip with very limited fetch. Stripping canvas, adding storm lines with plenty of scope for surge,etc gets me through strong tropical storms and likely cat 1/2 storms. I have a sheltered cove in the creek with great holding where a visiting cruiser has tucked in safely during a tropical system with gusts above 80 but he was well prepared with excellent ground tackle and chafing gear. He chose to stay aboard rather than come to the house but that boat was his home so I get it...and the wind direction and strength were well forecast. 

As to the insurance review?  A bit of a joke in that you do what you can and then go shelter yourself. You normally renew year,y and should make sure then you coverage is appropriate. Don't just send a check each year without understanding the coverage. 

 

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10 hours ago, Kain_Kelly said:

Do you ever drill your plan?

 

In the sense of running back & forth with a stopwatch? No. But I do go thru all the gear, ground tackle, lines, etc etc; and update my checklist. I am a member of a sailing club where almost everybody anchors out for an oncoming hurricane, it's an all-day job to get everybody set. Fortunately it doesn't happen very often.

One of the things I pulled up on hurricanes earlier this year, in a presentation to our club: forecasts are really pretty good. Yah everybody makes jokes about weather forecasting but the truth is that over the past 20 years they have gotten much better, and quite accurate with hurricanes.... at least on the US East Coast. 20 years ago, they didn't even predict a 5-day track. Nowadays the 5-day track is more accurate than the 3 day prediction used to be. This is good because it cuts down on false alarms.

Insurance- some good advice in this thread. Boat US has a database of hurricane losses, one of the biggies is loss of bilge pumps. Filling with water can total boat even if it's on land, and hurricanes knock out shore power. So good pumps & good batteries become a vital hurricane safety item, and taping up hatches/ports really helps keep rain out.

FB- Doug

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1 hour ago, Steam Flyer said:

 

In the sense of running back & forth with a stopwatch? No. But I do go thru all the gear, ground tackle, lines, etc etc; and update my checklist. I am a member of a sailing club where almost everybody anchors out for an oncoming hurricane, it's an all-day job to get everybody set. Fortunately it doesn't happen very often.

One of the things I pulled up on hurricanes earlier this year, in a presentation to our club: forecasts are really pretty good. Yah everybody makes jokes about weather forecasting but the truth is that over the past 20 years they have gotten much better, and quite accurate with hurricanes.... at least on the US East Coast. 20 years ago, they didn't even predict a 5-day track. Nowadays the 5-day track is more accurate than the 3 day prediction used to be. This is good because it cuts down on false alarms.

Insurance- some good advice in this thread. Boat US has a database of hurricane losses, one of the biggies is loss of bilge pumps. Filling with water can total boat even if it's on land, and hurricanes knock out shore power. So good pumps & good batteries become a vital hurricane safety item, and taping up hatches/ports really helps keep rain out.

FB- Doug

You say batteries what about a small generator? Once/If it dies you could then lean on the batteries. Also I have seen crusiers on YouTube who carry tackle just for storms. Could you cut down on weight by just carrying the storm tackle? Also may I have a copy of that presentation? Thanks!

Kain Kelly

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21 minutes ago, Kain_Kelly said:

You say batteries what about a small generator? Once/If it dies you could then lean on the batteries. Also I have seen crusiers on YouTube who carry tackle just for storms. Could you cut down on weight by just carrying the storm tackle? Also may I have a copy of that presentation? Thanks!

Kain Kelly

Sure, small generators are great. The good ones are expensive though and they also take some maintenance.... everything is a trade-off! I have a Honda 2000i which IMHO is a marvelous bit of gear.

Ground tackle for storms- I have become a believer in using good normal size anchors in series. The plus way you don't have to carry a whopping huge anchor just for storms. You still have to allow for swing, you still have to allow for scope with the rise storm surge, you still have to set it properly. Not as big a deal as trying to do a Bahamian moor though.

If you PM me an email addy, I will be glad to send you the presentation, it's a powerpoint PPTX file.

FB- Doug

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This thread is worth a look TS Gonzalo which became a cat 1 hurricane just before it hit St Marten

Look at the damage and read the stories. Mark does not exaggerate. The Simpson Bay lagoon is regarded as a 'good' hurricane refuge.

Several boat that were out at sea disappeared and .at least one was dismasted and towed in by the coasties. 

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Watch the remnants of Harvey over the Yucatán between now and Friday to see how fast you can develop a TS or weak hurricane along the Texas coast. 

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6 hours ago, TQA said:

This thread is worth a look TS Gonzalo which became a cat 1 hurricane just before it hit St Marten

Look at the damage and read the stories. Mark does not exaggerate. The Simpson Bay lagoon is regarded as a 'good' hurricane refuge.

Several boat that were out at sea disappeared and .at least one was dismasted and towed in by the coasties. 

Thank you for that, I have been thinking about inquiring about plans for Chris White's Hammer Head 54. It is claimed that it does 10 knots under motor.   (In case of no, poor, or ill wind.) Even then if there is no wind I can get GTFOD as fast as a motor yacht. At 276 miles in 24hrs gets you off the bubble from 5days out. (273 according to mental floss.) After that the odds drop from 66 percent to 34 percent once you are out of the cone, I would imagine they would drop at a expontial rate after that. 34 is a hell of a lot better then 50/50. (50/50 coming from staying put, as they zero in on where it will make land fall.)

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56 minutes ago, Innocent Bystander said:

Watch the remnants of Harvey over the Yucatán between now and Friday to see how fast you can develop a TS or weak hurricane along the Texas coast. 

I will be.

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Thank you for that, I have been thinking about inquiring about plans for Chris White's Hammer Head 54. It is claimed that it does 10 knots under motor.

It'll do close to 600 lots of you grind it up, box it and fly it on a 747. 

Going fast in big confused seas in a light boat might not be what you think. 

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It's hard to describe going through a hurricane, lived through 6 on land and the noise is loud and constant, several of these that passed directly over were so loud was almost impossible to sleep.  Been through several storms on water at 50+ and one was 70+ and it's hard to see as rain and spray are horizontal.  At 40 to 50kts it's possible to keep some way on with a storm jib and triple reef main, but at 70? Object then is don't die. 

I would not even consider being somewhere needing to outrun a hurricane.  And - because of the Katrina fiasco if you make it to a major coastal area and find a place to secure the boat good luck leaving as EVERYONE is doing the same thing.  Leaving the greater Houston area after Rita or Ike? Gridlock and then every room is booked for several hundred miles.  Several friends spent 12 to 14 hours, gave up and made it home in less than an hour.  I could go on but then the memories just get depressing. 

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20 minutes ago, d'ranger said:

It's hard to describe going through a hurricane, lived through 6 on land and the noise is loud and constant, several of these that passed directly over were so loud was almost impossible to sleep.  Been through several storms on water at 50+ and one was 70+ and it's hard to see as rain and spray are horizontal.  At 40 to 50kts it's possible to keep some way on with a storm jib and triple reef main, but at 70? Object then is don't die. 

I would not even consider being somewhere needing to outrun a hurricane.  And - because of the Katrina fiasco if you make it to a major coastal area and find a place to secure the boat good luck leaving as EVERYONE is doing the same thing.  Leaving the greater Houston area after Rita or Ike? Gridlock and then every room is booked for several hundred miles.  Several friends spent 12 to 14 hours, gave up and made it home in less than an hour.  I could go on but then the memories just get depressing. 

That's some scary shit.  I've never been through a hurricane, but I saw the aftermath of Andrew a week or two later as I drove from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West.

I've been in hurricane force winds on the water and land--but they were typical Alaskan storms and not real hurricanes.  80+ kts in powered commercial fishing boats--you described it perfectly.  50' waves I never want to see again.

On land, Juneau AK gets "Taku winds" that can gust to 100-110 a few days in the winter--often on cold dry sunny days (at least in the 1970's).  I was a box boy at a grocery store and we wheeled groceries to customers' cars.  We and the shopping carts would litterally blow across the icy parking lot--that is, if we didn't get blown over.  Some cars blew a few spaces away, too.  It was a struggle, but a fun challenge for a 14-year-old kid.

Combine that with the rain, higher velocity, etc.--no thanks.

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These days with weather forecasting and routing being what it is, if you are at sea in a Hurricane/Cyclone/Typhoon then you have fucked up badly. Boats should be for what you are doing, not what what you are not doing.

On the subject finding a secure anchorage during one is hard enough if for what ever reason you can't vacate the area during the season.

This Vid is of Cyclone Debbie a Cat 5 that came though early this year and peaked at a steady 105k with gusts to 140k and a pretty typical occurance every few years or so on Australian NE coast. Mangrove tie-up like this couple did is safer than a marina in my mind where anything can happen. Trouble is many insurers will not provide coverage outside a marina thanks to idiots who every season stay anchored/moored in exposed locations and wonder why they get smashed.

 

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Take the kilometers and convert to mph and they wouldn't be doing a video, you wouldn't be able to even converse without shouting and those plastic dodger windows? Hah, that shit would be ripped apart.  The last thing is how long an event like this lasts, even if you are protected you feel like you have been worked over.  When Katrina came into the Gulf in 2005 it pretty much covered the entire area with the landing destination shifting until the very end.  Its a good video and the excellent point they make is not being subject to other boats breaking loose.  A boat I raced on for several years was missing, owner even did an air search - was eventually discovered when they pulled the boat in the slip that settled on top of it.

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that shit would be ripped apart

Including the furled-on jib, main still on the boom,dinghy on the davits with outboard still mounted.... ouch !

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That couple were at Trammel Bay which is extremely well protected on all sides and only 10 mile from Hamilton Island  where the strongest wind for Debbie was recorded with gusts of 263km/h or 140k and when the steady wind speed at the time was 183km/h or 105k.

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4 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

These days with weather forecasting and routing being what it is, if you are at sea in a Hurricane/Cyclone/Typhoon then you have fucked up badly. Boats should be for what you are doing, not what what you are not doing.

On the subject finding a secure anchorage during one is hard enough if for what ever reason you can't vacate the area during the season.

This Vid is of Cyclone Debbie a Cat 5 that came though early this year and peaked at a steady 105k with gusts to 140k and a pretty typical occurance every few years or so on Australian NE coast. Mangrove tie-up like this couple did is safer than a marina in my mind where anything can happen. Trouble is many insurers will not provide coverage outside a marina thanks to idiots who every season stay anchored/moored in exposed locations and wonder why they get smashed.

 

That boat was well tied up, but not well prepared. Why have they still got all that shit on deck, and sails rigged? Where's the chafing gear?

We don't get hurricanes every year here, but it's not uncommon; and we've had two or three just in the last decade where an inflated RIB would fly like a kite. We had a Sunfish bare hull fly out of somebody's back yard and pinwheel down a couple of streets, alternating with flying thru the air, before it (fortunately) landed in the trees.

That, plus 12 hours of 100mph driven rain would ruin that outboard engine.

Glad they made it OK but not exactly an example to follow IMHO.

FB- Doug

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Stunning.

I was a liveaboard when Sandy passed this way but I was in a sheltered hole in a marina that really helped mitigate the wind. I probably only saw 50 kts or so.

I did sit at a nearly constant 20 degree list at the dock and the one opening port the boat had, leaked badly. I put a small bucket under it and poured the contents down the sink every 10-15 minutes. 105 kts of wind must be an impressive sound.

In the case of Buys Ballot's Law, how do you know when you've turned right, far enough? Just track the barometer reading?

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Hurricanes can travel faster than sailboats can move under their own sail or power.  Your question is a losing battle.

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12 hours ago, bstamerjon said:

Thank you for that, I have been thinking about inquiring about plans for Chris White's Hammer Head 54. It is claimed that it does 10 knots under motor.

It'll do close to 600 lots of you grind it up, box it and fly it on a 747. 

Going fast in big confused seas in a light boat might not be what you think. 

You think it would be that bad even several days out? 

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worse and they like to chase you do hook turns and even double back or loop

boat and you on shore and out of surge area is best by far

I had two boats in andrew that survived at anchor in the open bay but on a windward shore

winds clock 180 as the storm passes location matters

rivers and canals are OUT as the surge withdraw is killer +all the junk and trees house bits boat bits ect bit

all flowing in a killer current into around and thru your boat

lots of big lines and big anchors

can't have too many or too big

can have too few but boat goes away

I had 8 total 3/4 inch lines lost 3 and a 1/2 too

I would use 2'' lines 30-40 ft from the boat where the chafe is and reduce to normal lines to the anchors

you also need point to attach line that big and fairleads chocks ect

leave different amounts of slack lots of slack for surge and to let the anchor lines take the strain in succession

and not fight each other at the same time

and get the hell off and ashore

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8 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

That boat was well tied up, but not well prepared. Why have they still got all that shit on deck, and sails rigged? Where's the chafing gear?

We don't get hurricanes every year here, but it's not uncommon; and we've had two or three just in the last decade where an inflated RIB would fly like a kite. We had a Sunfish bare hull fly out of somebody's back yard and pinwheel down a couple of streets, alternating with flying thru the air, before it (fortunately) landed in the trees.

That, plus 12 hours of 100mph driven rain would ruin that outboard engine.

Glad they made it OK but not exactly an example to follow IMHO.

FB- Doug

Steam I think you miss the point. Despite being right in the middle of it they were in a location well known to reduce wind speed by at least 50%, so they prepared accordingly. That said I agree they were a bit undercooked in the contingency department. Just a few miles away in marinas and more open fixed mooring areas boats got absolutely smashed and shredded.

If you look at the video you will see they didn't have much company and it was mainly thinking people like themselves who probably didn't have mandatory "marina in a blow "insurance policy and local commercial operators who were either similiarly not bound by such insurance provision or if they were, ignored it knowing this mangrove inlet approach is a far better solution.

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On 8/21/2017 at 6:13 AM, LoopyGirdleSniffer said:

Having sailed through one, my suggestion is = get good weather reports/forecasts and then stay the fuck away!!!!

BEST ANSWER.

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Here's a good read on why you don't mess with a Hurricane.

51VFQUPrp5L._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

 

 

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Well I think we are all about to get a live reminder of mother natures power.

Looks like Harvey will be a cat 3 when it hits Texas. Storm surge is predicted to be 6 to 10 ft at the North end of Padre island. 12 to 20 inches of rain.

Seriously if you live in a low lying coastal property in that area LEAVE NOW!

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15 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

Steam I think you miss the point. Despite being right in the middle of it they were in a location well known to reduce wind speed by at least 50%, so they prepared accordingly. That said I agree they were a bit undercooked in the contingency department. Just a few miles away in marinas and more open fixed mooring areas boats got absolutely smashed and shredded.

If you look at the video you will see they didn't have much company and it was mainly thinking people like themselves who probably didn't have mandatory "marina in a blow "insurance policy and local commercial operators who were either similiarly not bound by such insurance provision or if they were, ignored it knowing this mangrove inlet approach is a far better solution.

Sorry, for missing the point you wanted to make. Certainly an example of choosing a good sheltered spot. However, to my point, that's really only part of the job.

Marinas can be a disaster trap. True here in the US as well. Some marinas used to have a policy that you have to leave in the event of a named storm, this led to all kinds of disasters and more than a couple of deaths. Of course, those boats that are poorly prepared will be booby traps for their neighbors; one answer that couple of marinas around here have, is to create a hurricane task force that preps -all- boats and they bill owners who don't come and put in the work themselves.

-DSK

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16 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Sorry, for missing the point you wanted to make. Certainly an example of choosing a good sheltered spot. However, to my point, that's really only part of the job.

Marinas can be a disaster trap. True here in the US as well. Some marinas used to have a policy that you have to leave in the event of a named storm, this led to all kinds of disasters and more than a couple of deaths. Of course, those boats that are poorly prepared will be booby traps for their neighbors; one answer that couple of marinas around here have, is to create a hurricane task force that preps -all- boats and they bill owners who don't come and put in the work themselves.

-DSK

That's a good policy. There's a lot of owners who do nothing, not even drop RFG and double-up lines. They're a danger to other boats.

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19 hours ago, nota said:

worse and they like to chase you do hook turns and even double back or loop

boat and you on shore and out of surge area is best by far

I had two boats in andrew that survived at anchor in the open bay but on a windward shore

winds clock 180 as the storm passes location matters

rivers and canals are OUT as the surge withdraw is killer +all the junk and trees house bits boat bits ect bit

all flowing in a killer current into around and thru your boat

lots of big lines and big anchors

can't have too many or too big

can have too few but boat goes away

I had 8 total 3/4 inch lines lost 3 and a 1/2 too

I would use 2'' lines 30-40 ft from the boat where the chafe is and reduce to normal lines to the anchors

you also need point to attach line that big and fairleads chocks ect

leave different amounts of slack lots of slack for surge and to let the anchor lines take the strain in succession

and not fight each other at the same time

and get the hell off and ashore

I would see if I couldn't call around, and find the heavy duty commercial lines. Like the four or more inch nylon lines and keep purpus built Samson posts that should help. I noticed that you didn't mention a means at which it should be anchored to the ground. Was reading on boatus about this and they recammended helix ground anchors in asphalt or cement. I have been thinking, if it would be a bad idea to get heavy ass chain and tie that off to the rope so that if the ground anchors pulled out you would have that chain as a fall back. Please note when I say big ass chain:

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Assuming you are personally safe from Harvey, you should be using this time to look at data and forecasts and simulate having a boat to protect. What do you do?  Where do you go?  When do you say "holy shit, a Cat 4 will arrive in less than 24 hours with 120 knots of wind, 6-12 feet of surge and 20-30" of rain over the next 3 days"?

After it passes, see how soon can you can get back in and how long before you could accomplish everything.  How soon can you buy food and gas?

Then remember that this was a tropical depression over the Yucatán 36 hours back. 

Point is you live in an area where hurricanes develop and grow quickly.  You won't haul every time a depression is over the GOM. You do need a trigger for a good plan that can be executed quickly and then get out. Know when you have done what you can based on how things are developing and go. 

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10 hours ago, Innocent Bystander said:

Assuming you are personally safe from Harvey, you should be using this time to look at data and forecasts and simulate having a boat to protect. What do you do?  Where do you go?  When do you say "holy shit, a Cat 4 will arrive in less than 24 hours with 120 knots of wind, 6-12 feet of surge and 20-30" of rain over the next 3 days"?

After it passes, see how soon can you can get back in and how long before you could accomplish everything.  How soon can you buy food and gas?

Then remember that this was a tropical depression over the Yucatán 36 hours back. 

Point is you live in an area where hurricanes develop and grow quickly.  You won't haul every time a depression is over the GOM. You do need a trigger for a good plan that can be executed quickly and then get out. Know when you have done what you can based on how things are developing and go. 

Yes I am personaly safe from Hugo, when it pass's over my area the forecast looks amazing. (Partly cloudy 84 degrees and 84% hummity.) I apologize if I miss lead you. I have been told that while I am getting experience before building a bigger boat I need to work backwards from that. Hurricane plan A&D, marina, then boat, and this is me seeking the council of others with more experience. I am ultimately planning to leave the gulf coast for this reason and go to Alaska after I gain some experience with the bigger boat. (I know Alaska has its own issues snow wise, but those are a lot less to manage then a hurricane.)

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Alaska?????

when it is blowing over a hundred here, it is a little breezy. 

 

Go go back to Kansas, toto. 

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On 8/24/2017 at 1:35 PM, Kain_Kelly said:

I would see if I couldn't call around, and find the heavy duty commercial lines. Like the four or more inch nylon lines and keep purpus built Samson posts that should help. I noticed that you didn't mention a means at which it should be anchored to the ground. Was reading on boatus about this and they recammended helix ground anchors in asphalt or cement. I have been thinking, if it would be a bad idea to get heavy ass chain and tie that off to the rope so that if the ground anchors pulled out you would have that chain as a fall back. Please note when I say big ass chain:

 

doggie augers ? NO they will not reset once pulled hard their are gone

I believe in danforth if in sand or mud had a 22 35 and an oldWW2 seaplane 50 cast take apart

good old fisherman for rocks 100lbs min 

useless 75lbs navy but whynot they all will and did reset

other lines went to a 250lbs fisherman a guy left behind [couldn't pull]

and empty moorings mostly v8 car blocks long buried not my moors but right next to me so used yes they willNOT reset

but use whatever you can run a line to

I lost  4 lines on each boat but both stayed in place in 100+ mph gusts

we were in the grove dinner key anchorage north of the eyewall but in open water on a windward shore [little wave action short fetch]

 

 

I do not like plows as they do plow long and strait furrows

or anchors with gay guys names esp alloy versions

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On 8/21/2017 at 8:28 AM, Kain_Kelly said:

I was looking at hurricanes, and any boat I buy or build I will have hurricanes on the mind when I make that investment. Anyways I was wondering two things, if there is a accepted tactic to sailing around a storm using the wind from the storm. Lastly, would a boat with a lifting/removed keel fair better then a boat with a fixed keel, as well asshould the mast of a sailboat be left on or removed and strapped down else where. In the event you were to haul out and strap down for a storm. I know the bow should point to the expected wind direction, I ask this incase for what ever reason wind hits the boat broad side. My thinking is that a keeled boat would have more area to pose drag on the wind, but my concern is that I am simply over thinking this, am I?

Sincerely,

Kain Kelly

There is one almost perfect option if you are afraid of getting your boat totalled by a hurricane and live in an area where hurricanes are possible such as the southeastern coast:

 

*Renting* the boat

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On 8/21/2017 at 9:49 AM, Kain_Kelly said:

I didn't mean to imply I would sail through the eye, I just meant if under normal circumstances if you could sail out of the path under normal conditions. (I now know is a cone.) I was looking at trimaran plans that have dragger boards and I was curious if a lifted or removed keel would offer significantly less wind restaince. I don't see why not, I figured I would ask here. 

As for riding it out at at sea or anchor, I am going to use a dual sport to take the back roads as far inland as I can get before the storm makes land fall.

A Nuke Sub is the Best Boat to get away from the worst of any storm 

In like 10 min its nice and calm

If you're nice and deep

 

But Fuck That I hate walking through a sub tied to a dock

 

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On 08/28/2017 at 0:56 PM, nota said:

doggie augers ? NO they will not reset once pulled hard their are gone

I believe in danforth if in sand or mud had a 22 35 and an oldWW2 seaplane 50 cast take apart

good old fisherman for rocks 100lbs min 

useless 75lbs navy but whynot they all will and did reset

other lines went to a 250lbs fisherman a guy left behind [couldn't pull]

and empty moorings mostly v8 car blocks long buried not my moors but right next to me so used yes they willNOT reset

but use whatever you can run a line to

I lost  4 lines on each boat but both stayed in place in 100+ mph gusts

we were in the grove dinner key anchorage north of the eyewall but in open water on a windward shore [little wave action short fetch]

 

 

I do not like plows as they do plow long and strait furrows

or anchors with gay guys names esp alloy versions

I was referring to boats on the hard, but thank you for sharing that I hadn't thought of that about mournings.

 

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On ‎8‎/‎21‎/‎2017 at 6:13 AM, LoopyGirdleSniffer said:

Having sailed through one, my suggestion is = get good weather reports/forecasts and then stay the fuck away!!!!

+1  

Rule #1 of hurricanes is "be somewhere else"

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37 minutes ago, sledracr said:

+1  

Rule #1 of hurricanes is "be somewhere else"

Absolutely...be far, far away from the hurricane zone during the summer.  

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On 9/4/2017 at 9:56 AM, Jachtař said:

There is one almost perfect option if you are afraid of getting your boat totalled by a hurricane and live in an area where hurricanes are possible such as the southeastern coast:

 

*Renting* the boat

Old advice: If it flies, floats or fucks, rent.

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I have been thinking about inquiring about plans for Chris White's Hammer Head 54. It is claimed that it does 10 knots under motor.

Maybe without any headwind and running at a very high RPM.    I've sailed over 5k miles on a HH54 including two Hawaii return crossings.   Boat is fast but not wicked fast.   Great ocean boat but I wouldn't want to try to outrun a system unless I was already caught out.  

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58 minutes ago, solosailor said:

Maybe without any headwind and running at a very high RPM.    I've sailed over 5k miles on a HH54 including two Hawaii return crossings.   Boat is fast but not wicked fast.   Great ocean boat but I wouldn't want to try to outrun a system unless I was already caught out.  

Being caught out is my main concern right now. I understand what you mean.

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If you were on the gulf coast somewhere like Padre Island and you have 2 days warning of Harvey would it have been sensible or even possible to run to safety in a 5 - 6 knot boat.

Several people I know left the BVI USVI St Marten and ANtigua 2 days before Irma hit, as far as I know all are safe.

Almost everybody who decided to stay in the BVI USVI St Marten  has lost their boat.  

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Thanks for sharing that, that is very good to know. I was surprised that 2 days was enough time to cover enough ground, but the I realized your not raceing across the cone. Again thanks for sharing.

PS I am glad to hear you have heard from your friends hit by Irma.

 

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