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Heavier displacement = safer in storms?


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I can still smell the stink of kerosene fumes from home heaters - that had the big burner ring and wick - when I was a kid in Melbun, 'straya . Also the squeaky el cheapo pumps used  for getting the kero out of the 20 litre tins.

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It is sad, nay, pathetic, to see the SA nattering nabobs of negativity attempt to quash the adventuring spirit of this young Slocum with their so-called "conventional wisdom."  As the OP has demonstra

I've been following along until now but with the epropulsion and lithium in the bilge turn, I'm out.  You're either a troll or one of those people who ask for advice only to argue about why you s

You guys are getting soft. New guy with zero prior posts starts a thread saying he's boat shopping to sail from the UK to Patagonia. No one thinks this is a troll? 

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14 minutes ago, Cisco said:

I can still smell the stink of kerosene fumes from home heaters - that had the big burner ring and wick - when I was a kid in Melbun, 'straya . Also the squeaky el cheapo pumps used  for getting the kero out of the 20 litre tins.

That's what we had for primary heat when we lived aboard our boat in New England back in the mid 1970s. That, and a woodburning fireplace kept us warm.

I was a post-grad research fellow then, and shared office space with several other PhD and MSc students in our department at university.

I used to wear a heavy oiled wool sweater in the winter, and I remember coming in one day and one of my friends turning and saying "Do you realize you always stink of kerosene?"

It was pretty humiliating.

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43 minutes ago, mckenzie.keith said:

A wood burning tandoor might be a nice way to keep warm and cook at the same time. If you bring along wheat berries and a small stone mill you can make fresh roti in the tandoor.

Add a few chickens for eggs, a goat for milk and a pig for bacon, and you're set.

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Well yeah! BITD, during winters, the old pioneers used to keep the livestock on the ground floor, beneath the cabin. Just the body heat from the cows would warm the upper deck.  

Plus, now we know you can make biogas from the waste and funnel it right into the carburetor.  Or better yet, direct fuel cells.  

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8 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

Add a few chickens for eggs, a goat for milk and a pig for bacon, and you're set.

A goat would be manageable on davits. Much more reasonable than the yak someone proposed earlier. A yak. Come on! That is silly.

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14 minutes ago, mckenzie.keith said:

A goat would be manageable on davits. Much more reasonable than the yak someone proposed earlier. A yak. Come on! That is silly.

I see a thread coming: Livestock Which May Sensibly Hung Be From Davits

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10 minutes ago, TwoLegged said:

I see a thread coming: Livestock Which May Sensibly Hung Be From Davits

I suspect that thread probably exists over at kink.com or the like.  Possibly under “Shibari.”  

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6 hours ago, Elegua said:

I always though Thunderhead had a great cockpit. What's old is new again. 

 

9193194003_12c124f8bd_b.thumb.jpeg.ec75abf208f4654a58b104faafef9fc4.jpeg

 

Thunderhead had a great everything.

Well, maybe not that carvel construction but...

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2 hours ago, mckenzie.keith said:

A goat would be manageable on davits. Much more reasonable than the yak someone proposed earlier. A yak. Come on! That is silly.

 

2 hours ago, TwoLegged said:

I see a thread coming: Livestock Which May Sensibly Hung Be From Davits

 

2 hours ago, Autonomous said:

Rimas had a chicken.

 

2 hours ago, toddster said:

I suspect that thread probably exists over at kink.com or the like.  Possibly under “Shibari.”  

 

1 hour ago, Autonomous said:

Hung livestock?

Que the horses.

 

:lol: Fuck I love this place.

 

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12 hours ago, floater said:

now - I can never unsee that. I honestly don't understand.

What I also don't understand: a pogo can carry a load? (an ultralight boat with canvas doors to save weight).

perhaps this has to do with the waterplane. hmmm.

We loaded about 1000kgs for a trip up North, (about 500kgs was alcohol) most of which was all stacked in the rear starbd cabin. The transom was a good half inch lower on starboard at the dock, but fantastic offshore in the easterly breezes.

I never worked out the weight, but we were planing in 16 knots true carrying this mangy lot. Lightly loaded we could plane in mid 14's, so 22 POB and their eskys added an extra knot and a half. 
 P1000143_zpszihtwr6g.jpg

So yeah, they do surprisingly well.

Might be a bit different with an extra 5000kgs though.

      

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5 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

Thunderhead had a great everything.

Well, maybe not that carvel construction but...

She had a stunning bald-headed clipper bow. Absolutely unique boat in a lot of ways. Phil Rhodes at his most imaginative.

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2 hours ago, shaggybaxter said:

I never worked out the weight, but we were planing in 16 knots true carrying this mangy lot. Lightly loaded we could plane in mid 14's, so 22 POB and their eskys added an extra knot and a half. 

I am sure that wish you had bought a Westsail, where all the load of people and gear and refreshments would not have caused any increase at all in the windspeed required to plane

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7 hours ago, mckenzie.keith said:
7 hours ago, TwoLegged said:

I see a thread coming: Livestock Which May Sensibly Hung Be From Davits

Slocum had a goat for a while.

I remember making a port call in Karachi Pakistan (courtesy of Uncle Sam) in the early 1980s. We berthed near a WW2 cruiser that had what appeared to be a medieval village camped out over most of it's upper decks. Goats, chickens, straw huts, naked children, flapping laundry, all over the place.

I doubt they could have gotten underway using dung fuel, though.

- DSK

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17 minutes ago, TwoLegged said:

I am sure that wish you had bought a Westsail, where all the load of people and gear and refreshments would not have caused any increase at all in the windspeed required to plane

Not too sure about this, may be it would go up from falling off a steep wave in a storm to falling off a steep wave in a hurricane!

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1 hour ago, Steam Flyer said:

I remember making a port call in Karachi Pakistan (courtesy of Uncle Sam) in the early 1980s. We berthed near a WW2 cruiser that had what appeared to be a medieval village camped out over most of it's upper decks. Goats, chickens, straw huts, naked children, flapping laundry, all over the place.

I doubt they could have gotten underway using dung fuel, though.

- DSK

Also made a call to Karachi once upon a time, courtesy of US foreign aid grain export rules.  Did Chittagong, Bangladesh the previous trip, where the harbor was too shallow to accommodate the draft of the ship.  We anchored and had a gang of 50 +/- come aboard and camp out on the stern for the duration of lightering.  They had tarps, stoves, pots and pans, and created a regular village back there.  Poor as they were ($10/day, and one gray bearded gent came as he needed the money for a new tarp for his shack.  Couple guys came as freelancers whom the chief mate paid out of his own pocket were so happy to get a $10 bill they worked 24 hours straight.  “You said $10 for the day!”  “Well, I meant maybe 8 hours of the day, not the entire thing!”) they would share big pots of chai and some kind of extremely spicy stew.  They showed up with a cargo net full of live goats, and by the end of the week they were reduced to a few hides being dried on the anchor windlass.  Useful animals, they are.

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On 11/16/2021 at 9:19 PM, shaggybaxter said:

We loaded about 1000kgs for a trip up North, (about 500kgs was alcohol) most of which was all stacked in the rear starbd cabin. The transom was a good half inch lower on starboard at the dock, but fantastic offshore in the easterly breezes.

I never worked out the weight, but we were planing in 16 knots true carrying this mangy lot. Lightly loaded we could plane in mid 14's, so 22 POB and their eskys added an extra knot and a half. 
 P1000143_zpszihtwr6g.jpg

So yeah, they do surprisingly well.

Might be a bit different with an extra 5000kgs though.

      

You'd find it's a lot less than 5 tons to kill the performance to a crawl...

Racing boats are a lot lighter to start with. Your regular racing crew is probably 6 adults ? Then you effectively added a tonne of movable ballast and swapped a cruisers minimum extra fuel load for beer !

 You're still well within the hulls design parameters for planing.

Looks like a lot of fun.

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21 minutes ago, MikeJohns said:

You'd find it's a lot less than 5 tons to kill the performance to a crawl...

Racing boats are a lot lighter to start with. Your regular racing crew is probably 6 adults ? Then you effectively added a tonne of movable ballast and swapped a cruisers minimum extra fuel load for beer !

 You're still well within the hulls design parameters for planing.

Looks like a lot of fun.

One could always add a couple of hulls. Our latest river cruise boat, 40m LOA and 400 Pax.  Looks like someone bought the old Team Philiips wreck and grafted it onto a barge. 

Party.png

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6 minutes ago, The great unwashed said:

Ok, that “coach roof” or whatever is seriously ugly.

What do you expect on a "Yot"

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11 hours ago, MikeJohns said:

You'd find it's a lot less than 5 tons to kill the performance to a crawl...

Racing boats are a lot lighter to start with. Your regular racing crew is probably 6 adults ? Then you effectively added a tonne of movable ballast and swapped a cruisers minimum extra fuel load for beer !

 You're still well within the hulls design parameters for planing.

Looks like a lot of fun.

I have a seriously heavy sailboat. Westsnail teritory. I also have a seriously overpowered rig on it. As you say, loading my boat will not affect performance in light winds alot for my boat, dependent ob load location heavy wind performance might almost increase.

I seriously doubt that my boat, overloaded or not, will outsail any pogo style cruiser. The Pogo may "crawl" when overloaded, but a heavy displacement boat, even a ex-racer as mine, will always crawl.

You can construct scenarios where my boat will outsail even an IMOCA, bit they become very silly, here is one: 10 knots of wind and 10 knots of current in exactly the same direction, the IMOCA anchor is dragging.

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9 hours ago, lakeneuch said:

I have a seriously heavy sailboat. Westsnail teritory. I also have a seriously overpowered rig on it. As you say, loading my boat will not affect performance in light winds alot for my boat, dependent ob load location heavy wind performance might almost increase.

I seriously doubt that my boat, overloaded or not, will outsail any pogo style cruiser. The Pogo may "crawl" when overloaded, but a heavy displacement boat, even a ex-racer as mine, will always crawl.

You can construct scenarios where my boat will outsail even an IMOCA, bit they become very silly, here is one: 10 knots of wind and 10 knots of current in exactly the same direction, the IMOCA anchor is dragging.

so, this happened: " In 1988 David King skippered his personally modified** Westsail 32 Saraband to a Trans-Pacific Cup victory, a remarkable feat given the light wind conditions that year."  

https://bluewaterboats.org/westsail-32

 

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1 hour ago, floater said:

so, this happened: " In 1988 David King skippered his personally modified** Westsail 32 Saraband to a Trans-Pacific Cup victory, a remarkable feat given the light wind conditions that year."  

https://bluewaterboats.org/westsail-32

Presumably it was "fully race prepped"?

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Just now, SloopJonB said:

Presumably it was "fully race prepped"?

if memory serves, he sailed the rhumbline, kept her going hull-speed (it has a decent waterline), and won the race. Believe that he may have, or nearly did it again as well. A remarkable sailor who really knew his boat and sailed it perfectly. Kind of like where our OP is going.. ahem.

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1 hour ago, SloopJonB said:

Presumably it was "fully race prepped"?

I believe one also won the Marion-Bermuda race a few years ago. Once again, a well-prepared and well-sailed boat that got the right conditions. 

The average Wetsnail never would have done that.

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I remember the Westsails are the best crowd went nuts after the Trans-Pac victory. They said it proved heavier is better. You could tell most of them believed it had won boat for boat. 

To be fair, the "average" any type of boat probably won't win these races either.

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On 11/1/2021 at 12:44 PM, ysignal said:

small sailboat early next year with the intention of sailing from the UK to Patagonia in autumn.

 

In 'small boats & Patagonia' it is all about the skipper.  We have two friends who have done it in small stitch and glue plywood boats (one french ultra light and the other NZ heavish) and a third who did it in a modified ministransat (italian), all terrific skippers and made it just fine . . . . . but they do in fact lose boats down there regularly, 2 or 3 cruising boats a year and a small one will take greater looking after than a bigger one.

In a small one, (1) you want to make sure it is well built enough that it can take a knockdown and continue on, (2) and that it is designed to function very well using at least two of the proven 'survival' tactics (some boats like the pardery's will not run well but will foreach and sit on a para-anchor - our friend's light stitch and glue would run really well and series drogue when necessary but not heave to or for reach well).

The area represents a dramatic step-up in harshness and difficulty, even from the faroes/iceland cruising scene, so make sure you are ready to step way up.

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53 minutes ago, estarzinger said:

In 'small boats & Patagonia' it is all about the skipper.  We have two friends who have done it in small stitch and glue plywood boats (one french ultra light and the other NZ heavish) and a third who did it in a modified ministransat (italian), all terrific skippers and made it just fine . . . . . but they do in fact lose boats down there regularly, 2 or 3 cruising boats a year and a small one will take greater looking after than a bigger one.

The area represents a dramatic step-up in harshness and difficulty, even from the faroes/iceland cruising scene, so make sure you are ready to step way up.

Anyone contemplating it should read Hal Roth's account of almost losing their Spencer 35 down there.

A very experienced couple in a very suitable boat that was only saved through the extreme assistance of the Chilean Navy.

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On 11/20/2021 at 12:04 PM, ride2live said:

I remember the Westsails are the best crowd went nuts after the Trans-Pac victory. They said it proved heavier is better. You could tell most of them believed it had won boat for boat. 

To be fair, the "average" any type of boat probably won't win these races either.

Any fair handicap system should allow a Westsail, Morgan Out Island, Island Packet, J-160, 12 Meter, or VOR boat to win any given race.  Not that we actually have such a system, but we try.

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On 11/18/2021 at 8:46 PM, lakeneuch said:

.............. The Pogo may "crawl" when overloaded, but a heavy displacement boat, even a ex-racer as mine, will always crawl.

You can construct scenarios where my boat will outsail even an IMOCA,...........

Downwind for the overloaded planing hull it's a matter of how much power will actually plane the boat and whether you have the energy to manage that sail and whether your rig can stand it !  But planing boats have light gear with very little factor of safety, even a gybe can cost you dearly with damage to the rig.

Heavier boats have the weight allowance to be much more robust initially.  As for your comment above; upwind especially in lighter air and with a bit of a sea running you might find your heavy boat doing quite well in comparison to the laden planing hull   Narrower boats already do better upwind, all else being equal. 
 

 

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2 hours ago, MikeJohns said:

  But planing boats have light gear with very little factor of safety, even a gybe can cost you dearly with damage to the rig.

It really depends of the boat. Some do, some don't ! True offshore boats will always be heavier than a daysailer but you can build an offshore boat that is strong and light. One extreme case would be the class 40 boats, they go through lot of abuse and hardsailing that most cruisers would not withstand, yet they are quite light. they are just well engineered.

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4 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Any fair handicap system should allow a Westsail, Morgan Out Island, Island Packet, J-160, 12 Meter, or VOR boat to win any given race.  Not that we actually have such a system, but we try.

Pretty sure the Transpac win was Singlehanded transpac. A boat that can rumble at hull speed with little crew work would do well in a handicapped race.

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I looked up the race results. It was 1988 Pacific Cup. It doesn't say it was Singlehanded. He was just listed as Skipper. 

All the small double handed boats were faster, as was a Sabre 30 in his class (Phrf B). A Freedom 36 beat him by 2 days. NE Phrf say 222 rating. Slower than a Catalina 27 around the buoys...

https://pacificcup.org/archive/pcupresults/PCup 1988 results.pdf

 

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12 hours ago, estarzinger said:

In 'small boats & Patagonia' it is all about the skipper.  We have two friends who have done it in small stitch and glue plywood boats (one french ultra light and the other NZ heavish) and a third who did it in a modified ministransat (italian), all terrific skippers and made it just fine . . . . . but they do in fact lose boats down there regularly, 2 or 3 cruising boats a year and a small one will take greater looking after than a bigger one.

In a small one, (1) you want to make sure it is well built enough that it can take a knockdown and continue on, (2) and that it is designed to function very well using at least two of the proven 'survival' tactics (some boats like the pardery's will not run well but will foreach and sit on a para-anchor - our friend's light stitch and glue would run really well and series drogue when necessary but not heave to or for reach well).

The area represents a dramatic step-up in harshness and difficulty, even from the faroes/iceland cruising scene, so make sure you are ready to step way up.

Thanks. I'm intending to move to Scotland once I have my boat in order to get used to the conditions north of there so hopefully will know when I'm ready to step up.

I think all the boats I'm looking at would be regarded as well built. I'm thinking I'll stick to the Vega as it is proven having gone through Drakes passage more than once, though I wont be going that way on the voyage I'm currently planning.

People on some forums seem to have a more positive view of the Marcon Cutlass than people here. The Contessa 26 does seem to have a good reputation also. But if there's a good Vega available next spring I'll likely go with that.

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30 minutes ago, ysignal said:

Vega

The vega has done some impressive trips and can certainly get the job done.

Some of these impressive trips have been prime examples that 'it is all about the skipper' - Rutherford's for instance. A lesser skipper would not have finished it.

Specifically, with the vega - try to make sure the specific examples you are looking at are not leaking thru the hull to deck joint - it did not use the best joint construction technique.  It is quite possible to improve that, but you dont seem to be budgeting time to that sort of improvement work.  Think about condensation and how to possibly insulate the inside of the hull - it will be wet constantly unless you do some insulation - there are various 'easy' solutions (like thin foam contact glued in all the lockers/inside hull surfaces you can reach, and shrink film over exposed ports/windows).   Or if you are young enough you can just live with it being wet all the time.  I know Matt had some main bulkhead problems, but his boat was pretty beat even when he started, so probably not a huge issue for a better maintained example, but take a close look there at the specific example you might look at.

Assuming you are going north up the channels after you get thru the beagle . . . two things to think about - shore lines, yes you do absolutely need them, stowage space is going to be tight so thinking about how you are going to handle them (we sewed up mesh bags with ss wire rims that worked pretty well/easy to stow in small corners).  Also, north up the channels is mostly upwind - even when the forecast show a SWly wind offshore it is blowing down the channels right in your face.  People told me that before we went and I honestly did not believe them, but yea, it is true. You will not have anywhere near the fuel range to motor much of it, so when you think about sails and rigging be sure to remember you will have a long ways upwind tacking across a channel. (it is very doable, I dont mean to be discouraging, but it is a significant factor going north - and once you get up north, do think about turning around and doing it southbound because south is way way more pleasant and you can enjoy it more)

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3 hours ago, estarzinger said:

The vega has done some impressive trips and can certainly get the job done.

Some of these impressive trips have been prime examples that 'it is all about the skipper' - Rutherford's for instance. A lesser skipper would not have finished it.

Specifically, with the vega - try to make sure the specific examples you are looking at are not leaking thru the hull to deck joint - it did not use the best joint construction technique.  It is quite possible to improve that, but you dont seem to be budgeting time to that sort of improvement work.  Think about condensation and how to possibly insulate the inside of the hull - it will be wet constantly unless you do some insulation - there are various 'easy' solutions (like thin foam contact glued in all the lockers/inside hull surfaces you can reach, and shrink film over exposed ports/windows).   Or if you are young enough you can just live with it being wet all the time.  I know Matt had some main bulkhead problems, but his boat was pretty beat even when he started, so probably not a huge issue for a better maintained example, but take a close look there at the specific example you might look at.

Assuming you are going north up the channels after you get thru the beagle . . . two things to think about - shore lines, yes you do absolutely need them, stowage space is going to be tight so thinking about how you are going to handle them (we sewed up mesh bags with ss wire rims that worked pretty well/easy to stow in small corners).  Also, north up the channels is mostly upwind - even when the forecast show a SWly wind offshore it is blowing down the channels right in your face.  People told me that before we went and I honestly did not believe them, but yea, it is true. You will not have anywhere near the fuel range to motor much of it, so when you think about sails and rigging be sure to remember you will have a long ways upwind tacking across a channel. (it is very doable, I dont mean to be discouraging, but it is a significant factor going north - and once you get up north, do think about turning around and doing it southbound because south is way way more pleasant and you can enjoy it more)

Thanks for the insights! Buying an old boat is slightly nerve wracking as there's always the potential for there being some defect that costs a lot to fix. Knowing what to look out for helps a lot. 

I am planning to go north through the channels but not in a hurry. I'm planning on spending quite some time there so will most likely go back south. Western Scotland has some similar channels so I can spend some time practising upwind tacking and things there and get a feel for it and a better idea of what I'll need.

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1 minute ago, ysignal said:

Knowing what to look out for helps a lot. 

Matt Rutherford is a friend of ours, we have not chatted with him in a little while now, but if you ever want us to put you in touch with him I am sure we could connect you - just ping me with contact info by PM - perhaps wait a bit until you are closer to making an actual decision. His boat was sort of a worst case situation - extremely tough voyage and the boat beat before it even started - so he probably knows every possible weak point better than anyone else around.

As to 'safety' with the route you intend - I would basically divide it into 3 segments: (1) getting south to the S.American continent - it's a reasonably long hike (from the UK) but mostly nothing too difficult or serious just potentially a lot of boat fatigue, (2) for much of the route south down the S American coast line you have good sailing - strongs winds mostly come off the coast and you sail in close to the beach and have flat(ish) water and all is good.  The challenge here comes in the last stretch of the Argentine coast  (from say puerto Deseado or puerto San Julian thru Estrecho de le Maire) you have the two bad choices of cutting across the bite and away from the coast and out into long fetch in big winds or staying in the longer route around following the coast in complicated currents that can create overfalls.  This is one spot where small boats are often lost.  The answer is to be really patient waiting for the best weather and be really careful of the currents against winds. And (3) going north up the channels, you are in protected waters/flat seas but often very strong gusty cold winds close to hard rocky shoreline for several months and this can just grind you down a bit and cause fatigue and then a mistake.  You just need to be on your toes all the time.  My wife was terribly frustrated with me the first time we went up the channels because she wanted to see everything and I was being super super (over) careful because it scared me a bit. She and I were both much happier the second time when we knew the drill and understood the situation better.

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On 11/23/2021 at 3:18 PM, estarzinger said:

The area represents a dramatic step-up in harshness and difficulty, even from the faroes/iceland cruising scene, so make sure you are ready to step way up.

I’ve sometimes wondered if there was a way to “grade” sailing routes, and by season and weather, as is done with rock and mountaineering climbing routes (Ex: F, Facile to ED, Extrement Difficile) —with a greater or lesser degree of “accuracy” (exposure, etc can be quite subjective, etc).  It’s all very hard to quantify, but reasonable efforts have been made, even though the N. America Yosemite Decimal System is different from the English, French, S. African, etc etc grading system.  Cape Horn can be the “Mt. Everest of sailing”, depending - but what does that really mean?   Certainly a ISAF Cat 0 race is objectively different from, say, a Cat 2 race.  Maybe Cape Horn is the Everest of sailing simply due to the effort of getting there (and it becomes the deadly K2 of sailing when it blows a major gale there?)  Is a N. Atlantic winter crossing “the same as” a segment of Southern Ocean crossing?  Etc. Who knows! :-). Kinda interesting to ponder.

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22 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

I’ve sometimes wondered if there was a way to “grade” sailing routes, and by season and weather, as is done with rock and mountaineering climbing routes (Ex: F, Facile to ED, Extrement Difficile) —with a greater or lesser degree of “accuracy” (exposure, etc can be quite subjective, etc).  It’s all very hard to quantify, but reasonable efforts have been made, even though the N. America Yosemite Decimal System is different from the English, French, S. African, etc etc grading system.  Cape Horn can be the “Mt. Everest of sailing”, depending - but what does that really mean?   Certainly a ISAF Cat 0 race is objectively different from, say, a Cat 2 race.  Maybe Cape Horn is the Everest of sailing simply due to the effort of getting there (and it becomes the deadly K2 of sailing when it blows a major gale there?)  Is a N. Atlantic winter crossing “the same as” a segment of Southern Ocean crossing?  Etc. Who knows! :-). Kinda interesting to ponder.

Problem there is you have to factor in the size & type of boat, unlike rock climbing where it's basically human skill.

So no, I don't think you could really do a lot.

FKT

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40 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

I’ve sometimes wondered if there was a way to “grade” sailing routes, and by season and weather, as is done with rock and mountaineering climbing routes (Ex: F, Facile to ED, Extrement Difficile) —with a greater or lesser degree of “accuracy” (exposure, etc can be quite subjective, etc).  It’s all very hard to quantify, but reasonable efforts have been made, even though the N. America Yosemite Decimal System is different from the English, French, S. African, etc etc grading system.  Cape Horn can be the “Mt. Everest of sailing”, depending - but what does that really mean?   Certainly a ISAF Cat 0 race is objectively different from, say, a Cat 2 race.  Maybe Cape Horn is the Everest of sailing simply due to the effort of getting there (and it becomes the deadly K2 of sailing when it blows a major gale there?)  Is a N. Atlantic winter crossing “the same as” a segment of Southern Ocean crossing?  Etc. Who knows! :-). Kinda interesting to ponder.

Re Cape Horn there is more than one way to skin a cat. The Atlantic way which is not without considerable risk or the Pacific way which is far simpler and safer. Thinking coming from Europe or N America here. The Pacific way would be my choice in the smaller class of yacht. From Europe or East Coast US/Canada to Panama then a big loop out east of the SE Pacific High and enter Chile at either Valdivia or Puerto Montt. That is what I plan to do later this year if all goes to plan. If things don't go to plan then it will be back to NZ . By the way NZ's borders will be opening to all ( fully vaxxed ) furriners at the end of March.

 

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On 11/24/2021 at 11:17 AM, SloopJonB said:

Anyone contemplating it should read Hal Roth's account of almost losing their Spencer 35 down there.

A very experienced couple in a very suitable boat that was only saved through the extreme assistance of the Chilean Navy.

Of all the places in Patagonia that Hal Roth could have chosen to anchor he anchored in the very very worst. Half a mile off shore and open to winds from any and every direction.

It was early days then and the knowledge bank was pretty empty so not passing judgement.

Nobody would dream of anchoring in such a place these days.

First pic is where he anchored and where he ended up on the beach, second is probably the chart he was using, that is near Canal Washington.The third pic was taken in the general vicinity.

It was late April, very nearly May. A bit late in the season.

 

The 'South American Pilot, 1929' does indeed describe Seagull anchorage as 'small but well sheltered' and 'only fit for small vessels' - I would suggest the author of that publication had a different idea than most of us  of what a 'small vessel' was.

Roth.jpg

Roth2.jpg

DSC_0307.jpg

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7 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

I’ve sometimes wondered if there was a way to “grade” sailing routes, and by season and weather, as is done with rock and mountaineering climbing routes (Ex: F, Facile to ED, Extrement Difficile) —with a greater or lesser degree of “accuracy” (exposure, etc can be quite subjective, etc).  It’s all very hard to quantify, but reasonable efforts have been made, even though the N. America Yosemite Decimal System is different from the English, French, S. African, etc etc grading system.  Cape Horn can be the “Mt. Everest of sailing”, depending - but what does that really mean?   Certainly a ISAF Cat 0 race is objectively different from, say, a Cat 2 race.  Maybe Cape Horn is the Everest of sailing simply due to the effort of getting there (and it becomes the deadly K2 of sailing when it blows a major gale there?)  Is a N. Atlantic winter crossing “the same as” a segment of Southern Ocean crossing?  Etc. Who knows! :-). Kinda interesting to ponder.

Isn't that assessment part of Passage planning ?   Wind rose and percentage of gales are the figures I look at for a start. Pilot charts are a good basic guide. 

Factor in your boat size, it's seakindliness and your crew tolerance and skill set

Derive a nominal passage time considering the likely percentages of heading vs wind direction and the likely sea state.   

Assign a difficulty figure for the given boat and crew .......

For legs in well forecast areas, variable winds, and good anchorages you can sometimes pick your conditions quite well and stack the odds. But in some areas it really doesn't work and you have to deal with what you get and be prepared for it.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, MikeJohns said:

Isn't that assessment part of Passage planning ?   Wind rose and percentage of gales are the figures I look at for a start. Pilot charts are a good basic guide. 

Factor in your boat size, it's seakindliness and your crew tolerance and skill set

Derive a nominal passage time considering the likely percentages of heading vs wind direction and the likely sea state.   

Assign a difficulty figure for the given boat and crew .......

For legs in well forecast areas, variable winds, and good anchorages you can sometimes pick your conditions quite well and stack the odds. But in some areas it really doesn't work and you have to deal with what you get and be prepared for it.

 

 

 

And develop a really good understanding of weather patterns and weather analysis.

Don't be bound by a schedule that makes you depart when other factors are screaming "wait."

Always have a plan B.

And rule one, "don't do stupid shit. It can cost you your boat, or get you killed."

The last one is the hardest one to consistently observe, at least for me.

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1 hour ago, accnick said:

And develop a really good understanding of weather patterns and weather analysis.

Don't be bound by a schedule that makes you depart when other factors are screaming "wait."

Always have a plan B.

And rule one, "don't do stupid shit. It can cost you your boat, or get you killed."

The last one is the hardest one to consistently observe, at least for me.

I enjoyed this report from some folks who were en route to Patagonia from the Galapagos and their Plan B was —after realizing they couldn’t easily actually make it to Patagonia after getting half way to Easter Island—bail on the plan several thousand miles out...and keep heading west toward Polynesia instead!  http://go2anna.blogspot.com/2015/02/40-days-211-flying-fish-later-on.html?m=1  (Had to do with the nature of the S. Pacific High and other weather factors that year.  I had no idea this sort of thing could happen.)

Re: don’t do stupid shit - I believe Evans’s dictum is, something like, “Always do the right thing, and do it well, when you first think of it.”  Well said.

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I only sailed a Cutlass once more than 30 years ago. Even then i thought it was a clumsy boat.

It went quite nice in about 18 knots of wind with the biggest headsail. Especially the arrangement of the tiller was really  strange.

If i was looking for a long keeled boat for long distance sailing in that size I would look for Marieholm or Great Dane 28 or Hallberg Rassy 29. But I do not know much about blue water sailing.

Holger

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8 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

I enjoyed this report from some folks who were en route to Patagonia from the Galapagos and their Plan B was —after realizing they couldn’t easily actually make it to Patagonia after getting half way to Easter Island—bail on the plan several thousand miles out...and keep heading west toward Polynesia instead!  http://go2anna.blogspot.com/2015/02/40-days-211-flying-fish-later-on.html?m=1  (Had to do with the nature of the S. Pacific High and other weather factors that year.  I had no idea this sort of thing could happen.)

Re: don’t do stupid shit - I believe Evans’s dictum is, something like, “Always do the right thing, and do it well, when you first think of it.”  Well said.

That was an interesting read, thank you.

Nobody said it was meant to be easy, its a long haul, but people do it - successfully - every year. Normally with a stop at Easter Island to break it up.

 

Less chance - especially if single handed - of succumbing to exhaustion and hypothermia which is a bit of a risk on the other side of the continent.

Also re small and heavy - on the Atlantic side I would prefer something with a little bit of size that can move along. The weather windows there are pretty short.

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44 minutes ago, Cisco said:

Normally with a stop at Easter Island to break it up.

For the pacific approach, we stopped at Gambier - nice anchorage unlike Easter. Had wanted to go there anyways and gave us a good angle on puerto montt.  A longer way, but once at sea, it is not a huge deal.  Interesting weather from there into puerto montt - one of the trips where clever weather routing was of real value.  For a small boat, the Pacific approach, however you do it is a pretty long offshore passage, and the approaches to puerto montt can be demanding . . .But I agree it is less tricky than the bottom of the Atlantic approach.

 

9 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Re: don’t do stupid shit - I believe Evans’s dictum is, something like, “Always do the right thing, and do it well, when you first think of it.”  Well said.

I might comment  . . . that is aspirational. Despite trying hard not too . . . I have done an amazing amount of stupid shit in my life . . . there is also quite some value once you have done something stupid to carefully think about your next step to make sure you then don't make it worse - you can usually dig yourself out of a hole but instead a lot of people's first reaction is to do something which just digs the hole deeper.

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5 hours ago, estarzinger said:

 For a small boat, the Pacific approach, however you do it is a pretty long offshore passage, and the approaches to puerto montt can be demanding . . .

There is the option of Valdivia followed by picking a good window to run down the outside to Boca del Guafo - about 200 and a bit miles.

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I've got these pictures from a book by Eric Tabarly in which he promotes his thoughts about full keeled boats being less safe than short keeled ones. Unfortunately the text is in Spanish and is not translated very well by google. Can anyone help with translation?

 

 

FullKeel1.jpg

FullKeel2.jpg

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First caption is

'A heavy hull with a long and slightly ballasted keel will hold up badly on a dry stick.'

'Tendency to capsize'

'Palo Seco ' has me tricked..  literaly 'dry stick'. 

Best I can think is that it means 'bare poles'.

What is 'bare poles' in Tabarly's native tongue, French?

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10 hours ago, Cisco said:

First caption is

'A heavy hull with a long and slightly ballasted keel will hold up badly on a dry stick.'

'Tendency to capsize'

'Palo Seco ' has me tricked..  literaly 'dry stick'. 

Best I can think is that it means 'bare poles'.

What is 'bare poles' in Tabarly's native tongue, French?

Here is my guess at a translation into fluent English.

A heavy boat with long keel and minimal ballast is a poor guarantee of keeping the stick dry.

Pen Duik III

  • light displacement
  • short keel
  • good form stability

The ideal boat for keeping the stick dry.

In this case I assume "the stick" is the mast. And keeping it dry refers to avoiding knockdowns or capsizes.

I assume keeping the stick dry is a Spanish idiom.

 

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3 hours ago, accnick said:

As I recall, it is believed he fell overboard. Hard to blame the boat for that.

yea (if I remember correctly), hit by the boom (edit: it might have been a gaff rather than the boom - not sure) while putting in a reef, knocked overboard, not wearing pfd or tether.  He was apparently hit pretty hard by the boom and speculation was he was unconscious when he hit the water.

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51 minutes ago, mckenzie.keith said:

Here is my guess at a translation into fluent English.

A heavy boat with long keel and minimal ballast is a poor guarantee of keeping the stick dry.

Pen Duik III

  • light displacement
  • short keel
  • good form stability

The ideal boat for keeping the stick dry.

In this case I assume "the stick" is the mast. And keeping it dry refers to avoiding knockdowns or capsizes.

I assume keeping the stick dry is a Spanish idiom.

 

Shoot. I am wrong. "Palo seco" means bare poles after all. I found it in a couple of spanish language references online. And capear refers to weathering a storm (in this context). I am not fluent in spanish but I can work out written spanish given enough time and an internet connection.

https://www.escuelabalearnautica.com/diccionario-nautico-escuela-balear

So it is:
A heavy boat with long keel and minimal ballast will fare poorly weathering a storm under bare poles.

 

Pen Duik III

  • light displacement
  • short keel
  • good form stability

The ideal boat for weathering a storm under bare poles.

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57 minutes ago, mckenzie.keith said:

A heavy boat with long keel and minimal ballast will fare poorly weathering a storm under bare poles.

 

Pen Duik III

  • light displacement
  • short keel
  • good form stability

The ideal boat for weathering a storm under bare poles.

Many thanks for the translation!

 

I found these pictures in Spanish but read the book they are from in English decades ago. There is a whole section about the difference in handling between heavy long keeled boats and lighter fin keeled ones. I'll try to find the title of the book in question.

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The images are from "Practical Yacht Handling" by Eric Tabarly.

Here's a part from it I found, also translated from Spanish:

 

“The boats that have the worst behavior when heaving too without sails (capa seca) are the ones with heavy displacement and a long keel, specially when the keel is not heavily ballasted. The long keel and the deep of the underwater hull offer a big resistance to lateral displacement…then the waves that break against the boat push the superstructure and as the underwater offers a big resistance, capsizing can occur.”

The ideal boat to heaving to without sails, is a light displacement with a finn keel with a good form stability. This kind of boat offers little resistance to lateral displacement and moves fast sideways…protecting the boat from breaking waves…”

 

 

 

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33 minutes ago, Voiled said:

The ideal boat to heaving to without sails, is a light displacement with a finn keel with a good form stability. This kind of boat offers little resistance to lateral displacement and moves fast sideways…protecting the boat from breaking waves…”

This makes sense.  It is the same issue as catamarans face, where those with fixed keels can't slide sideways from a breaking wave, and may capsize by tripping over their leeward keel.  Cats with retractable boards do better.

Similarly, the French dériveurs lestés (i.e. boats with unballasted centreboards) aim to make up for their lack of righting moment by not tripping over a keel.

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2 hours ago, Voiled said:

The ideal boat to heaving to without sails, is a light displacement with a finn keel with a good form stability. 

hmmmm . . . .'heaving to without sails' is more contemporarily called lying ahull, and was more common back then; the consensus viewpoint today is that it is one of the worst possible storm tactics - fine for waiting for say daylight in moderate weather but just asking to get rolled in breaking waves. The post fastnet tank testing suggested that was true across the broad range of potential designs, in fact with heavy full keel boats being lightly less prone to it - but only slightly, the first order effect was that it was determined to be a bad tactic for almost all keel monohulls (lift keels and multis do have a different profile, but even for lift keels it is generally not viewed as the best way to handle breaking waves - running is usually viewed as a better option).

So while Eric was a seaman's god - he may well have been mistaken in this.

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Lying ahull might not be the best storm tactic but it's basically the only one available when boat, crew or both are incapacitated.

 

Found the post Fastnet report including the tank tests "An investigation into the stability of sailing yachts in large breaking waves":

https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/43259/1/015.pdf

One of the authors is Andy Claughton who also wrote a chapter in "Heavy Weather Sailing".

I'll include the first three chapters of the book:

"Yacht design and construction for heavy weather" by OLIN STEPHENS

"The stability of yachts in large breaking waves" by ANDREW CLAUGHTON

"The influence of heavy weather on yacht design" by PETER BRUCE

 

Peter Bruce a racing yachtsman and author of this sixth edition of Heavy Weather Sailing, not to be confused with Bruce Peters.

 

 

1383826762_First3ChaptersHeavyweathersailing.pdf

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8 hours ago, estarzinger said:

hmmmm . . . .'heaving to without sails' is more contemporarily called lying ahull, and was more common back then; the consensus viewpoint today is that it is one of the worst possible storm tactics - fine for waiting for say daylight in moderate weather but just asking to get rolled in breaking waves. The post fastnet tank testing suggested that was true across the broad range of potential designs, in fact with heavy full keel boats being lightly less prone to it - but only slightly, the first order effect was that it was determined to be a bad tactic for almost all keel monohulls (lift keels and multis do have a different profile, but even for lift keels it is generally not viewed as the best way to handle breaking waves - running is usually viewed as a better option).

So while Eric was a seaman's god - he may well have been mistaken in this.

May be we are collectively wrong but here it is still accepted that long keel boats trip over their keel and that on such a boat you absolutely don't want to spend anytime exposing yourself to bad waves hitting you from the side.

Running is always the best tactic as long as you have leeward room.... when that is not the case, you have to think of an alternative and progressing slowly to windward with just a storm jib is often said to be the best option.

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12 hours ago, estarzinger said:

yea (if I remember correctly), hit by the boom (edit: it might have been a gaff rather than the boom - not sure) while putting in a reef, knocked overboard, not wearing pfd or tether.  He was apparently hit pretty hard by the boom and speculation was he was unconscious when he hit the water.

The boat was running at around 9 knots. Knocked over by the gaff when lowering the main.  Estimate of 3 to 4 m seas, no lifelines, no harnesses, no life jackets, no lighted danbuoy to throw over….   Safety wasn’t a priority with Taberly for himself.

 The Helmsman (Erwan Quéméré) wanted to come up on the wind to lower the Gaff but Taberly was against it.

After Taberly went over he was alive and shouted a command that I'd expect was something very sensible;  probably “ Luff Up….”  But the crew didn't understand and weren't proficient enough to react quickly, they took all the sails down and then to their surprise it took 3 hours to get back to the MOB position against the weather. The motor was only 18hp !

 

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1 hour ago, Panoramix said:

May be we are collectively wrong but here it is still accepted that long keel boats trip over their keel and that on such a boat you absolutely don't want to spend anytime exposing yourself to bad waves hitting you from the side.

Running is always the best tactic as long as you have leeward room.... when that is not the case, you have to think of an alternative and progressing slowly to windward with just a storm jib is often said to be the best option.

Accepted by who?   It's urban myth as far as naval architecture is concerned, put to rest with research institute testing in the 80's and 90's. 

In comprehensive tests, no light fin keel model surfed beam to the waves. Wide or narrow in beam the model was always and without exception, knocked over to a greater angle that the heavier full keeled hullforms tested. Up to the point where they all go over.

But beam on to breaking waves, the only design factor to really make a boat safe is relative size.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, MikeJohns said:

In comprehensive tests, no light fin keel model surfed beam to the waves.

Can you provide links to the relevant parts of these tests you mention? I figure most light fin keeled boats will surf in many of SA's readership experience.

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4 hours ago, Voiled said:

Lying ahull might not be the best storm tactic but it's basically the only one available when boat, crew or both are incapacitated.

Mostly disagree.

If you have any drag devices (either para-anchor or series drogue), they would (generally) be better. And you should if you are doing 'serious' offshore stuff.  Works if the steering and/or rig is 'incapacitated'. If you don't have one is possible to cobble together something, other people have done, but I dont personally have any direct experience with cobbling so I can't comment on what needs to be done to make then actually truly effective.  And if you are prepared it is little, almost no effort to deploy a series drogue - if even one crew man can crawl to the transom and push a bag overboard, you can deploy it.

There are other techniques that can work depending on the specific situation and what is actually 'disabled/incapacitated', but they are situational dependant.  If the stick is still up, some vessels will either forereach pretty well on their own (our last boat did) and others will heave to pretty well (our first ketch did).  There might be an 'upper limit' to breaking waves for these two techniques (when you want to switch to drag techniques) but just to note that forereaching was a successful technique in the big Sydney to Hobart breaking waves (although yes those boats were very twitchy designs and did need human helm helm to accomplish it).

Side note: vessel incapacitated/disabled .... could mean the stick is down/off . . . . I know that affects stability greatly, and the boat rolls more with the stick off,  but I am not aware of much testing or research into 'best' approaches to storm tactics in that situation - drag devices would still on the face of it seem the best.

Edit: but yes, I can see some very specific situation where I can agree that the only available option is lying ahull, but (in my experience, having studied lots of incident reports) that would seem to be a pretty narrow situation.  And then my sense is that you are mostly at the whims of luck, does that one badly shaped wave hit you just wrong or not.

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Can one safely deploy a drogue from the bow during a breaking sea event and, if so, would the boat ride better? Or would that put too much strain on the rudder? 

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5 hours ago, MikeJohns said:

Accepted by who?   It's urban myth as far as naval architecture is concerned, put to rest with research institute testing in the 80's and 90's. 

In comprehensive tests, no light fin keel model surfed beam to the waves. Wide or narrow in beam the model was always and without exception, knocked over to a greater angle that the heavier full keeled hullforms tested. Up to the point where they all go over.

But beam on to breaking waves, the only design factor to really make a boat safe is relative size.

 

 

 

Let's call it local common wisdom! We learn to deal with bad weather by being proactive and a long keel boat tends to become a"sitting duck"

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2 minutes ago, Panoramix said:

Let's call it local common wisdom! We learn to deal with bad weather by being proactive and a long keel boat tends to become a"sitting duck"

Yeah, maybe, once meeting a horrendous squall in the ITCZ I did what my boat does best: ran off at high speed under very shortened sail. After a couple of hours of going very very fast in the most wrong direction, I came to think that all I was doing was staying in the squall front.

Will never know how that would have compared to some form of wallowing in one place. Was certainly more comfortable and thrilling than yaw, roll and crash.

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3 hours ago, Voiled said:

Can you provide links to the relevant parts of these tests you mention? I figure most light fin keeled boats will surf in many of SA's readership experience.

He's talking about surfing sideways while beam on to the seas not how we normally do it. 

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2 hours ago, estarzinger said:

Mostly disagree.

If you have any drag devices (either para-anchor or series drogue), they would (generally) be better. And you should if you are doing 'serious' offshore stuff.  Works if the steering and/or rig is 'incapacitated'. If you don't have one is possible to cobble together something, other people have done, but I dont personally have any direct experience with cobbling so I can't comment on what needs to be done to make then actually truly effective.  And if you are prepared it is little, almost no effort to deploy a series drogue - if even one crew man can crawl to the transom and push a bag overboard, you can deploy it.

There are other techniques that can work depending on the specific situation and what is actually 'disabled/incapacitated', but they are situational dependant.  If the stick is still up, some vessels will either forereach pretty well on their own (our last boat did) and others will heave to pretty well (our first ketch did).  There might be an 'upper limit' to breaking waves for these two techniques (when you want to switch to drag techniques) but just to note that forereaching was a successful technique in the big Sydney to Hobart breaking waves (although yes those boats were very twitchy designs and did need human helm helm to accomplish it).

Side note: vessel incapacitated/disabled .... could mean the stick is down/off . . . . I know that affects stability greatly, and the boat rolls more with the stick off,  but I am not aware of much testing or research into 'best' approaches to storm tactics in that situation - drag devices would still on the face of it seem the best.

Edit: but yes, I can see some very specific situation where I can agree that the only available option is lying ahull, but (in my experience, having studied lots of incident reports) that would seem to be a pretty narrow situation.  And then my sense is that you are mostly at the whims of luck, does that one badly shaped wave hit you just wrong or not.

We spent more than 24 hours broad reaching under bare poles in hurricane Grace, the southern component of the Perfect Storm in late 1991. We were delivering a big old aluminum early IOR boat from New England to Bermuda. It was a 61' Jim McCurdy design, with a relatively narrow undistorted hull and deep (11') keel.

The boat reached reasonably comfortably in those conditions at about 7 1/2 knots with no sail up, although it was a bit sluggish to respond in the troughs. 

Winds were a steady 55-60 knots, with extended periods of hurricane force. Base seas were about 25-30 feet, with extended sets of 40'+. Waves were steep enough that the crests were breaking over the boat at times, so it was not exactly a walk in the park.

Nevertheless, we were pretty confident we were going to be OK. We had an injured skipper, so we had no choice but to try to get the boat home to Bermuda.

With the waves just aft of abeam, we were never knocked down more than about 45 degrees. But that boat is a heavy boat with a range of positive stability of 147 degrees, so it is far from typical.

Under the same circumstances today, I would do the same thing with that boat, and would adapt that technique to a smaller boat, probably with the addition of the storm staysail on the inner furler on my 40-footer to get a little bit of power.  Reaching like that, I would want the center of effort of any sail area just a bit forward.

With a boat that is making some forward way, you feel a bit more in control.

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