Re :[Amel Yacht Owners] Slowing down in increasing winds

christian alby <calbyy@...>

Hi there,
Just arrived in Funchal, Madeira, after 27 days crossing, beating most of the time, & rerouted from original destination Horta, due to  stormy conditipns SW of Azores on the 16-17/04.
Headed East in 45 kn winds, gusting 50+, & 7 M waves (weather report confimed) with period 11" crossed.
Mainsail down to 3rd reef, mizzen down to 2nd, genoa rolled down to 1/4, then replaced by 17sqm jib (heavy, stiff), beating all the way during 28 hrs at 60° off the wind.
Speed over ground 7 to 9 kn in wildest gusts.
Our Big Mama of a Maramu (only 46 ft) took it quietly, rudder kept soft & easy to handle as long as we kept the speed; worst was when luffing (change of helmsman).
We then had a good 8 days beating in 35-40 kn winds (increasing to 40 at night).
Never would have gone for escaping by running downwind, even though close to the decision if the sea had been rougher, then planned on furling the main & running with mizzen 2 reefs + 17sqm jib on a pole at 130° - 150° off the wind, depending on waves conditions.
Read Adlard Coles, heard the stories, shared experience & still believe that our boats are so rigid that they can handle the speed & keep going in rough conditions.
Heave to would be my way out in super heavy cpnditions.
Otherwise, weathe reports & barometer, & an eye for clouds formations give a good warning to choose escape routes.

Christian alby - Desirade VIII - maramu 116 - Nova marina Funchal

Le mar., mai 1, 2018 à 21:50, David Vogel dbv_au@... [amelyachtowners]
a écrit :

Hi all,

The greatest winds we have experienced on PERIGEE have been 35 knots sustained, gusting 42, estimated 6 meter seas, all on the beam.  Even with fully reefed sails, it was a strong ride, but not uncomfortable.  It never got to the stage of thinking to go to bare poles.

But it did raise the question about how, and when, to slow down.

We carry some old 5/8ths hauling line with about 3 meters of chain, plus an old tyre, to add drag if needed.  And a Jordan Series Drogue for if things get really tough.

I have heard suggestions from other cruisers to run out line with fenders attached every 10 or so meters, with chain or an anchor at the end.  For example, at 35kts, drop the chain/anchor overboard and run out 10-15 meters of line, then attach a fender, and then run out  another 10-15 metes of line.  At 40knots, add another fender, and run out some more line.  At 45knots, heave-to.  I do not wish to be cavalier, but these wind-speeds seem a little low for a Super Maramu as, based on my experience, our boats can handle these conditions with relish.

What are your reefing points, heavy weather plans or storm tactics?  I'd be interested to hear from those with experience.  And also, at what wind-speed or sea-state would you call for the JSD, or other big-drag-device?

Thanks in anticipation of your responses.

Perigee, SM#396

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