Re: Storm tactics


Hi Mike,

We got caught in a slow moving front last spring with 35-40kts with gusts over 45 from the N (where we wanted to go). We didn’t want to run S with the storm and lose a lot of ground, and tacking into 8-12 ft seas didn’t seem like much fun (and probably wouldn’t have gotten us very far N). We hove to for almost 48 hours with a small handkerchief of jib and about 1/2 of the mizzen, drifting directly downwind. The slick we created to windward calmed any breakers (only one small breaker slapped the boat in all that time), the motion was benign, and we lost only 50 miles in two days.

In thunderstorms with high winds, I reduce sail as the storm approaches, and if there is room, I keep the wind on the aft quarter until it abates. It often changes direction continuously as the storm passes, it can take an hour or more until the prevailing winds return.

SM 243

On Jul 23, 2019, at 10:28 PM, Mike Ondra via Groups.Io <> wrote:

During our recent passage from Boston to the Chesapeake Bay we experienced two severe thunderstorms. In one winds reached 40 kn sustained with gusts to 55 kn for about 10 minutes at the severest. Fortunately the storms were relatively short duration and the seas were confused not having had a chance to organize and build significantly. Our tactic was to motor into the wind with bare poles. At 40+ knots even at full throttle we could barely maintain rudder control as we made way at around 2+/- knots: The wind would push the bow 20 to 30° off course before recovery under autopilot. We did not try hand steering as the auto pilot was doing an OK job in general. It’s seems that in any greater amount of wind or with a more significantly organized sea this tactic would have put us broadside to the wind and waves and then who knows what?
Drouges and see anchors make a lot of sense for longer duration storms. Thoughts on storm tactics for short duration events such as this?
Mike Ondra
Aletes SM 240
Rock Hall, MD

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