Re: Storm tactics

ngtnewington Newington

Heave to under small amount of mizzen or main and scrap of jib backwinded. Lash helm such that the boat sits at about 50 degrees from the wind. She should for-reach at about 2-5 knots.
Then have a cup of tea, relax and assess. You will be amazed at how comfy this is. You should practice the tactic in 25 kn.
I have used this tactic in many situations on various boats. On one occasion for 48 hours on passage to New Zealand from Tonga in 1991.
I also use it when I want to slow down for a day light entry and sometimes if it is rough to just make a good meal and take it easy.

In general I believe one should always keep sailing until the wind really gets out of hand. That is until you can no longer heave to, I mean that the boat can not set any sail at all. At which point there are various options:
1. Running with it under bare poles. This works but you need sea room and if it is in generally the right direction makes sense. If not then:
a. Jordan series rogue
b. Lie with no sails and leave the boat to it. This is pretty horrible and can be dangerous in big seas but for example after the Fastnet race of 1979 there were many abandoned boats floating undamaged when the storm passed.
Amelia AML 54-019 in Preveza Greece.

On 24 Jul 2019, at 05:28, 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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