Hurricane on Kimberlite

kimberlite <kimberlite@...>

Ok if I must -

We were about 350 miles southeast of New York just approaching the Gulf
Stream we expected 45 + knots to sail in which we have done many times
before. . A couple of lows came together and we were stuck. Herb Hilgenberg
asked how long it would take to get to land and I said 2 days. He said we
would have to ride it out. And to expect Survival conditions. He also said
do not enter the northerly flowing meander of the Gulf Stream. Which was 60
miles to our east. The wind built and built until we had all sails down and
launched our Jordan series drogue. (my second time-don't leave home without
it) At that time the wind was approaching 55-60 Knots. The only problem with
the drogue was that it was a little close to the backstays so we had to
watch the chafe gear carefully. I will have to re rig the backstays in the
future. On the drogue we were still making 3 - 31/2 knots to the east. We
recorded 67 knots steady wind and gusting I estimate to 75-80 Knots . As the
time went on the seas became huge and broke over the boat at least 12 times.
A number of times from the side slamming the boat over. As I am sure you
know the drogue is launched over the stern and rides stern to the waves. You
are also not able to steer the boat.

We had one person on watch at all times in case we had to cut the drogue
away to miss an oncoming ship I called a number of ships ,one as close as
one mile away and we were not seen in these seas.

The cockpit was pooped and filled many times and drained in less than 30
seconds. That Night we heard a coast guard c-130 airplane on channel 16
looking for 3 crew in the water. Later 2 were found and the skipper dead in
the life raft. The boat, a swan 44 was lost. We also heard from Bermuda
radio that two boats were abandoned near Bermuda.

The next day according to Herb the wind had blown the gulf stream over 60
miles further east, I was very concerned in entering the stream and was
happy that we had been given another 20 hour reprieve before entering the
stream.. Much later that day about 10 miles from the stream the waves
changed direction and the winds dropped to 45-50 knots. We made a bee line
south to the easterly flowing stream 60 miles away. The stream was very
Lumpy and confused when we entered but made it through. After that Herb
said that we should put into Bermuda as there was another storm coming and
my crew had been pretty beaten up.

I must say that I was very impressed with Herb Hilgenberg. He normally comes
on at 4 PM EST. He also came on the radio at 9Am to see if we made it
through the night. He did this for 3 days. It sure was good to hear a
friendly voice in that torrent.

Thanks Herb !!!

Fortunately we made 2 days of 200 miles plus and beat the next storm to
Bermuda. In fact I saw the spit Buoy very clearly as we passed east of
Bermuda. We kept trucking and beat the storm. After 6 days we finally saw
the Sun for a few hours.

We arrived in St Martin in a total of 11 days including 36 hours on a
drogue. Good time!!

Unfortunately the St Martin Lagoon Bridge was broken so we had to stay out
for a few days until it was fixed.

It seems we were the only boat that made it to The Caribbean from the
northeast at that time .

I also want to say that I had a new Doyle sail Made for my boat this fall
here in New York. It is a very strong sail and had a great shape even when
rolled to les than 50 % it is about a 110% headsail and about 10 Oz
material. I was very impressed with this Sail. I had a mail order sail made
the previous year but it did not hold up and had a lousy shape when it was
furled. I believe a heavy weather sail like this must be measured on your

I always go offshore with a heavy weather headsail. If I have light air I
put up a Gennaker or a screecher.

The only damage we suffered was that the tabs that held the doghouse
enclosure down to the cockpit sole tore due to the strong wind blowing on
it. The enclosure held even when facing into very high winds we were all
impressed as we thought it would blow out at 50 knots. Also, a number of
the Jordan series drogue cones were shredded due to the force of the water.

That's the short story.

Fair Winds,


Amel Super Maramu #376 Kimberlite


From: amelyachtowners@...
[mailto:amelyachtowners@...] On Behalf Of dlm48@...
Sent: Friday, December 12, 2008 2:56 PM
To: amelyachtowners@...
Subject: Re: [Amel] Tayana

well you can just post that teaser and leave it like
that...................going from where to where? why were you out there in
these conditions? then what actions did you take to survive them? also
looking back what would you do differently apart from stay in port of

thanks in anticipation

kindest regards


-----Original Message-----
From: kimberlite <kimberlite@optonlin <>>
To: amelyachtowners@ <>
Sent: Fri, 12 Dec 2008 2:23 am
Subject: RE: [Amel] Tayana

Having have just been through Hurricane force winds last month for about 36

hours I can swear to the seaworthiness of the Amel Super Maramu #376

Kimberlite we had waves roll over the boat at least 12 times completely

submerging the cockpit and deck.. We regularly sail in 40-50 knots with no

ill effects this was the strongest winds we have ever experienced. We

recorder steady winds of 67 knots gusting to an estimated 80-85 knots. . .

Our weather forecaster said to be prepared for survival conditions. We were

the only boat between New York and Bermuda to survive the winds and huge

seas . We have been in many storms and gales. I doubt that there is any boat

that holds a candle to an Amel. During the Hurricane 3 boats went down 3

people in the water one dead.

We arrived in St Martin non stop with no damage whatsoever.

Fair Winds,


Amel Super Maramu #376 Kimberlite


From: amelyachtowners@ <>

[mailto:amelyachtowners@ <>] On Behalf Of dlm48@... <>

Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2008 4:53 PM

To: amelyachtowners@ <>

Subject: Re: [Amel] Tayana

-----Original Message-----

?Truly dont understand the question my view of Amel owners is that there is

only one boat for them and that is an Amel and even for newbies once they

have seen an Amel that is it game set and match.



--- On Thu, 12/11/08, c_fruendt <c_fruendt@yahoo.

<> com> wrote:

From: c_fruendt <c_fruendt@yahoo. <> com>

Subject: [Amel] Tayana

To: amelyachtowners@ <>

Date: Thursday, December 11, 2008, 12:29 AM

Hi folks, as i wrote earlier i am screening the market in europe for a

Maramu or Santorin. In october i was in Antibes, only SM available

here, and by cance i good inspect a Tayana 52 which was lying next to a

SM. Ofcourse these are different boats but the price for the Tayana is

quite interesting ( half of a SM ) and the space below deck is really

nice, much better salon then a maramu. Does anyone here has any

exeprince with Tayana and can compare it to the maramu. ofcourse ketch

and slup rig are quite bif difference, tho open aft cockpit is another

on. At anchor maybe better then the amel but at sea i assume it feels

safer in the Amel etc.

Thanks for any advice

Howard Berger


Thanks for sharing the details of your adventure, which you skippered
masterfully. We used Herb all the way to Europe and back and his
dedication is amazing. "Roger, Roger, Herb!"

Howard Berger
s/v JAZZ
Maramu 144

Daniel Alexander Thompson

Hi David 

I hope to soon install chainplates for attaching the bridle of a Jordan series drogue to my Amel Mango.

My understanding is that the max theoretical load on any single chainplate will be seven and a half tonnes.

I am considering removing and reattaching an aft section of the rubbing strake to attach the plates to both the gunwale and the hull. Do you have any advice for me vs the dimensions of the plates and the backing plates? 

Oronia Mango #14
Monastir, Tunisia.

John Stoll
J. Stoll