Hurricane Avoidance Options

Right semicircle of a tropical cyclone Left semicircle of a tropical cyclone Put the wind at 160 degrees off the starboard bow and make the best possible course and speed into the left semicircle. Put the wind at 045 degrees off the starboard bow and attempt to make the best possible course and speed to escape to the right. Wind and waves may make this extremely difficult or impossible. Put the wind at 135 degrees off the starboard bow and make the best possible course and speed to escape to...

Info

Hurricanes occur in the Pacific on the west coast of Central America and Mexico ( 2 on the map) and sweep to the northwest. This area experiences an average of seven or eight tropical storms each year from May to November. In the Far East, hurricanes (called typhoons) develop in the Philippines and China Sea ( 3) and travel northward toward China, Taiwan, and Japan. In this region there are about 18 typhoons each year, which can occur in any month. February has the least June to December have...

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A trace of the Draupner oil rig platform New Year's Day wave in the North Sea in1995, which changed oceanographers perception ofsuperwaves. up a trial program called MaxWave to learn about these giant waves how they form, how long they last, and whether they can be predicted. Every year dozens of big ships disappear at sea, with the cause generally blamed on fire or poor maintenance. Could giant waves be the culprit or a main part of the cause Do we need to improve the designs of ships and...

Forecaster Nash

What the 1-2-3 Rule amounts to is that although the present position of a storm can be known with reasonable certainty (within 30 nautical miles in the case of Tropical Storm Ioke), the further into the future you attempt to forecast the storm's position, the less precise your forecast becomes. A mariner would like to know where the storm will be tomorrow and the day after that and so on. This is possible, but only at the cost of increasing uncertainty. So what's done is to plot the...

Lets Lie AHull

When a boat is hove-to under shortened canvas and the wind and seas increase, the balance of the yacht can be upset. The sails may start to shake and the yacht's motion may become nervous and unsteady. Each yacht acts differently depending on 3. The amount of sail that's up and how the area is adjusted. 4. The windage of the hull, deck structures, exposed dinghies, dodgers, cockpit weather cloths, biminis, furled sails, and so on. With more wind, the hove-to boat may put half her side deck...

The Chafe Problem

Chafe of the line at the bow and attachment point is a big concern. A user needs to take extreme care to protect this line at this point because in a storm the boat will be skipping about in every direction and continually yawing, pitching, and rolling. This subjects the line to strains in all directions, and these moves can drastically change the lead. A wave from an odd direction may turn the yacht so that the line to the parachute is pulled over metal parts or the hull itself in directions...

Parachutes in the sea

The basic notion is simplicity itself. If you get overtaken by a great storm, you drop a substantial nylon parachute in the water and connect it to the bow of the sailboat with a very long nylon line. As the strong gale or storm-force wind blows the yacht downwind, the horizontal line tugs at the parachute, which opens and fills with water and becomes an almost stationary point in the sea. When large waves sweep past the boat, the nylon line tightens and stretches, and tends to align the yacht...

What is a sea anchor

Rnli Sailing Lifeboat

He concept of a sea anchor for small vessels in storms is as old as seafaring itself. The idea seems to have come from the notion that if all else fails, the crew can tie a bundle of oars, masts, poles, awning battens, and anything that's handy on deck to the end of a long line. Then if the people on board toss this collection of odds and ends over the side and lead the line to the bow, the boat, being larger and with more wind resistance, will blow downwind faster than the sea anchor. The...

Safe in the Cabin

During severe weather the best place for everyone except the lookout or helmsman is below in the cabin. During the days before leaving the harbor, you or one of the crew or yard workers presumably screwed down all the floorboards. There are restraints (fiddles or strings) on all the shelves, and the pots and pans and loose things in the galley are tucked away after each meal. Each drawer should have a generous toggle or strong hardware to keep it closed, and underneath lockers should have their...

Storm Trysail

Trysail Sail Mounting

An alternative to a third reef in the mainsail is to fly a storm trysail. It can be made of the same fabric as the mainsail say 8- or 9-ounce Dacron, depending on the size of the boat soft fabric is easier to store. Trysails are sometimes edged with 1-inch nylon tape, which makes them very strong for their size. A trysail eases the rolling of the boat, and together with a small jib can drive a vessel close to windward in moderate sea conditions, although reaching is usually the sail's best...

A few notes on reefing the sails

Every novice sailor learns about reefing that is, making big sails small by reducing the area exposed to the wind. Since 90 of recreational sailing yachts have a Bermudian sloop rig with a single mast, let's consider how to reef the mainsail when the wind increases. The mainsail generally goes up and down on slides that run in a track on the after side of the mast. To reef the mainsail you head the vessel into the wind. This takes all the pressure off the sail, which then flaps like a flag in...

Passage planning the best time to go

Most people think about long sailing trips for months or years in advance. Where will you be heading How much time will it take Who will crew the boat Are there good anchorages What about money Do you have a list of special places to see Will you be making crew changes along the way If so, is there a convenient airport with reasonable service and a suitable place for your crew to stay if you're delayed a few days Oh yes, work out in advance who is going to pay which bills. Finally, will you be...

An overview

Before we begin, let's put this storm business in perspective. I know my own experiences best, so let me talk about them. During the past 40 years I've sailed some 200,000 miles on the world's oceans either alone or with my wife. These voyages include eleven trips across the Atlantic, five voyages across the Pacific, and three trips around the world including two via the Southern Ocean when I sailed to 58 south. I've gone around Cape Horn three times, anchored in the outer Aleutian Islands,...

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O far we've had a careful look at a number of storm management tools 5. Using a parachute sea anchor. Now we'll examine the other half of the fifth option of storm controls the use of a drogue or drag device towed behind a vessel to slow her if she picks up too much speed from strong wind and waves coming from astern. A drogue helps maintain reasonable steering control, and if the vessel is overtaken by a breaking wave, the drogue tends to hold the stern of the boat into the overtaking wave....

Bow or stern which

Towing Vessel Bridle

So far we've gone through five different storm management schemes for fore-and-aft-rigged monohull sailing boats 25 to 55 feet in length. I've attempted to cover all the arguments for and against each technique. To sum up, I propose the following actions 1. Deep reefs in the mainsail a smaller headsail. 2. Heave-to by adjusting the sails. 3. Lie a-hull. No sails up in regular seas. 4. Run off, perhaps with a tiny storm jib at the bow. 5. Employ a parachute sea anchor from the bow or a drogue...