I'm looking for a little advise about weathering out a storm in open water. This weekend we were sailing in open water and a sudden large storm came up on us (50 mph winds, gusts to 70). To weather it out we brought in all the sails and turn on our 14 hp diesel. It was a pretty wild ride but we made it through. When we got in, another sailor told me about using a sea anchor to weather storms. What do you think?....sea anchor or engine?
How about heaving to ? .... how'd that engine do in those seas and winds. Same thing happened to me a couple of weeks ago. On reflection, I wondered if I might have been better off heaving to but we were much too close to lee shore. Engine and boat performed great... 40 MPH for 3/4 of an hr. Hope it doesn't happen for a long time....if ever again.
Where were you ? and did you have access to info on how long it was going to last
suky-- why heave to--if the boat and you are good together and all is well, and with the current and wind, dont even need engine. against tide/current and against weather, yes, do need engine..
in the sloop the engine just barely kept up when we sailed against weather---i find i dont like sailing into wind--is hard on boat and people-- bashes hard and is tiresome work. my formosa is aweeome--i dont sail to weather, but weather to beam and abaft us is awesome/ engine only when speed is less than 2.0 kts, and reefed mizzen and reefed or not jib as weather sees fit.
until you are comfy sailing big weather, heaving to is a good idea-- but the lil winds last such lil time, i find just sailing thru is easiest. have to watch sky and sea for any changes to tell you when to reef....not allis predictable
john--in the gulf, we rolled in the jib until we werent on the proverbial edge anymore-- sometimes we furled it in to leave only 1/3 of it out, or even 1/4 only, once we left out only a corner and still flew!! --
with my formosa, in the pacific, we did first reeef points on mizzen and 3 full rolls of jib and weathered well a 60+ kts wind squall in pacific---hit us hard and lasted a few hours--was a great ride, as boat speed was 8+kts in my brick....!!!!
we used NO engine in the weather--no need to do so--we werent going to weather...
if you can sail the weather, why heave to...the sailing is actually awesome in many storms. extreme strorms ion gulf i like to seek shelter from. i have sailed "severe" storms in the gulf , according to noaa......
I have used all the methods so far described and they all worked. As some have already mentioned, it depends on the strength and duration of the strong winds and the sea room available. So try them all and get an understanding of how you and your boat handle different wind and sea conditions with the various methods.
We hove to one night as the wind kept increasing, a few hours later the wind was way too strong for that method so deployed a parachute and put sails away. 3 days later recovered the parachute after weathering our first(and last!!!) Tropical Revolving Storm. After recovering the parachute we had difficulty keeping the boat below 14 knots under bare poles, so trailed many lines behind and they then kept our speed in the 8 knot range. Slower is much safer!!
i sail thru em. is best way to be rid of em.
Personally, I prefer to heave too. This works up to 80 knots wind. From personal experence, this has alway,s worked. If you don,t know how to heave too, get Lin & larry Pardey's dvd on heavy weather sailing, he makes it simple to understand.