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Got in some trouble in rough seas.. What'd i do?

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Got in some trouble in rough seas.. What'd i do?

Postby island808 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:43 pm

EDIT, i read up on it... Seems biggest mistake was being out upwind of my destination and not watching behind me as i would try to juke towards shore.

the details may be a bit sketchy as details are when things happen that fast. Rough seas they were, but didnt have any problem powering up wind, i was hardly alone on the bay. Plenty of other small craft. I circled round the lighthouse and headed back.

Nearly got rolled by 2 large waves approaching in close succession from nearly directly astern.

Choppy seas, occasional larger waves (2 feet maybe but large for the bay) wind was apparently gusting to 20 and was generally steady at 12 knots. Beautiful in the river though :)
Last edited by island808 on Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Got in some trouble in rough seas.. What'd i do?

Postby JohnCFI » Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:57 pm

Without wishing to be rude, but it sounds that you might benefit from going on a boat handling course, even on enclosed waters there can be some serious water conditions, and it is rule 1 to know the expected conditions that you will be going out in.

Good luck for your future ventures, I hope your admiral gets over the fright.
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Re: Got in some trouble in rough seas.. What'd i do?

Postby island808 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:04 pm

I edited the original message as it was babbling and embarrassing, and out on the internet.

I just told the wife, its not a boat problem, its a pilot problem. Made the wrong turn at the wrong time, lesson learned. Considering how well the rest of the day went, i think we're good. Think i was going a bit too fast. Was anxious to get into sheltered waters and fast worked upwind. (In my slight defense, she's the navigator and in charge of weather.)

I have taken a class, but my experience is nil. It would be nice if i had an experienced friend to come out with me and correct my actions. Im going to hit up some reading.

Looks like i was right in my technique and failed in my execution / SA after reading up on it.

Tried to go directly downwind, but that wouldnt get me home.

I just chose to, or got pushed to turn at the exact wrong time. Apparently downwind on rough seas just sucks. Slow or Heave to is the advice given by the internet.

So, question might better be, how do i cut across the wind. I figure tacking up then turning back.

As to class. I may be a novice pilot but i have experience around the docks... Used to be a gas monkey at a marina and would frequently have to move people into the docks when they were drunk or incompetent. The class had a few good reminders, but, mostly common sense. Would have to get into something more advanced to get info on handling anything. Their advise was all dropping anchor, calling mayday. Ridiculous in retrospect. Maybe i can craigslist a mentor.
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Re: Got in some trouble in rough seas.. What'd i do?

Postby DaveB » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:35 pm

Takes awhile to handle any boat. A following sea can take hold of your boat and cause the boat to do rapid speed down the waves off a quarter or down wind direction. In seas you described that's only a min. change and easy to correct once wave goes thru.
Seas in 4-5 ft. following you need to go with the flow and if not breaking surf them, if breaking and short distance it's best to take them 30 degrees off the quarter and round up at bottom of trough.
Downwind can be very welcome if you know how to sail and I love it in 20 knots of wind with jib reefed 4 turns and poled out with a whisker adjustable pole.
!5 knots ,full main and pole out the full Jib.
This probably doesn't mean much to you...but it will after you know your boat.
Dave


island808 wrote:I have, but my experience is nil. It would be nice if i had an experienced friend to come out with me and correct my actions. Im going to hit up some reading.

Looks like i was right in my technique and failed in my execution / SA after reading up on it.

Tried to go directly downwind, but that wouldnt get me home.

I just chose to, or got pushed to turn at the exact wrong time. Apparently downwind on rough seas just sucks. Slow or Heave to is the advice given by the internet.

So, question might better be, how do i cut across the wind. I figure tacking up then turning back.
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Re: Got in some trouble in rough seas.. What'd i do?

Postby yukonbob » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:45 pm

Should have been a perfect sailing day in the water. These boats (as we've discussed on other threads) are not small craft. A small craft advisory (which this was not) is for skiffs and runabouts. Just ran 16 miles back to port in a SCA this morning, made great time averaging 7knts with a reefed main no headsail. These boats will even handle a gale although not fun, but doable if you get stuck in one. Point being...aside from your foul weather experience, you need some confidence in your boat. A 15 knt wind can put these boats over 45+ degrees but it'll pop right back up. 30 knts sustained will hold them at 55-60 if you try fight the tendency to round up without spilling some wind, but again it'll get right back up.

When you have to quarter up/down the waves or throttle up to get up the face of the wave thats getting rough. When you have green water coming over/ across the bow, that's getting rough. As for following seas as they get bigger and are stacked (closer together) it gets uncomfortable pitching, rolling and yawing. Powering in following is far worse than sailing in following. I always opt for sails in following seas. As for a beam reach, reef sails let as much air out as possible if it's still overpowering you ( you get tremendous speed on a reach and a good deal of heel). Last option is gybe downwind until you can turn back into the wind and work your way back to your destination.
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Re: Got in some trouble in rough seas.. What'd i do?

Postby island808 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:50 pm

I see it as ego averted. I'm learning. Just like my auto racing and motorcycling. Need to stay within your experience and push that experience under the best circumstances you can. That is, practice. Now ive been in slightly rough seas and survived, but with a bit of a learning experience. Nothing like ending up backwards in the infield to teach you a lesson.

Interesting challenge. I wish the consequences werent so dire.

Ive found some articles on boating in rough weather, im going to do more research and come up with some emergency plans.

I have a couple great books on performance driving and safe motorcycling that i read cover to cover at least once a year and drill on them. Any good boating books to recommend?
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Re: Got in some trouble in rough seas.. What'd i do?

Postby island808 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:58 pm

yukonbob wrote:
When you have to quarter up/down the waves or throttle up to get up the face of the wave thats getting rough. When you have green water coming over/ across the bow, that's getting rough. As for following seas as they get bigger and are stacked (closer together) it gets uncomfortable pitching, rolling and yawing. Powering in following is far worse than sailing in following. I always opt for sails in following seas. As for a beam reach, reef sails let as much air out as possible if it's still overpowering you ( you get tremendous speed on a reach and a good deal of heel). Last option is gybe downwind until you can turn back into the wind and work your way back to your destination.



There were plenty out there sailing. Some heeled over tremendously, some running the tiniest bit of main off a furler and moving right along. I tell ya though. They we passing me downwind but i got upwind much faster... :)

I was going to try some sailing on the river today when i noticed that somehow i managed to mess up my rig and my shrouds arent tight enough.
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Re: Got in some trouble in rough seas.. What'd i do?

Postby RussMT » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:04 pm

Even the best skipper can get caught with a bad wave. Following seas are very tricky. The Mac is no exception. First time we were in following waves, the admiral was full of "woah"s and "ooooh"s. It's probably scarier feeling than it actually is dangerous as long as passengers are secure and holding on.

Not sure what advice to offer. I find going faster than the waves helps a bit. Lots of rudder, little dagger down. Just stay alert and tell crew to hold on.
Don't get discouraged because your crew were freaked out. We've all had the same experience.

--Russ
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Re: Got in some trouble in rough seas.. What'd i do?

Postby island808 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:23 pm

Interesting fact... Out last weekend in beautiful calm weather... The whole family, save me, was horribly sea sick... Today, not a bit of it. After back on the river, family went below for a nap. I found an anchorage and had a snack as well when it started raining harder than i liked. In the calm with ballast, seems more stable than on the trailer.

:macx:

Got all the slop possible out of the steering with some bushings.. Just have a bit o slack from the cheap rack and pinion helm. Much nicer
Last edited by island808 on Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Got in some trouble in rough seas.. What'd i do?

Postby yukonbob » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:24 pm

Chapman's piloting. Great book. covers everything and more

Also as Russ pointed out don't leave the dagger board down even when sailing. you'll be fighting the boat even more. Pull it all the way up or leave six-12 inches down. The faster you go the more you'll heel and the more it'll round up
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Re: Got in some trouble in rough seas.. What'd i do?

Postby island808 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:34 pm

yukonbob wrote:Chapman's piloting. Great book. covers everything and more

Also as Russ pointed out don't leave the dagger board down even when sailing. you'll be fighting the boat even more. Pull it all the way up or leave six-12 inches down. The faster you go the more you'll heel and the more it'll round up


Thanks.. Ordered me a 64th edition (2003) copy from amazon. Must be good to be in 66th edition eh?
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Re: Got in some trouble in rough seas.. What'd i do?

Postby RussMT » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:45 pm

Chapmans is like an owners manual for mariners. Been around as long as I can remember and I've been sailing of 40 years.

--Russ
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Re: Got in some trouble in rough seas.. What'd i do?

Postby WASP18 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:57 pm

Check your local U.S. Power Squadron and Coast Guard Auxiliary for boat handling classes this winter. There are lots of members who are highly skilled, and many of whom are licensed (50 ton 100 ton). In my area, we have a retired navy rear admiral teaching classes. Prices are cheap, $60 - $70 dollar range. If you join these organizations, the classes are free.
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Re: Got in some trouble in rough seas.. What'd i do?

Postby DaveC426913 » Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:53 pm

On Sea Saw, with Admiral aboard, those conditions are very simple to deal with: fire up the "iron spinnaker".
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Re: Got in some trouble in rough seas.. What'd i do?

Postby mastreb » Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:51 pm

The 67th Ed. of Chapman's Piloting was just released. I've had a pre-order on Amazon for a few months and it just arrived today, oddly enough.

Matt
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