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Heavy Weather?

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Anonymous (not verified)
Heavy Weather?
A while back, I read Larry & Lyn Pardey's "Storm Tactics" which advocated heavy-displacement, full-keel monohulls and stated that heaving-to with a para-anchor is the best tactic for such vessels in really rough weather. Last week, I watched the DVD "Sailing in Heavy Weather" which was aimed at modern light-displacement, fin-keel mono's. They said that heaving-to didn't work in these boats (which I think they overstated - I have experience to the contrary in J-22's), and that running with the storm was the most successful option, towing warps or a drogue in serious storms. A lot of mono folks claim catamarans are inherently unsafe in storms. I don't believe that, but clearly, catamarans are dramatically different vessels and will require their own strategy for handling heavy weather at sea. (And Wharrams will probably behave very differently from production bridgedeck cats, too.) So what are your opinions about good storm tactics and heavy-weather gear in Wharrams of various sizes? --Rich
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Heavy Weather?

Rich, one of the best sources for drogues and sea anchor technique is Heavy Weather Tactics Using Sea Anchors and Drogues, by Earl Hinz. Both mono and multi-hulls are covered. I believe that the Wharram team prefers running with a drogue to hanging off a sea anchor. Glenn Tieman, who has used both devices, recommends deploying the sea anchor off the sterns, so that if anything breaks :o , you can then sail off. Glenn uses a full-length trip line on his sea anchor rig, rather than a partial line. Good weather routing is no doubt the best heavy weather technique ;) I have a copy of Mike McMullen's "Multihull Seamanship," which is likely out of print, that has a wealth of information. McMullen describes lying ahull in an Atlantic storm in 30' seas in his Dick Newick tri, Three Cheers. At first he thought they were done for, due to the steep angles the tri rose to as the seas rolled under; but, as they passed, the ama would slam down onto the back face of the sea. He spent all night doing this and never wanted to repeat the experience. Catamarans would likely be less violent than trimarans, as they would not be pivoting around the main hull, but I doubt it would be fun.

Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Heavy Weather?

Kim, sorry I didn't notice your post earlier. I appreciate the info - and my local library was able to find me a copy of the older McMullen book. I look forward to reading it. Also found this document from Beth and Evans Starzinger helpful in understanding the various strategies, though (like most of the literature I've found) it is written strictly with monohulls in mind. http://www.bethandevans.com/pdf/HeavyWeather.pdf Thanks again, --Rich

Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Heavy Weather?
I would recommend the book Drag Device Data Base by Victor Shane - covers parachutes and drogues - is interesting reading. It is on to it's second or third edition now. Don
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Re: Heavy Weather?
Recently we had visitors from South Africa, Wharram sailors from Richard's Bay, who told us about how Pahi 63 'Kaskasi' survived a severe gale. This happened some years ago when 'Kaskasi' was being sailed back from Kenya to Richards Bay, SA. There were just 2 crew on board, the owner and his wife. They hit a severe gale off Cape St.Lucia, with SW winds recorded at Cape St. Lucia of 83knots. The skipper downed all sail and let the boat lie ahull, he removed the rudders as they were getting a hammering (this is possible on the Pahi 63, by lifting them up through their rudder wells). They spent 2 days like this lying beam on to huge seas while the boat drifted across the Continental shelf (increasing wave size). The only damage was to the slatted platforms as they were hit by waves from below. This same gale sank an Ocean Sailing L34, which was rolled over, the crew were taken off by helicopter. 'Kaskasi' sailed into Richards Bay 4 days after the gale, basically unharmed. From experience we have found that Wharram Cats, particularly the fore-and-aft symmetrical Pahi hulls (also the Child of the Sea) will lie beam on to the wind when the boat is left to fend for itself. On our Round the World voyage on Spirit of Gaia we spent hours lying ahull in bad weather, with the boat feeling very comfortable and the waves passing under without too much slamming. She would make little leeway, only moving over ground at about 1 - 1.5 knots, depending on wind strength. In a severe gale she may move at about 2 knots. The boat would always stay beam on, turning with the wind. Hanneke, JWD
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Heavy Weather?
Good info. Thanks, Hanneke.
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