[Storm Video] Can some one please explain what is happening here!!! >>>

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
That clip has been around a while. It shows a big traditional yawl--deep full keel, long overhangs--running before a gale under foresail alone.

Normally they would be streaming warps to act like kite tails and to keep the course as straight downwind as possible. Don;t see warps but they may be there.

Late in the clip the yachts is turned sideways by a wave--which is what is to be avoided. In such a broach she is vulnerable to being swept by a breaking crest. The weight of such an avalanche can carry away deck gear and stave in the cabin house.

An option would have been running under bare poles, but the idea is to keep some steerageway which the helmsman can use to steer.

I don't see a helmsman but it's hard to believe there isn't one. Presumably the helmsman would be relieved every 30 minutes and would be exhausted by the hard work required.

Nowadays the choice would be to stream a Jordan series drogue, which seems to be the best way to produce the drag needed to keep the stern to the breaking seas.

That also reduces the chance of pitchpole, as happened to the Smeetons in this era. Their Tzu Hang had a roughly similar hull design.

Good news is that the expectation of riding out a full gale is much less nowadays with laptop weather forecasting.
 

1911tex

Member III
Whew....Got to catch my breath...........I hope this yawl made it to safety!!! Does anyone know? I think I would rather have engine out at 5k feet! Plenty of time for a great patch of pasture!
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
The camera looks stable enough that it may have been on a larger nearby vessel. Perhaps?
No apparent danger since they went right on shooting video.
I do not have enough experience sailing in really big seas, other than one gale on one delivery. Good thing the boat and the wind were going in the same direction... :)
 

goldenstate

Member III
Blogs Author
Given a really uncontrollable gale, and assuming one has dropped all sails and is under bare poles, is it safer to have the the stern facing oncoming waves or the bow? I would have thought the bow, (so tying your drogue off fore).
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
The thinking is that you dare not stop. You must go with the forces, not try to oppose them. You run with it. You surf with the waves. The drogue or warps stream from the stern.

Sea anchors stream from the bow and stop the boat. They were formerly basic kit, but now they're out of vogue. So is lying ahull, which was once a standard option for older designs. Sailboat hull forms have changed a lot. However, sea anchors remain useful for making repairs in moderate to heavy air, and I always carry one offshore.

Multihulls, being light and without fixed keels, do use sea anchors effectively and that's what's recommended for them in a gale. The rode to the sea anchor is very long--it has to pass through two approaching seas, and is stretchy Nylon. The effect aboard is being on a rubber band. Better than running at 25 knots downwind bare poles.

I;m not an expert on this stuff, but I have some experience and have thought it through (generally in a cold sweat while safe ashore).
 

Gaviate

Member I
The thinking is that you dare not stop. You must go with the forces, not try to oppose them. You run with it. You surf with the waves. The drogue or warps stream from the stern.
I continue to be ever so greatful for this site and the wisdom of the membership..not only can one learn useful things i.e. how to fix this or what should that look like...but also important things i.e. how to save your boat and or life!
This also brings in to clarity the hazards of being in such weather with a lee shore. I would want 4 or 5 days distance from any rock so I may enjoy the ride to a diminishing conclusion rather than a sudden one:)
 

Sailingfun

Member II
Even the sailboat has some sail at the front (a storm jib), seems like the crew is not having any control over the course. Would be good under those circumstances trough a long line at the back or any kind of parachute to regain control.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
Long lines, yes. "Streaming warps." They're to be rigged as a "U".

Any drogue can also be streamed, made of canvas or anything to produce drag, intended to slow the boat and keep it stern to wind and discourage broaching (turning sideways to the wind). However, under gale conditions nothing has much effect, as it tends to skip on the surface. That was the trouble with the patent drogues, which broke or fouled. The Jordan series drogue, a "series" of more than 100 small individual cones, seems to do the best job. The forces on a successful drogue are so great that standard stern cleats are not considered strong enough, and stainless plates on the hull counter are recommended.

A parachute sea anchor designed to stream from the bow (and to stop the boat, rather than slow it) should not be streamed aft.
 
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