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Thread: Falling off in gusts

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Yamba, Australia
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: Falling off in gusts

    Thanks Marshall...and Gregor! That's a very credible and worthwhile contribution...

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Annapolis, MD
    Posts
    709

    Default Re: Falling off in gusts

    Let's just say 'I know this guy who' went sailing near the end of the season with his reefing lines so screwed up they couldn't be used. Without checking the weather, he made a decision of convenience and took off with two novice sailors to deliver the boat to his winter haul out marina, 16 miles away. the off-shore breeze freshened, then got stronger, then blew like a bat out of hades. With a full main up that should have been reefed at 25 knots, the winds reached 35 knots with higher gusts. It never occurred to him to furl the genoa for some reason, possibly a result of a bad case of anal-occulosis. His sedate cruising catamaran thought this was a wonderful new game, and just took off, seeing speeds her designer has nightmares about.

    So 'this guy I knew' gradually realized that things weren't right. every time his stately old vessel went over the trough of the rapidly increasing waves, the boat would head up, requiring enormous corrections at the wheel. He didn't immediately figure it out, but the windward hull was so light its rudder was ventilating, and he suddenly had half his steering power. When the windward hull plunged into the face of the next crest, this noble vessel would turn downwind with an alacrity never demonstrated before. And to make matters worse, he was trying to make way to weather, but his gps was showing very little progress. Again he didn't figure it out, but the rig was so overpowered he was sailing at a huge crab angle. Two reefs would have doubled his VMG. Eventually his destination hove into view, and after trying to tack into its entrance several times he experienced a moment of Divine enlightenment and fired up the gasoline breeze, lowered the sails, and spent a miserable hour slugging directly into 30 knots of wind to go 2 miles running his elderly machinery wide open. The trip, entirely through the undeserved beneficence of a Greater Power, ended uneventfully, and the novice crew thought it was a really exciting trip.

    To this day, 'this guy I know' will shudder and utter a silent prayer every time he thinks about it, because:

    The main sheet was cleated and the bitter end was washing around the cockpit.

    The Genoa was so overpowered it looked like the halyard had let go. The 5/8" sheets were tight enough to stand on and had to be pried out of the self-tailers.

    Three forward facing hatches were open, and the bedding in the cabins were soaked with salt water, adding perhaps an additional five hundred pound forward of the normal cg.

    Nobody had life jackets on.

    The VHF wouldn't transmit.

    There were only a few cups of gas left in the tank.

    So every time I see his face I tell him he has used up all his good luck and will now survive only by being very, very, very cautious.

    He remains unconvinced, apparently; he still occasionally does stupid things. But don't tell him I told you.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Gosport
    Posts
    350

    Default Re: Falling off in gusts

    Makes my toes curl just reading it!
    'that guy you know' is very lucky - you should get him to buy you some lottery tickets

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Santa Barbara, Calif.
    Posts
    539

    Default Re: Falling off in gusts

    I know the dude! Or at least I thought I did until I realized that "the guy I know" is even thicker (and more beloved by the gods) than "the guy you know".

    Mike
    Last edited by mikereed100; 26th July 2010 at 06:16 PM.

  5. #25

    Default Re: Falling off in gusts

    Hmmm....I guess that if I am being frank and truthful....we now have enough of us for a 3-Stooges impersonation act..and yes, I do have a shaved head.
    Tropical island life in the Devil's Triangle.
    http://2gringos.blogspot.com/

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Annapolis, MD
    Posts
    709

    Default Re: Falling off in gusts

    The three guys we know must never ever be in the same State, to avoid reaching a critical mass of something or other.

  7. #27

    Default Re: Falling off in gusts

    Probably not an issue. I am very rarely in the States.

    unless you consider the state of confusion as a geographic description.
    Tropical island life in the Devil's Triangle.
    http://2gringos.blogspot.com/

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