Analysis of the abandonment of the French yacht "Tao". The disaster started with a capsize, as yacht losses so often do. And while researching the weather at the time, I discovered something interesting...
Phyllis and I just finished a complete rewrite and update of my Heavy Weather Tactics Online Book and we are very excited about the way it turned out. I originally wrote the book as a series of posts back in the winter of 2008-2009. Re-reading the entire series as a whole, with the separation of [...]
We have covered a lot of ground and many details in the last 16 chapters. But I want to make sure that we don't get lost in those details so I have summarized the key points in this chapter.
It's a sad fact that most production boat companionways are potential boat-sinkers. But it does not have to be that way. In this chapter I provide solid suggestions on how to stormproof your companionway.
Theory is great to learn from but real world experience is always better. In this chapter I relate an email interview we conducted with a reader who survived a killer storm south of New Zealand using some of the techniques that I have discussed in this book. It's a long chapter, but read it carefully because doing so and acting on the information could save your life.
One of our most useful tools in dealing with heavy weather at sea is our engine and in this chapter I relate how we used ours to good effect in a nasty lee shore situation. But the sad truth is that in many cases a yacht's engine is disabled by heavy weather making it useless at the very time that the crew need it most, so I go on to share some solid suggestions of things you can do to storm proof your engine.
In the previous chapters we have talked about heaving-to and various drag devices, but none of that is going to help us if we are caught on a lee shore. In this chapter I write about when that exact scenario happened to me and what we have done to prepare ourselves and our boat should it ever happen to us again.
Continuing on with the theme of learning from the best that we started in the last chapter, this chapter is about the many things we learned from Tony and Coryn Gooch about storm survival and drogue retrieval—they know what they are talking about after decades of voyaging in some of the toughest parts of the world's oceans and Tony's single handed non-stop circumnavigation.
There's always more than one way to skin a cat—or retrieve a Jordan Series Drogue—so when Hal Roth, a man with 200,000 miles and three circumnavigations under his belt, makes a suggestion, we listen.
You went out and bought a Jordan Series Drogue, but now you need to put together the gear and procedures to get it safely deployed when you need it and in this chapter I share exactly how to do that.
We now believe that the Jordan Series Drogue is the best and safest storm survival system and in this chapter I share why that is.
For many years large sea anchors were thought by many, including us, to be the ultimate storm survival option. In this post we detail the disadvantages of large sea anchors that we believe substantially outweigh the advantages and why we got rid of ours.
In the last three chapters in this book I have been writing about the techniques that have worked well for us on Morgan’s Cloud in gales and strong gales at sea. Now I’m going to write about how to handle a storm of Force 10 or above that would threaten our very survival.
In the last chapter we wrote about how to determine when heaving-to is dangerous. In this chapter we share a realworld-tested technique to solve that problem and make heaving-to safe for a wide range of boats.
The storm struck, you deployed your Jordan Series Drogue and rode it out without problems, but now the wind is dropping and it's time to retrieve the drogue so you can get sailing again and head for port before the next blow hits. But you are shorthanded and tired and the task seems insurmountable. In this chapter we share our tested method for drogue retrieval.