Loss of Yacht “Tao”

My analysis of the abandonment of the French yacht "Tao". 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 [...]

Real Life Storm Survival Story

Chapter 15 of 17 in the Online Book Heavy Weather Tactics (Second Edition)

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.

Storm Survival Secret Weapon: Your Engine

Chapter 14 of 17 in the Online Book Heavy Weather Tactics (Second Edition)

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.

Surviving A Lee Shore

Chapter 13 of 17 in the Online Book Heavy Weather Tactics (Second Edition)

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.

Storm Tactics, Learning From The Best

Chapter 12 of 17 in the Online Book Heavy Weather Tactics (Second Edition)

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.

Survival Storms

Chapter 6 of 17 in the Online Book Heavy Weather Tactics (Second Edition)

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.

Jordan Series Drogue Retrieval System

Chapter 10 of 17 in the Online Book Heavy Weather Tactics (Second Edition)

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.