Storm Tactics

Members' Online Book: Heavy Weather Tactics, Chapter 1 of 17

Introduction—You Need A System

Free Introductory Chapter Many of us buy storm survival gear, throw it in a corner of the lazarette, and head off to sea congratulating ourselves on our foresight and seamanship. But when we do that, we have not really prepared for a storm at sea. In this introductory chapter I explain why having a real storm survival system is so important, not only for your safety, but also for your peace of mind.

Earl Comes To Lunch

Hurricanes, you just can’t trust em. When we went to bed Earl was supposed to make landfall on the west side of the province, some 80 miles away. But this morning he has wobbled east and is heading straight for us here on the southwestern shore of Nova Scotia. On the bright side, he is [...]

Always Have A Way To Rest

There is so much about this story (originally reported in Cruising Compass but no longer available) that worries me that it is hard to know where to start: A single-handed sailor abandoned his boat because he was totally exhausted from three days of hand steering, not because there was anything wrong with the boat. "On [...]

Yet More On Series Drogue Retrieval

We just received this e-mail from Evans Starzinger who, together with his partner, Beth Leonard, completed two circumnavigations. The second one was west to east and south of the great capes, on their Samoa 47 Hawk. Someone sent me a link to your latest drogue retrieval discussion and I thought I should mention something you might want [...]

Lane and Kay Finley have a lot of ocean experience and make films about sailing. Here is their approach to dealing with heavy weather: While filming we launched a parachute anchor according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. It was a rather breezy day, but not storm conditions. Even in these mild conditions, the strain and stress [...]

We received an e-mail a few weeks ago from our friend Bob Tetrault who has been following our heavy weather series. Bob went to Maine Maritime, has a master’s ticket, and has fished the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank in all kinds of weather. He currently owns three boats that fish the Gulf of [...]

Question: Would you recommend 3/4" or 1" rode for use with a Galerider Drogue for a 46 foot 33,000lb cutter? Answer: I would think that 3/4" would be adequate, but you should check with the manufacturer who should know what the loads generated by each Galerider size are. With that piece of data in hand [...]

Q&A: Sea Anchors

Question: What is your thinking on sea anchors and do you carry one on Morgan’s Cloud? Answer: Sea anchors, a very big subject! First off you should know that I have never used one, so this is all theory. Our normal gale strategy is to heave-to. We have used a Galerider drogue off the bow [...]