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you have any advice, based on your experience, that would help me to manage
more stormy conditions you have in the open ocean?
Thanks for your answer about the Ericson boat, and some
changes you would make on your boat. I have talked with many people and
read a lot about boats, and am pleased to have bought my 1984 Ericson
30+. I think the quality has remained good through the 1980s--they
added a Triaxial Grid (reinforced stringers under the cabin sole to
reinforce the hull more) and changed the keel shape to what they call a
triangular Delta fin keel. I have had the boat since spring, 2006, so
am still learning about it, but so far I am very pleased with how it
I have been sailing for about 15
years, and have owned two boats before this one. But all of my sailing
has been on lakes or coastal waters, so I have no experience in very
heavy weather--winds above 30 knots and waves more than about 5 feet.
Do you have any advice, based on your experience, that would help me to
manage more stormy conditions you have in the open ocean?
Although it was intense this picture is taken in a
squall not a 40+ knot storm.
You probably have more experience than me. I started
with 14 hours in a 24 footer then went to Trinidad and bought this boat. I have
only had two or three bad storms but it is never pleasant.
I agree with books and people saying that hive to on a slick with a parachute to
the side of the boat is probably the best survival technique in a hurricane or
extremely foul weather but this techniques is to advanced for me and I would
probably mess it up and capsize in the attempt.
In my humble opinion the
advanced tactics like this is for hurricane, 40 degrees or poorly planned
sailing. I stay within the season and try to be at the best season at the right
time, this eliminates most of the foul weather and all of the hurricanes. My tip
is (what I will do later when I have the money) is to get a parachute sea anchor
with a long line ready to feed off the bow so you can take all the sails down
and lay to the sea anchor. This is a relative easy thing to do and even though
it is not the best of the best of things it is a relative safe, cheap and easy
thing to do. A good number two of the storm tactics (my opinion anyhow)
Many people have done this in 60+ winds and with 30+ feet waves and been
'completely safe'. (If you can practice to use the hive to with a sea
anchor to the side of the boat and make a slick so that you are standing still
this is the in my opinion the number one tactic)
Have a good 3'rd reef. With a 3'rd reef in
the main you can sail almost in anything. Practice reefing and doing a good
and safe job reefing. Make the sail straight and tight. If it is not tight
and straight the sail could be 'blown out' (like mine) or you need to adjust
On my worst storm I sailed with bare poles and
made 6+ knots. (letter
In the end i took the sail down and went downstairs to be in a washing
machine for 30 hours. It was safe because there were no braking waves (even
though they were big) but very uncomfortable. The whole thing was my own
fault because I did not listen to the weather well enough and allowed myself
to be rushed, a big mistake I will not do again. Listen to the weather and
if you don't have time to stay in that port for some reason, stay anyway. Do
not risk your own and/or other peoples lives because of a job waiting or
people expecting you for something.
Buy the book, Storm Tactics Handbook by Lin and
Many people will tell you many things, my final
advice, make up your own mind and always ask the person telling you what to do
if he has cruised himself for more than a week or two.
Always, Always put safety first.