Storm tactics with single mast rig

Boat handling, ideas, questions...

Storm tactics with single mast rig

Postby DaysailorJ » Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:44 pm

I am looking ahead to bringing "Elizabeth" back north from Puerto Rico next year, probably by way of Bermuda, and I wanted to get a bit smarter on tactics out there. My only serious storm experience offshore was a gale off of Cape May on the way down. After losing my anchor gear (at least I learned something about the need for heavy lashing), we basically hunkered down for about ten hours of motoring and hand steering, and that seemed to work okay in that situation. I was wondering if anyone had any offshore storm experiences with a F35, F40/40, of F45.

I don't mean just quick squalls and thunderstorms, usually you can just lie ahull for those. I am looking more for ideas on the 1-2 day heavy weather encounters that you might face at sea, which you try to avoid through good planning, but forecasts can be dicey after a few days out...

It seems to me that the F40/40 has pretty limited options in heavy weather. There is no forestay for a trysail, and the main is still pretty big on mine when fully reefed. My experience has been that I can get by motoring for a while in 40 kts and 10' seas, but I imagine that there may be conditions where the stability offered by some sails would be preferable. With that big main, and the self-tacking "vestigial" jib, heaving-to doesn't seem to be feasible, either. Has anyone had experience with deploying a drogue, with these designs?

Seems like this might be a good topic for all to contribute.

Regards,
John
DaysailorJ
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 4:42 pm
Location: Stonington, CT

Re: Storm tactics with single mast rig

Postby jamesmx5 » Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:17 pm

Brought a 1988 Freedom 45 back up the coast of Baja to San Diego (they call it the Bash) and had the jib box pull out. Just lashed the jib stay and camber spar to the toe rail and kept going.

However, I advise that you check the jib box pop rivets for corrosion before you do a passage where you will be in heavy weather.

James
jamesmx5
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:16 pm

Re: Storm tactics with single mast rig

Postby GeoffSchultz » Wed Jun 10, 2009 6:05 am

John and I have been discussing this via e-mail, but I'll simply post a summary of my comments to him.

I'm happy to say that I've never been in a prolonged storm at sea. I firmly believe that while you can't choose the weather that you sail in, you can choose the weather that you leave in. By looking at the forecasts and extended US forecasts, you have a pretty good idea of what will be happening for the next 5+ days. Five days will get you to Bermuda and then to the US. The probability of a large storm forming out of no where is pretty small given that time window.

I will say that the first time that I moved the boat from RI to the BVIs, the wind didn't drop below 32-35 kts for about 5 days. I would sit in the cockpit at night and watch the dinghy that I was towing (!!!!) try to out-race the boat. I'd sit and try to convince the wind that dropping below 32 kts would be a very good thing...It didn't work..We were well bruised by the time that we made it to the BVIs. And we chewed through the reefing line quite often. Speaking of which, I'm switching from a 1st and 2nd reef to a 2nd and 3rd reef. The first reef is useless as it just adds more belly to the sail and doesn't get rid of enough square footage.

My chafing on the reef lines occurred at the mast where my reef lines go through rings mounted to the mast just above the top of the boom. This allows the forward reef lines to pull straight down to the blocks at the base of the mast. When running down wind the reefing lines are pulled at a 90 degree angle across the track which chafes them. I've never had any chafe internal to the boom.

I was just looking for a photograph which showed my reef points and found this one that's back-lit
Image

I haven't sailed with the 3rd reef. I tried to rig that when I put up the sails this year, but I found that I need longer reefing lines in the boom. I've found that almost every time that I've only put in the 1st reef, that I've wished that I would have gone for the 2nd.

I haven't had any recent chafing issues at the mast. That may be due to either lighter wind sailing conditions or the fact that I'm not letting the boom out as far. I found that the bat cars were breaking because they were getting too much angle put on them. They're only good to 110 degrees and with the boom out at 90 degrees, the sail shape added more than 20 degrees, which caused them to break. This also really stretched the reefing line tight against the track.


-- Geoff
BlueJacket
1997 Freedom 40/40
http://www.GeoffSchultz.org
User avatar
GeoffSchultz
 
Posts: 1041
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:39 am
Location: BlueJacket: Guatemala

Re: Storm tactics with single mast rig

Postby BruceW » Thu Jun 11, 2009 10:36 pm

After a very rough sail of 10+ hours in the northern great lakes (large, steep, square seas all to typical in a big blow) and pulling in the first then second reef, I also decided to have a 3rd reef added to a new main that was on order. I will also be utilizing just a 2nd and 3rd reef point (as soon as I purchase longer reef lines). It looks to me like I will have to use single line reefing on the 3rd reef since the boom is only 17" long and I think the internally doubled reef line for the 3rd reef will run out of room. I plan to use a block to turn the upper reef line at the forward reef attachment point on the sail, through the guide and to the deck block before turning the line to the cockpit line stopper.

Bruce
BruceW
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:17 pm

Re: Storm tactics with single mast rig

Postby Mike Holibar » Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:51 am

Looking at the picture of Blue Jacket I wonder if it would be possible to fly a trisail from the mast. Many boat over here have a seperate track on the mast starting maybe a foot or so off the deck and running up the mast, parallel to the mainsail track, for perhaps a 3rd of the mast's height. Often the trisail is left permanently hanked on and bagged at the base of the mast. It is then deployed by dropping the main, changing over the main halyard, hoisting and sheeting back on to the boom. having its own track avoids the need to drop the main out of its track. My boat is a schooner and the po advised me that to heave to he would put 3 reefs in the main(mizzen) and take in the foresail. Having said that in 50,000 miles of ocean cruising he had never had to heave to. His journey included the Straits of Magellan. I have just been reading a book by Hal Roth on that area (Two against Cape Horn), to say conditions can be wild is an understatement. In my own limited experience with the F39 I have sailed in 45 knots true with double reefed main and single reef in the fore sail and she seems to love it, surfing up to 11.5 knots, what a ride, and we stayed dry on deck. I did have to turn up wind briefly to repair a line and suddenly we have 50 knots apparent and we're getting wet. For that brief time we were hove to, the sheet was off the fore sail but the sails seemed quite happy - not flogging at all. In practical terms though I try to avoid a hard slog to windward, it's hard on the boat and the crew, so heaving to would be my preferred tactic. I have noticed the F39 is quite snappy, rolling with no sail up and I wonder if this is due to there being less weight up there (inertia) to slow the roll, so lying a hull I would think would be quite uncomfortable. If the breeze was too much for the triple reefed main, I have a storm staysail that can be set from the main(mizzen) mast. Kind regards,
Mike Holibar
S/V Fyne Spirit of Plymouth (Freedom 39PHS-1989)
Lyttelton
New Zealand
Mike Holibar
 
Posts: 174
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 12:41 am

Re: Storm tactics with single mast rig

Postby Hans » Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:01 am

Deciding on how to cope with bad weather would mainly be dependent on where the boat is. Main question is there enough lee room?

We experienced some bad weather while crossing the Atlantic from Warren River to France with our F38 along the 40th parallel in spring 2005. Weatherfax charts showed a low with expected winds 30-35 knots. The winds actually did built up to 55-60 knots in the course of two days. In that situation there was all the lee room we needed. Wind and waves were building gradually giving us time to adopt.
When winds kept building we divided from our course to run before the wind. We had a third deep reef in the main and a 3th reefline was made before we left. ( Reefline not through the boom but alongside it). We took in reefs with rising of the windforce. Thriling sailing.
Huge long waves where we surfed down with 12-13 knots.
When wind rose to 45-50 knots we were running under bare poles. Still making 7-8 knots downhill. We steered not by hand but with autopilot. Altough with the three of us, we were getting tired by the weather.
Autopilot kept us better on course then we did by hand.

Although we did bring a drogue along with us for keeping the stern to the wind to prevent broaching we did'nt need it really. Autopilot kept us without a problem running dead from the wind. When winds were rising to 55+ knots we prepared our parachuteanchor. The moment it was ready to be deployed the wind did'nt increase any further and started to drop after an hour. We kept running under bare poles and tried to catch up with some rest and sleep. During the night wind decreased to 35-40 knots, still running under bare poles, waves became a little more confused.
In absolute dark there was a sudden noise above the wind ' like a train rushing towards us' . Before we knew a rogue wave fell upon us throwing the boat on beam end ( damaging the tricolor).

We had battened down well, so little water entered the boat. Boat rightened itself directly. The crewmember on watch was still aboard
thanks to the strong points we had made in the cockpit to attach the lifelines. He escaped with bumps and bruises.

The storm subsided and we made the trip to the Azores and from there to France.
I have confidence in Freedom's to cope with a lot of wind esp when there's enough searoom to run.

I have no experience with Freedom's when the leeshore is too close to run. I think I should try to ly to. Or maybe rig a stormtrysail with a separate track on the mast

When someone on the forum does have experience with lying to with a Freedom on/or use of a trysail I would gladly hope he/she will share the experience.

Next season I am going to make the same trip, a bit more south from the BVI to the Azores. I hope to have found out beforehand how to handle a storm when deciding not to run before the wind.

Fair winds,
Hans Hansen, Harlingen,The Netherlands.
Freedom 45AC #47 "Scherezade".
User avatar
Hans
 
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:28 am
Location: Deventer, The Netherlands

Re: Storm tactics with single mast rig

Postby DaysailorJ » Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:15 pm

Hans,
Thanks for your detailed reply on Freedom storm tactics. It's great to know the boat can handle weather in that range, at least when running is an option. Also glad to hear you came through a knockdown so well. I hope we can keep this thread going, as I think it's improtant to know how this rig works in more challenging conditions.

Incidentally, I now have my F40/40 back in RI. The trip up form Puerto Rico last November was windless for the first week, forcing us to motor west through the Bahamas for about 1000 NM to Florida. I had to go back to work at that point, so two pros took her north from there. They ran into 40+ knot winds in northern Florida, while around 100 miles off the coast. I wish I had added that third reef for them, as they were pushed hard with double reef, and my ongoing mast base issue recurred. They quickly dropped the main, as the mast (mine is 64' 9" above the waterline, which later became important!!!), began to jump around, moving as much as 4" at the base. The guys tried to secure the mast a bit, using halyards as stays, and they motored into Beaufort when conditions allowed, after almost two days of hand-steering and serious worries about the mast coming down on them.

Once in port, they blocked off the mast base with pieces of hardwood, and rerigged the "halyard stays". Wisely deciding to skip the Hateras offshore leg with this jury-rig, they headed up the Intercoastal. The ditch became problematic, as the wind-driven waters had increased the low-water level, and some of the fixed bridges were only giving 62' to 63' of clearance at low water. Once the water level subsided a bit, they rigged fuel cans and my valise life-raft (about 150 lbs total) to the end of the extended boom to create maximum heeling, and they still caught the anchor light on one of the bridges! After several days, they were able to head outside at Norfolk, and then headed north up th ecoast in relatively calm, but somewhat icy December conditions.

My boat is now on the hard in Barrington, with the mast unstepped for the first time. Paul Dennis has looked it over, and feels that the source of the problem may be an improper layup of the area below the mast step. We are looking at a fairly pricey project, involving removal of the bulkhead and floorpan, and building up of the area on the hull, (the box around the mast step and the bonding layers beneath it) needed to securely attach the mast step to the hull. Also need minor repairs on the mast step casting and the mast gelcoat. The boat should look like new when done, and should be stronger then when it came out of the factory.

I am also looking at adding a third reef, and possibly shortening the mast height and rig to around 62", to allow me back on the Intercoastal. I will probably switch my reeflines to work only the second and third points whenever I go offshore.

John
DaysailorJ
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 4:42 pm
Location: Stonington, CT

Re: Storm tactics with single mast rig

Postby midnightsailor » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:57 pm

I would like to clarify for Daysailor, that a storm trysail is rigged from the mast, usually from a seperate track and not from a forestay as he seemed to believe. This was mentioned by several other posters, but I thought perhaps it might not be clear. That said, I myself have wondered about storm tacticks with my F-33CK and have considered adding a track for a storm trysail. Would love to know if anyone has done this and what others thoughts are about doing this. The third deep reef does sound like a very good thing to have, and perhaps that is enough? Also, I recall it being mentioned about someone with problem of masty moving in the mast base and see that it is mentioned here also. I did some researching of the original commisioning literature that came with my F-33 and I mentioned in another thread about epoxy that Freedom included to make up for any space between the mast and the base collar. Well, I also see that they call for the mastbae or collar to be throughbolted to the mast step(as is /had been done) on my F-33 and that also the mast is through bolted to the mast base or "collar" They mention drilling through the predrilled and tapped holes in the collar into the mast and then inserting the trhreaded bolts into the collar and mast, thereby pinning the mast to this collar. FWIW. Rick
1982 Freedom 33 Cat Ketch, Hull # 53, Standard Booms, deep keel ,tall rig
An armed man is a citizen, An unarmed man is a subject. George Washington
midnightsailor
 
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:21 pm
Location: Greenport, New York

Re: Storm tactics with single mast rig

Postby Teke's Pride » Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:27 pm

The US and GB have often been described as two nations divided by a common language...

Pardon my ignorance but, per chance, is "lay a hull" anything like "hove to"? What I am asking is; are they terms like lorry for truck and bonnet for hood or, do they mean totally different things?
Last edited by Teke's Pride on Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
Clark Myers
Teke's Pride
F21 #345

Browns Creek Sailing Association
Lake Guntersville, AL
http://www.youtube.com/LambdaZetaTeke
User avatar
Teke's Pride
 
Posts: 210
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:56 am
Location: Lake Guntersville, AL

Re: Storm tactics with single mast rig

Postby midnightsailor » Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:07 pm

Actually, they are really two different things. Laying ahull is basically just taking in all sail, battening down the hatches, and letting the boat find her own way through the seas. Heaving too is setting up the boats sails, rig so that she basically will lay head to sea/wind or more precisely about 40-50 degress off the wind and will make a very slow maybe one knot or so forwardmotion and giving up very little to leward. Usually in a typical sloop rig, this entails backing the jib and putting the helm down so that the boat wants to head up. There are differnt ways to actually do this depending on the boat but what you try to do is balance the forces generated by a shortened rig, the rudder and the wind. I am still experimenting on doing this with my F33- CK which requires a differnt technique due to her rig, . Hope this helps.
1982 Freedom 33 Cat Ketch, Hull # 53, Standard Booms, deep keel ,tall rig
An armed man is a citizen, An unarmed man is a subject. George Washington
midnightsailor
 
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:21 pm
Location: Greenport, New York

Next

Return to General Sailing

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest