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Big winds in a Little Boat!

Sep 15, 2016
614
Catalina 22 Minnesota
@Gene Neill you have got to post more videos like this. It is amazing what a little boat can take but I must say you're a braver man than I to be out for a day sail in that kind of wind. My question is with the main still bagged were you just motoring along or did you have the jib up and already stowed before the video begins?

 
Mar 20, 2015
2,229
C&C 30 Mk1 Silver Harbour, Lake Winnipeg
I must say you're a braver man than I to be out for a day sail in that kind of wind
Sometimes you have no choice. Gene does more than day sailing so I assume they got caught out in an unforecasted squall.

Gene's comments from youtube:
"We were a couple miles off of Cedar Key, FL. I don't know what the wind speed was, but when the squall line first hit us, it was friggin' HARD. The VHF was reporting 60mph on shore nearby. I couldn't keep her bow on the wind, so we just fell off and ran with it. Luckily the wind was onshore, so we had unlimited sea room. :)"



Nice job @Gene Neill !
Details ?

P.S. I'll give you the advice my friends always give me....Don't ever get rid of your awesome wife. :D
 
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May 23, 2016
1,014
Catalina 22 #12502 BSC
Yikes...hadn't seen that one....great work Gene, good lesson for everyone hunkered down in the cockpit and the boat buttoned up!...kudos to your bride as well!!!!
 
Sep 30, 2013
3,287
1988 Catalina 22 central Florida
Details ?
We got about two hours warning via VHF (no cell signal where were) that the storm was coming. It was still over eighty miles away, but it was coming at us at 40mph, plus we were sailing straight at it. We were right between A and B, with no time to reach either one and nowhere to duck into in between. No bravery involved!

It was a beautiful day. We were sailing close hauled in about 12 knots of wind, with full main, 110 jib and Bimini top up, sipping a beer and relaxing with the autopilot on, when the VHF started squawking about severe thunderstorms and small craft advisories. We immediately dropped the Bimini and tied it securely. Then we put in a double reef, just in case some weather arrived early.

We sailed a while longer, listening to the reports, which of course seemed to get worse and worse. After a while we said okay, lets get ALL this canvas down, and fire up the motor. Then we finally got some cell signal, and saw the line of thunderstorms on radar for the first time. That's when we decided to stow the jib and bag the main. I also folded down the solar panels, and lashed them - something I have NEVER done before, even on the trailer. Finally, when there was nothing else left to do below, we put in the crib boards.

All the while, we had been discussing whether to motor into it, or drop the anchor and sit it out. I ultimately made the decision to keep motoring, which turned out to be wrong, but I was glad afterward to have learned something. When that wall of wind hit, there was no keeping the bow into it. I was turning her around in under ten seconds, thinking oh crap, I definitely shoulda anchored!

I wish I knew what the wind speed was when it first hit, and I wish I had the camera on the whole time. To be honest, I was pretty nervous about the whole thing, and didn't want the extra stress of being on camera. The surface of the water seemed really white for the first couple minutes, and even while running off, the rig made a howling noise I had never heard before. I didn't start filming until that stopped. But there was no hail and no lightning, praise God, and not even much rain. After two miles I reluctantly turned us back into the wind (right on the nose of course) and put the Tohatsu to work in what I would call very confused water.

Three hours later, we were safely at anchor, enjoying some Appleton Estate, and watching a beautiful sunset. :)


 
Jan 1, 2006
5,996
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
There's nothing quite so satisfying as a peaceful anchorage, a sunset and some fine whisky after enduring a tempest like that. It's too bad you have to go through that to get to that place. But that's cruising - taking yourself outside ordinary experiences.
 
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greg_m

.
May 23, 2017
692
Catalina Jaguar 22 Simons Town
What about using a sea drogue... something like a series drogue for downwind stability in a squall?
Saw a lot of rudder action going on just to keep steady downwind / bare poles and all!
 
Sep 30, 2013
3,287
1988 Catalina 22 central Florida
Some of that rudder was just me trying to slow us down. I didn't like how much ground we were losing.

I had left the motor idling in neutral after we turned around to run; wanted it handy just in case. After running a while, I dropped it into reverse, still at idle speed. It seemed to work well to slow our speed a bit and keep us on a steadier course. A gasoline-powered drogue, if you will. :)
 
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AaronD

.
Aug 10, 2014
532
Catalina 22 9874 Newberg, OR / Olympia, WA
Some of that rudder was just me trying to slow us down. I didn't like how much ground we were losing.

I had left the motor idling in neutral after we turned around to run; wanted it handy just in case. After running a while, I dropped it into reverse, still at idle speed. It seemed to work well to slow our speed a bit and keep us on a steadier course. A gasoline-powered drogue, if you will. :)
I'm bowing in admiration. Thanks for sharing your experience!
 
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