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  • Sailing is all about the Weather.

    Big into the exploration of Atlantic Hurricanes since Katrina came uninvited into his world, James (Jim) Gurley (JamesG161) has followed every Tropical Storm birthed in Atlantic, Gulf and Caribbean waters since. Being a boater, he knows that we often need more time to prepare than we get from the TV weather folk. Jim relies on the science of storm development to share early warning info with friends and fellow boaters.

    Early in 2018, Jim and John Shepard, (JSSailem) started to chat about the weather data available. John asked Jim to help forecast Pacific NW storms, and this morphed into discussions on weather forecasting.

    For John, sailing in the PNW is sometimes hit and miss. One day is ugly, then a string of beautiful days but no wind, followed by a series of blue-sky days and 12 knot breezes. Being ready for those great sailing days means you need to look to the Pacific Ocean and what is brewing. John has been into Pacific NW Weather since the 1970’s when his first PNW November storm hit bringing more than 40 days and 40 nights of continual rain.

    Together we want to share information, new APPs, safety, and thoughts about letting the weather help you. Identify some of the resources for sailors and help prepare you for your next sailboat outing.

    It is far better to go out on the water knowing what to expect in weather terms, than to be out on the water and see dark ominous clouds suddenly appear, unprepared.

Cold Weather Sailing Prep - Alabama

JRT

Feb 14, 2017
1,525
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
The hold my beer state has decided that we will go from 70s to a freeze warning in less the 24 hrs, so fall is done and winter is here. We usually don't sail in 40-50s but next weekend is the annual Great River Race and Abby and I have to defend our 2nd place finish from last year. We are racing our 310, which we have only had since April, and my parents have asked to come. I've prepped them on it will be cold and to bring layers and blankets. The 310 has all lines to the cockpit so there will be limited need to leave it. Cabin is comfortable, but heat is not available without shore power. This will be a test for sure and my daughter and I are really excited. We have told crew that I and Abby make the call and be prepared for a 10-12 hr day on the water.
 
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Nov 6, 2006
8,477
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
Always a hoot! We enjoy "cold" weather sailing on Lake Pontchartrain, and if ya stay bundled up, you'll have fun !!
Picture is on a local bayou in December a few years ago.. temperature was about 28 F .. eerie ice fog thing ..
PC020957.JPG
 
Nov 8, 2010
10,693
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Maybe better post in racing then in weather, but here goes.

the first trick is to stay on top of the Cold. Layers. Merino wool on the bottom, take on and off upper layers as needed.

When it gets cold, keeping the wind off of you is key to warmth.

On BlueJ we use a MrHeater Buddy mounted to the bulkhead. Thing pumps out the heat and is safe inside. 2-3 1lb can will keep you toasty all race.

38A4A162-F928-4C9F-8F7A-078A459BF447.jpeg
 

JRT

Feb 14, 2017
1,525
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
Oh that is perfect, at Home Depot so I'll grab one tomorrow and this will be perfect, thanks @Jackdaw

Racing crossed my mind for this post but it is about comfort, I sent the link to you 40s final race as right now that os looking like our conditions and wind predictions.
 
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JRT

Feb 14, 2017
1,525
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
Got it and a 4 pack of tanks, should be set now!
 
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Nov 7, 2011
2,564
Catalina 30 Mk II Barnegat, NJ
Merino wool on the bottom, take on and off upper layers as needed.
Long john underwear has come a long way since I last purchased some many many years ago. Merino wool long johns, hat liner, socks and glove liners are what I use for sailing in the 40s and 50s.
 
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Nov 6, 2006
8,477
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
+1 on Mr Buddy! Bought mine a few years ago and love it. It was warming the boat when that picture was taken . Mighty nice to warm the boat in the morning.
 
Jan 19, 2010
6,952
Hunter 26 Lake Martin AL
I went sailing yesterday on Lake Martin AL. The wind was gusting and I was by myself so I flew the head sail only. Made hull speed a few times but mostly an easy drift across the lake. Hope your race is fun an relaxing.

IMG_2028[1].JPG
JVTV6477[1].JPG
 
Aug 17, 2015
2
Pearson 39-2 Milwaukee
Timely topic! I had that same heater and loved it but it stopped working after a couple months.

Word to the wise: Carbon monoxide is not your friend.

Yes merino wool inside, layer of fleece over that, something windproof and waterproof over that, and switch to a PFD with some insulating value if you normally use an inflatable . I just did a couple eight eight hour watches in wind and rain bringing my boat down Lake Michigan from up north. Uff da.
 

JRT

Feb 14, 2017
1,525
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
Well the race was cold as predicted but the Mr. Buddy was a big hit. The cabin stayed warm with the sunny day and Mr. Buddy was positioned in the cockpit under the table. We had so little wind so it was a slow drift fest and barely any heel so the heater was easy to keep stable.
 

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Last edited:
Nov 8, 2010
10,693
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Timely topic! I had that same heater and loved it but it stopped working after a couple months.

Word to the wise: Carbon monoxide is not your friend.

Yes merino wool inside, layer of fleece over that, something windproof and waterproof over that, and switch to a PFD with some insulating value if you normally use an inflatable . I just did a couple eight eight hour watches in wind and rain bringing my boat down Lake Michigan from up north. Uff da.
For sure re CO. But boats are very leaky air-wise. We Also have 2 CO detectors hard wired in the boat. That’s a law in MN.
 
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Nov 8, 2010
10,693
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Will the race was cold as predicted but the Mr. Buddy was a big hit. The cabin stayed warm with the sunny day and Mr. Buddy was positioned in the cockpit under the table. We had so little wind so it was a slow drift fest and barely any heel so the heater was easy to keep stable.
If you notice, there are two mounting points on the back to hold it to a bulkhead. It holds it very well in crazy conditions, but still lifts off for storage. If the unit happens to tilt more than 45 degrees, it will turn off.
 
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Apr 5, 2009
824
Catalina '88 C30 tr/bs Oak Harbor, WA
It is too late for your race but for others going out in cold weather, your foulies are your best friend in the cold. Put on warm layers and cover top and bottom.
 

JRT

Feb 14, 2017
1,525
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
If you notice, there are two mounting points on the back to hold it to a bulkhead. It holds it very well in crazy conditions, but still lifts off for storage. If the unit happens to tilt more than 45 degrees, it will turn off.
I did see that and it will be improved next time out! The layer approach worked well for us, we lived in Maine and Rhode Island so we have this down. I start off will bundled up and as the day warmed or I was out in sun more I adjusted. I also limited all movement outside the cockpit to myself, my daughter and my son only and we all had to have the inflatable vests on to move out of the cockpit, water temps were 57 degs. I actually had mine on the entire day and did most of the forward movement.
 

JRT

Feb 14, 2017
1,525
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
For sure re CO. But boats are very leaky air-wise. We Also have 2 CO detectors hard wired in the boat. That’s a law in MN.
We didn't run it in the cabin a all, but I installed a new CO detector the week before also.