Best Practices in Heavy Weather Sailing


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Daria Blackwell
Daria Blackwell
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A tragic account of a man who is tethered falling overboard and drowning with his wife unable to get him back aboard. It underscores the need to position jacklines as high as possible.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/florida-keys/article20807394.html

Vice Commodore, OCC 
Tonygooch
Tonygooch
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An educational session of the Blue Water Cruising Association discussed this recently. The real problem was that the wife did not how to stop the boat. We discussed theory ion of running Jacklines higher up rather along the deck, and concluded that although it may be preferable on some boats, generally the Jacklines should be along the deck.

Reasons:
Jacklines should kept taut and allow crew to cover the whole length of the boat. This can be hard to achieve if the lines are along the cabin top.

Always move forward along the high side so that if you do fall it will be into the boat. If you are attached to a lose line along the centre of the boat you may be thrown over the leeward side. Better to be brought up short by a taut Jackline at your feet on the high side.

Always remember the old adage.....one hand for the boat and one for yourself.

If necessary, move your knees or bum on the foredeck.
Daria Blackwell
Daria Blackwell
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Tony 's excellent paper with input from members has now been published at:

www.oceancruisingclub.org/Publications/images/Publications/Best_Practices/HEAVY WX OCC Version 4 Word.pdf

Please continue to provide comments and input to help improve our knowledge over time.

I am also inserting the file here for your convenience.
[attachment=256]HEAVYWXOCCVersion4Word.pdf[/attachment]

Vice Commodore, OCC 
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neilm
neilm
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Great work Tony. Agree with most of it, including that it is best to reef at the mast.
The mention of SS rings on webbing through the luff reef cringles suggests ring 1" or 1 1/2" diameter. To me, 1 1/2" is minimal. We have 40 mm rings made of 8 mm diameter rod, which have worked well for 30,000 miles.
A big Wichard snap shackle is the best way of attaching them, as you say. I like you welded on hook idea, but it may not always be practical, particularly for 2nd and 3rd reefs. Our hooks are on short lanyards to eyebolts.

Mast pulpits are a huge help for reefing at the mast. It is easy and safe to work with both hands on reefing. Our pulpits are 25" high (a bit higher may be better, but too high would impede arm movement for winching) and 29" outboard of he side of the mast. Many I see are too close to the mast.

[attachment=258]Mastpulpit.jpg[/attachment]

[attachment=259]Wichardhooktoreefring.jpg[/attachment]
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John Franklin
John Franklin
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Niel
The photo of the reefing rings in Tony 's paper was taken on Al Shaheen. Our rings are the same size as yours and I agree the desirability of rings this size. We have a slightly larger Wichard clip than the one you show and have no difficulty in attaching 3 reefing rings on the same side of the boom. The advantage of a fixed, welded, Wichard clip is that the rings can be clipped in using only one hand. It is best to lave slightly longer tapes between the rings for the 3rd reef.

With a reefing winch mounted on deck, just aft of the mast, I sit on deck (low centre of gravity) when reefing, with a clear view of the reefing cringle in the leech. We keep a short tether permanently attached to the gas strut fitting at the base of the mast and work there with 2 tethers to limit potential falling distance if dislodged.
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neilm
neilm
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Agreed that welded Wichard hooks are the best, for the reason you state
We have no good location to attach them. In addition we have Battcars instead of sail slides, so the second and third reef rings are pretty high, although your idea of making the correct length web could perhaps solve that.
Daria Blackwell
Daria Blackwell
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I just came across this article on heavy weather strategies for catamarans. Does anyone here have experience to add?

http://www.sailmagazine.com/multihulls/boat-reviews/heavy-weather-strategies-when-sailing-a-catamaran/

Vice Commodore, OCC 
David Tyler
David Tyler
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Evans Starzinger 's paper on:
"HEAVY WEATHER ESSENTIALS"
© 2006 Beth A. Leonard & Evans Starzinger
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neilm
neilm
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We have features 1-5 on Milvina, and like them.
Our inner forestay is permanent. We set the piston hanked staysail most of the time in open water, whether we think we need it or not. Thus it is ready rigged when it blows up. If we need more than about 6 rolls in our high clew jib, we just roll it up completely, and the boat balances well with the sails quite low.
Instead of the boom gallows, we secure the boom by having a permanent tether line on port side of the cabin with a Wichard hook to attach to the boom when required, and pull the boom to starboard with the sheet. The topping lift holds the boom up. with this three-way tie, the boom is very stable. Not as solid as gallows, but we have no gallows to get in the way.
Ideally, we would have an aluminum dodger (as John said) which would also function as gallows.
All this has worked well is gales, but we have been lucky enough to miss the extreme conditions Tony Gooch discusses.
GO

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