Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Storm lessons learned

The bent bar in the foreground was straight and is now broken   
I've been thinking about the weather all day today. The storm last night was the worst one we've ever been through on Kintala, and it has provided good fodder for thought now that my brain isn't being rattled by the pounding and jerking.  In no particular order, here are my conclusions:

This is what happens to a teak rubrail after pounding the dock   
Dock boxes and power stations are no match for a 30,000 lb boat
  1. If you're going to leave your boat at the dock to travel home for a few days for the holidays to visit family, please check the weather before you go and prepare your boat before you leave as if it will endure a 50 knot storm, whether or not one is forecast. It's unbelievably rude to assume someone else will check on your boat and risk injury to tend to it for you.
  2. If you ever leave your boat at the dock to go anywhere please be sure your halyards are secure so they don't slap on the mast. It's just good seamanship. This might also sound like a "duh" statement, but we've spent an unbelievable amount of time trying to secure the boat next to us so we can get a good night's sleep.
  3. Use double bow lines and double stern lines when you leave your boat, each led to different cleats if available. If you're not going to be on your boat, have the loop on the cleat and the bitter end on the dock so someone on the dock can adjust your lines if necessary.
  4. Use every bit of chafe gear you have available.
  5. Use every fender you have and then borrow some more.
  6. Remember - dock lines stretch. Just because your bowsprit is 3 feet from the dock when you leave doesn't mean it will be 3 feet from the dock in a 50kt blow. It takes way less time to secure your boat properly than it does to fix a broken bowsprit. 
  7. A 30,000 pound boat is a fearsome weapon in 50 knots. Power stations and dock boxes are no match for one.
  8. If a storm is brewing, leave your foulies and boots by the companionway. You'll need them at 2:00am. Also have flashlights and gloves handy. Have extra dock lines out and ready.
  9. Wear a life jacket if you have to go out on the boat to adjust lines. It's easier to fall off the boat  bucking and jerking on the lines at the dock than it is out on open water and just as dangerous, especially at night.
  10. While it's not always possible, try to move slowly and with purpose. It's incredibly easy to lose a finger in a dockline or a foot between a dock and a bucking boat.


Pat and Joan said...

Great advice. I am reminded of some of the midwest T-Storms that blow thru. A couple years ago a boat bounced for hours until it had no bow left.
Mostly hope you guys and your boat are OK.
Looking forward to hearing how well the engine is running.
Pat and Joan

Unknown said...

Deb any idea what type of boat that is.

Latitude 43 said...

That's some nice damage. What a lovely surprise for when they get back. Hopefully you will be out of there before they show up.

TJ said...

Robert,Hans Christian (40?) It is a nice boat but a little worse for wear now.

Unknown said...

Thanks TJ. Hope you will soon be on your way. Stanley Paris leaves tomorrow from St. Augustine for his solo Circumnavigation for fastest time and oldest at 75. Hope you are following him. The boat is Kiwi Spitit. Fair winds and smooth sailing.

Robert Sapp said...

Greetings from Pensacola. My wife and I are sailors who hope to head out on our own adventure next year and follow in your wake. The waters you sailed on your catamaran charter are our home waters. I'm enjoying the blog immensely as it's much more nuanced and philosophical than the typical "we went here, we did this, here's a pretty picture" sailing blog. If either of you are fans of science thrillers and have a Kindle or compatible device, I'd like to send you a complimentary copy of a book I wrote that you may enjoy. Tim in particular might like it, because I had people with aerospace backgrounds particularly in mind when I wrote it. Just let me know. Regards, Robert & Rhonda

TJ said...

Robert, welcome aboard! We are glad you enjoy our modest little blog. One day we hope to get back to Pensicola, but not this year. (We are running a bit behind.) Deb and I each have a Kindle and would enjoy reading your book. Email us the details at svkintala att gmail dott com.

Robert Sapp said...


I'll follow up via email.