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Post: "Heavy Weather Tactics On W32"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012

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- Archived Message from Inactive Forum -

Lee Perry

Dick and Libby,     Your question is a short one with a long answer. I have owned my W32 Patience for almost seventeen years with two trips out to the Hawaiian islands and up and down the pacific coast from the San Juans to Zihautanejo Mexico. Since an expert is only a drip under pressure, I don't claim to be one. Anyway to answer your question.    
I CARRY -storm staysail, trysail and series drogue. These three will handle most storm situations.

STORM TACTICS IN THIS ORDER- reduce sail, go to storm staysail and trysail, heave to, run downwind under storm staysail alone, run downwind towing series drogue with storm staysail. 
Notice I did not mention taking down all sail and lying ahull(drifting sideways). This sometimes works with a catamaran but not with a monohull particularly a westsail with her long full keel. If you want to roll your boat over this will do it. Keep her sailing at all times to maintain control. I do not like parachute sea anchors as the forces are too great to stop a 20000 lb boat in a storm. She will not lie head to seas no matter what the salesman says.
Rather than state at what wind force you should take each step I would say when you feel your anxiety climbing its time to make the next change. Fear is good it gets the adrenaline flowing so you can function.
Listen to Tarwathie, she will tell you what she wants and when.
Finally you will get lots of opinions on this subject and this is only mine. Form your own as you gain experience. Practice putting up your storm sails at the dock until you can do it with you eyes closed with one hand.
Storms are few and far between, Lee

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