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Old 02-27-2014, 06:44 PM   #1
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Heavy Weather

Just finished reading about Nina, a Burgess designed Schooner that disappeared in the Tasman Sea. All seven souls aboard lost.

My wife, crew and I, in 2007, had a similar experience and faced similar conditions as Nina (even had the same weather reporter). Our crew went overboard and it was by the grace of god that he was recovered.

The weather report was for 30kt winds and 15 foot seas. We saw gusts to 72 knots and think we saw 40 foot or bigger seas, but have no idea of the reality. We were knocked down three times, had a port light stove in and, and had a gusher of water destroy electronics through a closed companionway. We surfed down 25 foot wave faces at 10 knots.

We were hove-to, but were unable to deploy the sea anchor.

For those of you that have been in stormy conditions in a trawler, we would like to know how your boat responded and what you did. Paravanes, active stabilizers or nothing?

We never want to see those conditions again, but weather reports aren't always accurate. We plan for the worst and hope for the best.
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:44 PM   #2
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Regarding the conditions the Nina sunk in, the most seaworthy trawler on this forum would not have survived in conditions half as bad. Just sayin.
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:55 PM   #3
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Some of the trawlers would have survived...I doubt mine would have....I'm not so bold as to say which would and which wouldn't and certainly the captain would make a difference.

Weather forecasts in much of the world today and climatology IS good enough to miss most if not all 70 knot storms.

Many circumnavigators have never been in those conditions because they pick seasonal routes and weather forecasts that aren't always accurate...but full blown 70 knot storms are generally avoidable in powerboats if they work OK and you wish to avoid the storm.
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:12 PM   #4
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Dodging isn't the same as surviving those conditions. Besides, the Nina probably sails as fast as most trawlers motor. I still havent seen any trawler as seaworthy as the Nina has been throughout her life. Perhaps you have one in mind.

I read of a similar storm in that area where several Bluewater sailboats were rolled and knocked down more than a few times. O en was dismayed and rolled 15 times before the crew could be rescued. No trawler that I know of could survive that abuse.

Out of curiosity, are there any trawler that are self righting if they gat knocked upside down?
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Old 02-28-2014, 06:54 AM   #5
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The positive stability curve for a Norhaven I just looked up was over 145 degrees and the one for a Catalina 42 sailboat was only 118.5. So yes... I'd say there are bluewater capable trawlers on here.

But again..many powerboaters have circumnavigated and never experienced the kind of weather being discussed...so what's the point of saying your boat can or can't take something when it may not be necessary in the long run anyhow.

Surviving storms is best done by avoiding them all together and it is NOT impoossible to do. Especially with todays weather forecsasting.

Sure the weather guys get the 10-15 wrong a lot...but it's been awhile since the pat of a major cyclonic low hasn't been discovered and fairly accurately predicted without several days notice to avoid it's path.

There's also a big difference between skippers that think their boat can handle anything and those that know they are better off avoiding it...just look at the skipper of the Bounty....too many sailors think they and their boats can handle anything.
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:16 AM   #6
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>Regarding the conditions the Nina sunk in, the most seaworthy trawler on this forum would not have survived in conditions half as bad. Just sayin.<

Im not so sure about that , the last I was aboard Nina, off City Island NY she had amateur workers working for a ride, someday.

Later she was doing lunch charters in NY harbor , but had to stay WITH IN SIGHT of the USCG station as part of the deal.

Its been years , so perhaps she had a many of thousands of man hours in a rebuild , I havent kept up.
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Surviving storms is best done by avoiding them all together and it is NOT impoossible to do. Especially with todays weather forecsasting. .
And don't forget to install the navigation and communication tools one needs to stay in contact with the weather routers.

BTW, Dashew's FPBs are designed for a full capsize and have the speed to get away from bad weather.
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bel Canto View Post
Just finished reading about Nina, a Burgess designed Schooner that disappeared in the Tasman Sea. All seven souls aboard lost.

My wife, crew and I, in 2007, had a similar experience and faced similar conditions as Nina (even had the same weather reporter). Our crew went overboard and it was by the grace of god that he was recovered.

The weather report was for 30kt winds and 15 foot seas. We saw gusts to 72 knots and think we saw 40 foot or bigger seas, but have no idea of the reality. We were knocked down three times, had a port light stove in and, and had a gusher of water destroy electronics through a closed companionway. We surfed down 25 foot wave faces at 10 knots.

We were hove-to, but were unable to deploy the sea anchor.

For those of you that have been in stormy conditions in a trawler, we would like to know how your boat responded and what you did. Paravanes, active stabilizers or nothing?

We never want to see those conditions again, but weather reports aren't always accurate. We plan for the worst and hope for the best.

This was in your Mainship?

I like my boat but any steep waves over 6' would not be a good thing in my opinion. I'd be worried about the forward windows and slow draining cockpit.
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:24 AM   #9
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The only power or sail boat design I know of that I'd be willing to brave nearly any sea condition in (and only if absolutely necessary) is USCG ER craft that can roll 180 degrees if necessary and self right while maintaining all systems a-go! Baby if that happens you better be strapped in position real tight.

An aside... back in the day... late 50's early 1960's on South Shore LI, NY: There was one of the old time (1940's?? - I guess, and, wood planked as I recall) low profile USCG rescue vessels that a fellow had purchased and converted into a pleasure boat. Man, I used to love to see that craft plying the waters, it just ooozed seaworthy design feelings. The name he gave it was PERFECT!! - It's name was HELL'S BELLS!!

You know... an apt takeoff on the old marine term... "That's A Real Bell Ringer", referring to waves that were so steep or jutering to a boat that the boat's bell would ring itself.
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:47 AM   #10
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bligh wrote;
"Out of curiosity, are there any trawler that are self righting if they gat knocked upside down"?

Perhaps the Willards. My W30 has 2 tons of ballast down deep. Don't know and have never heard of such a thing but even if the boat would roll over and come upright surviving would probably depend on how much water came in through the broken windows, water on deck, how many times the boat rolled and if power was maintained. And the physical condition of the crew after becoming "gear adrift" banging around inside (hopefully) the cabin may have to do w survivability too.

Sorry no pics.
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:17 PM   #11
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Out of curiosity, are there any trawler that are self righting if they gat knocked upside down"?

THe weak point would be windows blow in that would aid downflooding.

Out offshore 90/90 uses Navy 12 inch ports with 3/4 glass and aluminum deadlight covers. I would hope to survive a knockdown.
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:37 PM   #12
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You get seas so bad assss as to knock down nearly any pleasure boat (or any other boat for that matter) - especially God forbid a 150 degree roll back to self-right or a death defying 360 degree full-on rollover... or... for that matter, pretty much anywhere near that type of rough weather and conditions - all I can say is bring a bar of soap wit cha - so you can be real clean when interviewed at the Pearlie Gates!

The object is to avoid bad weather conditions, not try to beat em – cause, in the long run we and our boats are no match to what the Deep Blue can deal out!

Happy Boating Daze! - Art
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:00 PM   #13
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36' motor life boat

When I was a young Sea Scout our boat was 36' motor life boat that the Coast Guard used on both coasts. It was self righting and self bailing. Very slow and very wet. No superstructure , large bronze keel, diagonally planked, and had dry sump diesel that could run inverted. Very much like some old cruising sail boats without a mast. The Nordhavn has large areas of glass and several doors. It may be able to right from 180 deg capsize. I doubt that it has been tested and I doubt it could survive in conditions that would cause capsize, full of water disabled with flooded engines. I know that the SeaHorse 52 and probably some Nordhavns are built with studs for storm glass to protect the windows that can be added . I'm not detracting from the Nordhavn, or for that matter my 48LRC both vessels can handle really rough conditions. If you look at most blue water sail boats they are built with very little if any structure above the gunnels. Very similar to that old self righting motor life boat. I've been in 45knt conditions off Northern California in my 48. Seas were 12' with 10 sec breaking in following sea condition. My bow is 9' 6" above the waterline, my transom coaming 6' above the water line. Life was comfortable until I decided to reverse coarse and try beating back up the coast. The ride went from moving freely around the boat to holding on, sitting or lying. The speed dropped to 3knts, one of things about low powered full displacement boats is they are low powered and when you start climbing 12' waves one after another they slow down , 45knts of wind on the nose slows you down as well. It is entirely likely that you could be in conditions you cannot make headway. You don't have the ability to hove to and how many trawlers carry a sea anchor, even if you could deploy it in big seas. So I think you have to say in general that the average cruising sailboat is more seaworthy than the average trawler. Weather reporting is very good, localized conditions can be very different. We had winds in the mid twenties and low thirties most of the way down the coast. Off Cape Mendocino we had localized conditions much stronger. If we had been heading up the coast, punching into those 12 footers taking an occasional wave over the bow, burning an enormous amount of fuel, would have put me in the first available harbor.
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:44 PM   #14
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Scary - Although in general the "average" daily sea conditions are subdued in the "pond" off shore on the New England coast, as compared to the Pacific coast's generally climate driven sea conditions; we occasionally ran into some hairy sea conditions back in the 1950's / 60's.... way before today's forecasting capabilities. What concerned us the most was potential for flat-window breakage. Never worried too much about port holes as they were nearly always small diameter thick glass with metal frames and big metal wing nut clamps on thick threaded rod. Tiz fun though to encounter rough seas... long as we live to chat about it, that is. Seems you've had sea experiences whose memories will last you a life time! Good on ya!
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