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Old 06-04-2017, 04:26 AM   #61
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I do go out in weather when 90% of the boats in the marina would not dare to venture out in, but it is measured. I slowly stretch my comfort zone, and learn more every time out. Very occasionally it is more than what I expected, but you don't learn much with the boat tied to the dock.

But I I don't think I'd ever aim for a water spout.
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Old 06-04-2017, 10:32 AM   #62
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But I I don't think I'd ever aim for a water spout.
I don't know with certainty, but if they are like thunderstorms, they come come in different intensities. On one gulf stream passage, we dodged between 3 of them.
I was pretty cavalier about isolated thunderstorms until one day we got popped pretty good with 8' breaking green seas in a pretty open boat.
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Old 06-05-2017, 08:46 AM   #63
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I don't know with certainty, but if they are like thunderstorms, they come come in different intensities.
The one I sailed through was of the lighter intensity, but I remember it was sorta crazy, wind whipping from all directions, lots of spray in my face, boat knocked about. Nothing life-threatening, but once again, it certainly was not a "tornado" like you see on tv.
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Old 06-05-2017, 10:00 AM   #64
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I have never been in seas heavy enough to make me concerned, but I have readied my sea anchor a few times as my plan for really rough conditions is to toss it out and then ride out the storm.

My big fear is lightning. When I had my boat built, I looked into lightning protection, and really couldn't find anything suitable -- just lots of strong opinions. So, my plan for lightning is to avoid it. Once, while in the Sea of Cortez traveling from La Paz to Pureto Vallarta, lightning started in front of us and behind us. The strikes in front of us were all at least 5 miles away, but were moving south faster than we were. The strikes behind us were a little closer, but didn't seem to be moving south. (It takes a bunch of strikes to infer a pattern, so I wasn't real confident of my conclusions.) Sirius weather had a feature to show lightning strikes in very nearly real time -- it wasn't showing all of the strikes we were seeing, but helped to confirm our conclusions. So, we just kept going, and everything worked out. After arriving in PV, we realized that lightning storms are almost a daily event, but the vast majority of strikes were over land. Most of the other American fishing boats were undeterred and fatalistic about getting hit. After that summer, I moved the boat north and don't plan to return any time soon (for a bunch of reasons, but the fear of lightning is chief among them).
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Old 06-05-2017, 11:13 AM   #65
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I've been in some crap in both aircraft and boats. I'd much prefer to be in an airplane since I have a lot more tools to use when I'm in the air and typically have a lot more reliability with my tools.

I've used my boats RADAR to avoid storms just like I would on an aircraft.

Sometimes crap just builds when you are offshore -





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Old 06-05-2017, 06:56 PM   #66
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I've been in some crap in both aircraft and boats. I'd much prefer to be in an airplane since I have a lot more tools to use when I'm in the air and typically have a lot more reliability with my tools.

I've used my boats RADAR to avoid storms just like I would on an aircraft.

Sometimes crap just builds when you are offshore -
K9,

Good points but there is a world of difference between avoiding wx with radar in a plane and a boat. The plane is significantly better and you have a LOT more options.

The boat radar picks up the rain fairly well, but at the speed of a boat, the best you can do is somewhat maneuver around it, or maybe nothing. On a boat, I sure like visual avoidance or using XM just as well (which may or may not work in a plane).

Yes, often you're offshore and the buildups build between you and the land. Fortunately the weather often moves inland with on shore winds, especially in the afternoon, so you just wait it out. If there's frontal activity, you could get wet.

However, it's MUCH easier to struggle thru a thunderstorm in a boat than in a plane.

Overall, radar as a thunderstorm avoidance tool on a boat is just fair at best.
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Old 06-05-2017, 07:35 PM   #67
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Make sure your boat has been properly blessed.

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Old 06-05-2017, 08:29 PM   #68
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We were out on a sunny day on the Columbia River when things went from good to bad in about a half hour. This fast moving storm roared in from the south. We were about 3 miles from the marina and had to run right toward the storm to get back to the marina.

As we headed down river the winds picked up quickly. We got hit by a blast that ripped the bimini loose.




About 1/2 mile from where this happened we took a lightening strike either on the boat or very close to it. It blew out the plotter and radar and made running through the sideways rain interesting.
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Old 06-05-2017, 09:01 PM   #69
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Greetings,
Mr. GFC. In hindsight, would you have been better to reverse course and run away from the storm?
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Old 06-05-2017, 09:12 PM   #70
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Make sure your boat has been properly blessed.
Based on a recommendation from a shipmate who had doublehanded a Pearson 26 through the Caribbean and the Canal, we always serve a tot of rum to Neptune when beginning a voyage to ask for his good fortune. We have a tot for ourselves as well since it's not polite to ask Neptune to drink alone. It's worked so far (knocks wood).
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Old 06-06-2017, 01:44 PM   #71
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Greetings,
Mr. GFC. In hindsight, would you have been better to reverse course and run away from the storm?
Yeah, probably. I could see the lightening off in the distance and the storm was moving quickly away from us so I thought if I took it slow I'd get back to the slip without running into or through the storm.


That's what I get for thinking.

A big part of that storm broke off from the main clouds and came in behind us. The gust of wind that ripped up the bimini tilted the boat about 15* to the port side, the wind was blowing the rain sideways, and we couldn't see more than about 50 yards.

Thank heaven for good insurance. New plotter, new radar, canvas repaired. All good. Could have been different though.
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Old 06-06-2017, 03:15 PM   #72
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Just this past weekend I was shooting between 2 small squalls using radar, and saw a waterspout dead ahead (still at about 4 miles). I took evasive action and missed it wide. It went away after about 5 minutes but left quite a bit of wind behind.

Weird thing was it did not show on radar. I made a point of looking. So what if it had been at night? I may have driven right into it.
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Old 06-06-2017, 05:27 PM   #73
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All good advice here. I've been caught three times, once in a downburst that only lasted a minute or so, but winds went fron zero to 70+ in an instant. I found in such moments, particularly when your destiny seems at question, a good blood-curdling scream is an effective strategy.
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Old 06-06-2017, 05:39 PM   #74
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Not over water, but this is a photo that my son sent me a couple days ago that he took in Dallas, TX. I rarely see this type of thing in the PNW. We get rain squalls but they are normally hiding in the general gloom and drizzle.
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