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Old 08-26-2013, 07:51 PM   #21
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Man bites dog!

We hit storm!

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Old 08-26-2013, 08:01 PM   #22
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Weather, when you're in it, is natures way of reminding you that you are still alive.

It is not as interesting from a window of a nursing home or a hospital, enjoy it and be safe.

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Old 08-26-2013, 08:10 PM   #23
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psneeld, I'd never seen that.
It shows 7 tornado deaths in my area since 1882.
I'll bet there are more lightening deaths.
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:19 PM   #24
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psneeld, I'd never seen that.
It shows 7 tornado deaths in my area since 1882.
I'll bet there are more lightening deaths.
Most of the Atlantic Seaboard is protected from severe storms because once they get close enough to the coast...cooler air from the ocean tends to collapse/diminish the Cumulonimbus clouds that have to be pretty intense and have the correct wind shear to create tornados.

Yep lightning and a few other things like hurricanes can get you in South Florida...but we were always taught that Miami is pretty well protected by the islands and upper atmosphere currents from many canes.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:34 PM   #25
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The radar WAS (with much emphasis there) a decent one that I used frequently. When running at night or in fog or heavy rain it is a godsend.

Any weather service is only going to be able to provide a delayed weather update (Sirius is 15 minutes delayed). I grew up on Lk Huron so I'm used to watching the weather and seeing some pretty powerful storms. I used to sail when I was younger and loved sailing in heavy winds. This storm developed to the north of us so fast that radar wouldn't have shown it coming. I've watched lots of storms develop on the screen and know what to look at but this one just took about 2 minutes to do a 180 degree wind shift and winds picking up.

Manyboats, I have a huge Danforth. I had it well set in the muck but when the wind shifted 180 degrees we were basically pulling the anchor out of the muck. Where we were positioned after the wind shifted, we were took close to the north shore of that little bay. The bay is shallow and the bottom slopes up toward the north bank. When I started up the engines to reset the anchor I was in about 5' of water below the boat and about 25 yards from the shore. Too close for comfort.

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Originally Posted by hmason
Hope you take this in the spirit in which I offer my comments.
Absolutely! You're spot on with your comment and normally I wouldn't have done it. In this situation, once we got about 1/2-3/4 mile downstream the rain had let up enough that I could see (except for the rain on the plastic windows). The wind was still howling and the waves were about 1.5' so I felt pretty safe staying on plane after the radar went out. The boat planes real nicely at 22kts and that's about what we were running. At 10kts I'm just above hull speed and that's where I run quite a bit.

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Originally Posted by jwnall
I also found that downdrafts can produce gusts in severe thunderstorms up to 160 MPH. Whoa! That would tear an anchor loose in a minute, or even several anchors.
If I had to put a number on the speed of that one real strong gust I'd say it was in the 60-70mph range. Understand that we live in an area were we get a LOT of wind and some pretty horrific wind storms. We had one last January where the local weather station reported a gust that exceeded 100mph. I grew up on Lk Huron so I'm accustomed to high wind storms. Fortunately for us this was just one long blast that only lasted about 10 seconds.

When I come through something like that and am relatively unscathed I always try to look back to see if I should have done something differently. My biggest concern was getting out of that shallow bay. I was watching the storm when we pulled in there and anchored and it was well to the south of us and moving east. Only after we'd been anchored about an hour did it really turn dark and nasty. At that point the lightening strikes started and they were coming about every 10-15 seconds, but they were still a long way off.

Even though I'd been watching 360 degrees for storm action, the first thunderclap to the north of us caught me off guard. I'd guess it hit within 100 yards of where we were. That's when the wind shifted and turned the boat around so we were pulling the anchor out of the muck. At that point my goal was to reset the anchor, then decided to hit the river and head home.

It's a tough call as to which was the better decision (leave or stay). We could have reset the anchor toward the south shore and used a lot of scope. We'd have been somewhat protected by the buildings on that south shore, but that's the direction that HUGE blast of wind came from so the buildings didn't provide much protection.

On a somewhat humorous note, my MIL got a great kick out of the storm. She couldn't stop talking about it. We cooked dinner on the boat after we got back in the slip and she kept saying how exciting it was to be out there with all that lightening. She's quite a trooper and is fun to have around. At 97 years old, GW and I both know her time with us is somewhat limited but we hope she makes it to at least 100!

I went to the canvas shop this afternoon and we're meeting tomorrow afternoon at the boat so he can take a look at it and see what is needed. I think it's more a case of putting things back together rather than repairing it. The problem is going to be getting the radar fixed. I tried to turn it back on when we got to the slip and it comes on but won't time in and won't transmit. There's nobody this side of Portland who can fix it so I'll have to see what the insurance company says about that and how they want to handle it.

Sorry this got to be so long. I've never been accused of being brief in my writing, but I hope it's at least understandable.
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:30 PM   #26
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... I've watched lots of storms develop on the screen and know what to look at but this one just took about 2 minutes to do a 180 degree wind shift and winds picking up.
...
An anchor that stays set or quickly resets itself during large wind/tide changes is to be valued. Danforth and its like is not what I'd choose first to handle wind/tide changes.
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:21 AM   #27
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An anchor that stays set or quickly resets itself during large wind/tide changes is to be valued. Danforth and its like is not what I'd choose first to handle wind/tide changes.
That may be.. but in the muddy bottom conditions on the Columbia and the Snake the Danforth has a LOT of surface area and works well when it does reset.
I had a similar cell move through when we did the Columbia/Snake trip a few years back... but with much less punch than GFC experienced and when my anchor and all chain rode reset we were close enough to the now lee shore that I was less than comfortable. I chose to stay put and use a bit of power to lessen the strain so we didn't drag, ( that time )
The weather in the Columbia Basin can change in a very short time and still catches the prudent and experienced mariner from time to time.
I count this as a good experience ( except for the fried radar ), GFC learned where his comfort level is, learned how the boat handles this type of situation ... and he gave a awesome experience to a 97 year old that she was thrilled with!
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:13 PM   #28
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I met with the canvas guy this afternoon. $495 to repair the damage and do a couple of other small canvas things on the boat. That's about what I figured, so no big surprises there.

Tomorrow we're headed to Portland, OR to meet up with some friends. The place I'd have do the work on the radar is down there so we'll stop by and talk with them to see what they have to say.

Haven't talked with the insurance company yet. I wanted to get some figures lined up before I talk with them.
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:28 AM   #29
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GFC. Where were you on the Columbia when you had this fun time?
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:33 AM   #30
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If you were to look at a map of the Tri Cities it's the small bay at the intersection of Columbia Park Trail and Columbia Drive, near the west end of Columbia Park Trail and between Bateman Island and the Kennewick shore. Locally it's known as McDougall Bay for its proximity to a bar of the same name on the shore.

It's normally fairly well sheltered from SW breezes, but apparently not from the blast that rocked us so badly and ripped the bimini loose from its channel.
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:41 AM   #31
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Glad you made it home safely. I cruise the Columbia as well, out of Portland. The only time I have run into enjoyable wind anything near that has been cruising up your way. Glad it usually stays up river!
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:07 AM   #32
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Just curious...why did you not stay put to allow the storm to pass? When your anchor began to drag, did you try to get it to hold by deploying more rode to increase scope? Was it possible to deploy a second anchor? With your engines operable would it have been possible to use them to reduce the strain on your anchor(s) so they wouldn't drag? Once you got your anchor up, could you have used power to maneuver closer to the windward side of the little bay with head to wind so as to wait out the storm in smoother conditions? Not trying to second guess your decision, just throwing out some alternative strategies which might have been preferable to charging out into the maelstrom. Glad you made it with such little damage. Lucky guy!
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:56 AM   #33
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Captain K, to answer your questions....where we had dropped the anchor initially was fairly close to the north shore of that bay. At that time the light winds were out of the north so I dropped the hook then backed down to set it well. When the wind shifted and we turned around 180 degrees, we were too close to the north side of the bay for my comfort level. There wasn't enough room between us and the bank to let out more scope, plus we were pulling on the anchor in the opposite direction of what we had set it.

I thought about staying in the bay because we had anchored there to have dinner. When the rains started coming down HARD and the winds picked up I decided to head for home rather than set the anchor. I probably could easily stayed there and kept the bow pointed upwind but, with the lightening strikes right in that immediate area I felt it was a better choice to be out on the wide open river rather than be in narrow, shallow bay. I'd much prefer to ride out a storm in the wider, deeper river than risk the shallow waters.

It was when I first turned to head out of the bay that we were blasted by the wind and it damaged the bimini top.

I got news from the insurance company and it's all good. I have talked with the rep from Travelers three times over the past couple of days and they're going to cover everything, above my deductible.

The canvas that was damaged is going to be fully covered. Since the canvas itself was not torn it is going to be repaired, not replaced, they don't depreciate it at all. There is a plastic cup-shaped track that the bimini canvas slides in and that holds it in place, that is going to be replaced, but that's all. The window where the stitching was torn is going to be fixed, not replaced so again, they're covering the entire cost of the canvas repairs.

On the radar, I have a Furuno 4' open array antenna and Furuno display and am going to replace the antenna with a Raymarine 4' HD open array so the radar signal can be overlayed on top of the GPS plotter.

The insurance company is going to pay for a comparable Furuno antenna, plus the technician's travel time (3.5 hours each way at $40/hour) plus the installation time (estimated at $80/hour for 8 hours).

I'm going to have them install a Raymarine antenna, remove the old Furuno display, and run new cabling to the GPS.

So, the end result of all of this is that I have to pay my deductible but I'm going to get a much better antenna and will be able to overlay the radar image on top of the GPS image.
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Old 09-21-2013, 05:24 PM   #34
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Things are progressing well in getting Beachcomber back to 100%. We had the canvas repairs done within a week of the storm and have been dealing with Portland-based Rodgers Marine in getting the radar fixed. After a flurry of emails and phone calls between me, Rodgers Marine and the insurance company, all of the work has been authorized and I received a check yesterday for the full amount less my deductible.

The check was made out to Bank of America (lienholder) and me due to insurance company policies so now I have two choices on how to handle it:
1. Try to get someone from BofA to sign off on the check so I can deposit in my bank.
2. If nobody with BofA has large enough huevos to sign off the check we'll open a checking account with BofA and deposit the check. Then, as soon as I can get some checks from them I'll write a check to my bank to transfer the funds and close the account.

Rodgers Marine is coming up here on 10/8 to do the radar install. They're going to remove the old Furuno antenna and cable and display. They also will remove a VERY OLD Raymarine GPS control box from the lower part of the helm. Then they'll do the install of the new Raymarine HD antenna using a new cable and hook it up so it interfaces with my Raymarine C140W display so I can overlay the radar on top of the GPS screen. They're also going to install a new DSC-equipped VHF for me and also a loud hailer antenna.

I have a loud hailer on the eyebrow but it doesn't work. I don't know if it's not hooked up or inop, but it's going to be working when they're done. To replace the burl wood panel where the current Furuno radar display is mounted I'm having a new panel made. It's an aluminum panel (instead of the plastic) with the same burl wood pattern and it's going to have the boat name and a SR logo laser-etched into it.

I'll take some pics of the install as it's being done and will post them.
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Old 09-21-2013, 06:43 PM   #35
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Mike, I had a similar issue with an insurance check made out to me and my lienholder, Key Bank. Since they didn't have any banks in town (Sacramento), I called them to verify they could endorse it, then mailed them the check with a letter. They returned the endorsed check, no problem.

If you have B of A banks in town, it should be no problem for them to endorse or cash it.
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Old 09-22-2013, 08:06 PM   #36
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Thanks Al. Worst case scenario would be if they want proof the repairs are done. I'll pay for the repairs then take them copies of the receipts from the canvas company and the electronics company.

Not a big deal, just a PITA
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