Thread: Itís Showtime
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Old 09-03-2014, 01:38 PM   #1119
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Originally Posted by dannc View Post

I would suggest reading the weather books FIRST and then reading the Dashew storm tactics book. I think it would be more helpful to know more about the weather before jumping into the storm tactics book. I read the storm tactics book first, followed by the weather books. I wish I had done the revers.
Doesn't matter which you learn first, but in the long run on ocean crossing the storm tactics and ability to handle rough conditions may well be more important than any weather books. Richard is a trained meteorologist and one of the lessons he says from the trip is the limits of weather forecasting.

I'm going to toss one other thing out. If as a coastal cruiser you avoid all but the best weather, you won't likely find yourself prepared. We had a captain training us who has encountered all sorts of conditions. But he trained us in some rough conditions. Not dangerous but those that mostly you would have run to shore. We were close enough to shore to get there at any time but we took hours dealing with rough conditions and approaching from all angles. We learned more about the capability of the boat and worked on our own skills. We would prefer not to handle 15' waves but we do have the confidence we'd know how and confidence is often the key. The moment you say or even think "We're not going to make it" you'll be yelling Mayday later. You've got to be able to think, "Ok I know the boat can do this and I know what I'm supposed to do. If I do it right we'll get through this."

Modern day boats are pretty amazing and solid. You don't read stories about them breaking apart leaving the occupants stranded at sea. The stories start with some form of mechanical failure. For sailors, generally with the sails or autopilot and then engine. And ultimately then a lot of the rescues are because the crew wasn't prepared, didn't know the right actions to take, and couldn't figure out what to do.

There was never in my mind a question about the KK42 being ok. The question was whether Richard was up for the challenge. We obviously have the answer now that he was. While I'd think he is strongly against repeating those conditions, I'd also think there is tremendous pride in knowing he can handle them and next time he'd even do it better with the things he did learn.

For all of those here who have read of the Nordhavn Atlantic Crossing, I'd encourage reading books and details about it. Lessons to be learned. There were 15 Nordhavns, 1 Seaton, 1 Krogen and 1 Monk-Mcqueen. As part of the rally they had engineers available, medical staff, and more. The non-Nordhavn's actually had fewer problems than the Nordhavn's but may have had more experienced owners. While the boats had to be capable of making it on their own without the flotilla of help, some of the crews may not have been. Stabilizers were a big problem. One that wouldn't be such an issue today. But it's important to know what you'd do if a stabilizer broke just as when a paravane does. This was a great event because one was able to do it with the safety of others with them. Now I recall one lady who did decide on the way that she and her husband would put the boat up for sale as soon as they hit shore. So it wasn't a great experience for all. I'd ask how she'd been prepared for that. Everyone on the boat needs to be prepared. If you're trying to handle things at the helm and you have someone screaming "we're going to die" that doesn't make it easy.

The point is that Richard just did it in the KK42. You could redo that rally boats from 15 different builders, all capable of the trip. Obviously important to fully prepare the boat before the trip. But the key is going to be the crew. Perhaps Nordhavn would handle it better and ride better than other brands. But they didn't complete the rally because they were Nordhavn's. They completed it because the crews were capable and there was lot's of support available there as well.

While it's important to know the capabilities of your boat and equipment, it's more important to know your own capabilities. You can bet on some challenges along the way. Notice Richard's challenges weren't on the long leg. On thing Nordhavn required before the rally was that all participants do at least a 600 mile run offshore or crossing before they could enter.
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