Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Storm sailing: Coastal and Offshore

Storms are the challenge times for the sailors and if you are a new kid on the block we have got some tips on how to get yourself through this kind of weather. Do not just jump on the so called lucrative deals of storms sails for sale up on the web. First learn what you would require and then buy.

For Coastal Storms

Strom Sail Coastal  :

Shortening the sail is the best option.
  • When the wind blows over 15 Knots, drop to the first reef.
  • If it goes beyond 15 but below 20 Knots, roll up the Genoa. 
  • Beyond 20 Knots, put in the second reef.
  • Then again if it rises up to 25, sailing under the reefed main is the option. Furl up the Genoa.
  • Now if it is over 30, drop the main. On those times sailing under the bare poles is the wisest option.

Now what will happen if the threat is beyond? If there’s a sudden strong squall or high sea?

Apply ‘heaving to’. This is simply setting up the rudder and the sails in a way that they oppose one another. This will stop the boat making headway. 

For Off-shore Storms

Strom Sails : Offshore -
  • Typically all the off-shore sailors carry Trysails and most essentially a storm jib.
  • You can also reef or furl regular sails but generally the fabric of these sails cannot withstand strong winds. So you should always carry special sails for storms while going offshore.
  • Staysails are great weapons to fight storms off-shore but you should ideally get those custom made. Vessel type does matter for the construction.
  • Lying Ahull is one of the best techniques to combat off-shore light storm, not high storm. Simply drop the sail and stop steering. The boat will fare for itself.
   But, there is a but. It is applicable if the waves are not that big.

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