Avoiding a Storm!

 

JoepicSailingwithAlbie1

Welcome to Sailing With Albie!

I love sailing, hiking, personal motivation, business and sharing what I love with others! Feel free to check out all my exciting adventures at my websites below!

Simple Lesson to Avoid a Storm:

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This is a little story of the importance of your VHF and how we could have avoided a big gale:

One weekend my good friend and I checked the regular TV forecast and it said there would be a little rain. So we thought “well, that’s not all that bad.”

So we didn’t put off our sailing trip to Catalina. We sailed over on that Friday night. In the morning we saw a hundred dolphin. The sun was shining an all was at peace.

We arrived at Two Harbors on Catalina later that morning and got ourselves all situated there. Later we took a stroll and stopped by the Harbor Master to see what the weather was going to be like the following day. We were shocked to see that a gale was on its way with 40 knots of wind!

The following day was sunny and bright and nothing seemed amiss. The wind was blowing the tops of the palm trees but that was the extent of any weather. We both decided to go back home. I thought that maybe we would experience 5 foot waves at the most.

 

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Well, we experienced 5 foot waves just leaving the harbor. Then the seas rose to ten feet. After we had crossed out of the shadow of the island, the wind really kicked into gear and the waves got to twenty feet high and stayed this way for the remaining 9 hours home.

 

 

 

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White water was everywhere…

 

It was extremely dangerous and we thought the sails would tear or that the rudder would break.

Often the wind exceeded 40 mph and we went back to get a report the following day and there were reports of gusts up to 70 mph.

All this to tell you to listen to the NOAA weather report before you go sailing. This would have told us about the gale coming and we would have saved ourselves a ton of trouble!

 

If you like this article. please subscribe to hear more hair raising stories!

Thanks for your comments!

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~Albie Derbyshire

1-877-635-5708

cell: 626-379-5692

sailingwithalbie@gmail.com

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http://sailingwithalbie. blogspot.com

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Before You Buy Your First Boat..

…and how NOT to lose your mast twice… like I did.

 

JoepicSailingwithAlbie1

Welcome to Sailing With Albie!

I love sailing, hiking, personal motivation, business and sharing what I love with others! Feel free to check out all my exciting adventures at my websites below!

Lesson One: 

Today I want to share with you the first thing you need to know before going out on the water: 

Four things to do before you buy your boat!

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Now I want to start by letting you know that I’m not an expert in buying boats. However, I’ve been sailing for twenty years and been in a mixture of 35 small craft advisories and gales and crazy things that the sea has put my way. So my advice is follows:

Have someone who knows what they’re doing check these four things:

  • 1) the condition of the rigging.
  • 2) Check the Keel bolts.
  • 3 check your through hull fittings.
  • 4) check the boat engine.

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Lets examine Number One. The rigging. 

Is it old and are there sharp broken strands? Is it looking rusted? Is the rigging too tight, just right or loose? These are things you’re going to need to know! I’ll give you an example why.

 

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The starboard upper and lower shroud rigging that holds up its side of the mast.

 

 

You see, if the rigging is too lose, it makes the mast weak and if you get sailing on choppy water, it makes the mast swing about too much and puts more wear on the rigging than it should. In worst case senerio you could lose the mast.

I also had my rigging literally snap on me because it was too tight. Its almost impossible to break the rigging with your bare hands so you know some incredible force must be on it to snap through all those metal strands!

I’ve also lost my mast because of old rigging that had broken strands. One year, my rigging broke near the top of the mast because of the strain of heavy gusts of winds that suddenly came up one evening. The rigging snapped like a gunshot and the mast fell in the water before I could even blink. That was a difficult time I can tell you! lol!

looking back, I could see where the strands were weak and old. I should have been paying more attention – but I simply didn’t know and learned the hard way.

I’ve also lost my mast to the cross trees being at the wrong angle. This was the worst and hardest lesson I learned as I lost the mast out in a gale at sea and had to be rescued!

Now you can get a pretty good idea if the cross trees are right. Its pretty common sense really. You can also tell if they look secure.


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Second Replaced Mast in background

My cross trees came lose at sea and they slipped down at a bad angle. I had seen that happen before and that was really my warning signal. It was a bad idea to be out in bad weather like that with cross trees that could possibly slip.

Basically the strain of the mast at sea in big waves, put way to much pressure on the cross trees and the mast blew out again – like a gunshot! It shook me to the core!

I was out at sea that time and lost use of my sails. My outboard engine had been carried away recently by a large sea in a previous storm. So now I had no way of getting back. The funny thing is that I had thought my engine had been chained securely! Lol! It would have been a good idea to not just suppose that the chain running around it was holding it properly – but that I was sure!

But now I’m getting off the topic. Haha! This really is a different story!

Number Two is to check the Keel Bolts.

 If you know what you’re doing, you can take a hammer and hit the bolts and can hear if they sound solid. If there is a different “hollow” sound then, its possible that this particular bolt has rusted through down below and is not holding the keel properly!

Number Three is to check the Through Hull Fittings.

This is where the toilet hose runs through and out the boat and where a hose runs water from the engine to outside the boat for cooling. I don’t know a lot about this. However,  these hoses can be turned on or off with a valve. It is possible to have the valves open when they should be closed and vice versus. Also the valves can get sealed by old age and refuse to budge. So check this too.

Number Four is to check the reliability of the engine.

I’m not a mechanic and don’t have a lot of expertise in this area. But if the engine can run for half an hour without getting hot than that’s a good sign. Also for outboard engines, you should notice that a healthy stream of water is “peeing” out the back into the ocean. Having someone check the oil, the spark plugs, carburetor and putting new gasoline in the engine is a good idea. Of course many inboard engines run on diesel so ask an authority about this.

Hope this helps you find a good reliable boat!

PS: There are some other things I look for too, if your looking to go out further to sea.

Boats that are ‘Blue Water” rated are more safe in storms and in the open ocean. I’m not an expert here but things I look for are cockpits with lazarette’s that cannot leak water through to the cabin would be a good sign. Fast emptying cockpit drain holes would be another. And my final test would be how the boat performs in small craft advisory weather and storms. Of course this should be accompanied with experienced sailor/s, great care and proper security measures (Unlike some of my own crazy ventures). If you like this article. please subscribe to hear more hair raising stories!

Thanks for your comments!

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~Albie Derbyshire

1-877-635-5708

cell: 626-379-5692

sailingwithalbie@gmail.com

Want more sea stories? 

http://sailingwithalbie. blogspot.com

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Amazing story how a young teenage girl sailed around the world alone! Click on cover to see more details.
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