Storm Tactics by Lin & Larry Pardey
My rating for this book is 5 out of 5 stars. Very well written AND informative.
This is a fantastic book. I was impressed by the thoroughness of how they approached the information. It is just the right mix of What, Why & How. Another nice touch is the real-life stories of boats that came through storms (and some that didn’t) I think I need to re-read it, but I have the jist of the info and will definitely re-read it in the future. (Still working through my current pile of books)
Their main point is that BEFORE things get bad in a storm, you should put your boat in a “Heave-To” position. Without getting too technical, it is basically a position where the wind blowing against the sails and rudder are counteracting each other to keep the boat drifting downwind and as steady into the waves as possible – all without requiring any action on the part of the crew. The boat then drifts downwind and the turbulence in the wake of the boat disrupts the breaking waves that can do so much damage when they crash down on a boat. This allows a tired crew to rest rather than be worn down by exhaustion trying to steer the boat up and down the waves. I think they do a great job of explaining what it is and how it is done. This is definitely one of those skills to practice before you need it!
It should be noted that there is some controversy over which to do. Should you Heave-To or “Run before the wind”. Basically turn your boat so the wind is behind and try to sail away from heart of the storm. John Vigor,a knowledgeable sailor and author recently posted a blog entry on storm management that advocating running with the storm. I think I fall in with the Heave-To crowd, but not having any experience I really can’t say. Just knowing about the options is a good start.
And yes, someday I expect to be caught in a storm at sea…