Forereaching animation: How to sail in big waves

Posted by Director of Education on October 19, 2015 under About NauticEd, Bareboat Charter, Coastal Navigation, Crew, Skipper, Storm Tactics | Comments are off for this article

This post was inspired by the conversation I had with a student sailing off shore in big waves. He was wanting to know how to keep his sails full and have a more comfortable ride whilst sailing downwind. See that conversation here: Wave and Forereaching.

In our storm tactics course, we talk about how forereaching is a way to handle the waves. If you’re going downwind, the waves will still be going faster than you but you can surf them as you go down. As the wave passes underneath and you slide off the back side, your speed will drop significantly. If you don’t turn up wind, the apparent wind will and shift aft and drop way off. The headsail will become shadowed and depowered and your boat speed will drop even further. Your ride will be pretty uncomfortable with an annoyingly flopping head sail.

To keep your boat powered you will want to maintain a constant apparent wind angle to the wind usually about 130 is best and if you’ve take our electronic navigation course dealing with polar plots you’ll learn that you go faster downwind towards your destination by sailing at 130 off the wind rather than directly at at your destination¬†at 180.

In order to maintain a constant apparent wind angle and keep boat speed at it’s maximum, you forereach the waves. This means turning up into the wind as the boat speed slows then turning down wind as the boat begins to surf.

Here is our simple animation. You’ll notice on the wind meter that the apparent wind angle stays constant as you make your turns. The True wind shifts relative to the boat (constant relative to the ground obviously). Press stop/play through out to see what is happening.

Enjoy! Take the NauticEd Storm Tactics Course. You never know when you’re going to need this information and saying “whoops I wish I’d taken that course” is just too darn late!

20 point plan to rig for heavy weather

Posted by Grant Headifen on February 8, 2009 under Storm Tactics | Be the First to Comment

1. Reduce sail to the appropriate sail plan early.
2. Make storm sails ready.
3. Secure all deck gear
4. Fill fuel tanks from jerry jugs if necessary
5. Secure companionway slides and hatch closed and sealed from the deck.
6. There should also be a mechanism ready to secure the hatch from below.
7. Batten down hatches and ports.
8. Don and clip on harness/tethers at all times while on deck, wear PFD, overboard alarm, personal strobe light, whistle.
9. Lee cloths positioned
10. All latches are secured below decks to prevent spillage.
11. Passageways cleared.
12. Prepare a warm meal, put warm drinks in thermoses.
13. Obtain position fix, communicate position and situation to land base(s).
14. Charge batteries
15. Remove bimini and secure all loose objects on the decks.
16. Ensure that a furled genoa cannot deploy or remove it from forestay
17. Determine and review storm tactics
18. Begin heavy weather watch schedule.
19. Close all unnecessary through hulls and seacocks
20. Perform the entire routine maintenance and monitoring protocol.

These were bought to you by the NauticEd Storm Tactics Clinic and by the author Captain Ed Mapes.

Storm Tactics

Storm Tactics

First Storm Tactics Post

Posted by Director of Education on November 13, 2008 under Storm Tactics | Be the First to Comment



Welcome to the first blog post on Storm Tactics. Please feel free to add to the blog on anything related to storms.