Mooring Accident

Posted by Grant Headifen on April 23, 2009 under Bareboat Charter, Skipper, Storm Tactics, weather | Be the First to Comment

While it is generally accepted that mooring is safer than anchoring, there are still some considerations. The following photo from Waiake beach in Auckland, New Zealand is proof of this.

Whilst visiting New Zealand for the purpose of spreading the NauticEd word, we came across this early in the morning after an overnight mild storm.

After talking with the locals, the mooring chains on all the moorings in the bay had recently been replaced about 6 months ago, and so that was not likely the culprit. Upon closer inspection of the boat, the cleat and bollard had broken off the boat due to age and lack of maintenance on the tie off points on the foredeck.

The storm was caused by high winds produced from a low combined with a high as in the following map.

High winds from two weather systems

High winds from two weather systems

In the southern hemisphere, lows spin in a clockwise direction and highs spin anticlockwise. The two systems then combined here produced 35 knot to 40 knot north easterly winds. This direction is completely open to Waiake beach (on the north east coast of New Zealand) and thus the moored boats in the bay are vulnerable to these high winds.

What should be done?

  • Check tie off points on your boat for rot.
  • Check for leakage of water under fittings. Often times water leakage under the fiberglass can rot out the plywood. Creating hidden rot and weak points.
  • Tie off onto stronger points on the boat rather than weaker points.
  • Use multiple tie off points to spread the load
  • Dive the anchor point on the bottom
  • Check all chain and rode connections
  • Ensure rode is not able to be chaffed
  • Use stainless steel wire to lock closed any d-rings
  • Check chain for rust. Don’t buy cheap chain for a permanent mooring. You get what you pay for.

Feel free to add to this blog regarding mooring safety.

Cirrus clouds

Posted by Grant Headifen on January 11, 2009 under weather | Read the First Comment

Perfect example of cirrus clouds this morning in Austin Texas. Cirrus clouds typically mean that weather is changing in about 2 – 3 days. Many times it can mean the approach of a warm front – but not necessarily.

Cold Front again

Posted by Grant Headifen on December 11, 2008 under weather | Read the First Comment

Bamm another cold front right behind the other. And this is what it looks like now as it has moved off into the gulf. However – today is different from yesterday. The sky is completely clear and this is shown by the high pressure over Austin right now. High pressure means air is moving out of the region and being replaced from falling air above bringing dry and clear conditions. Also the wind has dropped off as shown also by the isobars being spread apart near Austin.

Second cold front this morning

Second cold front this morning

First Weather Blog

Posted by Grant Headifen on December 10, 2008 under weather | Be the First to Comment

This is the first weather blog and fitting as it is – a cold front ripped through Austin Texas, NauticEd’s HQ,  last night dropping the temperature from 76 deg F yesterday to freezing rain overnight,  32 deg F and a sharp wind direction change from west to north. The cold front looked like this. This morning the sky is loaded with Cirrus, Alto stratus and Cirrocumulus and changing to an ultra clear day. Brrrrh!
Here is the map taken from http://www.opc.ncep.noaa.gov/UA.shtml this morning. (Guitar added for effect to show Austin, Tx. Music Captial)

Cold front passing through austin Texas this morning

Cold front passing through Austin Texas this morning

I remember one time (not in band camp) we were sailing in Belize in 2004. It was near the end of the Hurricane season and had also heard of a strange and strong sudden wind that mysteriously appears in Belize so we were on the look out. We stopped on an island one afternoon. While lying under a tree with some nice cold drink in hand a local wondered by. We began talking about hurricanes and local weather etc, so I asked him if he knew anything about approaching weather. Thinking that perhaps he had been listening to the radio recently. He just looked up at the sky looked down at me and said “No Mon – weather is good for the next 3-4 days”. It was a sign to me to gain that skyward knowledge if I was to continue my sailing skills.

The Weather course was written by Jay Brosius a weather consultant and sailor. His knowledge imparted into the Weather Clinic is invaluable and were proud to have him as the Weather Faculty Member. Jay wrote the course while sailing across the pacific and the bulk of the course was transmitted by satellite email service.

Please enjoy the Weather Clinic – and as always please comment or contribute to the blog. Tell us your weather stories. Just register and start typing.

First Storm Tactics Post

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

Storm

Storm

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