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Wind/storms

Discussion in 'Carver Yacht' started by MysticDolphin, Jul 10, 2016.

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  1. MysticDolphin

    MysticDolphin Member

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    Really stupid question.... I boat on a very large lake... Lake Texoma... I operate a 4207 Carver... which i can cruise at around 15 knots or little more... when a storm blows up... usually 70 plus miles per hour winds can kick up... do i have enough power to drive into the winds... ive never thought about it until a sail boat was blown into the rocks... guess he didnt have enough power to drive thru it.. and would like to know before it happens to me.
  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Probably at cruise speed you will be able to maintain direction and make way going into it, but then you're going to be battling very high waves, so it's definately going to be a tough situation.
  3. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    70 mph winds are hurricane speed and in the ocean would average 40 foot waves. I think when you're talking 70 mph you're talking gusts, not sustained and I don't know what kind of sustained winds you're talking about. A gust is defined as less than 20 seconds. 70 mph sustained is a hurricane and not likely where you are. Tornadoes would be more common and perhaps a tornado is what washed the sailboat up on shore.
  4. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    During my military pilot training at Sheppard Air Force Base / Wichita Falls, Texas, we used to go to the Lake Texoma and/or Lake Arrowhead over the weekends for fishing, sailing and water skiing. I did not encounter a real Tornado while being on or at the Lakes but we had several periods of very strong and I mean very strong winds. I do not remember the exact magnitude of the winds but it was sometimes really frightening.

    With one of those heavy towering clouds (Thunderstorms) passing by in the vicintity, the winds became very strong for periods of 20 to 30 minutes with included even stronger gusts. Within minutes, boating could become dangerous. But that guy renting away the boats to us, had a real good alerting system and recalled us immediately or towed the sailboats in. A little Hobie Cat or a 20 ft sailboat is not really the vessel to ride in a storm, even on a lake.

    But I would assume, that a power boat, capable of doing 15 Kts, should be able to reach a safe harbour or bay on the Lake Texoma, before things go really wild. My boating experience on the Lake Texoma were in the early seventies but isn't there some kind of public alerting / storm warning system on the Lake by now?

    Will say, the weather in Texas can be really extreme. On year after I left Wichita Falls, the appartement area, I lived in, was completely wiped out by a Tornado. Thats what I like about our northern german weather, seldom very good but seldom very bad and very rarely dangerous :).
  5. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Sailboats have very small engines, as low as 10/15hp depending on boat size and a lot of windage with the mast and rigging... And they only have one which means that once teh bow falls off the wind, it can be very difficult to bring it back especially if close to shore

    A twin diesel power boat will be fine. I ve been caught in some squalls over the years and if not anchored you just keep your bow pointed into the wind at whatever speed you ae comfortable with depending on how rough the water is

    Th key is to seek shelter ahead of time. It can be tricky to know which direction the wind will blow from in a squall as it usually shifts before.

    I don't know how big / wide your lake is. Summer squalls are common on biscayne bay with 40/50kts sustained for short time but even though the bay is about 5nm wide and 20/25 long you never get dangerous waves... 3 footers may in the worst storms as they don't last long enough to really whip th water into tall waves

    Earlier this year we got caught in a Derecho while anchored in the Bahamas. 60kts sustained for a couple of hours. Rough but no more than 3 or 4 footers even in exposed areas.

    It takes three things to build up seas that could be big enough to be dangerous for the average boat your size: wind speed, fetch and duration. Unlikely to happen in your case.
  6. MysticDolphin

    MysticDolphin Member

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    its not uncommon to have sustained winds from 40 to 70 mph during a thunderstorm.. i know the difference between a gust and a constant wind for 30 minuets to an hour.... we have northerners that can blow 50 plus all day during the winter.. during the summer these storms can blow up in a matter of minuets.... why so many got caught out on the lake last saturday....... no storms were forcasted... just thought i would ask before i make a bad decision during one of these occasions... turned out the sailboaters that lost control of their 40 foot boat actually abandoned ship... still dont know all the details... this lake is about 99,000 acres.
  7. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    What size are the waves on Lake Texoma during one of those storms? That's the key to you being able to maintain direction into it, not the wind speed.
  8. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Seas take time, distance and deep water to build. So I doubt you'll be seeing any 40'ers there, but 6'ers stacked one after another is entirely possible. No way will you enjoy the ride, but that boat should make it IF you keep her pointed into the wind, and as long as the windows don't blow out. Getting the beam or quarter to those winds and seas could easily roll you over. Unless you can make safe port ahead of time your choices are very limited. Your biggest danger is hitting something. So staying at sea is probably your best option. With that boat, docking stern in with those conditions is near impossible. So, if you do try to dock, go in bow first.

    What you describe sounds like a squall line. Often found at the leading edge of thunder storms. They're generally of short duration; 20 minutes to an hour or so. But the weather following can be equally dangerous. Here in the N/E these almost always arrive from the west, riding the jet stream. So we have good warning. Places like Florida get the from sea or from the Everglades or even just create overhead on hot days. If possible learn the pattern in your area, and what to look for. Also use your radar to see them coming. Every so often push it out to 24 nm to watch for weather.
  9. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Nowadays in the us with almost real time weather radar it s hard to get caught with your pants down. In summer time, I keep an eye on clouds build up in the the distance and in doubt I checked the online radar. Personally I really like the myRadar app as it is very precise and almost real time. It s easy to spot trends for yr area and gets a feel for the life cycle of cells based on local conditions.
  10. Loren Schweizer

    Loren Schweizer YF Associate Writer

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    Might be worth entertaining the idea of a sea anchor, something more familiar with your blow-boater friends.
    Made of canvas and bent on to 30 fathoms or so of strong nylon to your windlass, well off the lee shore.
    You are now free to go below for a Scotch 'til it blows over.
  11. MysticDolphin

    MysticDolphin Member

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    thanks for the very good information... i dont plan to ever get caught in these things as tornadoes and micro burst can be common.. but did start me thinking what i would do if i was out on the lake.. it is a big lake and there is room for manuvering getting to port sometimes is impossible but there are coves and fingers that can at least get the boat out of the swells.. that can and do get to 6 or higher feet... but close together and pound you to death... ive always enjoyed this site as there so many very experienced capts. and people on here...
  12. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    Are there still these big catfishes in the Lake? I remember my colleagues were raising some pretty big examples. We used to stay at the Juniper public use aera north of Sherwood. And I remember the possibility of severe flooding, when the Red River was bringing to much water into the lake. A grat resort, I must say.
  13. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    I sailed at Lake Texoma while living in Dallas. Never got caught in thunderstorms however.
    I would carry a big anchor and good chain. If a storm kicks up it may be better to drop the anchor than to try to steer a boat into the wind, visibility will be almost zero and you will loose situational awareness not knowing which way is where. Drop an anchor instead, close the windows and have a cocktail.
    The lake is shallow but not sure of the bottom conditions, manmade lake so you probably have trees and stuff to snag the anchor on. (Difficult to retrieve)
    Some anchors like the Manson Supreme has a "reverse slot" built it so it retrieves easier if stuck and that would be my choice. Still, ask local boaters what works best in that area.
    And go a size or two bigger than recommend, it will set easier and hold better and you will relax while the CB blows itself out.
  14. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    I know you are kidding when suggesting one goes down and have drink when anchored in a storm but just for the benefits of those who have not dealt with a storm while anchored let me say rodent thing to do is to be at the hem, engines running in neutral ready to assist, monitoring the GPS track for any sign of dragging

    I have had to blow my horns too many times to alert some idiot hiding in down below while his boat is dragging
  15. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Well, if the anchor is big enough.... :D

    Nah, I would stay in the wheel-house, fly bridge whatever with the plotter on the biggest scale to show any dragging and would watch the compass for any wind change.

    That being said, when I had my 33' sailboat the primary anchor was a 55 lbs Delta with 215' of High Test 5/16" chain.
    Many a times when a thunder storm hit at 2 AM with 40-50 knots of wind in the Bahamas or Florida and it got noisy in the anchorage with folks dragging, starting motors, blowing horns and screaming, I would just roll over in the bunk and keep sleeping.
    (After I had previously set the anchor good with full reverse power of course, and after having made sure no boats were close to us or dragging down on us: Back to bunk, figured I was good for 80 knots but never had to try it.)

    Such is life in a storm if you go extreme over-size on your anchor.
    Highly recommended but most folks won't spend the money or the time to invest in good ground tackle.