Seamanship

Heavy Weather Dynamics: Too Fast on the Run

Heavy Weather Dynamics: Too Fast on the Run

This article is a follow-up from Heavy Weather Dynamics: Yachts in Following Seas published some months ago. It has since become one the most read items on this site. While the original article applied to most sea-going monohulls, the following discusses more specifically fast modern hulls, or yachts in very fast following seas, such as can […]

Heavy Weather Dynamics: Upwind Sailing, Windage and Resistance

Heavy Weather Dynamics: Upwind Sailing, Windage and Resistance

With tropical cruising becoming increasingly popular and accessible in the last 2-3 decades, trends have developed in outfitting yachts for ocean cruising. Some of these trends that originated from sailing in moderate settled weather areas have resulted in significantly increased risks when a vessel is caught in severe conditions. Many of today’s cruising yachts, whether […]

Heavy Weather Dynamics: Yachts in Following Seas

Heavy Weather Dynamics: Yachts in Following Seas

This article deals with some of the physics involved when a yacht is running before the sea, especially in heavy weather when waves are long and their front faces become steep. Yachts running in heavy weather and following seas face challenges that are very dependent on the characteristics of the design; the ability of the crew […]

Essentials of Wave Theory

Essentials of Wave Theory

Wave theory is quite extensive and complex, but only a very small amount of knowledge about waves is essential to sailors to anticipate the risks that can arise from waves for small crafts. Waves are generated by the wind. There is a relation between fetch, wind speed and the maximum wave height that will result over […]

Transverse Stability, Part 4: Sailing Yachts at Sea

Transverse Stability, Part 4: Sailing Yachts at Sea

This article follows Transverse Stability, Part 3: Dynamic Stability Part 3 of this series dealt with changes in transverse stability taking place once a vessel starts travelling through the water. This article discusses the way the stability of sailing yachts can be challenged at sea as a result of wave action. Wave action doesn’t reduce […]

Inverted Stability: Once Upside Down

Inverted Stability: Once Upside Down

Inverted stability applies when a yacht remains upside down. It is a rare, but not unknown event and one situation where some understanding of yacht design and stability can become of crucial importance at sea. Two main scenarios lead to capsize: Loss of the keel or ballast Yacht rolled by a breaking sea and remaining […]

Offshore Weather: Sailing Near the Limit

Offshore Weather: Sailing Near the Limit

Sailing over 55,000NM in seven years on board the 9-metre sloop Yarra between the Arctic and the Antarctic resulted in a fair share of strong winds and rough seas at times. I managed to wear a set of hanks on my storm jib and pull my new #2 jib out of shape. Even so, wind […]