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Storms?

Old 08-12-2020, 05:31 PM
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Default Storms?

Having been in a fair share of storms at the beach and elsewhere but never in a boat and I'm thinking that a boat is not the place to be during a storm... but see people camping, trekking, and even living on boats. My thought is even with the best planning ahead, it's going to happen. Can anyone tell me about being in a storm in the bay, at sea, even securing the boat in the dock and weathering it in the house? Just curious.
Old 08-12-2020, 06:12 PM
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I have been close several times.......but I'm always on the weather. I don't go when the forecast is 100% for thunderstorms. Will go, but stay close if scattered afternoon Tstorms are in the forecast. The only time I didn't follow that plan I got caught in the front side of a Tstorm that rolled up the pamlico sound in around 1985 or so. I was in a small boat and had to run in 2-3' chop for most of the 3 miles or so. When I got to the ramp it was mayhem as the ramp was barely protected from the wind and I was solo. The boat took a beating and I learned a lesson.

Old 08-12-2020, 06:15 PM
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A couple of years ago I was fishing Lostmans. A terrible lightning storm was coming right down the river with nasty lightning bolts. We were catching a snook on nearly every cast. I did not want to leave. We stayed about 5 minutes too late. I thought I was gonna meet my demise.
Old 08-12-2020, 06:31 PM
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I've posted this before. Anchored in Potomac River a few years ago. Wife looked out and said "look at those dark clouds." Pulled the hook and ran for shelter. Ripped off bimini top. Winds completely turned us around twice (32' boat). Made it to a dock but storm was already on us in full force. Heard the next day winds hit 70mph very near. Rescue was waiting at the marina for someone that stayed out, reportedly hit by lightning.

In retrospect, I've always thought I should have stayed anchored, life jackets for everyone, idled the motors, and rode it out. It was over in 15 minutes.
Old 08-12-2020, 06:37 PM
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Been through two small cat 1 hurricanes aboard.
First one was a surprise one that moved faster than predicted (before there was all the technology today). We were caught
crossing Long Island Sound during the beginning. I can still remember seeing the bow rail of our 46 ft boat (7’ above the waterline) disappearing into the green water and waiting for it to come back up.
The second we took the boat out of the slip and anchored below a windward bluff for the storm (with a bunch of other boats).

I might stay aboard & anchor somewhere “safe” for a small Cat 1.
More than that maybe drop a good storm anchor and leave her on her own (boats are better out of a slip where they can fend for themselves.
Anything over much of a Cat 1 and all bets are off, take care of the family and hope you still have a boat.
If the boat is in a slip, double the lines, lots of chaffing gear, account for the storm surge and use cleats that are more than lag screwed in.

You can tell when the constant winds are nearing hurricane force when you look out and can’t tell where the water ends and the air begins. Fortunately I’ve only seen that a couple of times.

Last edited by NedLloyd; 08-12-2020 at 06:48 PM.
Old 08-12-2020, 06:43 PM
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30+yrs of tournament bass fishn yes I've been in plenty of storms on the water. (TN River impoundments, especially my homelake of KY Lake can get NASTY at times from passing storms, fronts and yes TORNADOES!) With todays technology it's pretty easy to have a reasonable idea of tomorrows weather. And perhaps even MORE importantly, with todays weather apps on your cellphone, you can stay "up to the minute" on actual weather radar! THATs what I use more than any single piece of "digital info", I honestly don't know how many times a day I check weather radar on my phone! AT LEAST 1ce per hour while on the water and if conditions are turning south then I'm on it nearly constantly. On a large body of water you actually can help navigate around or at least through less severe areas of bad weather by utilizing those radar maps. When the absolute dangerous weather slams you and you are not near the ramp, more than once I've pulled up into an empty boat house/dock and rode out a nasty thunderstorm. Unless the homeowner comes down and asks me to leave, I simply sit on the dock and keep my boat from getting any damage from the dock and waves. I've actually had some homeowners come down and the FIRST THING I DO is apologize to them and let them know I just didn't want to get high by lightening or blown overboard. That usually is the start of a friendly conversation and they understood the situation and nobody has ever asked me to leave or been an a-hole. If they do, then all you can do is apologize again and go on to the next empty dock. (Any port in a storm)

Offshore wise, you're on your own and offshore truly can become life threatening within just a few minutes. That's why I never leave sight of shore, but with a bayboat I'm rarely offshore and if so I'm less than 5-10 miles out and can get back inshore quickly. My biggest fear (rightly or wrongly) with ANY fast approaching storm is lightening! I tell folks, "I'm highly allergic to electricity!" Once I've made the decision, "OK the craps about to fly through the oscillator & we need to prepare for the worst. The first thing is put life jackets on EVERYONE! Then I batten everything down. Especially in a fishing boat (mine or typically bass or bayboats) then I'm putting down ALL rods and actually I put them below deck if possible. A 7ft graphite fishin stick is a lightening rod when pointed skyward. I prefer to move EVERYTHING possible below deck/into storage so there's no worry about stepping on anything or having to worry about losing it when fighting the gales. Also remove anything else tall that you can like lights, umbrella's bimini tops etc... You want to keep as low a profile as absolutely possible because on open water obviously a boat will most likely already be the tallest object around as it is!

Nows NOT the time to test your bilge pumps, scuppers, life jackets etc.... Part of being a proper boat owner/captain is having "all systems go" BEFORE you ever put the boat in the water! Know your waters well enough to be reasonably sure you can navigate in them "blind" because in the worst of storms you might not even be able to see but only a few feet in any direction. Remain calm, don't panic, keep your wits about you. A modern boat can take alot and with some common sense and slowing down and thinking, you can most likely ride out most sudden storms.

Boat long enough and YOU ARE GOING TO GET CAUGHT IN A STORM! Just comes with the territory. Don't fear it and "hope it doesn't happen" but instead prepare for it and realize sooner or later it's going to happen. But no reason you can't make it back home successfully and safely. Sure you'll be a little wet and might have a battle scar or two to show for it but with proper planning and common sense you'll still enjoy supper that night at home with loved ones.
Old 08-12-2020, 06:51 PM
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I look at it as you have 2 choices during a storm, hunker down or keep running. Offshore you keep going if the storm is fast approaching and small go against it and your out of the quickest. If its larger it might be better to run with it to land. In the bay go find some shallow water that's protected from land and throw anchor, sit back and drink some beer or go swimming.

Down here in the summer your gonna get caught in one eventually. You can run from a lot of them but sometimes they change course when you least expect them too.
Old 08-12-2020, 06:58 PM
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Yeah down here in Florida during the summer we're going to get caught eventually. Satellite weather helps a lot.
Old 08-12-2020, 07:23 PM
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Many years ago I was fishing Raritan Bay in NJ on a nice summer afternoon. A loud beeping caught my attention, which is when I discovered my VHF radio had a weather alert function. A severe thunderstorm warning was issued, so I pulled the lines and went full throttle toward my marina. I made it to just outside the harbor when the storm caught me. The rain was so heavy I couldn't see so I stopped, but left the engine in gear to keep the bow into the wind, which kicked up considerably. It was the first time I ever put on my life jacket because I felt I was in a dangerous situation.

The most frightening part was the lightning. Luckily the harbor has a sailboat anchorage and I was about 50 yards from it. I figured the lightning would probably hit a sailboat mast before me. It was unbelievable how quickly the sea state changed, going from flat calm to 4 footers literally in minutes. Then about 10 minutes later it was all over and the sun was out again. Not something I would like to repeat, but at least now I have the experience of what to expect.
Old 08-12-2020, 07:28 PM
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A buddy and mine were out once in the Gulf, couldn’t catch a damn thing. We had been in a horrible dry spell so on that particular day we decided we weren’t going to head into port until we caught ‘em. Hours and hours went by - still nothing - and the conversation eventually strayed into religion and God. Funny thing, it almost seemed like we were tempting fate because just then a storm started rolling in. Within minutes it was on us and was the biggest damn cluster I had ever been through. Waves were crashing over the bow and gunwales, rain was coming in sideways, lightning and thunder crashing all around us and the boat wildly pitching and threatening to capsize at any minute. I was scared out of my wits and trying to keep the boat from sinking, but my buddy was HOOTING and HOLLERING like it was some amusement ride. Either he was the bravest man alive or too stupid to realize the trouble we were in, but either way it brought a calming presence to the situation. I don’t remember how long the storm lasted but after what seemed like an eternity we made it through.

After that we headed back in to port where we were greeted by a local news reporter. He told us that several other fishing boats from our town were destroyed by the storm, and that ours was the only one left. After that, the fishing got easy - so easy in fact that we started a company which is thriving to this very day.

I just wish my Jenny was still around to see it.
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Old 08-12-2020, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Alternating Current View Post
Many years ago I was fishing Raritan Bay in NJ on a nice summer afternoon. A loud beeping caught my attention, which is when I discovered my VHF radio had a weather alert function. A severe thunderstorm warning was issued, so I pulled the lines and went full throttle toward my marina. I made it to just outside the harbor when the storm caught me. The rain was so heavy I couldn't see so I stopped, but left the engine in gear to keep the bow into the wind, which kicked up considerably. It was the first time I ever put on my life jacket because I felt I was in a dangerous situation.

The most frightening part was the lightning. Luckily the harbor has a sailboat anchorage and I was about 50 yards from it. I figured the lightning would probably hit a sailboat mast before me. It was unbelievable how quickly the sea state changed, going from flat calm to 4 footers literally in minutes. Then about 10 minutes later it was all over and the sun was out again. Not something I would like to repeat, but at least now I have the experience of what to expect.
was out in the bay once & saw West Bank light take a direct hit from lightening. It just sort of glowed with an aura around it. Weird!
Old 08-12-2020, 08:34 PM
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Caught earlier this summer in a nasty pop up storm between where we were in the gulf and land. In hindsight probably should have stayed out and let it blow through. Thought we would beat it but didn’t... had a couple waves break over the bow, not a fun time.

youtube a couple videos on how to drive your boat in rough conditions. Might get some shit for that but honestly could save your life.

drove past a guy in a 24’ contender and gave him a wave to see if he was okay, we were honestly looking for a buddy boat to get in with. he said he was good so we kept cruising. got back in the harbor and uscg had sent out a cutter and the chopper. Guy lost his boat because he wasn’t driving into the waves the “right” way. All persons were accounted for but like a previous post said, stuff changes quickly. Know how to keep it together and take your time. Also if you are going way out make sure you have the proper safety equipment.

good luck! Hope you never get caught in a bad one
Old 08-13-2020, 01:01 AM
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We got caught in this awful storm, years ago. There was a few of us on the boat and we thought we were all going to die. The storm just wouldn't let up. This one guy, Jonah, says the storm is his fault, and if we throw him overboard the storm will stop. Well, what do you know...we threw him out of the boat and the storm suddenly stopped.
I guess this Jonah dude made it. He wrote a book about the adventure. It's a Whale of a story.
Old 08-13-2020, 01:46 AM
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Worse storm I was in was 6 days of 40'+ waves, and wind gauge maxed at 70 This was on my 62' Ketch and a crossing from Bermuda to the Azores. I had some damage but it was easily fixed. Like being inside a washing machine. Sleep was difficult, even wedged in a sea berth, in the center or the boat down below the waterline. Eating also difficult. I had previously been in a storm where the wind hit 90 knots for a short time, but was in an area with limited fetch,, but that was in a 30' sailboat. I have been in plenty of other storms over 50k at seas. Many where the wind was in the 35 to 55 knot range, and sailing into it on some occasions (offshore racing).

Secured boats during hurricane, where the wind was clocked in a gust at 135 mph about 3 miles from my house. That boat was spider web tied with 14 lines and 4 anchors in a fairly protected canal, with forrest on one side, my house on the other. Boat survived with no damage.

You certainly want to avoid storms if at all possible. Just be sure you know how to handle the boat--and have a strong well designed boat. Series drogues and sea anchors can help in some storms.

Be safe.
Old 08-16-2020, 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by thataway View Post
Worse storm I was in was 6 days of 40'+ waves, and wind gauge maxed at 70 This was on my 62' Ketch and a crossing from Bermuda to the Azores. I had some damage but it was easily fixed. Like being inside a washing machine. Sleep was difficult, even wedged in a sea berth, in the center or the boat down below the waterline. Eating also difficult. I had previously been in a storm where the wind hit 90 knots for a short time, but was in an area with limited fetch,, but that was in a 30' sailboat. I have been in plenty of other storms over 50k at seas. Many where the wind was in the 35 to 55 knot range, and sailing into it on some occasions (offshore racing).

Secured boats during hurricane, where the wind was clocked in a gust at 135 mph about 3 miles from my house. That boat was spider web tied with 14 lines and 4 anchors in a fairly protected canal, with forrest on one side, my house on the other. Boat survived with no damage.

You certainly want to avoid storms if at all possible. Just be sure you know how to handle the boat--and have a strong well designed boat. Series drogues and sea anchors can help in some storms.

Be safe.
You are a badass!
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Old 08-16-2020, 05:36 AM
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I used to get assigned to to the crew to return confiscated vessels from the southern Bahamas to Ft Lauderdale. So this one time we seized a 75' shrimper with 20k pounds of bunk weed on board and 5 of us took off for Fl. I slept on deck the first night as the Caribbean was flat calm and watched the satellites go by which was very novel in the early 80s. The next day the wind started blowing and reached into the high 60s over night. The others were so sick they were ready to die and I drove for two days through mountains of water. When a 210 cutter is a mile away and disappears from sight that shit is big. I will never forget the sound of that old diesel chug chug chugging up a wave and then free spin down to bury the pilot house every time. Thanks to whoever designed that boat to withstand what the sea can throw at you.
Old 08-16-2020, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by novabasstoon View Post
A buddy and mine were out once in the Gulf, couldn’t catch a damn thing. We had been in a horrible dry spell so on that particular day we decided we weren’t going to head into port until we caught ‘em. Hours and hours went by - still nothing - and the conversation eventually strayed into religion and God. Funny thing, it almost seemed like we were tempting fate because just then a storm started rolling in. Within minutes it was on us and was the biggest damn cluster I had ever been through. Waves were crashing over the bow and gunwales, rain was coming in sideways, lightning and thunder crashing all around us and the boat wildly pitching and threatening to capsize at any minute. I was scared out of my wits and trying to keep the boat from sinking, but my buddy was HOOTING and HOLLERING like it was some amusement ride. Either he was the bravest man alive or too stupid to realize the trouble we were in, but either way it brought a calming presence to the situation. I don’t remember how long the storm lasted but after what seemed like an eternity we made it through.

After that we headed back in to port where we were greeted by a local news reporter. He told us that several other fishing boats from our town were destroyed by the storm, and that ours was the only one left. After that, the fishing got easy - so easy in fact that we started a company which is thriving to this very day.

I just wish my Jenny was still around to see it.
Was your friend a double amputee?
Old 08-16-2020, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Dkn1997 View Post
Was your friend a double amputee?

He never actually said so, but I think he made his peace with God...

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