Friday, August 28, 2015

Hogfish Maximus is ashore for hurricane Danny and TS Erica.

Today as I write this post we are sitting on land in the boat yard in Jolly Harbour in Antigua. Tropical storm Erica is making its way past us blowing at least 50 plus knots or more with rain. The Hogfish shakes a bit in the bigger gusts. It could be blowing more but we are hiding behind and a bit below a bunch of bigger deep draft sailboats. The wind is howling through all their rigging. Antigua has been experiencing  its worst drought in recorded history. The rain is very welcome.

We hauled out a few days ago because of the threat of Hurricane Danny that was projected to go over Antigua. 
We are uninsured. Normally we find a good mangrove creek to go up and put out all our 7 anchors and tie as many lines as we can to the shoreline. This we have done for the past five hurricanes we have weathered In Grenada, the Exumas, Abaco,Florida and back home in Spainish Wells in the Bahamas.
In Antigua where I am redoing the deck on Wild Bird there are no soft shorelines. Lots of concrete and expensive boats and docks about. The only good creek to go up is 9 miles away to weather in a very remote place. We would normally go there but we want to be near Wild Bird to look after her. So we have spent a few dollars to come ashore and be 100' away from Wild Bird. She has her masts out and is in a full cradle with boats that are stored the same way. A very secure way of surviving a hurricane.
Being self insured means that since launching Hogfish in 1999 we have put our money in anchor
rodes, chain and anchors. We also have gone to great lengths to stay away from all other boats. It's other people's boats that normally wreck your well placed and secured boat. Having a shoal draft boat enables us to get away to be by our shelves.
If we had been paying for insurance since 1999 we would have shelled out at least $22,000.00 US to date. So far this is the first time we have gone ashore to avoid being next to boats we would have no control over as to how their owners would tie up. The Yard here is very professional. When I picked it to do the Wild Bird deck Project I made sure they would be able to haul us out too in the event of a storm.
So here we sit. The yard crew loves our boat as all they had to do was to lift us out and place us on the ground. We did not spend the money to power wash off the bottom as we will be back in the water on Friday. The growth here is non stop.

No keel !

Anyone who thinks they can sail a shoal draft boat off shore with a shallow horizontal rudder is foolish.
You need a good deep rudder at sea.

The straps are mandatory. We have sat on the bottom with the tide out for several hurricanes of catagory 1-2 with out moving.

The prop strut is made out of fiberglass. I took this time to take the prop off and grease the shaft so it will be easy to remove under water as I will be getting a new feathering prop next week.

Being off set we get very good prop drive but the drag from this fixed bladed prop is about 1/2 a knot in speed loss. The small keel skeg with its flat end plate is made of solid fiberglass.

The Scheel keel idea

Looks like a Chinese take out box hull shape

Detail of bow anchor set up. We have three different headsails we can set. The 110% roller furling jib.
The staysail behind it set on its removable stay or a large Genoa on the forestay.

The 75lb. Fisherman hangs on this simple piece of hardware.

That little bit of Scheel keel really does wonders

Nice and flat. When the boat is heeled over going to windward that chine becomes a vee shape so no pounding. A vee bottom bow when heeled becomes flat so lots of pounding.

 Gayle with our new Bruntons Auto prop that is coming from England. Tim Bought it on EBay for us for $783.00 and will bring it over next week when he visits. Will let you know how it performs against the old three blade fixed prop. This prop self feathers to engine revs so is supposed to be very efficient under power. I also hope to get back that 1/2 knt. Speed loss under sail.

Would post pictures of the wind if it would really show anything. Today's been a good layday for writing blogs. 
The bad thing about hurricanes is you always wish them to go somewhere else. Somebody's going to end up with them. Tropical storm Erica will be gone by tonight but it's heading for the Bahamas and is projected to go over our house in Spanish Wells. Such is life when living and sailing in the bowling alley.
When growing up in California we had to worry about Forrest fires and earth quakes. Not much you can do about them. But you can build a house to go through a hurricane and you can do a lot to save and protect your boat in a hurricane if you are aboard to plan ahead.
Once you have set your anchors and tied your lines then you have to decide to stay aboard or go ashore to a safer place. Once the wind is up over 35 knts there is nothing you can do but sit back and hope for the best. We have stayed aboard for most hurricanes being alone and only in 2-3' of water so we felt the risk was acceptable. Rachel and the kids have stayed ashore when they had a very good place to stay. That hurricane in Grenada was quite exciting for me anchored when the gusts would come across the small bay at over 100 miles an hour. With 7 anchors out Hogfish really did not move around but leaned over at times to 20 degrees in these gusts.
So now we will watch Erica on its path to the Bahamas.
Fortunately we have good people that will close up our house for our old renter. Our place is built to go through storms. We just hope for the best with our plants. 
Will let you know how it all turns out in a week.

1 comment:

Sixbears said...

Good luck! I'm keeping an eye on a few boat bloggers in the storm path. You seem as prepared as any and much better than most. I love shallow draft boats. Looking for something a bit bigger, but must be shallow draft -so many advantages. We sail a lot off Florida in a swing keel boat and it's great.