Can’t you put on the cape? In a gale the one who flees wins


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Some time ago we illustrated how to properly put on the hood, but it is not always a possible maneuver. When conditions are so prohibitive that we cannot stay at the cape, the only way out is to escape by sailing with the wind at our backs: in fact, the open sea is in these cases the safest solution while waiting for the worst to pass. In this case, it is important to always have a fixed person at the helm who must promptly get to safety, since they may be exposed to the swell coming from behind. In fact, under these conditions there is a risk that a wave could make the boat capsize. During the escape, the speed of the boat reduces the relative speed of the waves. However, unless there are situations with very short waves, these will always break behind the boat increasing the risk of gagging from the bow. It is difficult to determine what should be the ideal speed at which to make the hull walk: as a general rule we can say that the shorter the waves, the slower the pace should be. Depending on the conditions, there are three different types of escape: with reduced sails, without sails and delayed.


Having lowered the mainsail and rigged the storm jib at the bow, the greatest danger in sailing with the wind downwind is the uncontrolled movements of the boom, caused not so much by the wind as by the waves, which can cause damage to both boat and crew.


If the wind and waves are really too strong, the best solution is to lower all the sails, even the storm jib, always leaving one person at the helm to best direct the boat’s bow in the direction of the waves. The hull will still maintain a certain speed that will make it possible to maneuver.


If the speed of the boat still remains too high even without sails it will be necessary to slow its motion by creating a “trolling effect,” which is also useful for keeping the boat in the direction of the waves. To do this, take the mooring lines and knot them so that you get one. Attach the two ends to the stern bollards or winches-you need high-strength points because, once you throw them overboard, this “loop” will create considerable resistance to wave motion. Adjust the length of the line according to the strength of the wind: the more you have to slow down, the longer it will have to be.



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