Double stern lines.jpg
Bean Insulated Boots, snowy gloves and shovel..jpg

Winter Storm Predicted - How Live-Aboards Prepare

This is a beautiful December morning. Crisp and clear.   However, the "Weather Liars" -- as EW calls those who attempt to predict the future -- are calling for a nasty day tomorrow. 

Mariner's Weather Prediction for 12/9/09

 All of you may be worried about the snow and ice -- and potential hazardous driving or cancellations.  We focus on the winds.  The first site that comes up on my bookmarks is Coastal Maine Weather  -- and at left you will see what they are saying about Wednesday.

This is not good for two reasons: First, due to the predicted strength of the winds. We start preparing if we hear 30 knots from the Northeast.  They (whoever "they" are) Are predicting in MPH -- So we are looking at 40 to 60+ knots of wind on Wednesday.  Oh joy.

Second, the worst of the winds are predicted to be from the East or the Northeast and near high tide on Wednesday afternoon/evening. High tide is at 4:53 PM tomorrow.  Of that we can be sure.  (That whole "time and tide wait for no man" thing -- that is true.)  The only time we really have potential severe problems at the dock are when we exceed 30 knots of wind 3 hours before and after high tide. Oh joy again.

So, if they are right -- and we have to prepare as if they are always right -- we will have a wild ride tomorrow afternoon.  Oh -- why high tide and from the Northeast?  Because our marina is protected from "fetch" from any other direction. East winds aren't pleasant but they aren't as bad as Northeast. That is the direction when there is the longest "fetch" -- distance for the wind driven waves to build in strength. As for the tide, at low tide we are protected by mud banks. The same mud that let us get stuck (in the middle of the channel) at low tide this fall, protects us from wave action during Northeast storms. 

So this morning I doubled up on the stern line and posted a photo of it. Then realized that I had messed up. In addition to strong and extra lines, you have to place them properly. We have two bow lines on always (because they are hard to put on through the shrink wrap) and attach a second stern line before storms. One of each of them is on a snubber -- a shock absorber for boat lines.  One of the spring lines is on a snubber, too.  The extra bow and stern lines don't have a snubber so they are tied a bit longer than those with snubbers -- to let the snubbers work. (Why does spell check recognize snubber but not its plural? Weird.) 

ALL lines have chafe guard -- in our case old fire hose -- at every chock and cleat. That is where I made my mistake this morning. If you look at the first photo, the eye of the second line (the white one) is around the dock cleat and the chafe guard at that end is useless.  When I re-did it, I put the eye around the boat cleat and the bitter end around the dock, using the chafe guard in the chock on the boat and around the cleat on the dock. 

All set. Now we get on with our day. I'll let you know how tomorrow goes.  Could be nothing -- could be a good story.  

 Three photos of lines: the bow lines, stern lines bad and stern lines good.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Good thing to catch the eye without the chafe gear. I agree that without it the movement just saws away the only thing holding you to the dock.

The comments to this entry are closed.