Author Topic: Kentucky Lake Sail  (Read 456 times)

Offline blighhigh

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Kentucky Lake Sail
« on: June 15, 2016, 07:41:33 PM »
 was out on my little boat this afternoon for what was expected to be a nice sail.  The winds were 5 to 12 knots from the South West.  I could look North after exiting the marina and notice that there was a storm in the distance. Checking the sky I thought that the prevailing winds were pushing it away from me. Wrong.  As it approached I had the motor on and the sail tied to the boom.  Then it hit—winds of 50 to 60 knots; waves 3 to 4 feet.   I felt secure knowing were I was on the lake with the chart plotter on showing my position.   I would have pulled into a cove but there was a barge heading North between me and comfortable anchorage.  Instead I headed back to the marina but I didn’t get far before trouble started.  Visibility descended to about 50 feet; the rain was horizontal and a loose halyard fouled the outboard prop at the same time the chart plotter died.  Either a blown fuse or a lightening strike.  Not sure since all the electrical pannel fuses are out.    I managed to get an anchor out and headed below wishing that I had a change of clothes since I was waterlogged and cold.    Finally most of the storm passed.  I could see safety in the marina.  Taking my boat knife I   cut the halyard ;  let the swim ladder down;  got into the water holding on to the knife and boat managed to get the rest of the halyard unwrapped around the prop.  With the outboard working again it was 15 min back to my slip to contemplate what next

Offline rbh1515

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Re: Kentucky Lake Sail
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2016, 06:57:39 PM »
That's a scary story.  Moral of the story is always check the weather radar before you go out, and if you see something while out, check the radar to see where it's headed.  The smart phone is real handy for this.  I sail on Lake Michigan, and you have to be real careful.  I'm always amazed how many people are heading out into the lake when T-storms are coming.   I've only done it once...on a friend's J105.  It was Wednesday night racing, and I said I wouldn't go out since T-storms were on the way.  Everyone else wanted to go, and if I didn't go they would not have had a full crew.  I finally gave in and we went out.  We were sailing around the start line, and the sky turned pretty black.  The committee boat cancelled the race.  We started the engine and dropped the sails.  As soon as my friend shifted into gear, the engine stopped.  A line had gone overboard and wrapped around the shaft.  We were stuck out on the lake with lightning all around us...  Eventually got a tow in.
Will never go out when T-storms are coming again!
Rob
2015 Horizon Day Cat, Waters End

Offline tmw

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Re: Kentucky Lake Sail
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2016, 09:26:06 PM »
If you can survive that, imagine how easy things will be on normal days.  When I was a camper at Roy C. Manchester years ago, I heard the sailing instructor used to wait for storms before taking his boat out into the lake.  Not sure how much of that is embellishment, but that's what I remember.  Glad to hear everything survived, minus a line and maybe some electronics.

Offline blighhigh

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Re: Kentucky Lake Sail
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2016, 08:58:36 AM »
The most interesting perspective that I acquired during this thunderstorm was the capability of the little Horizon Cat.  At one point I decided to just try to keep perpendicular to the wave fronts.  That was not very comfortable since the waves were coming from the North while the current was from the South.  Result was short steep waves.  I was able to turn downwind and run with the weather which was a better choice.  The next day I found that there was enough gaff halyard without having to replace it while the electrical problem was a loose negative wire that needs attention.

Offline Craig

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Re: Kentucky Lake Sail
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2016, 12:49:35 PM »
H Cats rule! Very capable boats.....as the old watermen knew about catboats in general.
Craig, Horizon Cat "Kailani"  Punta Gorda, FL

Offline Tom L.

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Re: Kentucky Lake Sail
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2016, 02:14:11 PM »
Bligh, No what you went through. In the 70s and 80s we lived outside of Cincinnati. We towed our Oday 25 down to Kentucky lake many times. It wasn't unusual during those two week trips that we would get nailed by those pesky t-storms.

Back in those days there was no cell phone so no live radar to see them coming. Nearly everyday had t-storms in the afternoon forecast. They would usually come out of the west blast across the lake then sometimes it seemed like they came back. Yikes a 1-2 punch. Only good thing is they were short in duration like you experienced. We always lowered all sails and just bare poled it.

Really enjoyed the lake because of the many many coves to anchor in. Sometimes we would just tie to a tree with a stern anchor (no tide to deal with). Only went to the marinas for water and ice.

BTW love the H-cat. We have a Sun Cat right now but am hoping to move up.

Tom L.
Present boat, Menger 19 "Wild Cat"    O'Day 25, Montego 25, Catalina 30, Tartan 37, Catalina 380, Mariner 19, Potter 19, Sun Cat