Ever wonder why I get into so much trouble or have so many shenanigans?
By heart, I’m a scientist. At a relatively young age, I decided to be a meteorologist. Even at the University of Washington, when I had the opportunity to meet a lot of kids like me studying to be engineers of some type, I still eschewed engineering, believing meteorology was more “scientific”.
What a dope.
Only some years later, working on a forecast through the night, I realized that in practice, a synoptic meteorologist, is a weather engineer. As we take the science of the atmosphere and put it to a practical use.
Oh, for the hubris of youth. Sometimes I do miss the certainty that comes with inexperience and knowing everything. In a world for me that was once black and white, there are now only shades of gray. Even that, though a better place, and heaven knows the world could use for less absolute people, does have some drawbacks, which I may expound upon at another time.
So on this sunny Sunday morning, 6 April 2014, leaving the environs of Port Palm Beach, fate had me do an experiment, that admittedly, I had decided beforehand not to do, (much like going out on deck, at night alone. I vowed never to do that and my first night at sea, single handing, that got thrown out the window. Remember, no absolutes!)
Anyway, back to the story. As I hauled up my new Delta 55# anchor, which worked like a dream, made even better because Hopkins Carter has the most competitive prices, and even less expensive than even Jamestown, with no stink’in shipping.
I decided to deploy the poles, but leave the fish on the rail. That way, I would not have to go to the fly bridge to deploy them while underway and I needed to adjust the port side aft and fore guys, as port side pole was running about 6 inches too far aft for my liking.
That done, power on, look around to make sure nothing is in front of me and I see that one of the fish already fell into the water, but the other is obediently waiting as directed.
So the experimenter in me takes over. To retrieve the fish, I would have to go up to the fly bridge and retrieve the pole to vertical, go down and pull in the fish. Forget that. I decided to see what would happen with one fish in the water.
Power on, Dauntless, like a Top Fuel Dragster, gets to 5 knots in about 20 seconds. As I am moving north, turning towards the east to go out of the inlet (see picture), I decided to stay on the south side of the inlet, as there are bunches of sport fishers, dive boats, skiffs and all sorts of south Florida water life, including a few jet skiers, coming from Palm Beach to the north also turning into the inlet to exit into the ocean.
After carefully measuring the additional rudder, 5°, I need to keep the boat straight with only one fish in the water, I look to my left and see this multitude of boaters racing out of the inlet at Warp 10. F.. this, I throw the other fish in the water, and should a jet skier run into it and get decapitated, let heaven sort out who was right and who was wrong.
Going back to the helm, I confirm the 5° deflection is gone and I see the humongous wake rolling up on me, maybe 4 to 5 feet high. I watch in fascination as it hits the port side of Dauntless and just like that disappears, just like that, they were gone, like Keyser Soze.
We rolled a few degrees. unlike yesterday, before I deployed them a wake rolled me 25 degrees, to each side, that’s 50°
My side decks are dry while underway. Another first.
Paravane Stabilizers aka Flopper Stoppers
Robert Beebe’s book, Passagemaking Under Power,http://www.amazon.com/Voyaging-Under-Power-Robert-Beebe-ebook/dp/B001NABXPW/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1396820429&sr=8-3&keywords=robert+beebe convinced me from the beginning that we needed a stabilized boat. And even though the edition I read was co-authored, updated by Jim Leishman, a Nordhavn disciple, Passagemaking Under Power makes clear that passive stabilization, flopper stoppers (FS) or paravanes, as some call them, are superior to active hydraulic stabilizers mainly for three reasons:
- No drag when not needed
- They also work while anchored or not moving
So I knew we needed them. In searching for a boat, when we came back to the Krogen 42 idea, I realized that while we needed FS, they could be added after and that the boat layout (two heads) was more critical, as well as the overall condition (I knew I could not deal with a project boat, one that always needs something fixed or replaced).
Julie and I loved Pay to Play, when we first saw her and we ended up buying her a year and a half later.
So up and down the coast we came and went, I’d ask people, but most only were familiar with active stabilizers that while easy to use, push a button, would cost above $40k.:eek:
Having run aground three times in the first month, while I did expect that frequency to decrease, I knew it wasn’t going to zero in this lifetime. So, it just also confirmed that I needed paravanes.
Here are the numbers so far and as I compile more data, my experience has been that these numbers after only two days will always be in the ball park and pretty representative. If not, I’ll let you know.;)
A small (2 foot) beam sea produces an average roll of 10 to 15 degrees in each direction, with some rolls 15 to 20° (40° total) and 1/8 of the rolls greater than 40°.:eek:
Fish (aka paravanes) in the water, this gets reduced to a few degrees each direction, with the bad ones to about 10° !
Overall roll is reduced by at least 75%.
The fact that I was hit with a 4 to 5 ft. wake this morning, and we didn’t roll at all, says it all.
My life is transformed.
Pictures are at http://dauntless.smugmug.com/
I’ll write about The Rig and Rigger next