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Power voyager storm tactics

Aug 27, 2013
The N120 on the anchor at Adak Island in the Aleutians where they stopped to avoid rough conditions in the Bering Sea

The N120 on the anchor at Adak Island in the Aleutians where they stopped to avoid rough conditions in the Bering Sea

Nordhavn Yachts

Jeff Leishman and his delivery crew aboard the new Nordhavn 120 spent August 2013 crossing the North Pacific and Bering Sea from Hong Kong to Vancouver. The Nordhavn delivery crew kept in touch by posting videos and blog entries of the trip as they went. Jeff Leishman, one of the principals at Nordhavn/Pacific Asian Enterprises and the designer of the 120, also answered questions put by readers of the Nordhavn website while on board the 120 during its northern journey. Here's a question from a sailor, Richard Mezzanotti of Swansea, Mass., who is curious how a power voyaging boat handles heavy weather.  

"We have enjoyed following your delivery very much. The yacht is just amazing.
We recently sold our sailboat and are now looking to transition to a trawler for the first time NH47. Having been a sailor all my life I am interested in how heavy weather tactics change with a trawler. I have been caught a couple of times traveling from Bermuda to Antigua in 40kts with 20+ swells. In a sailboat you have a progression of options to deal with the weather, shorten down, drag wraps, sea anchor, run off, etc...
"When you can't make it to a safe anchorage, what is your process for dealing with heavy weather?"

Jeff Leishman on board N120 Aurora responds:

"Hi Richard,

"This is a subject that we discuss frequently and there is no absolute correct answer. During the ATW onboard the N40 we carried a parachute anchor and had it rigged and in place ready for deployment should it have been necessary. Most of the folks who intend to do long hauls will likely have such a devise onboard. The only time I could see using this would be in the event that you lose power since the main tactic in a boat such as a Nordhavn would be to jog into the oncoming head seas. This is the safest position for the boat in these conditions and this would be our ultimate strategy should things turn really ugly. The best strategy is always to look for a safe haven which is exactly why we chose to put into Adak last week."

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