Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cyclone Yasi.. and old car tires

Katabatics Starting to ease off. Photo Matt Tucker
My thoughts go out to all those in the path of cyclone Yasi.

It's got me thinking about what I would do if Snow Petrel was up there, Having seen the strength of the Katabatics which I estimated gave us 80 or so knots for 3 or four days really makes me aware of what you guys must be going through. Fortunately we had no storm surge to deal with and lots of solid boulders to tie our 5 shorelines into.

My only slightly original thought (actually think I have seen it in a book somewhere.. like most of my `original` thoughts). I'd head to the nearest garage and get all the old tires possible, to use as shock absorbers on all lines, and fenders around the boat.

The humble tire makes a great if somewhat dirty and heavy fender (actually the weight is good, light fenders blow out of position). Tied into the line they absorb shock loads better than any snubber, and if the worst were to happen they make a good pad on the bilge if you end up on a beach. Tires are used by yachts during panama canal transits see here for some good photos.

Yes they can even be useful at sea, making a great emergency drogue, even better tie a couple into the line to make a crude series drogue.This has been called "de-spare tire..."  GROAN..

By the way I have never actually used tires as a drogue, it has been done before by others. I have only used conventional drogues and warps. Maybe I need to test the theory.... 

I am sure I don't need to remind you to make sure the rope is well protected from chafe, ie with chain or plastic tube covering, and if you plan to keep them choose small mini tires, paint them a nice topside matching color and cut some drainage holes in them with a hole saw. My parents Gaff ketch is painted black, just as well because we couldn't afford proper fenders so tires were used instead, and the black didn't mark the hull.

All the best

1 comment:

  1. I have also had the thought to use small tires. It might also help deter bandits and pirates because who would bother with a boat "decorated" with old tires.

    I also thought they would make a good drogue but chickened out a bought a Jordan Series. Hopefully I will never have to use it except to test it out.