Preparing for a Tsunami

In the wake of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, California sailors had roughly 12 hours before they would experience any resulting effects of the wave. In Japan, securing a boat was anyone’s last concern, but for sailors on the West Coast, there was a window of time in which they could make some basic precautions. The question was, how do you even begin?SAIL asked BoatUS
Author:
Updated:
Original:

In the wake of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, California sailors had roughly 12 hours before they would experience any resulting effects of the wave. In Japan, securing a boat was anyone’s last concern, but for sailors on the West Coast, there was a window of time in which they could make some basic precautions. The question was, how do you even begin?

SAIL asked BoatUS technical director Bob Adriance how he would advise sailors in this situation. Here are his thoughts.

SAIL: From videos of the tsunami hitting California shores, the water seems unpredictable. Do you recommend keeping your boat on a mooring, or at the dock?

Bob Adriance: “Several BoatUS members took their boats out of Santa Cruz harbor prior to the tsunami's arrival and put them on Coast Guard moorings. All survived without a scratch.”

SAIL: That can’t be said for the boats in the harbor. News reports stated that Santa Cruz harbor alone had $15 million in damages. Is there any way to protect your boat if you do have to leave it at your slip?

BA: “Putting the boat in the center of the slip and adding extra lines might help to mitigate damage. I also noticed that boats positioned to meet the wave bow-on fared better than boats that took the waves on their beams. Boats that had their sterns to the waves got yanked off their mooring lines.”

SAIL: What about just heading out to sea?

BA: “I read that several Japanese fishing boats headed out to sea prior to the tsunami and rode up and over the wave with no damage. This was also true of small boats that were offshore in the Indonesian tsunami. The deeper the water, the less daunting (and destructive) the wave. Even in a small boat, that might be preferable to remaining in a house or automobile anywhere near the coast.”

Tales of the Japanese tsunami and the damage that followed have devastated the newswire since the disaster struck on March 11. While we cannot reverse the damage inflicted upon Japanese towns and harbors, learning how to prepare our own boats for residual effects of this and other natural disasters can help make us more prudent sailors.

Video of the tsunami rolling into Catalina Harbor:

Related

210115-AC36

Prada Cup: Brits Take First Two Races

Who saw that coming? After getting skunked in December, INEOS Team UK has swept the first two races in the Prada Cup elimination series of the 36th America’s Cup  Racing took place on racecourse “C,” sheltered between Auckland’s North Head and Bastion Point to take advantage of ...read more

ac-2048x

Hutchinson: 36th America’s Cup will be a Close On

On the eve of the Prada Cup challenger series, the official start of the 36th America’s Cup, New York Yacht Club American Magic skipper Terry Hutchinson says it’s anyone’s game. "As we've seen in the last week, everyone's gotten faster," said Hutchinson said at the event’s ...read more

Episode1_Thumbnail4_00000_00000_00000_00000

Sailing Docuseries Released Online

Endless Media's Reaching Reality is the story of three friends, a 24-foot sailboat and 1,200 miles. With candor and humor, this series proves that you don't need to be an expert or a millionaire to cast off on the journey of a lifetime. Produced by Emmy-award winner Barry ...read more

01-LEAD-nder-sail-3

Prepping for a Transatlantic

Growing up on the coast of northern England, I dreamed about crossing oceans on my own boat. Like most of us, though, education, a family and a career took precedence, and before I knew it, we had mortgages, young children and endless work obligations. We also became landlocked, ...read more

210111-Vendee

Vendée Update: Josche Forced to Abandon

A week ago, the canting keel on Isabelle Jocshe's IMOCA 60, MACSF, failed. She managed a jury rig with a replacement ram, which held the keel centerline and allowed her to keep sailing, but with a major hit to her speed potential. Jocshe had been in 8th at the time and remained ...read more

rudder

Vendee Update: Emergency Rudder Replacement

A devastated Hare talks about the breakage Pip Hare (Medallia) is back in the game after an emergency rudder repair deep in the Southern Ocean. “Every part of my body aches. I have bloody knuckles on every finger, bruises all down my legs and muscles I didn't know I had that ...read more

Oracle-RBYACFEVD3_2870

PRADA Cup Pairings Announced

The schedule for the PRADA Cup has been revealed as a multitiered extravaganza featuring over a month of racing, stretching from January 15 through February 22. First, the three teams—American Magic, INEOS Team UK and Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli—will face off in a 12-race, six-day ...read more

01-LEAD-Opener-ETNZ1_-106_silo

The 36th America's Cup

A Superbowl is a Superbowl, and a World Series is a World Series. Sure, the names of the players and the teams change from year-to-year, but otherwise, the game pretty much remains the same. Not so the America’s Cup. Still, in many ways a hot mess left over from the days of Queen ...read more