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Storm Tactics Handbook, 3rd Ed.

Posted by on June 9, 2009


“In a storm at sea, luck is highly biased toward the sailor who has a plan.” So write Lin and Larry Pardey in this, the third edition of their highly regarded Storm Tactics Handbook. As in the first two editions of this book, they describe their concerns about the tendency of modern sailors to discard the classic methods used to bring sailing vessels of all sizes—from vast clipper ships to tiny yachts—through amazingly strong winds and heavy seas. “There is only one storm tactic that has the ability to sap the power of breaking seas,” they explain. With clear and concise diagrams, they proceed to show how heaving-to works and how even the most modern of yachts can be made to heave-to, whether with only sail power or with the assistance of a sea anchor. A discussion of the many ways heaving-to can be useful at sea—as a way to help the crew keep well rested, to effect repairs, to steady a vessel should outside assistance ever be necessary—will convince even those who plan to run before their imagined “ultimate storm” that heaving-to is still a “must know.”
A series of user-friendly checklists will help sailors from the moment they start looking for their perfect offshore boat, through outfitting, and as they encounter their first storms at sea. Highly readable stories of the Pardeys’ encounters with storms, and of experiences related by several other modern sailors, help illustrate and expand the points made in this book.
Since writing the previous edition of Storm Tactics Handbook, Lin and Larry have voyaged an additional 35,000 miles. This has taken them as far north as Norway, twice across the Atlantic, south to Argentina, into the Pacific, around Cape Horn against the prevailing winds, and then on a circuit of the North Pacific. With insights gained from these recent voyages, they have fully revised and expanded this text by more than 40 percent, including nine completely new chapters. New material includes:
Lessons from Cape Horn
            An interview with the late Sir Peter Blake, on storm survival and heaving-to       
            Heaving-to using a Galerider on 55-foot Morgan’s Cloud
            Adding rudder protection stops
Discussions on avoiding chafe, building and using storm staysails, choosing storm gear, deploying para-anchors, avoiding the worst areas of cyclonic storms, and many more have been expanded to answer many questions posed by readers and seminar attendees.
Mario Vittone, a U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmer for 14 years, in an unsolicited testimony, wrote: “I have been on several rescues (and heard of many more) that would have been completely unnecessary if the sailboat captains aboard would have . . . practiced the skills taught by Lin and Larry Pardey. Not knowing how to heave-to in bad weather is as inexcusable as not knowing ‘red, right, return’.”

Previous editions of Storm Tactics Handbook have sold more than 32,000 copies worldwide. As recently as November 2007, the second edition—ten years after its publication—was consistently #1 on for instructional sailing books and #2 for atmospheric science.

Pub Date: 2008 ·
ISBN: 9781929214471 ·
AUTHOR: Lin & Larry Pardey ·
BINDING: Paperback ·
PAGES: 256 ·
SIZE: 6×9″ ·

4 Responses to Storm Tactics Handbook, 3rd Ed.

  1. Kevin H

    Hi. Loved “Storm Tactics”. Thanks for such a great reference guide. In that vein: I just picked up a military “pilot chute deceleration.” Does anyone have any experience using such a thing in storm conditions and heaving-to? It’s bright yellow, about 7 feet diam., has some sort of internal spring to give it shape, and has mil-spec markings on it (I have a photo). A little research on the web shows they are used on large aircraft (like B52 and space shuttles) to pull out a larger chute. Seems like it’s probably pretty stout, if it’s used on those sorts of things (not sure mine actually was designed for that).

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