Storm Tactics Handbook: Modern Methods of Heaving-to for Survival in Extreme Conditions, 3rd Edition Info

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The fear of storms has kept many otherwise competent sailors
from venturing into the open ocean. This book explores the myths that
have sprung up about ways to bring small boats through storms and shows
tried and true methods that work for all types of sailing vessels.
Special sections explain storm sail design, sea-anchor technology and
tips for preventing gear failure at sea. Included are a series of check
lists designed to help potential voyagers chose, then outfit their boat
for safe voyaging plus others to prepare them as a storm actually
approaches and reassure them once they are in the midsts of heavy winds
and seas. Marrio Vittone, a U.S. Coastguard Rescue Swimmer for 14 years,
in an unsolicited testimoney, 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'."

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Reviews for Storm Tactics Handbook: Modern Methods of Heaving-to for Survival in Extreme Conditions, 3rd Edition:

1

April 26, 2011

Should be called "Storm Tactic" (not plural)
The advice contained within this book should suit perfectly those that live the exact same life, sail the exact same boat and adopt the exact same principles. For everybody else this book contains advice which may be very dangerous to implement. With all due respect given to the Pardey's, the trouble here is that they are very limited by what they know.

The devices, set-up and even the rode used by them and talked about within this book are entirely inadequate for 99.99% of the boats and sailors who will read it. Other techniques and devices are brushed over or not discussed. A true heavy weather discussion this is not.

This book is about ONE TECHNIQUE adhered to by two sailors who think they have the market cornered in heavy weather knowledge. They haven't...

My advice is to pass on this one "Storm Tactic" book and find yourself a better read on the subject otherwise you may find yourself wishing you had.
3

January 8, 2014

Needs Editing
The information presented by the Pardeys is essential to good seamanship. I'm always amazed how many sailors have never hove-to. If you're heading into serious weather you need these skills, so get out and practice them. My beef with the book is with the editing. It is far too long, repetitive at times, and less well-organized than it could be. I know, this is nitpicky. Still, special interest books shouldn't get a pass on good writing and editing just because the audience is limited. If you take out the storm stories--which are themselves interesting reads--this whole topic could be covered in a long magazine article.

If you really want to know how to heave-to, my suggestion is that you go out and do it. First do it in a breeze, then in a blow. Then add some steep wind waves and a swell. No two boats heave-to in the same way, so you just have to get out there and experiment.

The Pardeys are experts in storm sailing methods, and deserve all the respect they get. Bad editing is my pet peeve, though, so I took off two stars.
3

January 29, 2014

Worth reading for it's theory....but book seems deliberately omitting adequate illustrations, to make you buy their DVD
I was really looking forward to learning the in's and out's of heaving to, and particularly illustration of the "slick" created by proper implementation of heaving to with a para-anchor set, but don't expect the book to show you....the illustrations are entirely inadequate.....and very poor discussion and illustration of why heaving to is so different between keel designs....too much conjecture and hearsay from such revered authorities......I kept reading, expecting the next chapter to finally get to it, only to find yet another chapter after chapter of stories....and then suddenly, the end! It seems obvious to me that the book format has been forsaken for the DVD, for another $30, before you get anything approaching adequate illustration of implementation.

I notice too, on-line, a lot of outright rejection of these ideas from other very experienced sailors, so a LOT of book-space is taken up with stories and quotes that attempt to "prove" to the reader the validity of what's presented. I was really surprised at this, as I was all too ready to take whatever the Pardey's said as "gospel," only to read other sailers say they never got these procedures to actually work in real conditions.

But I'm glad to have learned the theory and practice, and now have my BuOrd chute and snapshackle block, and will follow their guiding principle of "get out there on the water and practice." Ironically, maybe the omissions in the book will be what drives me to get out there and work out procedures for myself.
1

September 1, 2014

Not good for multihulls but a must for mono hulls
I have a 40ft multihull and when l implemented the principles ( in 30 kn winds) described in this book the motion of the boat was very confused with a pitch /roll action. I had a smoother more comfortable with a drogue out the back. However l passed the book to a mono hull owner and he practiced the methods described and had good results( i did not wittiness the trials)
5

February 1, 2013

One of Very Few Classic Heavy Weather Tactics Books for Small Boats
I've been intending to read this for years. Finally did, thanks to it being on Kindle.

I've heard and read many discussions of their techniques, but reading it first hand made their techniques much more clear to me. Heaving-to and lying-to on a sea anchor are often thought of as different techniques, but their preferred technique, of heaving-to and using a sea anchor to reduce drift rate and fore-reaching, combines the two methods. And, their thousands of sea miles are a testament to its practical effectiveness.

As a sailing instructor, I also strongly agree with them that heaving-to should be taught as a basic sailing skill. I'm surprised by the number of experienced sailors I meet who do not know how to heave-to. Not only is it convenient for when you just need to stop and have lunch (...or take a nap, or tuck in/shake out a reef, or...), but it could save your life in a storm (I've ridden out a number of full-on storms and many intense squalls hove-to).

While hove-to for lunch, not a storm, on a J-26 recently, I found myself watching the slick and thinking about the Pardey's techniques. The fin keeled J-26 was slowly fore-reaching out of it's turbulence slick. No big deal in the calm conditions we were in, but would have been interesting to deploy a make-shift sea anchor and see how she behaved .... definitely have to experiment with that soon.
5

March 11, 2018

Read this if you're heading offshore in a monohull.
Great depth and detail. Wonderful attention to the presentation of proof that the suggested tools and techniques actually work out on the ocean.

Yes, today, we're able to predict and generally avoid the worst storms. This book should still be required reading for the modern sailor, and will leave you better prepared for the unexpected.
5

December 4, 2016

A must read to ease the sailor's anxiety about heavy weather...
As the experts and proponents of heaving-to, the Pardeys have opened my eyes to techniques that give me greater confidence that I have options in rough weather more than just running with the storm....I've been there and done that....and should have hove-to on occasion. Without criticizing alternative methods, the authors give examples of how to be more comfortable (albeit a relative term) in adverse wind and wave weather conditions.
3

July 4, 2015

Should Be Titled: Heaving-To: A Storm Tactic
Good information for the time in which it was written and incredible accounts of courage and tenacity. However, the tactic to handle every storm seems to be the same: heave to. With today's advanced weather reporting and performance cruisers capable of 200 mile/day range, outrunning these storms should be the preferred tactic.
2

Sep 04, 2017

I read this book a couple times before embarking on multiple offshore voyages in the Pacific. Having implemented the tactic recommend by the authors, the parachute and bridle system, I have to warn sailors from relying on it. The ocean can present life threatening situations where the system will fail. Chaotic seas can arise where heaving-to consistently on a single tack is impossible, where no amount of tweaking or adjusting will prevent the bow from being slapped through the wind every so I read this book a couple times before embarking on multiple offshore voyages in the Pacific. Having implemented the tactic recommend by the authors, the parachute and bridle system, I have to warn sailors from relying on it. The ocean can present life threatening situations where the system will fail. Chaotic seas can arise where heaving-to consistently on a single tack is impossible, where no amount of tweaking or adjusting will prevent the bow from being slapped through the wind every so often. If this happens while hanging off a bridle like the Pardey's advocate, the bridle can become tangled in the rudder (ask me how I know). Instead of this book, I would recommend new sailors form their storm tactics around the advice offered by Hal Roth or John Vigor. Next time I find myself in dangerous seas, instead of the Pardey parachute off the bow with bridle system, my tactic of last resort will be a Jordan series drogue off the stern. It is a more robust method, tested extensively by the US Coast Guard and confirmed effective. The Pardey's do mention the Jordan series drogue though they prefer their system because the series drogue is said to be hard to collect after seas subside. I'll take hard to collect over not working when it matters most. There are schemes using a block and windlass or winch to help bring in the drogue. Even if one cuts it loose after, if it saves vessel and crew, it's a grand well spent. ...more
4

Oct 12, 2012

The Pardeys are legends in the sailing community because they have been everywhere, done everything and have sound advice for sailors. We read this book before we sailed through the "spin cycle" between New Zealand and Fiji - and thankfully didn't need to implement any of their tactics. I think that is because we were ready, with our sea anchor at arm's length and having practised heaving-to before we left. Thank you Lin and Larry!
5

Jan 11, 2010

An excellent book for anyone who thinks they might find themselves on a sailboat in a storm. If so, read this book to learn how to heave-to in a storm. If not, never mind.
5

Jun 21, 2019

Must Have

This book should be on every sailboat owners book shelf. Even if you are not planning extensive offshore voyages, the knowledge and experience conveyed in this book are priceless.
0

Jan 06, 2014

Exceptional

If you have ever so much as motored around a lake, you will quickly realize how authentic and important the information in this book is. Don't just read it, take it to heart. It could easily save your vessel and your life.
5

March 23, 2013

Learn from somebody else's experience
The Pardeys have been sailing around the World for a long time. And they have a lot of friends and acquaintances that also have an extensive sailing experience.

Although you might never find yourself sailing in the wide open ocean, or braving a tropical hurricane, the tactics discussed and explained her can help you make the most of a sudden squall, or a cold front, that might catch you while sailing close to home.

This third edition has been completely updated and enhanced. This book is alive and improving with each edition.

If you're into serious sailing, this is a must read, and learn, and practice. Heaving-to is a maneuver not usually taught or practiced in these times of "modern" boats and weather predictions. Yet still you'll need these skills.
5

January 22, 2019

Well worth reading for deep sea sailors
Hard to beat a Jordan drogue in most situations now but this is still a good experience based, overview of how to survive in storm conditions.
5

June 21, 2019

Must Have
This book should be on every sailboat owners book shelf. Even if you are not planning extensive offshore voyages, the knowledge and experience conveyed in this book are priceless.
4

December 29, 2018

Comprehensive but at times repetitive
I felt the book covered all aspects of storm tactics but was too focused on justifying the use of the sea anchor approach. I was convinced of its advantages early on so I agree with other reviews that the defense of this tactic became repetitive. I also felt it could have been edited a bit more during the personal narratives but this didn’t undermine the valuable content the book provided.
5

November 7, 2018

Don't go offshore without it
This book is absolutely fantastic. Lin and Larry Pardy use a variety of examples to show you how to prepare for and survive a storm at sea. So happy to have found it and read it again and again.
3

May 9, 2016

Not for catamaran owners
This is a great book if you sail / own a monohull (5 stars). The title would be more accurate as 'Modern Methods of Heaving to for Monohulls... If you sail or own a catamaran, as I do, there are very, very few (40-50 words) insights offered.
3

February 15, 2007

It was good, but....
I just could not warm up to the story. It seemed to drag out much longer than it should. The parts that were good were very good, but there was a lot of dead space between those. It is a good read, but not a top shelf book.
4

August 1, 2019

better for monohulls
important information, but longer than necessary. Should be a chapter in a 'Calder' book on sailing.
4

February 21, 2018

Four Stars
very thorough review of heaving to.
4

August 10, 2017

Storm tactics
Good book about sailing during storms, the best tactics. The importance of heaving to.
4

September 22, 2016

well written would recommend for all blue water sailors
Very informative, well written would recommend for all blue water sailors
4

September 20, 2016

Four Stars
Clearly written and easily understood. A great learning aid for newbies.

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