Bad Storms Heavy Weather, Timothy Wyand – original

“Learn What The Worst Type Of Storm Is To Be In For Your Type Of Boat And Area”

Highlights from this Segment

  – Which storm is most dangerous on a lake or river?

  – What makes storm conditions on the ocean really bad?

  – Why this storm is worse on the open ocean.

  – The one key thing to help you from going aground in a storm.

(transcript for this segment)  

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Here’s what you’ll discover in this presentation…

  • The monster do’s and don’ts when you’re caught in a storm
  • Four top tips to handling your boat in a rain squall
  • What you need to know about the size of a wave
  • Two spots you need to avoid when caught in a bad storm
  • How to quickly determine bad weather by looking at the cloud formations
  • The three worst types of waves for your boat and why they pose a problem
  • Four beginner techniques to determine an approaching storm
  • Two powerful strategies to apply in any storm after putting on your life jacket
  • Two major reasons to avoid being near a lee shore
  • The most important reason to know your boat’s characteristics

About Timothy Wyand

Timothy Wyand spent 22 years in the U.S. Coast Guard as a boatswain and Chief Warrant Officer. He spent 12 years stationed in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Alaska Bearing Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Persian Gulf, and South America.


Robin: So, what’s the worst type of storm to be in when you’re a boater out on the waters?

Timothy: Well, if you’re on a lake or a river my experience is a thunderstorm is by far the worst. They tend to be pretty severe, strong winds; lightning of course is always a hazard. The other issue, too, is the storms can approach very quickly. They can form with very little warning and move rather rapidly. The worse part for dealing with it as a boater is because you’re on a small lake or river, is you have very little room to maneuver to deal with it. The storms can easily become you and shelter, between you and the boat ramp you have your trailer at if that’s the case, or your marina and you don’t have a whole lot of room downwind to run before or go around it. So, you may be kind of stuck just having to deal with it. That makes it a big issue on the smaller waterways.

Now, on coastal waters and offshore, probably the worst, in my experience is what they call the extra tropical cyclone. But on the east coast, we tend to call it nor’easters. Primarily because they’re a large storm systems, even though you have a good notice that they’re coming, they cover such a large area, it’s but impossible to get out of their way. And, they tend to bring strong winds, large waves because they have more open water to work with and build up some waves and the other issue that tends to make them bad is the storm surge. The storm surge, if it comes – a storm comes through during high tide period can raise water levels several feet which can inundate your piers, making your safe harbor inaccessible or unusable for quite a while. It can damage your boat even if you’re not out on it. The issue, too, of course is that when the winds and the waves are opposition to the tides, it tends to make the waves even steeper and closer together than usual, which makes storm conditions even worse. So, when you’re on tidal waters, having a storm system like that tends to be the most dangerous because of the strong conditions.  As far as getting out into the Chesapeake Bay, for example, when we have a nor’easter, it’s not unusual for the water levels to rise quite a bit, which helps for avoiding going aground, when you’ve got deeper waters, but like I said, the waves tend to be very short, very steep and very close together so instead of being able to ride up one wave and down the other which is a gentler ride for the crew and the boat, it’s more of a pounding sort of thing where you’re just getting off of one crest and getting into another and getting hit as opposed to being able to sail up a hill then sail back 


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