Dick Barnes of Anchorage, AL, asks:

Your photo gallery shows Eric removing storm plates on the way to Hawaii. What is your policy on installing and removing them? Do you have a wind speed or wave height criterion?

Jim Leishman responds:
I think the storm plates should be up for any major ocean crossing. The problem is that they get condensation and salt on their inside surfaces (looks like very dirty windows) - plus on the opening windows, they block any air flow. They're not particularly difficult to install but if it's nighttime or the weather is real rough, it can be a chore. We did not have the storm plates up for the run up or down the coast (from Dana Point to Seattle) nor did we even have them aboard.

We took the plates off in Hawaii as we were photographing the boat. Dave Harlow left Hawaii with the plates stowed and got some unexpected rough weather on their nose and starboard bow. The weather came up at night and they ran without the plates in place. They had no problems but Dave wished he had put them up earlier - just for peace of mind.

During our crossing of the Atlantic in 1992 aboard Salvation ll we had plywood plates. Weather came up southwest of Bermuda and it got bad enough that we put them up in the rising storm. We had no problem but the experience caused me to recommend clear acrylic plates so that you would not have to leave port without them installed.

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