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post #28 of Old 11-27-2013
tweitz
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Three Mile Harbor, East Hampton, NY
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Re: Near disasterous first sail

A frequent beginner's issue is dealing with the winds. Remember that what counts for your boat and safety is the apparent wind, not the actual wind. So if there is an actual 12 knot wind, it means that if you are going dead downwind at 4 knots the wind will appear to be only 8 knots; when you turn around to go home the wind will suddenly appear to be closer to 15. (It would be 16 if you could sail straight into the wind.) Begninners often get into trouble by sailing downwind in what appears to be a light breeze and discovering the real wind speed when they turn to head home.
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