Originally Posted by Melrna
I would have preferred the Genoa over the main in this situation. Going DDW would require for the most part a poled out Genoa and I don't have the pole set up just yet. ...
...My bad for not reefing the main earlier when I had all 4 crew members in the beginning.
Melrna I know that not all the boats are the same but maybe its of some use I share a bad experience that happened to me regarding a similar situation (well, not really) some years back while sailing from Africa to Portugal, out of the Gibraltar Strait:
The forecast was F7 but it was downwind sailing and I was pretty familiar with my boat, a Bavaria 36 so I went out of Ceuta bound to Portugal.
I was sailing with two reefs on the main and a shortened Genoa with about 30k wind going fast and well. Everybody was having a good time.
Then the wind increased again and I put the third reef on the main and reduced the front sail further... and some time later the unexpected happened and the wind increase again to about 40K and I made a mistake: 40K was already more than what was forecasted so I thought that it would not go stronger and I maintained the main and took out the genoa...... some time later the wind increased a lot, I don't know 50K or more and I was not able to maintain the main, even on the third reef. Too much lateral pressure and the boat keep turning to the wind on the gusts making me lose control from time to time.
The sea was very agitated and even with the help of the crew and the engine it took three attempts to turn the boat to the wind. Turning a boat to the wind in very strong wind without a head sail and with a main on can be a big problem, specially if the engine is not very powerful