If you're running the boat won't be heeling... the wind is pushing the boat forward, not sideways. If you have a roller-furling headsail... let the sheets out and put it in the shadow of the mainsail, and then furl it down to a reasonable size, and then you can turn the boat up a bit, using the headsail, which is now sized for the higher wind speeds you'll now have. Turn up head to wind and reef the main... then continue on..
BTW, not paying attention to wind speed is a big problem if you're running downwind...since the actual wind and the apparent wind will differ quite a bit. This is even more the case for multihulls, where the boat moves faster...so the difference is even larger. If you're sailing downwind at 7 knots and the wind is 25 knots... you have an apparent wind of 18 knots... however, as soon as you start heading up... it will jump up to the real 25 knots pretty quickly. Most boats don't have to reef in 18 knots of wind... but many will have to reef in 25. When you start going upwind, then the wind will increase even more... say to 28 or 29 knots apparent.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.