May I ask...Should you have reefed the main before you left the mooring? You did know what to expect but you didn't reef the main. Easier to shake out the reef if the wind pipes down later. You may be surprised to find out you don't loose as much speed and more importantly control, with less sail in that situation. I know I was amazed how little sail I can get by with in wind 15-20. It's really not necessary put all that stress on your rigging and steering unless that's what you really want to do! Others with more experience may have better advice then me but I know what works on my boat, which isn't too much diff from yours.
Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club. New Website!
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My boat is sold!