Originally Posted by deniseO30
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.
I don't normally reef in conditions at 15kts or below. So when the wind is about 5 on the mooring and then a little stronger in the "fairway", then we don't reef. Two reasons, 1) wind in the harbor is 90+ % of the time stronger, wind is often different (direction and gusts) than outside the harbor. Yesterday was a rare anomaly.
Outside of the harbor, the wind did as predicted dropped some and changed direction. For 1/2 hour or so we had a pleasant sail until the "hurricane" rolled in and started putting 30 kt gusts and wide wind direction shifts.
The weather forecast called for 10-15 kt winds, gusts to 20, then quickly dropping off to 5-10 kt winds in the afternoon. We had the appropriate sail plan for the wind conditions predicted, not the wind conditions actual. Once we got the genny rolled in we were fine, but it was not fun until then.
It seems that May and October have a lot of these days up here, so I probably am going to get a 100% jib and lose the 135 until the more tamer summer months. This is only my third full season, so I am still learn the wind patterns around here for the various months.