jas, dude, that DOES sound like a Whoa Nelly!"
Sounds like you handled it well though - especially single-handed. Though I don't know enough to help you out much, I will say that I've been amazed how much better my C27 sails with a reef in once we hit 20. I can get a lot of weather helm too on my boat - but she really chills out with that reef.
Go try it again and keep tweakin'!
Mine, too. The only time I've reefed so far I knew the conditions in advanced and put in the reef at the dock. I also had two crew with me. She handled great in 20+ winds with two reefs and the little Yankee-cut jib. These winds were a surprise, to say the least.
S/V Free Spirit
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