If I am just going out for a pleasant day sail, I will limit the wind speed to 20 kts, 25 max if I have an experienced crew. If the wind is from the south I may go out in higher wind, because there won't be any waves where I am (on the long island side of the long island sound). If the wind is 20 kts, and will be against the tide, I'll stay home for sure. Those conditions create a lot of chop and short steep waves which are just no fun (for me) to sail in.
I can handle more wind, but it's just not fun, and it's hard on the boat and the people. My boat can easily handle 20 kts of wind with a single reef in the main and the headsail
(140) rolled up to a 110.
Last night I was crewing on the C&C 34 I race on. We got to the committee boat and the wind was 15-18 kts from the west. Ten minutes later it was 25+ and went north. We reefed down the main, put of the #2 (no #3 on the boat) flattened the sails as much as possible and held on. Upwind was a chore, but downwind was a delight. That was with 5 experienced people and 4 novices. On my boat I would have put the sails away and went home.
Day To Remember, 1986 O'day 35
Mt. Sinai, NY
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