Re: Heavy winds?
As other have said, the cooler drier air of winter is noticably denser than the warmer damper air of summer. So a cooler wind of any given velocity will definitely result in more force on your sails than the same velocity breeze in summer. This is most notable during a winter sail when a small numerical windspeed change results in a much bigger apparent wind shift and more heeling. Sails that I can carry in summer into the mid-20 knot range, barely make it to 20 knots in winter.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay