How much wind is too much for you? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 75 Old 09-23-2013 Thread Starter
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How much wind is too much for you?

Hi All,

Back in my Navy sailing days (San Fransisco Bay) we were not allowed to take boats out if the small craft flag went up. On a 19' Rhodes or a Capri 22, I understood that. The wife was asking me where our cutoff point would be with our new ride. I said I didn't think 20k of wind was a stopper for the boat, the hardest thing would be docking manuevers.

For boats 30' and larger, what kind of wind will you go out in just to play?

Dave

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post #2 of 75 Old 09-23-2013
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Re: How much wind is too much for you?

I'm just under 30, and have been out in mid 40's! great time, even got a pickle dish at the end of the day!

De[ending upon where you sail, sail setup options, 20-40 is not hard to be out in. Assuming you have at least a double reef option and a smaller than 110 sail. or willing to sail under a reefed main or 110 only. You need to go out and figure out what sail combo works best for YOUR boat, not mine! While what works for one, may not for another in certain conditions etc, how you boat is balanced vs mine etc.

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post #3 of 75 Old 09-23-2013
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Re: How much wind is too much for you?

Somewhere between 25-30 knots true (so 30+ knots apparent) things get a lot less fun for me. My boat only has a single (deep) reef and a roller furling 135% genoa, so I can't get a small enough sail area for those conditions. Someday I'll add a solent stay and second reef and be able to run a storm jib with double reefed sail for stormy weather.

Big winds also come with big wind waves. If the wind is against the current so they are short and steep then the ride gets pretty uncomfortable (and slow) in waves much over 4 or 5'.

If I lived somewhere that had these conditions on a regular basis (like San Francisco Bay) then I'd configure my boat for them and still have fun. Here in Seattle 5-10 knot days are the norm and 15-20 knots is a high wind day. >20 knots true is very rare.

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post #4 of 75 Old 09-23-2013
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Re: How much wind is too much for you?

I can assure you I have been in strong winds in the last 35,000nms.
But they have always been when I was at sea. There is no way I'd go out if the forcast was 20 or more (unless downwind in the Trades)

Why?

Because I am a cruiser. I can wait out the weather.
Grib files are often 5 knots less than actual so 20 would be 25.
25 knots on the nose is 30 on the deck
I am too poor to replace geer broken.
Because no one on board but me will enjoy 30 over the deck.

Mark

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post #5 of 75 Old 09-23-2013
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Re: How much wind is too much for you?

I find that over 20 it is too much work because it will gust over 30 and you have to watch that.

My boat is fine on headsail alone and with the roller I can run as much cloth as I like but it is still too much work for an enjoyable daysail.
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post #6 of 75 Old 09-23-2013
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Re: How much wind is too much for you?

I have a 38 foot Center Cockpit. (Irwin 38 CC MkII) that weighs in at 20k pounds.

I've been out in 28 kts, but the forecast was for 22 - which is my limit not because of what the boat can handle but because breaking equipment is not fun.

A small craft advisory is, just for what it's worth, targeted at US, all of us.
I say that because if you are a reader here on sailnet you probably have less that 100 footer

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post #7 of 75 Old 09-23-2013
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Re: How much wind is too much for you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
I can assure you I have been in strong winds in the last 35,000nms.
But they have always been when I was at sea. There is no way I'd go out if the forcast was 20 or more (unless downwind in the Trades)

Why?

Because I am a cruiser. I can wait out the weather.
Grib files are often 5 knots less than actual so 20 would be 25.
25 knots on the nose is 30 on the deck
I am too poor to replace geer broken.
Because no one on board but me will enjoy 30 over the deck.

Mark
This.

I also agree with Bluto and Alex - above 30 and you're working too hard. I've sailed only once in 40+ (with reefed main only as we only had a hank-on headsail) and it was a bit scary. It WAS fun...in an "oh crap" kind of way - but not what I wan't to "go out in".

That said, we will eventually take our new Hunter 40 out in 30...simply because we need to know how to handle her in such conditions. But I'm in no hurry.
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post #8 of 75 Old 09-23-2013
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Re: How much wind is too much for you?

My boat is happy with full sails UP to about 16 Knots true in all around sailing after which we start various reefing plans to keep things friendly

In my area Long Island Sound the sea state the wind direction causes and what direction I need to go is a bigger factor

If we have a strong NE wind for a day and it builds up to a 5' swell with a 4 second period it is really NOT FUN SAILING

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post #9 of 75 Old 09-23-2013
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Re: How much wind is too much for you?

We've been out in 20-30kt, but I wouldn't choose to do so. Our preferred wind speeds is 10-15kts. We typically won't head out if we don't have to if the wind is forecast for 18-20kt or higher.

Obviously, there are lots of other variables that play a role (crew, waves, wind direction, rain, etc.).

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post #10 of 75 Old 09-23-2013
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Re: How much wind is too much for you?

When I was younger, I would go out in almost anything and just reef down. Now, if it's already blowing 25 knots, I just don't feel like working that hard and wait for another day.

On the northern Gulf of Mexico.


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