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  #1471  
Old 09-09-2009
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Sailing the boat effeciently is sailing the boat effeciently no matter where you are. It's about not breaking anything, and getting home in one piece, the boat, and the humans. I sail that way on the river here. Just as I do on the ocean.

You can get a way with BFS a hundred times, or more. When something gives what will you do then. A 170 headsail in 30 knots is plain stupid, and I don't care what point of sail you are on. I can't imagine using that sail in more than 15 knots, and even then the boat will be overwhelmed. What is it you are using to gauge the wind? A tool, or your own knowledge?

When something gives whose head will it come crashing down on? Yours, your kids, guest, or your wife? If you are alone it could very well be a death sentence. Surviving a BFS doesn't make you a good sailor. It makes you a lucky one. I know a lucky sailor when I read, or see one. I am a lucky sailor. I was thrown from Frolic in a storm while single-handing Mexico. All I can is I go nowhere without my harness, cuz **** happens... .....i2f
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20 MPH ain't fast unless, you do it in a 1000sq 3/2 house on 10foot waves
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  #1472  
Old 09-09-2009
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smackdaddy is a jewel in the rough smackdaddy is a jewel in the rough smackdaddy is a jewel in the rough
imagine...

I've only used the 170 in 15-20 max (as measured by the weather station at our lake - at water level). And though it's a lot of sail - it's not felt overwhelming to me. I've also had it up in 25 and it was too much - so I doused it. I've not flown the 170 in anything more than 20. Sorry, my writing wasn't clear above.

I've also flown the 110 in 25-30, both with a full and reefed main and it felt pretty stable though a bit overpowered. But it was sure fun.

Above 30, I've only sailed with reefed main to date and dropped everything one day when it hit 40. Too much for me.

I only have hank-on sails BTW - so I'm a bit lazy about changing them out. And they're not the newest, so I probably get a bit of a break there too.

Remember, I'm not advocating anything here - I'm experimenting. I'm just trying to push things as much as possible in as safe a manner as possible to find out what the boat will do in various conditions. Some might say that's looking for trouble. I think it's training and practice. And I've not broken anything major yet - even in 40 knots***. (Knock on teak).

Remember that BFS is relative - back to John's original point. And also remember that I'm the world's lousiest sailor - but I'm working on that!

(***Oops, I have to take that back, I blew a 110 when Charlie was sailing with me on New Years)
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S/V Dawn Treader - 1989 Hunter Legend 40

Last edited by smackdaddy; 09-09-2009 at 06:11 PM.
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  #1473  
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smackdaddy is a jewel in the rough smackdaddy is a jewel in the rough smackdaddy is a jewel in the rough
Now that that's out of the way - what I REALLY want to know is what happened on that trip to Mexico dude?????

I SMELL A BFS!!!!
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  #1474  
Old 09-09-2009
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I think your question was, how do we gauge the wind? Several ways - one is our windgauge - but that only reads apparent wind - not very accurate. The more accurate measure in the big storms we've been in has been the Coast Guard's knowledge from readings from the wind bouys out in the Gulf (they are out there because of the proliferation of oil rigs - they are stationary, so the readings are true windspeed over the bouy). Same for wave height - you have no way of guesstimating the wave heights - most people guess too big, but the CG calculates them based on the windspeed. That's why when we got back in Port Isabel from the March '08 storm, we thought the waves were in the 18-20 foot range, but Coast Guard Freeport said nope! 28-30 for the areas we were in.
Sailing, not racing, offshore with a big deck sweeper is a huge mistake, we sail with a 110 working jib.
On your other point of surviving a big storm is luck, not sailing skills - I have to disagree. I attribute our coming through both Force 10 Storms (as defined by the CG), it was 75% the sailing skill of three seasoned sailors (about 125 years combined) and 25% having a strong, well-prepared bluewater boat. The only luck we had in the second storm was bad luck - we got knocked down to cabin trunk grab rails and the sails in the water, the main, heavy with water, hung up in the spreaders and wouldn't douse (it eventually shredded) and a jib sheet got loose and went over the side, tangled in the prop and stopped the engine - how much more luck to you want. We ran before that storm for 36 hours with no engine and no sails, just the stern and bimini for sail area - still making over 10mph on the GPS when skidding down the face of the seas. What kept us moving and safe was the skill of our crew.
If you want to see pictures of Paloma after that storm, go to my profile and check her out.
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Last edited by johnshasteen; 09-09-2009 at 06:19 PM.
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  #1475  
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Yeah - and whoever heard of a sailor that rounds down?

Those are some crazy pics, John. I still look forward to crewing for you one day soon, dude! I've got references BTW!

(PS - Gotta go. My "Captain Ron" dvd just got here!)
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  #1476  
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My point about surviving BFS was in reference to what I read here. A lot of stories I have read is the boat surviving the ordeal, and the crew hanging on. That was my point about luck.

I am not trying to beat anyone down. I worry about sailors getting hurt, and overwhelmed. I have seen some pretty stupid stuff while sailing. Unfortunately I was on some of these boats with people out of control. It can be some scary stuff, and especially when too much drink is involved.

You are suppose to push yourself. Calm seas do not make a good sailor. You need to know your capabilities, and your vessels too. I am going to make a comparison, and it's a bad one, but all I can think of for now.

Fighter pilots don't jump into the seat of a fighter, and go balls out. They start out learning the basics, and how to control the plane. Overtime they fly more powerful planes, and eventually they do combat manuevers, but it is a learning curve.

It's like Lynn Pardey wrote. Everybody wants to hear the war stories of sailing. Most people find the day when everything is just right. The autopilot on, and you can read a book in the shade of the sail while making excellent milage pretty damned boring.. .......i2f
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  #1477  
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seeya

Last edited by lporcano; 03-23-2010 at 01:05 PM.
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  #1478  
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Wind is wind, but open water as oceans and the Great Lakes, which in my thinking is an ocean, because there's fetch. It's just not salty. We can split hairs if you wish, but I think you completely understand my meaning........i2f
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  #1480  
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LOLOLOL,

I am in complete agreement, and a well made point. On S.F. Bay we lose sailors in 15 minutes if they are not plucked out of the water.

I wanted to sail to Asia from Florida, and my wife could not bring herself to do it. She looked at the charts, and just couldn't. She was afraid of the dangers, and I explained all that empty ocean is safer than all the sailing we had done between the Caribbean, Bahamas, and Florida. She SO READY now though, and hopefully by Christmas we will have put our ducks in a row, and go. As always time will tell........i2f
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