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post #11 of 16 Old 05-26-2011
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I would go. I did go, last month. Gust of 46 and 54 recorded with constant 25+ knots. I was sailing a Laser with radial sail. I should have reefed it once but did not.
While I did end up getting demasted that day, it was not so much due to the wind as my not knowing the depths of the area I was sailing. I was heading back into the marina when a gust put me down and when I righted her she had lost half her mast to the mud bottom.
Anyway, those conditions are fun for 30 minutes to an hour or so but ONLY if you KNOW what your doing and how to beat up in those c0nditions. Also, head downwind from wherever you leave to make getting back that much easier.
Sheet in tight, cleave the wind, hike it out and letter ride man.
Just make sure your rigged for the conditions. One more thing, check your rudder attachment points REAL good. That was something that cost me a month ago..
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post #12 of 16 Old 05-26-2011
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ALso, plan your tacks accordingly. Got to have enough speed to power through the swells without getting knocked over in the process.
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post #13 of 16 Old 05-27-2011
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I,d sit tight at twenty, heavy seas and strong gusts are hard to handle if singlehanded.
Good crew could make all the difference but still no picnick.
Was out in the Solent year before last in a well found 32fter and 7 gusting to 8 was a great experience.

Safe sailing

The great appear great because you are on your knees. James Larkin, Irish Labour Movement.
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post #14 of 16 Old 05-27-2011
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Originally Posted by JoeDiver View Post
I'm new to sailing so I'm pretty conservative. I tend to prefer 12-15 kts, hopefully with gusts not over 20. I haven't tried to reef my main yet, but I suppose if I did I could handle a bit more. I only have one headsail, a 110 hank on, so I'm limited there.

I went out once in my ideal conditions, and while out there winds increased, 20 kts steady with gusts to 30. I was not prepared for that...not reefed or anything. I was only on the main and when it happened the boat became quite a handful. I was literally fighting the helm, the boat was trying to round up (didn't know what that was until then) heeling way over and generally scared the **** out of me. My mouth was dry, heart was racing...but I figured out really quick to work that mainsheet constantly, easing out and trimming up as needed, and as soon as I felt that strong puff to let that puppy out and spill some wind. As soon as I got under the protection of a cove I doused and had like 5 smokes before I motored back in.

Lesson learned.
If you don't know how to reef you are missing the boat! I have a sailing buddy who had never reefed. I forced him to practice it on days when it wasn't necessary. He had been in a serious car accident that busted him up in little pieces, and so was very fragile. This really cut into his sailing. Then he learned that reefing kept the boat on her feet, and make the motion much more gentle. So now he reefs at the dock if it looks at all windy. It's easy to shake out a reef if you are wrong, and you don't get bet up if you are right. When sailing he always heaves to in order to reef. He tucks everything in nice and neat. I don't bother, I'll let the jib drive the boat slower while I reef. I often watch other boats getting beat up by being over canvassed, and we zip on by.

Practice, practice, practice. Do it at the dock, do it heaved to, do it while sailing, put it in, take it out. Once you know how to do it your confidence level in high winds will go way up.

Gary H. Lucas
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post #15 of 16 Old 05-28-2011
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Depends if we are racing no problem. Going for a cruise with guests...no way no need to terrorize them. Making passageway while traveling, just pull down sail area. Like dilly said heading downwind one way...no that's a fun ride.


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post #16 of 16 Old 05-28-2011
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Yeah, I know Gary....my big issue is my sailing coach....he broke his leg the day I bought my boat....so I've been teaching myself. He started weight bearing on the leg last week though, and is putting about 30% on it now. He estimates mid to late June and he'll be ready for the boat.

It's slow going as I've been doing a ton of reading and watching videos, then go out and try stuff. I started using my traveler last week for the first time and what a difference that made! I also tend to try and avoid the really strong winds and conditions until I get more experience (and confidence) under my belt. I do need to learn to reef my main.


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