How do you know it's too rough? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 08-04-2011
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How do you know it's too rough?

I took my boat out tonight with the previous owner and his wife...they are friends of ours. We were on motor and sailed out of the harbor around sunset to see the seals and porpoise. We hit about 6-10 foot swells and the previous owner went to the front of the boat stood on the deck and "caught air" as he left his feet when the boat bobbed up and down. He was having fun. I was on the tiller freaking out. My wife was as well...asking me if I was steering properly..lol. Obviously the previous owners were very used to it. They didn't flinch. They said under sail it would smooth that out a bit and counter the motion. How do I or will I ever be comfortable in conditions like that? When should I be worried about those conditions? Is this just an experience thing?
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Old 08-04-2011
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You found some yee-haaa moments
I guess it's experience, same as getting used to heeling etc
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Old 08-04-2011
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Sailing in larger seas is MANY times smoother than motoring. I had to explain that to my wife after labor day last year. Got a bit choppy due to a head wind, and a tide/current behind us. mid 20 winds. so down went the sails, she went below, I was left in the cockpit motoring into short steep choppy 3-4' waves, about that time, she say me get completely covered in water from a wave. That would not have happened or at least not as bad vs going thru them under power.

It does take some getting used to!

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Old 08-04-2011
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Thx for the positive replies. I am not discouraged in the least. My goal is to be able to do the 4 hour or so sail to Catalina Island. Thats about 24 miles out to sea. So I want to be very comfortable in something like this. I had this feeling last when I bought a motorcycle many many years ago. I thought I was comfortable with riding after a few days on low speed streets. I got on the freeway. I got off at the next exit and was terrified for the minute it took. The cars the wind the speed all overwhelming. Weeks later I wasn't even fazed. Hoping it's a similar experience. I was on overload and never having the experience of being bumped around a bit I was unsure on how to react. I shouted to my friend, "Gonna turn around, which direction should I turn?", he says, "Up to you."...ok so I shouted back, "Slow gradual turn or fast quick turn?", he shouted back, "Up to you."...all this while standing on the deck jumping up and down as the waves hit....lol...I am probably more afraid of making a mistake that's catastrophic. People have probably sailed in worse conditions on smaller more fragile boats right? I just need to get much much more sea time under my belt. Now I see why crewing on boats is so valuable.
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Old 08-04-2011
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"Now I see why crewing on boats is so valuable"

a wise statment NewportNewbie go to the head of the class lol , I also li9ke your friend was helping you with his responces "Up to you" indicateing you havent hit trouble or his limit yet
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Old 08-04-2011
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I had a similar situation when I first started boating, but on a power boat. My friend, the boat's owner (and my first boating mentor) standing next to me while I was at the helm of what I considered a big a$$ boat, kept saying to me "Believe me, I am NOT going to let you hurt my boat!" As long as he was laughing, I figured I was doing OK and could relax somewhat.

Safe boating not only includes knowing what your boat is capable of, but of knowing and being realistic about what YOU are capable of, too.

My friend was still laughing when, months later he presented to me in a little ceremony in front of all of our Coast Guard brass a necklace made up of a chunk of the piling I took out when he was teaching me how to dock.
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Old 08-04-2011
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It's all on you and your comfort level and or experience.
In my opinion, nobody can answer this question other than you.
Some say it is never too rough; others with little experince don't like 20knot winds or 4 foot seas. Don't let anybody talk you into doing something you are not comfortable with. Over time and with experience you will get comfortable in different conditions.
And when you do find yourself on the edge, always remember, "The boat can take more than the crew."
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Old 08-04-2011
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I'd say when it begins to hurt but I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing?
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Old 08-04-2011
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Nice to see the S30 being put to good use - 10 ft seas ?

where was this ?

We should have invited you to the Catalina Rendezvous this weekend. Handful of WD Schock boats arriving Thursday & Friday for 3 days of fun at Twin Harbors.
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Old 08-04-2011
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I think all sailors will have moments where they don't feel comfortable with the situation. However, I think you may experience an acceleration of confidence as a number of things come together. You will get some sailing experiece, know how you boat responds in various conditions, and start to learn a number of alternitives for each situation. Only having one tactic is makes me nervous. Take for example, motoring into harbor: If the motor fails, what next? Raise sail, throw out an anchor, raft-up to another moored boat, scull the rudder, paddle... All are possible, depending on your boat.
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