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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 08-21-2011
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what to do in to much wind

so my boat i took it out thinking that it wasn't that much wind and i regreted it. i got out there hit a few good waves and new i was in trouble and shouldn't be out there so i got back to the mooring and tied up. Here my question what do i do if that happens and i further way and i can lower my sail i mean i don't have any reef points on the sail and no motor on the boat yet.
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Old 08-21-2011
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Your choices are greatly affected by where you are. If your 16' boat is near a sandy beach; then, the best choice might be to run ashore. If you're near a rocky shore then you may do best to tie or anchor to a windward shore. If you're in open water (doubtfull with a 16' boat) then heave to. Whatever big winds you encounter have to be a quick 15 to 30 minute squall because anything bigger would have been forecast and you're not foolish enough to present yourself to a big storm, right? Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 08-21-2011
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A lot of smaller boats like a Lazer or Sunfish do not have anyway to reduce sail and you have to avoid or suffer through it
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Old 08-21-2011
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I'm not sure this would help, but when I sailed a boat a foot longer than your Mistral I carried a small paddle. When things weren't going as I'd hoped I'd drop all sail, go sit on the bow with my legs dangling over both sides, and paddle. It worked pretty well.
I almost posted this advice on your motor thread but decided it wasn't the right answer for that question.
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Old 08-21-2011
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i have a paddle and i if i droped the sails last time i went out i would have ran aground with the wind pushing me to the beach/ open bay.
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Old 08-21-2011
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You can spill the wind off the sails and depower them. You can sail close to the wind or let the main out. You can also run with the weather. You hold the sheet, don't cleat them so you can let them out quickly. If you need to drop a main or jib so you can handle the boat without cleating, then you do so. Things happen too fast on dinghies to be cleating in such conditions.

I learned basically by trial and error and on a Minifish (like a Sunfish). On that boat you have a main sheet and that's it. No reefs, no outhauls, no cunninghams, no vangs to help you.
Eventually you learn where you can trim so that your sail isn't at full power without flogging. It takes being familiar with your boat. And you learn very quickly to watch the water for gusts.
When you're on a boat without a motor, you simply need to pay more attention. You pay attention to where you are from shore, how you'd get back, and what the weather will do. You'll need to develop a "weather eye", watch the clouds, so you know when to start heading in before things get out of control.

I've had my little boat out in very windy conditions and still be able to sail her. It's not comfortable and it'll wear you out.

You want to push yourself but not over do it in order to learn. Have someone else there who can get you and your boat if conditions are or will get hairy if you're wanting to see what you can do.
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Old 08-22-2011
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ithinkifyoujustdontcapitalizeorpunctuatethesizeoft hestormdecreasesgreatlyandyouwillhavenoproblemsail ingyourboatinanykindofweathersinceallweatherisaffe ctedbythedescriptivepowersofoneswritinghowsthatfor ananswer.

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Old 08-22-2011
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I was not considering the situation as Sublime's good advice, when the wind is still at a force that allows sailing. Sure, if your speaking of winds that are 20-25 this is a good plan. My response was for the leading edges of the squalls where you have a 40-60 gusts and you need to abandon any attempts of sailing the small vessel. I like puddinleg's plea for your communication skills, but don't buy into this idea that your wrting will affect the weather. That's more foolish than a lack of punctuation! Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 08-22-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smallboatlover View Post
so my boat i took it out thinking that it wasn't that much wind and i regreted it. i got out there hit a few good waves and new i was in trouble and shouldn't be out there so i got back to the mooring and tied up. Here my question what do i do if that happens and i further way and i can lower my sail i mean i don't have any reef points on the sail and no motor on the boat yet.
I would start by adding reef points to your main sail and setting up a jiffy reefing system. I had to do that with my 15' boat or I wouldn't dare take it out some days. By reefing the main and striking the jib I can still sail when the wind gets to be too much.
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Old 08-22-2011
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I haven't sailed a Mistral 16 so am not sure what sail controls you have. You didn't say how fast the wind was really blowing or how big the waves were. It doesn't take much of a chop to be pretty unpleasant in a small boat.

As wind picks up the first thing you want to do is flatten the sails to reduce power. More halyard on both sails, more outhaul, more cunningham and/or vang. Sublime's points on trim is well taken. If things are still too sporty drop a sail; which one really depends on the individual boat model. Just from looking at the pictures of a Mistral I suspect you would drop the jib first and be prepared to ease the main in gusts.

Alternatively it would be interesting to see if your boat can heave to while you wait for a weather system to blow through. This is useful on even small boats when summer thunderstorms come in and are gone within an hour or so.
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