How Much Wind is too much Wind - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
 Not a Member? 


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 09-04-2011
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Ottawa Canada
Posts: 209
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 7
weephee is on a distinguished road
How Much Wind is too much Wind

I'm fairly new to sailing in fact this is my first year with my own boat. I have a 1977 Columbia 27 foot sailboat which I believe to be well constructed. I have no idea what the limits of too much wind would be. I'm smart enough to realize that there are many influencing circumstances including seamanship to the answer but in general, how does a sailor know when he needs to put up storm sails or just get the hell off the water. I have sailed in 15 knots of wind with no problem so far but what about 20 or 25 knots. How do you find your threshold without jeopordizing your boat and/or your life.

Larry
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 09-04-2011
tommays's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,278
Thanks: 1
Thanked 29 Times in 29 Posts
Rep Power: 7
tommays will become famous soon enough
IMHP its a combo of wind and sea state as with wind only its pretty easy to have small enough sails to keep the boat comfortable

BUT as the sea state builds its when you start to beat up yourself and the boat and get into conditions that are over your current comfort level or unable to make headway to a safe place
__________________
1970 Cal 29 Sea Fever

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

1981 J24 Tangent 2930
Tommays
Northport NY


If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 09-04-2011
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Corpus Christi, Tx
Posts: 1,143
Thanks: 26
Thanked 31 Times in 30 Posts
Rep Power: 9
ccriders is on a distinguished road
At my age, I consider winds that exceed the water line length as too much to go out and enough to start getting back in. It is not the boat, but my body that can't take it for very long. So with my 24 ft lwl I find 24 knots too much for enjoyable sailing as by that time the bay water chop will have developed to about 5 feet or so. At that point I would have the second reef in the main and the jib rolled to about 80%, which is the most I can roll up a 120% and still have an okay set, not good enough to close haul it but close reaching is possible. If I wanted to sail in these conditions, I would have a 90% jib reefable to 60% and a storm jib. I also would put a third set of reef points in the main. When the boat is not overpowered, even the chop can be endureable (somewhat).
John
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 09-04-2011
sailguy40's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 306
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 5
sailguy40 is on a distinguished road
My first year with my boat, I mostly sailed in under 15 knot winds until I got comfortable months later. Then, I have sailed in as much as 25 knot winds. The more I sailed the more I learned how to adjust my sails in higher winds. I also became more familiar with my boat. My last trip in 25+ knot winds was in May. I was able to keep my boat going on a broad reach with only a 5 degree heel flying a full main and 110. Too bad this was the day when I overstressed my rudder causing it to snap clean in half. Even though many here would suggest to use two sails, I have found my boat does pretty well running a single sail in high winds. In fact I can get nearly hull speed in higher winds with a full main. As long as I am out on a sailing to nowhere day. If I was trying to maintain a course or hit a destination, it maybe more practical to have a reefed main with my smallest headsail. Problem is, my smallest is a 110 jib, I don't have a storm jib. So I am still trying to determine what my best sail configuration is in higher winds. This all said, I still prefer the under 15 knot wind days especially if I am single handing. The average day here is usually under 15 knot winds anyway.

Bottomline from my experiences, I would say whatever starts to make you feel uncomfortable is probably where you draw the line. That little voice that tells you "maybe I should not be out here" could be correct. Then you can say too much wind for you and your sailing experience but not necessarily the boat. Its like if you are comfortable in 15 knot winds, then you start to feel like its getting easy to sail, try in 20 to 25 knots, see how you do. At first you probably will feel uneasy then after you do it a few times you will get more comfortable. Right now my personal limit is 30 knots, so I try to avoid going out if its over that. For one thing I am not tearing up my boat, next thing putting myself in harms way is not my idea of fun. With my limited experience going out in 30+ knots is just asking for trouble.
__________________
Tim
s/v Pirates Lady
Hunter 33

"The sound of the sea, is becoming very familiar to me."
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 09-04-2011
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Ottawa Canada
Posts: 209
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 7
weephee is on a distinguished road
How Much Wind is too much Wind

Thanks for the great replies. I am normally a cautious person but when I get on my sailboat I like to push the envelope a little (not necessarily a good thing). I guess my biggest concern is breaking something but I sure don't want to become cocky and too sure of myself. I've done that with other things and the results haven't always been positive.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 09-04-2011
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 825
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 9
chris_gee is on a distinguished road
The sails and sail area of a particular boat are each configured for a particular wind speed. With a standard rig this will usually be about 15-18. With gusts going somewhat higher say 25 the boat has to be sailed eg by easing the main to cope. It sails faster with less than 20 degrees of heel. If it is heeling more and burying the rail and it cannot be managed easily by sail trim then a reef is required in fact overdue.
The reason being it is easier to reef before conditions get bad, and one should anticipate the wind increasing by being vigilant for approaching squalls, increasing waves and whitecaps in the distance, and by watching the wind speed shown by higher clouds, and by the forecast. Other signs include the behaviour of more windward boats.
The point with reefing is this - a seven knot increase requires a 50% reduction in sail area to maintain the same force on the sails. So if with standard sails your desirable upper limit is 18, for 25 knots you need half the standard sail area and for 32 a quarter. A double reef gives about a 50% reduction.
Many boats don't have third reefs or staysails. They may also have say 130% roler reefing genoas which don't set well cut down by around 2/3 or more. Unless you have a storm jib that suggests around 25 knots or thereabouts as a limit without squeezing more by easing the main. Sure you can and will have to bear off a bit with the waves but since you also have to allow for gusts of maybe 10 knots then roughly in the 25-30 knot ranch you are working pretty hard assuming standard sails and furling jib.
Downwind you can subtract the boat speed from the true wind to get apparent so that is easier.
So I suggest for many boats 25-30 reefed is not a bad limit. More if required with storm sails and the ability to handle it and perhaps as much the need to. If you don't have to there comes a point when the discomfort and risk of damage and scaring the less experienced crew becomes not worth it.
I recall a major coastal race here a while ago when a lot of boats withdrew many suffering some damage in the 30-35 range.
Sure some boats and crew can take more but then they wouldn't be asking would they? I think getting some time in the lower 20s is good training for handling more.
I would also make the point that handling a short period is quite different from say 12 hours.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 09-04-2011
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
boudine is on a distinguished road
First, I would make sure the standing rigging is perfect. It should be changed every 8 to 10 years. I noticed a "fish hook" in my backstay, and changed it. It was only 6 years old, but on close inspection, there were numerous strands that were broken, but didn't curl out. Second, go sailing in progressively higher winds, try 20kts for a few trips, then 25kts, etc., building confidence in you, and your boat at the same time. I've never lost confidence in myself, or my boat, but I have turned back because of the beating I was taking. Fatigue can be your enemy.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 09-04-2011
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Toronto
Posts: 181
Thanks: 0
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 6
Ninefingers is on a distinguished road
What I've noticed, and I'm learning like you, is that things get exponentially more difficult with wind increases above 15, (as mentioned above). Around 12 knots or less, you can make a lot of mistakes with no harm to you or the boat. Around 20 knots, mistakes might not break stuff, but they can certainly be alarming.

Tacking in 20 knots: fine, usually.
Jibing: rather not do it without a capable crew.
Reefing: Definitely exponentially harder than reefing at 15.

Sailing in a straight line at 20,25, or (I can only guess) 30, is relatively easy if you have the right amount of sail up. It's when you need to fix/change/ things that it can be quite stressful.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 09-04-2011
BarryL's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,650
Thanks: 3
Thanked 29 Times in 28 Posts
Rep Power: 12
BarryL is on a distinguished road
similar thread

Hey,

This is similar to another thread here:
Wind Limit

Here was my reply:

Hello,

If I am just going out for a pleasant day sail, I will limit the wind speed to 20 kts, 25 max if I have an experienced crew. If the wind is from the south I may go out in higher wind, because there won't be any waves where I am (on the long island side of the long island sound). If the wind is 20 kts, and will be against the tide, I'll stay home for sure. Those conditions create a lot of chop and short steep waves which are just no fun (for me) to sail in.

I can handle more wind, but it's just not fun, and it's hard on the boat and the people. My boat can easily handle 20 kts of wind with a single reef in the main and the headsail (140) rolled up to a 110.

Last night I was crewing on the C&C 34 I race on. We got to the committee boat and the wind was 15-18 kts from the west. Ten minutes later it was 25+ and went north. We reefed down the main, put of the #2 (no #3 on the boat) flattened the sails as much as possible and held on. Upwind was a chore, but downwind was a delight. That was with 5 experienced people and 4 novices. On my boat I would have put the sails away and went home.

Barry
__________________
Barry Lenoble
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 09-04-2011
johnshasteen's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 649
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 13
johnshasteen is on a distinguished road
Your Columbia is a tough little boat, our first boat was an old Columbia 28. The better you get with the boat, the more wind you can handle, but try to stay in the under 30 knots if you can, until you get caught by a big wind. We've been through two Force 10 storms in the Gulf of Mexico in our old Bristol, not on purpose, but we came through it and so would your Columbia.
__________________
s/v Paloma, Bristol 29.9, #141
Slipped in Bahia Marina, easy access to Corpus Christi Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sea Wind kms General Discussion (sailing related) 0 07-28-2011 01:37 AM
Wind powered vehicle speeds much faster than wind; downwind! Dirtboy General Discussion (sailing related) 41 07-19-2011 10:53 PM
wind point / wind speed bkw Learning to Sail 4 09-11-2006 04:01 PM
Looking for the Wind WindRider68 Boat Review and Purchase Forum 0 08-27-2006 12:00 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:46 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.