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  #11  
Old 03-07-2012
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Re: Lake sailors: how do you like your wind?

For a casual cruise, my ideal is 10-15kts from the West, maybe with +5kt gusts.

This means that I can go out on a J24, probably without reefing. I can get out the Western Gap of Toronto Harbour, have a comfortable downwind run while I smoke a cigar, then pop back into the harbour through the Eastern Gap and head home. Or turn around and bash close-hauled with waves crashing back over the bow into the cockpit.

If I'm racing other members of my club, 19kts please. 20 is our stay-on-the-dock cutoff.
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Last edited by InkyMatt; 03-07-2012 at 03:11 PM.
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  #12  
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Re: Lake sailors: how do you like your wind?

Grew up sailing on Lake Erie...very long fetch and very shallow so lots of close set waves...a blast with a Hobie Cat but my friends with Lightnings couldn't hack it.
Now I'm on a 70,000 acre man made lake in Texas and I'll go sailing any day of the year. The only time I turn my back on going sailing is with Home Frontal passage: when the winds on the home front tell me I have something else (something she planned)to do.
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  #13  
Old 03-07-2012
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Re: Lake sailors: how do you like your wind?

Hoo boy. How do we like our wind? Not very well, thank you. Sailing n the Finger Lakes as a kid, I thought I knew about quirky, frustrating, shifty winds. Nuh-uh. Start in SE Wyoming, one of the windiest places on the planet. Add 7300' elevation. Stir in mad convection activity caused by 12,000' mountains, just a handful of miles away. And what you get is sailing like nothing I've ever experienced.

Here's a photo from a fairly typical day on our little mountain lake:

meter

Left the mooring singlehand in 15mph; just got the jib up when it jumped to 41 mph (middle number); put the jib away, reefed the main; five minutes later, the wind backed 90 degrees and settled down to alternating (buffeting) 15-25, which is when I took the photo. IIRC, it later dropped to 3-5 -- from exactly the other side of the compass.

Upslope, downslope. Never the least hint it's coming, either. Here we are crashing back to the beach, having been caught out with two second-time sailors as crew. Doesn't look bad in the foregound because we are behind a little point; look at the smoke blowing off in the distance. Windsurfers clocked it at 42kts, that afternoon.

June 2011 blow Tony

Happens almost.every.day.

But ya know, you deal with it. You set up your boat, and you learn to deal with it. The alternative is never going out. The only sad thing is that we sometimes hesitate to bring newbs or small kids along, just because it can scare them badly. And we don't often get to practice spinnaker sailing, cuz it's just too dangerous.

Some good sailors come off small inland lakes, tho. You learn to read the shifts, trim sails fast, and you tack & gybe a hundred times a day.
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Old 03-07-2012
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Re: Lake sailors: how do you like your wind?

i sail a small-ish lake in western hills of North Carolina. the winds are very shifty, so, the winds like this past wkend as stated by another near by, the winds were 20 with 30knt gust. and as usual as i get out there with my lil o'day daysailer2 the winds provide five to ten minutes of gust then as usual die. then maybe an hour later pickup. my normal routine is tack in gusty winds to one side of lake thinking ill have a speedy run back..and as always the case, by the time i reach the end the wind has died and must struggle getting back. jibing, waiting, jibing a little more, etc.
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Old 03-08-2012
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Re: Lake sailors: how do you like your wind?

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Originally Posted by robbieland View Post
i sail a small-ish lake in western hills of North Carolina. the winds are very shifty, so, the winds like this past wkend as stated by another near by, the winds were 20 with 30knt gust. and as usual as i get out there with my lil o'day daysailer2 the winds provide five to ten minutes of gust then as usual die. then maybe an hour later pickup. my normal routine is tack in gusty winds to one side of lake thinking ill have a speedy run back..and as always the case, by the time i reach the end the wind has died and must struggle getting back. jibing, waiting, jibing a little more, etc.
First rule of lake sailing: the wind is always on your nose. If you beat all the way to the end of the lake in anticipation of a run downhill, the wind will clock and you'll be tacking home.

Never fails.
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Re: Lake sailors: how do you like your wind?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobmcgov View Post
Left the mooring singlehand in 15mph; just got the jib up when it jumped to 41 mph (middle number); put the jib away, reefed the main; five minutes later, the wind backed 90 degrees and settled down to alternating (buffeting) 15-25, which is when I took the photo. IIRC, it later dropped to 3-5 -- from exactly the other side of the compass.
Wow, that makes the 15- 20 kt winds with gusts to 25 kts yesterday seem tame. I have to give it to you for your commitment to sailing.
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Re: Lake sailors: how do you like your wind?

Eric,

We took the S2 out this past Sunday. The gusts were crazy. Especially since it was my first sail in ten years. But, at least we got out and figured out some things and our limits.

Anyways, hope too see ya out there again soon.
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Re: Lake sailors: how do you like your wind?

What Finger Lake? Owasco for me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bobmcgov View Post
Hoo boy. How do we like our wind? Not very well, thank you. Sailing n the Finger Lakes as a kid, I thought I knew about quirky, frustrating, shifty winds. Nuh-uh. Start in SE Wyoming, one of the windiest places on the planet. Add 7300' elevation. Stir in mad convection activity caused by 12,000' mountains, just a handful of miles away. And what you get is sailing like nothing I've ever experienced.

Here's a photo from a fairly typical day on our little mountain lake:

meter

Left the mooring singlehand in 15mph; just got the jib up when it jumped to 41 mph (middle number); put the jib away, reefed the main; five minutes later, the wind backed 90 degrees and settled down to alternating (buffeting) 15-25, which is when I took the photo. IIRC, it later dropped to 3-5 -- from exactly the other side of the compass.

Upslope, downslope. Never the least hint it's coming, either. Here we are crashing back to the beach, having been caught out with two second-time sailors as crew. Doesn't look bad in the foregound because we are behind a little point; look at the smoke blowing off in the distance. Windsurfers clocked it at 42kts, that afternoon.

June 2011 blow Tony

Happens almost.every.day.

But ya know, you deal with it. You set up your boat, and you learn to deal with it. The alternative is never going out. The only sad thing is that we sometimes hesitate to bring newbs or small kids along, just because it can scare them badly. And we don't often get to practice spinnaker sailing, cuz it's just too dangerous.

Some good sailors come off small inland lakes, tho. You learn to read the shifts, trim sails fast, and you tack & gybe a hundred times a day.
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  #19  
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Re: Lake sailors: how do you like your wind?

Quote:
Originally Posted by itsaboat View Post
Wow, that makes the 15- 20 kt winds with gusts to 25 kts yesterday seem tame. I have to give it to you for your commitment to sailing.
Our season is short, & you can't 'pick your days' cuz every day has crazy built into it. Look how blue the sky is in the wind meter shot -- it's not like that 41 mph announced itself with a thunderhead, or anything. (The lenticular clouds might be a clue, heh). Ours are mostly katabatic winds, caused by geography: extremely localized pressure and temperature differences, rather than fronts or storm cells. (Tho we get those too.)

Here's a typical week in June -- one of our calmer months. The weather station only logs every 30 minutes, so it tends to miss peak gusts. But you get the idea.

wind2

Luckily, the water is solid by November:

wind 11-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by KIVALO View Post
What Finger Lake? Owasco for me.
I grew up on Canandaigua Lake & did a lot of windsurfing there. But most of our sailing was on Cayuga Lake, where we had a cottage near Union Springs. Forty miles long, 1-2 miles wide, and you can still drown in it. Owasco is a pretty little lake. We have distant relatives in Auburn.
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Talking Re: Lake sailors: how do you like your wind?

I sail Mille Lacs Lake in Minnesota. I live about two hours from it so when I go (every possible weekend) I look at the weather report to see what kind of wind I might experience.

The only thing I can say with certainty is that for at least 10 minutes of sailing the weather forecast is accurate
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