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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #11  
Old 08-25-2012
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I wish I had a wind instrument on the boat so I could see the minimum wind that moves the boat well. Thx. I am going out today in 8-10 predicted winds. The other thing is in the ocean if its light an the water is rough it's quite unpleasant as you get tossed around. Even in rough water with good wind you slice through it.
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  #12  
Old 08-25-2012
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Re: What's the lightest wind you go sailing in?

To a great extent this kind of question and answer is dependent on the boat in question and the patience of the skipper and crew. If I am only going out for a few hours I will often sail in winds down as low as a knot or two. I try to go out on a beam reach (true wind) so I can come home on a beam reach. That brings my wind forward and multiplies my apparent wind so I can often get up to a knot or two of boatspeed through the water and at the very least its enough to maintain steerage...

Back to boat in question, I purposely chose a boat of a design that excelled at the light and heavy end of the windspeed range, but even so, she really does not come alive (aproach hull speed) until about 5 knots of wind upwind and more like 8-10 knots down wind.
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Old 08-25-2012
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Just got back in, it's been great all week, and the blue whales were all over the area between Newport and Dana. Winds are better a couple miles out in our area btw.
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Old 08-25-2012
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Re: What's the lightest wind you go sailing in?

Our boat does pretty well in light winds, so we'll take 5 knots and a bit under if it's steady and not maddening wisps. Then again, I don't find the forecasts accurate enough to bag sailing on a nice day just because it's not supposed to be windy. My wife and I went out the other day when winds were maybe 2 - 6 knots and, as Jeff said, headed out and back a few times on a beam reach to maximize what we had. Very flat seas and kind of pleasant.

When the wind is light and fluky and the sails are flogging, we anchor and snooze.
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Thanks for the comments on the blog.
Bimini for less than $100 makes a sail in very little wind and 90's F clear skies tolerable.

I tend to go out more with the Bimini when there is not much wind than before.
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Old 08-25-2012
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Re: What's the lightest wind you go sailing in?

Depends on how many stinkers are out there messing up the water. I can sail in 3 or 4kts of wind, but if there are wakes everywhere, it's just unpleasant.
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Old 08-25-2012
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Re: What's the lightest wind you go sailing in?

Newport,

Your S30 is a 'SoCal light air boat' - if the bottom is clean and the sails are trimmed for dirty air, 5 knots breeze should be enjoyable.

Video of Harbor 30 in very light air (3-5) knots in Newport Harbor


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Old 08-25-2012
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Re: What's the lightest wind you go sailing in?

Light air is relative. I've gotten forecasts the last three times out of 3 dropping off to calm. I took time off so I went anyway. Had some of my best sails, as t-storms came up and I saw 21mph steady winds, light rain, but a helluva ride. Mountain lakes are flukey though.
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Old 08-26-2012
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Re: What's the lightest wind you go sailing in?

How light is too light really depends on the sea state, and whether you have a specific destination. We took a couple of visiting relatives from out of town out sailing last weekend and there was little or no wind. Because it was flat water and we weren't going anywhere in particular I was able to keep the boat sailing at a couple of knots most of the time. I just chose the best course to build boatspeed, and looked for the next puff to catch! We had a nice afternoon looking at the scenery and chatting while I quietly honed my light air skills. We only lost steerage a couple of times. Both times were when big stink-pots crossed my bow far closer than they needed to, and the wake stopped us dead!

Newport, You will find that with a little practice your Santana can be very quick in light air. Even the standard rig has a pretty respectable SA/D ratio, and will out perform many similar sized cruisers.
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Old 08-26-2012
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I'll absolutely sail in 3-5 kts with my 170% if it's steady and the stink potters aren't out in force.
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