What's the lightest wind you go sailing in? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 28 Old 08-25-2012 Thread Starter
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What's the lightest wind you go sailing in?

Hey guys! Just curious. What's the lightest winds you go sailing in? I don't mean the kind of days where you don't care if you get some good wind but the days where you may only have a few hours and you want yo open the sails and get the boat moving. We have been having a series of 7-10 knot days and I'm wondering if that's enough to get some good sailing in.

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post #2 of 28 Old 08-25-2012
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Re: What's the lightest wind you go sailing in?

At about 8000 lbs, less that 5 kts is problematic. 7-10 kts should be just fine if it isn't flucky. Also, I don't have any light wind sails, which makes a big difference.
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post #3 of 28 Old 08-25-2012 Thread Starter
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Oh the main is on the smaller side on my boat and my jib is a 125. I have a 155 as well but it's not up.

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post #4 of 28 Old 08-25-2012
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Re: What's the lightest wind you go sailing in?

depends on time of year, during the summer dont go out unless there is about 10kts forcasted. With our Alberg we never really go very well in light winds and with that we cook out there. in cooler weather we go out in just about any light winds. I have bought a few light wind sails such as a drifter, asy spin and no1 genoa which is about a 165 these all help keep the boat moving. It just can't sit out there and cook.....it's not any fun!

i am working on a hard dodger/bimini combo for next year. should make it bearable in the dead of summer


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Re: What's the lightest wind you go sailing in?

Here in MDR, 7-10 kt is the norm. I go out in that all the time. If I want to sail to Catalina, the only thing that matters to me is wind direction. I have a 110 Genoa on my Cal 2-30. Besides, if the wind were stronger, that would limit whom I can take out, even though I single hand about 80% of the time. I often wonder how it is for the folks in the areas where the wind is not so consistently calm (which is to say, most of the world).

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Re: What's the lightest wind you go sailing in?

We can move in 2-3 knots with a 3oz nylon drifter up. other wise 4-6 is needed to truly gt moving with normal wt sails. Dacron makes it a knot or two windier vs my laminate sails to move also.

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post #7 of 28 Old 08-25-2012
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Re: What's the lightest wind you go sailing in?

In less than 3 knots breeze it will be a controlled drift with the current, or a relaxed sail at slack current. In more than 10 knots breeze a great sail with the current or ok against the current.

Even on days with no wind it can still be relaxing to go for a controlled drift with the current and work with a few stray gusts.

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Re: What's the lightest wind you go sailing in?

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Originally Posted by Ulladh View Post
In less than 3 knots breeze it will be a controlled drift with the current, or a relaxed sail at slack current. In more than 10 knots breeze a great sail with the current or ok against the current.

Even on days with no wind it can still be relaxing to go for a controlled drift with the current and work with a few stray gusts.
I noticed you added a Bimini to your boat on your blog, great idea and job looks great!


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Re: What's the lightest wind you go sailing in?

We'll be out in 3-4 knots and just ghost along slowly. Often that's a quite pleasant way to pass time as the lake is generally flat in those conditions. Even the 100% jib gets us going nicely in those light winds. Downwind becomes problematic. Tacking is done carefully. And motorboat wakes are cursed.

7-10 knots is a "beginner sail day" around our boat where we take out people new to sailing. Not enough wind to scare them, but lots of wind for us to practice basic sailing techniques.

Contessa 26, 5,400lbs dry... probably more like 6,000lbs+ with all our gear and stuff in it.
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Re: What's the lightest wind you go sailing in?

I'd really like 7-10 but I'll settle for 5 if there's any hope it might get better, or the wx is just too nice to say no. Under 5 knots...I'd rather set the hammock.
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