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  #11  
Old 10-22-2012
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Re: When is the wind speed too much?

I have been sailing my C&C 24 a little over two years on a semi-protected bay with one opening to the ocean If it were blowing 15 mph I might go out, probably with a reef, depending on whether the wind was increasing, steady, or decreasing. I have been out with gusts up to 25 and a steady blow of 20, but I was already out on the water when the wind came up. I would rather be out in a 15 mph wind and have the wind increase 5 mph rather than decrease 5 mph. When the wind blows steady over 20 and gusts over 25 I know I am not yet experienced enough to enjoy it.
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Old 10-22-2012
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Re: When is the wind speed too much?

It looked like that when I went out last week and again for a bit this past saturday. I was out by myself and only let out about 110 % of my roller furler. No mainsail. I never heeled excessively, the helm remained fairly neutral and I never saw less than 5.5 knots often hitting 6 + over ground. I was just out playing around, so I wasn't worried about how well it pointed. to me it's all about reducing sail to the point where you are fully under control given the crew numbers and capabilities.
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  #13  
Old 10-22-2012
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Re: When is the wind speed too much?

there is too much wind when neither you nor the boat is comfortable. then ye should have reefed.....
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Old 10-22-2012
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Re: When is the wind speed too much?

To me 15 - 20 is ideal sailing conditions. Once whitecaps start to appear is when the sailing is getting good.

The CG used to put out a "small craft warning" which IIRC was at 20 knots. That was what we waited to hear for great sailing.
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Old 10-22-2012
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Re: When is the wind speed too much?

I'm a 10-15 knot kinda guy. If I'm coming back from Catalina and get stuck in windier stuff, I handle it but I don't enjoy it as much. If it's blowing 20+ before I leave the slip, I'm more likely to break out the BBQ. Note that I sail with non-sailor friends who don't like extreme heeling or lumpy conditions. Plus, they don't offer much help. I'd rather just wait for a more pleasant day. Wimp!

Mike
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Old 10-23-2012
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Re: When is the wind speed too much?

Pictures usually do not do the conditions justice per say. BUT, the pic of the lake the OP was on, did not look any worst than where I was on Puget sound sunday. Even the maestro was out in one of his designs racing where I was. The wind was what got us more than the 1' waves where we were. Going home I had some 2-3' ones where there was a bit more fetch, which got me motoring over 8 knots surfing! that was a hoot.

As many have said, its knowing, trying different sail combo's in different conditions to know which option YOU need for YOUR boat on that days conditions. Reality is, I should have left my 140 up after the first race. But wind died some, so the 155 worked, a bit much on some gusts, but with the correct dousing of the main, no issues. But when it hit mid 20's, the sq footage of the 155 was too much for the boat and number of crew/railmeat we had. How I usually sail with 2-3 racing or daysail/cruising, is different than a crew of 6 racing! I can be a reef up, or a 155 where a 140 or 110 might be needed with fewer people. Also, winter you need less area than summer in equal winds. 20 in the summer is no issue when it is 80F, but when it is in the 40's, the air is denser, more molecules to hit the sail, so a reef or smaller sail is needed sooner!

I was reading an article a number of years ago in Sailing World, the V70 folks have "3" or so different sail configs for 35-40 knot winds, based on sea state, ie short steep, short long, long and deep, where the wind is off the surface etc. When one reads things like this, you realize, there is more than one way to skin a cat per say, in the same, but different conditions.

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Old 10-23-2012
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Re: When is the wind speed too much?

Growing up, my dad used to rent cabin cruisers for a couple of weeks in the summer. He had no off switch. When he wanted to go, we went, no matter the weather. My siblings and I (whichever were crazy enough to go) got thrown around like rag dolls a lot.

My first sail was when I was 19. I loved it. I later realized sailboats are designed to be one with the wind and water. All you have to know is what you should be hanging at any given time. And, of course, you need to know your boat.

If it's no fun, you're probably over canvassed. If you can't reef or change the sails, you're probably under crewed. But inexperience can sour the fun as can being out with people prone to panic.

If you know your boat, know the conditions and are with people who know how to sail, 25 knot winds can still be fun.
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Old 10-23-2012
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Re: When is the wind speed too much?

I have been out in 20-25+ a few times...once coming back from Catalina...I was with a couple of experienced sailors and I learned ALOT about my boat on those 2 outings. I was also caught in a 20+ knot wind storm singlehanded...and had to beat upwind an hour to get back into the harbor. I was drenched, but wasnt nervous at all...The lessons I learned helped alot. I think sailing in the ocean makes me prep the boat for rougher wind even though we rarely see it. The pic didnt look too bad...might not have been all that comfortable depending on the chop. 12-17 is just about perfect for my boat. 8 is moving good, but 12-17 it flys! It has a fairly small main on it normally and I have a 125 on the furler so I dont have that much sail area...in the big winds I had the 135 on the furler, but for most of those outings I had main only, no jib at all. and the main was not reefed. It probably would have been more balanced if I had a reefed main and maybe 90% up on the jib...but it was stable and actually ALOT of fun!
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Old 10-23-2012
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Re: When is the wind speed too much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradhamlet View Post
No no no it is not the wind speed which keeps us in the slip, it's the sea state.
Santa Annas blow upwards of fifty knots but it is nearly flat near shore. So for me it is sea state. A 20 ft swell at 20 seconds is no big deal, but 10 ft at 8 seconds is no weather I'm going out in.
Brad
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spot on

I have sailed in some really strong winds with just a genoa rolled out

but it has been up an estuary

at sea in an 18 footer it would have been completely untenable

needless to say there is a film

KTL 118 film Butley River « Keep Turning Left


it is the sea state that counts - not the wind strength

Dylan
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Old 10-23-2012
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Re: When is the wind speed too much?

20 to 25 in the ocean is very manageable unless opposing current like the Gulf Stream. Might have 6 ft swells with 10 second intervals. That same speed in a shallow Bay or lake such as Delaware Bay will give you 6-8 footers with 4 second intervals and stop you from making headway. Sea state is very important and of ourse dependent on bottom formations and depth as well as slope of bottom.

Dave
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