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  #21  
Old 10-23-2012
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Re: When is the wind speed too much?

I would rather sail reefed in 30 kt winds on calm seas than in 15 kts on high seas. However, I've never seen 30 kts on calm seas.
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  #22  
Old 10-23-2012
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Re: When is the wind speed too much?

The Admiral and I have what we call a "two eek" rule.

If one of us "eeks" twice, or each of us "eek" once - sails come down and we motor on.

I'm not going to say who goes 'eek' first - but I will say I'd rather sail slowly with her than not sail at all
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  #23  
Old 10-23-2012
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Re: When is the wind speed too much?

I've seen more white knuckles and ashen faces in rough seas than in stiff breezes. I personally love a good offshore wind but you don't have to be out very far before the waves start to build.

I remember Ted Turner poo-pooing the Great Lakes as nothing more than puddles of water. Then he was coaxed into sail the Chicago-Mackinac Race. The weather was rough that year and Lake Michigan can build steep seas very quickly.

After Turner's boat finished the race he said he was never coming back because it was too dangerous.
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  #24  
Old 10-23-2012
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Re: When is the wind speed too much?

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Originally Posted by JulieMor View Post
I've seen more white knuckles and ashen faces in rough seas than in stiff breezes. I personally love a good offshore wind but you don't have to be out very far before the waves start to build.

I remember Ted Turner poo-pooing the Great Lakes as nothing more than puddles of water. Then he was coaxed into sail the Chicago-Mackinac Race. The weather was rough that year and Lake Michigan can build steep seas very quickly.

After Turner's boat finished the race he said he was never coming back because it was too dangerous.
I grew up on the Great Lakes. Which explains a few things about my likes and dislikes about sailing on the Chesapeake Bay.
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  #25  
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Re: When is the wind speed too much?

O.P. here...with another question-It seems that with a given wind speed, a small body of water will have a totally different surface action than a larger area. Our lake (sailing area) is about 6 miles long from north to south, and about 3 miles from west to east. On days with the wind blowing steady at around 20 kts from south to north, the waves become big rollers with short, deep troughs between them. I'm not talking swells...waves, one after another and very close together. On a larger body of water, in these conditions, do the waves become farther apart, thus becoming what many refer to as swells?
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Re: When is the wind speed too much?

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Originally Posted by sww914 View Post
20 is fun, 25 is interesting, 35 sucked. Reef and hold on!
My boat doesn't go well in less than 10.
Sums it up for me. In SF bay - especially south bay where I sail/beer can - 20-25 is the norm all summer. Even in the bay we can get 4'+ waves, short period.

(In response to the recent OP question - yeah, big ocean swells, long wavelength (distance between peaks). Generally nice (big) gentle ups and downs (obviously many exceptions like storms, currents, etc -I am generalising). In shallow water, you get a shorter wavelength = higher frequency = many waves close together = sailboat bashing through waves. Seen in lakes, big bays, parts of Mediterranean - and where I sail.)

Often spend most of the race with the rail in the water (even when reefed). I am still playing with the best balance/sail plan for my boat over 25 knots; double reefed (of course), tiny rolled out jib...many use blade headsails. Maybe when I win the lottery?

Last edited by paul323; 10-23-2012 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 10-23-2012
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Re: When is the wind speed too much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I would rather sail reefed in 30 kt winds on calm seas than in 15 kts on high seas. However, I've never seen 30 kts on calm seas.
Hey,

I haven't seen 30 kts with calm seas but I have seen 25 and it was GREAT! Back in August we had a weekend with strong southerly winds. I am on the north shore of Long Island (the south shore of the long island sound), so a big south wind is the best because there is no room for waves to develop. Anyway, I picked that weekend to sail to / from northport. On the way back the wind started at 10 kts and built all day. The last part of the trip it was steady at 20 kts with higher gusts. I was sailing with one reef in the main, full 140 genoa, favorable current and moving at 8+ kts. The autopilot steered so I just relaxed and trim sails. That was the best sail of my life.

Anyway, as many others have written, SEA STATE is more important than wind speed. 25-30 kts from the south is great for me. I won't go out in 15 kts from the east, especially if the tide is ebbing because that results in just miserable steep short chop. I suppose I could west in those conditions, but I would not go out for a daysail because I just don't like being pounded all day.

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Re: When is the wind speed too much?

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Originally Posted by rhr1956 View Post
This is what it looked like yesterday.

Thing I would be concerned about is not the wind or the sea state but the land.

When in conditions like that there is more of a chance of a sail tearing or your running or standing rig breaking. If that happens, you need time to sort things out, and that is when your engine is most likely to give you a problem. From the pic looks like the body of water is not that big. That means you will hit the bottom sooner.

I would rather be in the middle of the ocean in 45 knots than on a small lake with 25 knots, when single handing a boat over 25 feet.
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Re: When is the wind speed too much?

Yes, of course...it's depth (or lack of) that is causing the lake to become a washing machine when we have a stink blowing. That explains why you folks in deeper water enjoy the stiffer breezes...I think.
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Old 10-23-2012
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Re: When is the wind speed too much?

Maybe the pic doesn't do it justice, but the wave conditions don't look that bad. Certainly no worse than we get when strong winds oppose strong tides.
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