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dreamdoer 04-03-2013 08:14 AM

O'Day 22 Coastal Cruise?
I am a sailer with some experience who has a new boat(O'Day 22 shoal keel). What would be the worst conditions encountered (wind and wave) that I could expect to safely sail in? What are the worst conditions people have experienced sailing an O'Day 22? I know there are a lot of variables and I am speaking about generalities, but I am looking for opinions and experiences of people who have sailed similar boats in challenging conditions. I am considering sailing this boat along the New England coast from Gloucester, MA to York, ME. With proper planning, and provisioning, is this OK? What if I get caught in a blow and I can't make it to protected waters? All well intentioned opinions and advice are appreciated.

34crealock 04-03-2013 08:31 AM

Re: O'Day 22 Coastal Cruise?
I think your boat can most likely handle more weather than you would be comfortable in. Get good weather forecasts and have some harbors planned along the way in case things go sour. Avoid sailing when there are small craft advisories. I used to pop around the coast of Maine in a Santana 21 many years ago and had great fun. I broke the rudder in 3 foot waves and 25 knot winds on Sebago Lake, and had to motor back with the outboard. Had I been offshore in a real blow that would have sucked big time. Read, talk with sailors,sail with experienced sailors, walk before you run, and enjoy the ride.

Sal Paradise 04-03-2013 08:49 AM

Re: O'Day 22 Coastal Cruise?
Our personal limit - 20 knots and 3 foot waves. If you get caught in worse you will need a plan B which could be heaving to or running for an inlet depending on the situation. Motoring in a heavy boat with a diesel engine is a nice plan B which you don't have.

We have a Catalina 22 Swing Keel. Our home port where we do most of our sailing is on the Hudson River. Also Long island sound.

If you are like me constantly check the weather, wind and tides and use planning and boat handling to minimize the risks I think you will be okay. But cruising by definition includes extended time period where you are bound to encounter rough condition. With a 22 footer, you don't have that much speed or power and you need to always have a plan B. For example last summer we were sailing with a nice 15 knot wind out of the north about 4 miles from the inlet where we dock. A small thunderstom developed to our East and spun the wind up to near 30 knots from the north for about an hour. We had to wait it out. The boat handled the 4' waves but we basically had to heave to or more accurately fore reach for an hour. I knew the tides. knew the charts, knew where we were safe. We were fine and no water entered the boat. However I wouldn't try the inlet in those conditions and I put the hatch boards in and latched the lockers down as a precaution. At the same time the boat is pretty much able to handle more than we are. I feel safe on board. You just need to accept the limitations and stay in sheltered waters on certain days. You will have to study your weather windows and err on the side of caution, watch the tides, etc. But if you do that I think you will be fine.

The Cat only has a 5 hp outboard which can cavitate pretty bad when it gets rough.. Previously with the 32' Hunter with a diesel inboard I think we had 13 HP. That boat if it got rough, you dropped the sails and motored back in and that was a lot more reassuring, especially for my wife. She would go below. But its pretty hard to tow 13,000 lbs anywhere and the boat was too slow for us to bring it anywhere with our work schedules.

JimsCAL 04-03-2013 09:02 AM

Re: O'Day 22 Coastal Cruise?
I had an ODay 22 in the 1970s on Barnegat Bay in NJ. It is fine for protected waters in moderate conditions, but not what I would want to be in any kind of bad weather. It is very light and bobs like a cork. The fixed shoal keel means not the best pointing capability and you do need to reef early as its tender. It was a great boat for the bay due to its shallow draft, but when I moved to Long Island Sound I moved up to a Pearson 26.

nolatom 04-03-2013 12:05 PM

Re: O'Day 22 Coastal Cruise?
That coastline is exposed to east winds and seas. If you're in a blow (meaning storms not sudden summer squalls), you probably should have seen it coming and sought shelter earlier, the easterlies don't just spring up out of nowhere. In a pinch, you could reach with reduced sail to Isles of Shoals and duck in there, otherwise there's nothing between you and Spain. Or reach south and head towards the Annisquam canal, you'll get some shelter in an easterly (but not northeasterly) as you get close.

So it's really a matter of picking your weather. you won't be able to go to windward very well with that shallow keel against strong wind and seas, so the whole coast will be a lee shore. if you can't hold your distance off and can't get to shelter as above, put out a good sea anchor followed by an actual anchor, and hope they don't drag, or at least they drag slowly enough that the wind eases before you end up on the beach.

Lots of folks sail out there in small boats. they just watch the weather and are cautious. You can be one if them!

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