JY15 in heavy wind, how much is too much? - SailNet Community

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Old 10-24-2013
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JY15 in heavy wind, how much is too much?

Hello, This is my first year with my JY and I have done well with it in winds up to about 12mph. I sailed last week and the winter winds are starting to get faster. Wind speed was between 15-20mph, and as soon as I got out of the protected area (where I was doing well), the stronger wind grabbed the boat and turned it. I was easing the sheet and hiking out, but still could not hold the boat upright when close hauled or even on a beam reach. It consistently turned me leeward. I was alone, but at 200pounds was surprised that I could not keep the boat upright.

What am I doing wrong. I know the frostbiters will be out there in the dead of winter with even stronger winds....
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Old 10-24-2013
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Re: JY15 in heavy wind, how much is too much?

From a physics perspective the colder air is denser and has a bit more force as wind than warm summer air.

I don't know the JY15 but you might just ditch the jib and sail with the main.

I doubt your main sail has reefing points set in it.

Fall winds can be impressive.
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Old 10-25-2013
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Re: JY15 in heavy wind, how much is too much?

I've got a dinghy sailor that's got a less sail area to weight ratio than yours and I put in a reef with winds at 20 mph.
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Old 10-25-2013
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I raced those a bit in college and like most dinghy's they don't like heavy air. With how they are designed if you could do it reefing the main would be the way to go but I don't remember seeing one with reef points before. If you drop the jib you'll end up getting rounded up easily in the puffs and have a hard time getting out of irons.

If you can't find more weight for the boat don't go out if you can't reef. I've been around far too many new sailors who think their dinghy can handle anything and end up getting scared to sail after going out in too much wind for their boat.
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Old 10-25-2013
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Re: JY15 in heavy wind, how much is too much?

Okay, I looked it up, the JY 15 looks like a nice lively boat:

Google Image Result for http://www.thesailingclub.us/images/Boats/JY15%20full.jpg

So, it's weight-sensitive. if you hike out on a broad reach and heel her to windward, you will acquire lee helm (she will want to steer herself to leeward and toward a jibe), which is undesirable. So don't hike as much if that's your situation.

I'm not sure what you mean when you say the wind "turned" it. You mean heeled you over? Or turned your bow downwind ("lee helm") or upwind ("weather helm")?

If you are just over-heeling to leeward, then you have too much mainsail up. Can't fix it since no reefing points (and I saw none in the photo)? Just ease main out more and earlier, and hike like hell, no other choice.

If you have lee helm, skip the jib. If you have too much weather helm, don't skip the jib, but invite a friend to hike out with you. Or, do what Letrappes (who *has* sailed them) says, and stay ashore til you get more moderate wind.

Correct me if I've failed to grasp what you're asking.

Last edited by nolatom; 10-25-2013 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 10-25-2013
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Re: JY15 in heavy wind, how much is too much?

I've sailed the JY15 for a couple of years in a frostbiting fleet. Anything above 15kn gets dicey with capsizes happening here and there. Gusts above 25kn usually dumps most of the fleet. That is with the prescribed crew of 2 of course, at 300lbs combined weight roughly. Key is to keep the JY15 flat, if you heel you will get lots of weather helm.
I found that going upwind in heavy air is easier than going dead downwind. All you have to do upwind is feather the mainsheet in the puffs and keep hiking hard to keep the boat flat. Dead downwind, the JY15 develops a 'death roll' above a certain windspeed, that eventually flips you over. Keeping the weight aft helps a little bit, gybing has to be timed and balanced perfectly between puffs or else you go in. The JY15 is a fun little boat to sail. I miss it quite a bit :-/. Since there are so few controls you can concentrate on learning basic sailing skills and racing strategy, perfect for learning how to sail competitively.
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Old 10-26-2013
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Re: JY15 in heavy wind, how much is too much?

I used to sail my JY15 every day after high school got out. It was a blast playing in the afternoon pre-storm winds. The sail area is giant for such a light boat so you really need to hike out as far as your stomach muscles will let you. Me and my beast friend used to only have our hamstrings and lower inside the boat and the rest of us were hanging out of the boat. Anything over 15+ knots is dicy with that boat but man is it fun. We call our boat "Sir Tips A Lot"... can you guess why?

I suggest you find a friend that is up for adventure and make them your sailing buddy!
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