Join Date: Mar 2004
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The meaning of light winds depends on the boat: If you mean as light wind 1 - 3 knots, you get nowhere, less so to windward. 5 knots is quite workable with a dinghy and all light air techniques (sitting to leeward, proper trimming of sails etc.) may apply. On a cruising boat, sometimes things are moving only with winds over 10 knots, while 15 - 20 is pure pleasure and over 20 you may need to reef. Bigger boats need 25 - 30 knots for the excitement of sailing and maybe no reefing yet!
Nevertheless, when we speak of wind strength we usually tend to ignore the other much more important (under strong winds) factor, i.e. the waves.