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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #31  
Old 01-09-2008
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This happened to me aswell the first time I was out in heavy winds, I was not able to furl in my jib. had to head into the wind and use the front windlass to take it in. ended up being loose upper bearings in the furler. once I made the fix, the furler worked fine.
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  #32  
Old 01-15-2008
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On my home waters (sorry I'm a lake sailor) we get the infamous oklahoma 'winds come sweeping down the plains'. Gust can jump your wind speed from 12 to 15 knots to a gust with a peak of 30 or more. It gets exciting FAST if you haven't reefed early! I've learned that is better to be the guy that is a little slower with a reef in the main and a small triangle up front. When the big gusts hit I can relax and watch the knot meter climb instead of me being the one doing the climbing to get the main reefed. It was the hardest lesson to learn but I now know "REEF EARLY". Let the other guys have all the excitement!
I have the happiest wife out there when I take my own advice! ~
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  #33  
Old 01-15-2008
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- I had a LOT of problems turning into the wind as opposed to falling off into a jibe. The boat would start to turn and then just stall and start to fall off again without ever making it through the turn. Is that normal under the higher wind conditions?
I HAVE FOUND THIS PROBLEM WHEN THE MAIN IS SHEETED IN TO MUCH ON THE CENTER LINE AND THE SAIL PLAN CENTER OF EFFORT IS AFT - CAN BE CORRECTED BY EASING THE MAIN SHEET OR ADDING MORE HEADSAIL-- NOT THE PERFECT CHOICE IN STRONGER WINDS- BUT AN OVER SHEET MAIN CAN CAUSE THIS EVEN IN LIGHT AIR--- THE OTHER CONSIDERATION IS THE BOAT'S FORWARD SPEED-- BOATS WITH FULLER KEELS NEED MORE SPEED TO TACK UP AND THRU THE WIND, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE OFF THE WIND BEFORE YOU START YOUR TACK.

- What speed wind is appropriate for sailing in general, and as a beginner? The numbers on a page meant nothing to me before yesterday - they mean a bit more now. Is that even considered high wind, 22-28? It sure felt high to me.
I THINK PRUDENCE IS IMPORTANT... MY MOTTO "IF YOU THOUGHT ABOUT IT..DO IT." IF YOU THINK IT'S GETTING WINDY - IT IS... IF YOU THOUGHT ABOUT REEFING.. YOU REEF... IF YOU FEEL YOU ARE IN A COMPROMISING SITUATION... YOU ARE.... LEARN TO LISTEN TO THAT INNER VOICE... NOTHING WORST THAN ASSUMING "OH THE WINDS PICKING UP A LITTLE, I THINK I CAN MAKE IT WITH OUT A REEF!!!" IF YOU MADE THE THOUGHT TAKE THE TIME AND REEF...

- I know looking back I should have reefed the sail, or maybe lowered it entirely and just used the jib. Is there an order of preference for cutting down on sail size, ie. reefing the main, lowering it completely, lowering/furling the jib?
FOR ME THIS DEPENDS ON SAILING POINT-- IF I AM OFF THE WIND (ANY REACHING ANGLE)AND THE WIND IS GETTING UNCOMFORTABLE, I'LL WILL OFTEN DROP THE MAIN AND GO UNDER JIB ALONE. THIS MAKES JIBBING EASIER AND AS LONG AS THE BOAT CAN BE MOVED AT HULL-SPEED - I FIND THIS A MUCH BETTER RIDE... IF I AM GOING TO WINDWARD AND THE DAY IS TO BE LONG (SEVERAL HOURS) WITH TEH POSSIBILITY OF HEADING HIGHER OR WINDS GETTING STRONGER - I SKIP THE 1ST REEF AND GO TO THE DEEPER 2ND REEF.... THEN I USE THE HEADSAIL SIZE TO BALANCE THE SAIL PLAN...

- In the higher wind conditions, any tips on how to get the sails down easily? Does the main always come down first, or did I do it backwards?
MAIN ALWAYS FIRST.... UNLESS RUNNING.. THEN THE JIB IS USELESS ANYWAY... THEN I USUALLY ROUND UP INTO THE WIND AWAY FROM THE JIBE AND IF I HAVE A HELMSMAN OR LIGHTER WINDS TIGHTEN THE TOPPING LIFT AND QUICKLY DROP THE MAIN... I ALWAYS HAVE THE ENGINE RUNNING AND OUT OF GEAR--- READY TO GO-- NOTHING MORE GUT WRENCHING THAN TO DROP ALL THE SAILS AND HAVE THE ENGINE GO (CLICK!) == ANOTHER IDEA-- I ALWAYS HAVE MY ANCHOR READY TO DROP WITH A 5-SECOND NOTICE- IF NEEDED I CUT ONE LINE AND IT'S READY TO DROP INTO THE WATER...

In any case, I have mixed feelings about it all today. I figure that I'll probably not see that kind of wind again soon, so I'm glad for the experience. No one fell overboard and the boat didn't sink, so I suppose it's a success, but it sure felt hairy there for a bit.
EXPERIENCE IS THE BEST TEACHER-- I LOVE TO SAIL IN HIGHER WINDS AND CAN USUALLY SAIL UP TO ABOUT 35KTS-- THE KEY IS TO KEEP THE BOAT'S SAIL PLAN UNDER CONTROL AND BALANCED FOR WHATEVER WIND CONDITIONS THE DAY BRINGS... TIS BETTER TO PLAY IN THE WIND AND UNDERSTAND YOUR BOAT THEN TO DISCOVER IT WHEN MURPHY DECIDES TO AWAKEN.... D
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  #34  
Old 01-15-2008
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One thing that is often not mentioned is that many boats will handle much better if properly reefed for the wind conditions and sail faster as well. When a monohull keelboat is overpowered, it will generally heel much more than normal, often suffering from extreme weather helm. Having to have the tiller hard over, to compensate for the weather helm, generally slows the boat quite a bit. If the same boat were sailing under appropriately reefed sails, she would heel less, have less weather helm and, in many cases, sail just as fast if not faster than with more sail area up.

Finally, the boat will be far safer with the sails properly reefed. If you're sailing at 40˚ of heel, fighting a heavily loaded tiller or wheel, your chance of falling overboard is probably a good deal higher than sailing the same boat at a 15-20˚ heel, with little weather helm.

This is even more true for multihulls, since they tend to capsize rather dramatically if seriously overpowered.
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Originally Posted by NCountry View Post
On my home waters (sorry I'm a lake sailor) we get the infamous oklahoma 'winds come sweeping down the plains'. Gust can jump your wind speed from 12 to 15 knots to a gust with a peak of 30 or more. It gets exciting FAST if you haven't reefed early! I've learned that is better to be the guy that is a little slower with a reef in the main and a small triangle up front. When the big gusts hit I can relax and watch the knot meter climb instead of me being the one doing the climbing to get the main reefed. It was the hardest lesson to learn but I now know "REEF EARLY". Let the other guys have all the excitement!
I have the happiest wife out there when I take my own advice! ~
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #35  
Old 01-15-2008
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Was the mentoring and school on a different boat with a different sail plan?
Surely they said raise sails from the stern going forward and drop from the bow going back (as others have said on this thread).

The wind you were sailing in is the edge of what you should, based on experience level, be out sailing in. You are in a way very fortunate that you have now sailed in it and know what to expect; you have gotten over that hurdle and learned by it.

Control of the boat is far more important than rails in the water, crew shrieking fun (unless you are racing and have chase boats to pull you out and a sponsor to replace your boat). Weather helm (the rounding up into the wind you experienced is good up at 3-8 degrees of helm, after that you are excessively dragging rudder and reducing speed, not to mention have less ability to turn the boat having reduced your rudder throw to by that amount used to compensate. When you get more weather helm than that it's time to reef. Weather helm means reef the main or use the traveller/main sheet if it's just a puff.
Sailing with a mentor is good. The school of hard knocks is not a prefered school for sailors unless you are dinghy sailing (see chase boats and sponsor reference above).
Happy learning is better than oh crap learning.
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  #36  
Old 01-15-2008
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IMHO it is always better to keep some sail up to steady the boat in the waves. Obviously, less in high winds. Next time try dousing your headsail and reefing the main. When you find the right combinaton the boat quits seeming to fight you and the motion is better, which always makes everyone happier!
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  #37  
Old 01-15-2008
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Depends on how strong the winds really are... at some point you need to drop all the sails and hang on for the ride.
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IMHO it is always better to keep some sail up to steady the boat in the waves. Obviously, less in high winds. Next time try dousing your headsail and reefing the main. When you find the right combinaton the boat quits seeming to fight you and the motion is better, which always makes everyone happier!
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Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #38  
Old 01-15-2008
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True but I haven't seen winds that high yet. Of course, 60 knots on my boat is probably a lot different than 60 knots on someone else's boat. Mind you, I've not tried beating in winds higher than 40 knots yet. Not sure I wanna.
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  #39  
Old 01-15-2008
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No one has yet mentioned "heaving to" to put in a reef. I regularly heave to to put a reef in my main. Then it is a one man job and my wife can just sit and watch. In the ketch I used to sail I always heaved to to reef the main. It balanced up really well on the jibs and mizzen. In fact she was a pleasant sail in high winds with just the jibs and mizzen (jib and jigger) although she looked funny.
Heaving to does not help reducing jibs or changing them. For that you just have to get on with it. That is why the cutter rig is so nice.

Gary
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  #40  
Old 01-15-2008
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I've heaved to with Main alone while I was fishing the chute out of the water. It went well. We fore reached a bit but considering it was blowing over 35, it was an easy ride while we got things sorted out. After we got the chute below, we walked around the boat making sure no lines were overboard before we cranked up the engine, doused the Main, fell offwind ad I rigged, hanked on and raised the Staysail. It was easier offwind because the pounding was minimized.
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