Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Yeocomico River, VA
Thanked 18 Times in 15 Posts
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My father owned a C22 and I worked for a dealer when I was much younger so I know the boat. We sailed out of Ocean City, NJ so the weather could be "robust". A few suggestions:
1. For this boat "high winds" to me goes up to about 20kts. The boat isn't designed to be an offshore vessel. To prevent a knockdown above that range, stay at the dock.
2. If encountering gusty conditions while out, a) reef, b) shorten the jib, c) reef again, d) shorten the jib again. In that order. A roller furler is a great safety item.
3. Quickly ease/release the main when the "big one hits". The boat should flatten right up. Someone said to sail it like a dinghy. True!
4. I like to douse the main and sail with the jib. Yes, there will be a little lee helm, but not overpowering. We sail with jib alone quite often.
5. A drogue is good offshore with enough sea room, but I doubt that will fit the vast majority of C22 circumstances. Keep the head to the wind/waves; don't get fancy.
For the most part our weather is quite predictable; in 40 years of sailing I can't recall a single time that the weather gave me NO notice. With today's technology, we know if bad weather is in the area if we take the time to check. On a boat like the C22, there is nearly always enough time to take precautions. To paraphrase, the time to take action is when you first think of it. And that action is pretty simple - check the weather, sail cautiously, shorten sail early, dump the main, stay pierside if beyond the crew's ability.
In the interest of disclosure, I once went overboard on my dad's successor to the C22 which was a C27. We tried to outrun a thunderstorm and were knocked flat. Lessons learned: a) you can't outrun a storm except by pure luck b) we were negligent, we saw the storm, the knockdown was our fault c) if we'd dropped the main and stayed with the jib (or vice versa) we would have been fine.
Don't mean to preach, just my $0.02.
Sabre 38 "Victoria"