Join Date: Nov 2009
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i would suggest two things: more experience and purchasing an inclinometer, preferably one with a micro meter along with a macro meter. Next to a windex, this is, for me, the second most important instrument on board. These meters cost $14 and can be attached with Velcro. Two basic rules, sailboats need to heel at a minimum of 7 degrees to be efficient and they shouldn't really heel more than 30 degrees. In light winds, you may have to induce heel just to get to the minimum and in heavy winds, we all try to reduce incline. The rule in heavy winds: at 25 degree of incline, begin to reduce sail. 15 degree of incline is considered most comfortable. I always give the task of incline monitoring to the person aboard who is least comfortable with heeling. If you don't have one, or are on a boat that doesn't have one, another way of measuring is this: our bodies react to heel automatically. At 15 degrees of incline, one foot automatically reacts by steadying our bodies. At 20 degrees of incline, two feet are needed to stabize our bodies, at 25 degrees of incline, our bodies begin to almost become straight trying to stabilize the effect of heeling.
One other thought: for a sailing novice, I would never suggest using or relying on steering upwind to reduce heel. You are only asking for trouble when the wind shifts or you make a 25 degree steering error. Reduce sail instead, usually taking down the headsail is best, I think. If you are caught with too much sail up, it's better if you don't have to go forward to drop sails. You can then reef the main if needed.
I would also agree with the comment of sinking j24s. Consider that there have been more than 6000 j24s built, and usually raced hard. This boat easily stacks up against any other for flatation stability.
A j22 is a great, full keep boat and should have no problems maintaining stability at any wind level. The repairs in question were/are minor.
My guests comfort is paramount for me.