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Wind speed vs safe learning?
This weekend the wife and I tried to take our first sail on a new 22'' cruiser/racer we bought. More motivated than experienced, we ended up in some real trouble on the water. Scared the pants off of me, as things went to crap so quickly that it caught and left me stupid.
What would others consider "too much" wind for a new/learning sailor? We tried going out in 15-20 mph lake winds. That was a big mistake, and over our heads. What is a safe window of wind speed? Any rules of thumb that might help?
I quickly learned that if you take a 22'' sailboat, power it with a 6-hp outboard and point it to 20-mph headwind you will go backwards (smile). And when ''backwards'' consists of shore rock, it is not a pleasant experience. We could not even get the sails up, and ended up grounded.
It was only after being towed back to a marina that we noticed there were zero other sailboats on the lake -- and only about 3 powercraft, even though its a monster sized lake, with easily 20-30 craft on a normal day. We maybe should have noticed that earlier (smile).
All fear & soiled undies aside, we cannot wait to try again! Even scared I loved the hell out of it.. heh...
Any advice on helping to define one''s limits -before- they are reached would be sincerely appreciated. First-time horror stories gladly accepted.