how much is too much wind - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 28 Old 08-23-2007 Thread Starter
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alot of good info coming in to think about i believe yall just might keep me from sinking
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post #22 of 28 Old 08-23-2007
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Originally Posted by jimspafford View Post
alot of good info coming in to think about i believe yall just might keep me from sinking

Haha... that's exactly what i was thinking on the "what do you do in a squall" thread.

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"Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth." - Albert Einstein

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post #23 of 28 Old 08-23-2007
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Jim, if you can get polars (VPP tables) for your boat, they will show you when to reef or reduce sail because they show graphically when more sail is the slower way to travel. (Usually because you are heeling so much that you are just spilling wind and being blown sideways.)

If I had to guess I'd say that if you are heeled 15 degrees, you need more weight upwind or to reef. If your sail balance is off and you can't steer without putting in more than maybe 5-10 degrees of rudder...you need to trim sails and if that means reef, reef.

And if you've got a GPS on board and you can bring up speed made good to an upwind mark--play with it. See if reefing, slowing the boat down and letting it stand up, allows you to point closer to the target and make better speed towards the mark.

"WHEE!" is nice at times, but it usually isn't the fastest way to get anywhere.
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post #24 of 28 Old 08-23-2007
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HS has good point... many boats, especially more modern ones, will handle a lot better, be far safer, and still sail well when level, rather than heeled over 40˚s.

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post #25 of 28 Old 08-23-2007
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Speaking for my boat only, I like at least 15 knots and it get better up to 20 True and then it's reef time or sailing off the wind. At around 30 the auto pilot has trouble because of the bigger quartering seas.

For me it's the waves not the wind which matter more. Flat water and you can move in very light airs, but try sailing in slop after the wind has died down and you can't make much progress.

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post #26 of 28 Old 08-23-2007
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Originally Posted by PBzeer View Post
Basically, if you feel it is more than you can be confident with, it's too much wind. The amount will grow as your experience and confidence in your boat grow.
Indeed. Case in point: The PO of our boat, a Pearson 30, told us she was fine flying a 150 up to about 20 kts or so. After that he'd put a reef in the main, up to about 25 kts. After that it was time for the #3. He warned us she'd get a bit tender at around 15 kts or so, then stiffen right up.

All well and good for him. He's an experienced sailor.

When we went out in 15 kts, gusting to 20, last Friday, we had a reef in the main and The Admiral vetoed raising the #3. (Neither of us has much recent experience and the boat is new to us.) Nonetheless: We we averaging 6-1/2 kts on a beam reach, with peaks up to 7-1/2 kts! She handled easily, there was little heel, and it was an enjoyable sail. Coming back, beating into the wind, we could've used that jib, however, as we were only averaging about 4-1/2 kts. She was heeling at 20 deg. or so, up to 25 deg. on puffs or when the waves hit us right. (It was a very wet ride coming back.)

All-in-all: I think The Admiral's decision the better part of valour.

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post #27 of 28 Old 08-23-2007
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It also depends on the boat... monohulls tend to reef for the average wind strengths, and multihulls generally reef for the gusts—since they can't really heel to bleed off the excess wind like monohulls do.

We generally put the first reef in the 150% genny on my boat at about 20 knots or so. By 35 knots, we've got the genny furled and the main double reefed.

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post #28 of 28 Old 08-24-2007
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48' Ketch - If going to weather we're not using the mizzen and we reef the main at 18. At 22-25 we'll tuck in another reef and reduce the genoa (down from 130). We haven't been going anywhere in more than 35 apparent so no data there. If off the wind and it pipes up we'll drop the main altogether and run jib and jigger quite comfortably.
Ike
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