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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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Old 08-23-2007
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how much is too much wind

still new to sailing i have an irwin 25.5 was wondering how much is too much as far as wind goes i do have a 3 foot reef point and an auto furler on the jib which i can reef forcast for 15 to 25 winds can i reef and have a good time or let them out with now big worries?
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Old 08-23-2007
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It depends on your experience, skill, crew and intestinal fortitude.
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Old 08-23-2007
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Jim-

What is an auto furler???

Roller furlers, while very convenient, need to be used with caution when it comes to high winds... if used improperly, they can jam and leave you with no way to lower or furl the sails easily.

As for how much wind is too much, it really depends on several things. 1) your tolerance for heeling; 2) the tenderness of your boat; 3) what size sails you have and where the reefing points are located.
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Old 08-23-2007
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15-25k is pretty nice sailing weather but most smaller boats will need a reef above 20. Let is all hang out at less than 20 if you feel comfortable...but reef if you see the wind strengthening. Generally, people wait too long to reef and it becomes more difficult to do... so when you think about it is the time to do it!
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Old 08-23-2007
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I share cam's recommendations. It's much easier to shake out a reef than to be faced with the prospect of reefing during high winds and seas.
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Old 08-23-2007
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funny

how some sailors i know think they aren't sailing unless the rail is dipping
When I had my hunter 23 anything over 10 and I wasa reefin!
Now in my Oday 30 it's a way safer feeling and she handles the wind much better. the new main sheet and traveler made a big differance.

Wind is not as bad as sea conditions IMO. Back in June we were on the northen end of the Chesepeake and one of it's famos thunder storms came up quick! The placid doldrum day on the bay was replaced with 6-8 ft waves! It was fun crashing through em, but we dropped the hook anyway and waited it out. dunno why i didn't take pictures

fair winds!

Denise
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Old 08-23-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalypsoP35 View Post
It depends on your experience, skill, crew and intestinal fortitude.
You forgot swimming ability.

Ballast, sail plan and how heavy your rigging is can come into play. I was warned that I might be a little disappointed in my new (to me) little Newport 17 when I sail on local lakes in light winds because it was designed more with sounds and bays in mind and isn't easily overpowered (but pays for that by being a slug under 10 or 12 knots).
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Old 08-23-2007
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A lot depends on the boat as well.
Although a comfortable boat and a capable cruiser, she does not like to be over canvased. She will turn her nose right into the wind every time. I can turn the helm hard over to lee and she will still point up.
We have to balance the helm in higher winds buy reducing sail area.

On a side note; Just because you reduce does not mean you will be slower. Many think they are going to slow down, but in fact a lot of times if the winds are strong and you reduce, you will actually be sailing just as fast with a better motion.
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Old 08-23-2007
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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. But as cam said, if you think you should reef, do it then. I've often left the dock or hook, with a reef in the main if the forecast calls for winds over 20 knots, or even 15, depending on where I am. Again, as he said, it's much easier to shake it out, then put it in.

Also, don't forget about getting on or off the dock. Despite what some may think, there is no shame in prudence. Especially at the beginning of the learning curve.
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Old 08-23-2007
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sailortjk1
what kind of boat do you have
the picture looks like a Hylas?
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