Join Date: Jun 2006
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Don't wait for your first blow, then.
There is NOTHING to stop you practising heaving-to, sea anchor, warps, drogue, etc. in first 15 knot conditions, and then 20 knots conditions, and so on.
In fact, I endorse it.
For one thing, you will learn how to get a drogue back aboard without blowing out a back disc...and for another, you will get a sense of scale about how these methods and gear work when it's 40-50 knots and you really want to slow down or fore-reach at a knot so you can catch some sleep.
And if anything breaks at 20 knots...it's not a life-ender, and you have time to repair it for the ocean conditions you hope you'll never see.
Every May after launch, my wife, son and I go out and chuck a ring overboard and say "MAN OVERBOARD". Then we run time trials for quick-stops, coming about, and retrieval. It is exceptionally instructive.
Can't sleep? Read my countdown to voyaging blog @
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