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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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  #11  
Old 07-26-2012
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Re: wind conditions and reefing

It's a dilemma we face in SF Bay every day : in most of the bay the winds will be 15-20, but in the slot it'll be 25 gusting 30 - with the apparent hitting 35 when heading upwind.

The only safe option is to reef for the expected gusts.
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  #12  
Old 07-26-2012
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Re: wind conditions and reefing

Last weekend we went out in 20 knts (gusts in the 25). As we had guests aboard (non sailing adult + 3 kids) we started humbly with the second reef taken (on a 3 reef sail). I was surprises to see our boat (C&C 30 mk2) reach very good speed (~6.5 kts) heading upwind and being very well balanced (helm kept centered most of the time). The boat would heel with the rail a few inches above water, it was a really fun ride that felt safe.

Three weeks before, similar conditions (but no guests) and we went with full sails. The boat was probably a bit slower but had significant weather helm (we could literally feel the drag from the rudder fighting the weather helm). In gusts, we would need to ease the main rapidly and pull the helm hard away from the wind. Although the ride was wilder, it wasn't more fun... it really just felt out of balance and awkward.

The lesson I took from that is that a balanced boat is more fun, goes faster and feel safe. I wouldn't hesitate to start with a reef.

Now I'm wondering what are the consequences of being under canvased? What are the signs you look for once on the water to decide you need to shake a reef?
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  #13  
Old 07-26-2012
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Re: wind conditions and reefing

I don't know your boat, but I think 20 kt is high for the first reef. My first reef is in around 15, and earlier if I'm sailing alone. Choosing the right headsail is even more important on a masthead boat like yours; what headsails do you have? In such conditions, considering the possibility of high gusts, I would be down to a 110% jib.

With such sails, a 30 kt gust is not going to knock you down, though it might heel you uncomfortably. When the boat heels to the gust, a lot of the power of the wind will spill out from the tops of the sails.
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Re: wind conditions and reefing

Andreas,

I like Denise's point.

Since you will be there though, you will be able see the conditions for yourself. The wind is forecast to be out of the south which can set up a pretty good chop in the river with wind against current. The waters get very sloppy around the Battery, Governor's Island and the stautue with all the ferry traffic coming and going You could find yourself in 4 foot short period wave action coming from all directions. Picture a washing machine. It can get downright nasty at the narrows.

You can often find some relief in the bay ridge flats in the anchorage area.

If it were me, I'd probably set a reef at the dock and hank on or plan for a working jib.
It's a lot easier to shake out a reef than to find yourself way over powered in the river and trying to set a reef while you are dealing with current, traffic and the bounce.

At the same time, you'll need enough drive to keep your boat speed up, those short period waves knock your speed down to nothing and you can lose steerage. Not a good thing when you're dodging ferry boats, and tugs pushing barges

Many of us sail up or down river depending upon the current direction at the time; trying to time it so that we have it with us both ways. for shorter periods of time you can pay a price of either having to motor sail home against a current or squeeze every bit out of your sails that you can...

Besides your eyes, eldridge is your best companion on the river.

Good Winds out of the south is a run up river...probably don't even need a mainsail.
and a beat home... The river can have a wide variety of conditions withn just a few miles of lower manhattan.
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Old 07-26-2012
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wind conditions and reefing

I remember sailing with a weird forecast like this once, 10-15 with 30 kt gusts. I went out main only then after an hour of light winds put up the genny. Guess what happened. BAM. Huge gust pinned my rail under the water and flooded through my foolishly open portlight. After a couple minutes trying with limited success to hold the boat into the wind an wait it out (as soon as i caught any wind the rail would dunk immediately) I had to make a quick dash on deck to drop sails. The gust was probably well above 25.

Anyway, use my anecdote to help inform you.
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Re: wind conditions and reefing

When there's any question, reef. You can reef before you even leave the dock, getting everything nice and tidy. It's easier to shake it out if you decide you don't need it.
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  #17  
Old 07-26-2012
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Re: wind conditions and reefing

I don't have reefing lines in place since it's always light air around here. but a few times I have reefed in the fall or spring and I was amazed how well the boat sailed and handled.
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Re: wind conditions and reefing

Andreas...Have not followed todays forcast closely...however...one would suggest
you check closely...see noaa forcast below for local NYC waters...note especially...
severe storms and damaging winds...damaging hail...before you head out.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This Afternoon: SW wind around 15 kt. A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Some storms could be severe, with large hail, damaging winds, and heavy rain. Seas around 2 ft.

Tonight: SSW wind 6 to 8 kt becoming W in the evening. Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly between 7pm and 10pm. Some storms could be severe, with large hail, damaging winds, and heavy rain. Seas 1 ft or less.
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Re: wind conditions and reefing

Ok, heading out soon, will let you know if I had trouble.

A
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Old 07-26-2012
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Re: wind conditions and reefing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest View Post
Andreas,

[...]
You could find yourself in 4 foot short period wave action coming from all directions. Picture a washing machine.
[...]
It's a lot easier to shake out a reef than to find yourself way over powered in the river and trying to set a reef while you are dealing with current, traffic and the bounce.

At the same time, you'll need enough drive to keep your boat speed up, those short period waves knock your speed down to nothing and you can lose steerage. Not a good thing when you're dodging ferry boats, and tugs pushing barges
[...]
I think this is a worthwhile subtopic for further discussion (maybe in a new thread?): maintaining forward progress on a beat against steep chop.

I was out a week ago into an unexpected norther (always drives up big waves for us on the southern shore of Lake Simcoe - ~15-20km fetch) running jib & jigger with the 100% working jib up. We took off beautifully close hauled as we came around the point into the wind, but then stopped cold when we hit the waves. In the end we turned back early finding the boat had a lee tendency (even with the mizzen sheeted all the way in) and the helm little help since we were making very little headway. Tricky at best from getting pushed to beam-on.

I have been out in similar conditions with a smaller (70%?) storm jib and found I could keep the course I wanted with some work (head up into big ones, fall off and make a little headway when you have a lull) and make SLOOOWW progress. Helm response very limited, but can manage by changing mizzen trim. I wouldn't have wanted to do that if there was any traffic I had to dodge.

Of course turn and run at ~135 degrees off and she hauls tail and handles the rollers passing underneath, no problem. But that will put you back up on the lee shore real quick...

Anyone have experience dealing with these conditions? Maybe a fin keel and modern hullform would do better :-) or fire up the iron genny.
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