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post #1 of 4 Old 10-23-2013 Thread Starter
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Barnegat Bay Winds

It's getting later in the season, and a bit cool, but I'd REALLY like to get at least one more sail in before we have Dragon Wing hauled for the winter. I'm tied up this Saturday, but Sunday could work for a sail. I've tentatively invited some extended family to come with me. They are all novices (not sure if any have even been on a boat, let alone a sailboat before), and I'm not much more advanced than them.

The winds for Sunday are currently forecast to be out of the west at 15-20kts. I've already had Dragon Wing out in 12-15 knot winds (actual, reported conditions on the bay), with gusts higher, and she was fine. I haven't tried 15-20 sustained (no forecast yet for the gusts!), and I'm a bit afraid that I'll scare these guys off from ever wanting to go along again if things get too "spirited". So, I'm trying to understand the wind patterns on the bay itself.

As I mentioned, the marine forecast is for 15-20 knot winds, but that's for the "offshore waters." The winds are out of the west, which means that they will have to come across the trees, homes, etc. before they get offshore. The in-shore forecast is for more sedate conditions, 7-10 MPH, which would be just fine for me. So, on the bay in winds out of the west, do the winds pick up basically right on the western shore, or do they gradually increase as you head east?

If I go, I'll put a reef in the main and will probably keep the jib partially furled. But as I mentioned, I don't want to scare my passengers off! I'd rather be disappointed and declare an end to the season.

Any feedback on what to expect is appreciated!

- Jim
Home: Western Philly 'burbs
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post #2 of 4 Old 10-23-2013
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Re: Barnegat Bay Winds

Reef in the main...furled job is the way to go. Do the main at the dock You can always shake it out later

On Barnegat Bay winds from the west general will be not a lot of chop or wave action as you mentioned its from the mainland and not a lot of fetch to spin up the surf.

West winds along the coastal waters also make a smooth transition closer to shore. Remember however that west, northwest winds which happen every few days as fronts progresss through in the fall will produce blowout and theirfore shallower than normal waters to sail in. Where it is usually 6 ft on the Bay at low tide, it may be 5.


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post #3 of 4 Old 10-23-2013
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Re: Barnegat Bay Winds

Jim,
Your plan sounds about right: reef before you head out.
It is always easier to drop a reef than to tuck one in.
Your potential newbie crew will appreciate that the boat does not heel so much.

"The cure for anything is salt water~ sweat, tears, or the sea." ~Isak Denesen

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post #4 of 4 Old 10-23-2013
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Re: Barnegat Bay Winds

Reef early Jim. I know you will be pleasantly surprised how well you will sail with less then more. She may even point better! would be a good time to change out to a smaller jib if you have one. Enjoy!

"Next best thing to not having a boat? The knowledge from having one!" Denise, Bristol PA, On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club.
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