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 Post subject: Minimum wind speed
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 12:13 am 
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Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:08 pm
Posts: 19
Just curious to hear some opinions on this one, though I know what some purists are going to say..
The lake closet to me is nice but it's wind doesn't really pipe up that great.
I was wondering if there was a minimum wind speed people like to see before making the effort to set up the boat and take her out. I know some people will say 15 knots minimum....but not realistic for my situation. Curious about what the min. speed needed to sail around is and still be able to make it back to the dock without swimming it in.
The wind speeds seem to hover around 5-7 knots usually. Pretty weak, I know.
Thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: Minimum wind speed
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 3:08 am 
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Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:15 am
Posts: 500
Location: Saint John, NB Canada sailing on Washademoak Lake
5 knots is better than 0.

Like I tell my friend, a slow day on the lake is better than a slow day in the office.

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Marc...
1978 Hobie 16 Keoke, sail# 36 84
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 Post subject: Re: Minimum wind speed
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 6:17 am 
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Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 7:13 am
Posts: 27
It depends on how much effort is required to set up, trailer the boat, etc. If I have easy beachfront access, I will take it out in 5 or 6 knots, with gusts of 10 and generally have a nice day floating around the lake as long as it isn't crowded with powerboats and waves. To go through the hassle of trailering it, I usually like it to be closer to 10 knots with gusts in the teens (I rely a lot on gusts since I sail on inland lakes and rarely do we have nice consistent winds). Not sure about your situation, but one thing that I quickly found annoying in low wind was dealing with waves and powerboat traffic--when the wind is moving you can easily cut through the waves and maneuver around traffic, but in light wind, it is a pain in the butt and will cause your mast to shake a lot and the boat to slow down (or stop) and lose maneuverability.


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 Post subject: Re: Minimum wind speed
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 7:23 am 
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 10:25 am
Posts: 2618
Location: Jersey Shore
In flat water, if you're around 300 LBS total crew weight or less and you sit still on the boat, it will move in remarkably little wind, 1 to 2 knots.

But as the previous poster said, if you're on a large lake that builds up chop, or if there are large horse-power power boats buzzing around kicking up chop, or if you can't sit still and you bounce around all over the boat, you're just going to bob.

It all depends on what you want to do. I've sailed plenty of times in less than 5 knots. It's not the most exciting sailing, but it can still be challenging and rewarding to keep the boat moving and try to get the most speed in those conditions. Light conditions provide great practice for reading the wind on the water and developing a feel for when the boat is moving efficiently.

If you just want to get out on the trap and go fast, you're not going to be able to do that on a H16 in much less than about a 10 mph breeze. You'd need to be on a Hobie 20, F-18, or A-Cat to get out on the wire in the real light stuff. But you can still certainly sail around and have a fun time on a H16 in light conditions and 5-7 mph is plenty of wind to make way and have steerage to go where you want and to get home.

sm


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 Post subject: Re: Minimum wind speed
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 7:41 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:11 pm
Posts: 29
Five Knots out of the North on Lake Erie in July used to be one of the best times to go out with somebody special...calm seas, a flat boat, no splashes....just lie back with the hiking stick between your toes and enjoy the serenity.


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