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 Post subject: How much wind is ideal?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 5:34 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:26 pm
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Location: Harsens Island, Michigan
When sailing solo I am always disappointed that I don't have as much wind as I thought I would have. But when it is blowing harder I am hesitant to go out alone. I have a small weather station on the beach, is 12-15 mph too much?

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1979 Hobie 16 "Orange Crusher"
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:07 am 
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I can say 12-15 is not to much.
15 is what most say is ideal. I typically sail under 15 as that's all I get and its not hard to manage at all.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 4:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2005 5:53 pm
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Location: san diego
ASDASC - Sailing a Hobie 16, solo, in 12 - 15 mph wind is okay for some, but not for all. I believe it has a lot to do with the person's weight and level of experience. I think that someone just starting out would feel more comfortable getting used to the performance of their boat in lighter winds, but sail it in stronger winds as they gain more experience. I believe that everyone should stay in their comfort zone, but if the wind should pick up unexpectedly, they should stay focused, don't panic, spill some air and return to shore quickly and safely. Always take a righting line or aid & know how to use it. It's good to know how to sail in conditions that are above your level of experience for a short time, but most of your sailing should be fun and exciting, and safe. It's hard to put a number [mph] on that for everyone. Have Fun & Be Safe!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 6:13 pm 
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Location: Los Angeles
It's all relative. When I first started sailing, I would pray that the winds wouldn't blow over 5 mph. As I became more experienced, I would pray for more til I got to a point when I would want at least 15 mph. As I became even more experienced, I just wanted a challenge. In all cases, I made sure that no matter what the conditions, I had the tools to right my boat should I capsize. It's all about being safe !!! :)

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 3:46 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2006 1:11 pm
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Location: West Point, Utah
At 5'8" and 190 lbs I find that at 10 knots it is just beginning to be fun. I still sail below that as I live in an area that would be considered light wind sailing about 75% of the time. But it really needs to be around 13-15 knots to begin to really sail like I like, doing things like trapping out and flying a hull. I almost always am solo as my wife gets nervous in anything above 10 knots. To her credit we had a run of 15.2 knots a couple of weekends ago and she was only a little white knuckled when we made a jibe for the dash into the marina. I wanted to go back out as it was at 15 gusting to 20 once in a while. But safety is the better part of valor and I packed it in. You never know whether it is going to get really nasty or not. I have done plenty of survival sailing in my time and I dont really enjoy it.
Yeah, 13-16 is pretty ideal and anything over 20 is getting to be no fun.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 5:26 am 
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Location: Harsens Island, Michigan
Thanks for the responses! Safety isn't a concern like it normally would be, as I typically sail in a bay that's 4 miles deep and a mile wide that is all only chest deep. The prevailing wind never drives towards the 'big lake'. I am more worried about bending the mast on the bottom. The other issue is that I don't have a beach to crash up on, just miles of steel seawall in all directions. When done, I need to paddle 300' up a canal and drag it over the seawall.

Sent from my SM-G860P using Tapatalk

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1979 Hobie 16 "Orange Crusher"
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 11:17 am 
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Location: Harsens Island, Michigan
Now that I am on my desktop, instead of typing into my cell phone, I want to clarify a couple of things.

When I made the comment about safety, I merely meant 'fear of drowning' or being blown out to sea. I still don't want to get whacked in the head hard, or cut during a capsize.

I also recognize that it's almost two questions, solo or with 2 on board. With 2 of us, it seems that I need much more wind to fly a hull, whereas solo it takes very little air.

When solo, I am much less willing to rig alone in any more that very little wind just because of the seawalls, and paddling involved to get to and from my landing pad. What I really need is a dang beach!

The other issue I have is that my 'crew' when not going out solo is always very green. If I fell off, I don't know if they would be able to get me. I would need to walk home accross the bay.

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1979 Hobie 16 "Orange Crusher"
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:28 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:17 am
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Location: Roanoke, VA
In my experience, there is a minimum "ideal" wind level for the boat too that is probably around 4-5 knots. Below 4-5 knots, you start having problems with the battens in both sails. In light air, the jib battens get hung up on either the mast or the jib halyard during a tack and must be manually pushed/pulled/bent around the mast. Also, the main battens tend to become inverted (convex to windward) which requires the crew or skipper to manually pump the sail from the boom to pop the battens over.

Light air also tends to be variable and shifty. When sailing solo in these conditions, the boat can easily slip into the irons when the skipper is trying to deal the batten issues.

It is interesting that the wind adjusted Portsmouth rating for the boat really goes up in light air to I think around 81 but drops to around 74 in medium to heavy air. By comparison, a Flying Scot maintains a fairly constant Portsmouth rating over a broad wind range. A Flying Scot only has partially battened sails that don't have the same issues in light air. Of course, when the wind picks up, the 16 regains the advantage.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 3:41 pm 
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Location: Harsens Island, Michigan
Thanks for the info! I have experienced that 'too light air' with the battons. I have the newer velcro battens on my job, so i don't have problems with them catching anymore, but I do still have issues with the main battons getting backwards, especially the 3rd from the top. I don't know if I am getting more confident, or if I just care less, but each summer I sail in more wind.

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1979 Hobie 16 "Orange Crusher"
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 7:25 am 
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Location: Virginia Beach VA
When the NOAA small craft advisories go up I stay in. When there are whitecaps as far as I can see I usually stay in. In both cases it is nearly always more work than fun.


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