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 Post subject: wind speed ?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 4:28 pm 
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Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:20 am
Posts: 8
For a newbie to sail safely, at what wind speed should the main be reefed? Going out tomorrow, 17mph is forecasted and I'm not experienced.


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 Post subject: Re: wind speed ?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:28 pm 
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Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:35 pm
Posts: 611
Location: Tuscaloosa, AL
You may be a little overwhelmed out there. Jealous.


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 Post subject: Re: wind speed ?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:57 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:00 pm
Posts: 336
Location: Charlottesville, VA
I find that we (maybe 310 pounds combined) are double trapped in 13, 14 knots forecast. No idea what the actual is. Forecast of 15~17 and I can't sheet in properly. At 17 mph (15 knots?), I would probably use the reefed main if available. How heavy are you and your crew, and do you have trapezes?

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 Post subject: Re: wind speed ?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:54 pm 
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Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:05 pm
Posts: 96
Location: New Hampshire
Your mileage may vary. And I'm talking about going solo.

The one time I tried a reefed mainsail I went over in 25 - 35 mph gusts. I found it heavy on the bow from the jib, and didn't seem to make a whole lot of difference.

I find letting the travelers out a lot is more effective. Also, letting the jib out a lot more when I tack so it doesn't immediately power up on the new tack is important. I was out today in 16 mph steady with 23 mph gusts. No reef, no where near capsizing. But cautious. And hiked out early. (No trapeze due to short tacks before I hit shoreline, and it's something I need a lot more practice on.)

Factors in deciding what is safe for wind is first and foremost, what happens if you capsize? I sail on a lake, and worst case scenario, I drift for a bit and hit shore. Annoying but not a big deal. Second is weight. I'm just over 200 pounds with gear. The more weight you have on the boat, the more you can keep it planted.

Wind shifts, where I stall because the wind becomes a header, followed by a gust, are the most dangerous situation as far as I'm concerned. Rapid change in conditions without time to make the changes. So how bad are your wind shifts. Today I had a tack that I made over a 90 degree course change without changing my angle to the wind. The wind patterns on my lake of funky.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe


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 Post subject: Re: wind speed ?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2005 5:53 pm
Posts: 334
Location: san diego
Wow, Fastfreddy - so much is going through my mind right now.
I don't believe you can reef the main on a newer boat. So, how old is your boat? Is it in good condition? What about your standing rigging and anchor bolts?
You're a newbie, but what about your crew? I hope there is a crew and it's not your wife or young child!
Wear life jackets and dress for cold water. If you go out you'll catch a lot of spray. The wind-chill factor will make it seem quite chilly.
Please don't go out if both you and your crew are inexperienced and your combined weight is less than ??? 350 lbs.??? I hope you're both quick and athletic.
When you tack, keep your weight up front toward the bows as you pass through the wind.
Travel out and sheet out. You can always travel in and sheet in if the winds aren't very strong.
Are you able to right your boat if you should capsize?
Often times in strong wind it's easier to right your boat but it'll often keep on going over to the other side. Either you or your crew get in the water quickly as the boat is coming up and grab the dolphin stryker on the windward side immediately and hold on to keep it from going over to the other side.
Are you planning on sailing in the ocean or a lake? Much safer in a lake. If you capsize and can't right your boat, you'll probably get blown to the other side of the lake.
Make sure your mast is sealed.
You'll probably be better off having both you and your crew on the boat and not trapped out; especially if you're both inexperienced at this.
Keep your weight back toward the stern and keep an eye on the leeward bow - except when tacking.
It's probably better for a newbie to wait for another day when the winds aren't as strong, but if you should go out anyway you should know what to do.
Good luck and be safe!


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 Post subject: Re: wind speed ?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:15 am 
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Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:18 am
Posts: 20
Hy!
I got my Hobie 1,5 years ago and only went out alone 2 times at very low winds, as I cant right it alone (yet ;).
Yesterday I went out alone at 10knots wind, gusts 15knots and it was awesome :) Yet there where some adrenaline rushes and one thing
I clearly can state: I shouldnt have done this earlier - I learned so much in the last months - flying the hull while in the trapeze etc etc and
without that knowledge I would have panicked ;)


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 Post subject: Re: wind speed ?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:17 pm 
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Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:20 am
Posts: 8
I ended up not going due to the 18 MPH winds and my lack of experience. The friend that wanted Togo with me has ne'er been been on a sailboat, so I thought it was a wise decision. Also, I don't have a harness that fits me. I think the one that came with the boat is for a child,it's very small. Also I have no interest in doing gymnastics to sail a boat, so I really like the 10 MPH wind days. I like casual sailing. If I wanted a workout I'd still be racing dirt bikes.
The boat is pretty old and has reefing grommets on the sail and a second nub on the wire to reef it. The hulls seem to be in good shape with only some minor stress cracks in a few places. The tramp will have to be replaced soon, looks weathered. The rigging looks OK. The sails are excellent. Trailer in decent shape. I gave $200 for it so I can't complain.
I'm sure learning a lot reading this forum. It's great.


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