As mentioned on another thread I had my 21SE out 2 weeks ago in 15-25+mph winds. As I am not that experienced at saiiling this boat as this was maybe my 15th time, I am still getting used to the power. Luckily my crew had sailed quite a bit but we had never sailed together. He was very good at dumping the jib, adjusting downhaul, sheet management, and overall constantly looking for problems. With this in mind, we had the downhaul about as tight as we could and the outhaul on tight as well. We were basically in survival mode most of the time. This meant that with traveler out, downhaul on, and never fully sheeting the jib and main we were darting upwind at 20-23mph.... in fact, the top half of the main was backwinded and still were flying
. I was constantly looking for the gusts and right before they hit, my crew would dump the jib which allowed us to survive the gusts.
Basically I feel like a panzy in that we were not brave enough to let this boat go!
The whole time out, I was not looking forward to driving this boat off the wind to get back to the beach. In the lulls, meaning 15-20mph, we would start heading off wind and were actually enjoying jibing instead of tacking and could control the boat in the depowered condition. We sailed 27 miles with an average speed of 15.8 mph and I feel if we would have sailed the boat to it's potential we would have easily averaged mid 20's.
Sorry for the long winded intro, but now comes the questions;
What wind range does everyone generally stop recreational sailing?
What additional tactics do you use to depower the boat? i.e. downhaul seems to be my only option so far.
I did not furl the jib, do any of you sail with a furled jib? Is tacking hard without jib in these conditions?
Other ideas on how to more enjoy high wind sailing on this boat? I don't mind if you tell me to man up and sail like I have a pair, but when you are blasting the windsurfers and kite boarders on this big boat, I am intimidated!
I am looking forward to everyone's input!