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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:25 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:33 am
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Location: Florida
How much is too much wind. We were expecting 18-23 mph winds this weekend and were excited at the prospect of flying along out on the bay. Our launch faces east between 2 long docks. With the wind coming straight we needed to get past the docks to start sailing. With boats along the docks our attempt to tow it out far enough failed. I started worrying about over stressing our 'equipment (even with all new rig) so I called it a day .

We later learned the winds were 25+ with gust to 38! I guess I'm gals we didn't make it. So how much is too much? Are hobies rated at all?

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2003 7:11 pm
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Location: Detroit, MI
"How much is too much" depends on a lot of things:

• Experience level - knowing where the edges of your own personal envelope are
• Support structure - sailing with another boat or in a race situation where there are safety boats will allow you to stretch your envelope without too much risk
• Boat condition - newer the better
• Personal condition - heavy air is not for couch potatoes

My own personal observation is that most people overestimate the wind strength once it goes over 11 kts (about the time that whitecaps start to form). 15 kts is solid double trapezing on the 16. 20 kts is starting to be a lot of work. 25 kts is too much work to be fun. 30 kts is survival. I've raced in 38 kts before (measured from a data buoy we passed). We blew over in a huge gust on the jib alone with me trapezing and the main fully dumped. That was scary wind.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:38 pm 
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I was out in 30mph sustained / 40mph gusts once. (forecast was 20mph) Pitchpoled on a run and sailed as close to the wind as possible to get back to shore. Not really any fun, mostly just trying not to get blown over and worrying something was going to break. I prefer 25mph maximum; 15-20 sustained.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:02 pm 
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Location: Metuchen NJ
20 knots is about the top end for me. Above that it is not fun, but survival. More often than not when the wind is higher than 20 kts, it contains a lot gust patterns, above 50% of the time. I'm sure a lot of us can deal with higher wind if ony it was a consistent wind. It's the gusts that kill us, or bury us.

I'll relate a different kind of high wind story:
My other ride is a J109, 35' with a 58' stick. A couple years ago we were racing in a fall regatta with winds in the 25-28 kt. range. Not too much for a 12,000 lb. displacement boat you say? Well the 109 gets on her ear at 18 kts. We're sailing downwind under spinnaker, which is about 100 square meters (a big *ss sail) we gybe over, always a fearful move in that kind of wind (watch the boom!) the bowman, as he's hauling the sail around, gets lifted off the deck by a gust and in a split second is outside the lifelines and ultimately in the water (thank God I don't have that job any more). now imagine having to perform a MOB drill with that spin up in that wind. It was a happy eventual ending but it still gives me chills.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:20 am 
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I took my H18 in a solid 25mph, it wasn't really gusting too badly considering. We had a lot of fun sailing uni-rig double trapped. It was a good learning experience and that's why I decided to try it.

At that point just the main had plenty of power. I was not comfortable with flying the jib or even thinking about the spin.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:29 pm 
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Location: Oakland, CA
JSWoerner wrote:
We later learned the winds were 25+ with gust to 38!

You did the right thing. Even in a race with high wind conditions and safety boats things can still go horribly wrong very quickly. High winds often cause a capsized cat to turtle and a turtled cat isn't easy to see from a distance. Not that turtling is a bad thing by itself (I did it just so I could turn the boat around and sail to shore), but given the choice of sailing in those conditions I pass. I've been caught in high winds unintentionally and found it to be very unpleasant worrying about falling overboard, broken or damaged equipment, and injuries.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:33 pm 
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Location: West MI
I think I was in the same race Matt B was: Round the Bay? All I can say is survival conditions and no fun.

On my Hobie 18 up to 10 knots single hand sailing. 10 - 20 fun. 20 - 25, I better have the right crew. 25 & up = no fun. (And the Hobie 18 is a great boat for heavy weather, better than a 16 due to the length, weight, and hull volume. IMO)

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:37 pm 
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Anything when it gets past being able to use only the back two feet of the main traveled all the way out. Been there once, but don't know how hard it was blowing, but it was well past 25 -which is an old friend on sailboards and Hobies. It was on SF Bay cranking at its finest. This was on the 21 with only the main up, sailing from the beach at the Presidio down to Pier 54. The boats had to be locked up down there before a Prosail race weekend. My crew hadn't gotten there yet. I got a girl on the beach, who had never sailed before, into my drysuit, and I just wore foul weather gear. She thought it was really fun!!! I thought we might die. Needless to say, a memorable experience.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:55 pm 
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Location: Columbus Ohio
I have found that of all the Hobie's I've sailed, if I had to go in those conditions, I would do it in this order: Wave, 18, 16, 20. The wave can remarkably handle alot of wind. 30+. In 25kts., the 18 I like because of it's mass and it's a tough boat. I've been double trapped on an 18 where both hull are torpedoing swells and it's hard to even keep your feet planted. I thank Thomas in Wrightsville Beach for that insane ride. The 16 and even the 20 are last choices. The boats actually levitate, like they are possessed in high winds, especially single handed. I've had a few moments in the ocean where I've regretting going out, really no fun, survival, hoping nothing breaks on the 20.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:44 pm 
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Location: Jersey Shore
Amen to the 18. They are incredible boats. Having a sissy cord makes all the difference in rough conditions. I've sailed it three up, double trapped, and flat out absolutely blasting through gnarly chop and the boat never skipped a beat. They are tough, fun, and they stay upright when other boats have their masts skimming the bottom. 20s are awesome too, but they take things to a whole 'nother level. I'd love to get back on one.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:17 pm 
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Could be just too much sail.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jvk4D-Gl ... r_embedded


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