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 Post subject: Sailing in high winds
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 10:04 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:29 pm
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Location: North Bend, WA
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 :shock: . 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! :oops: 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!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 10:27 am 
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Location: Jersey Shore
Sailing with an AVERAGE boat speed in the mid-20's would be all but impossible regardless of who's sailing the boat. Even a Hobie 21 is likely to top out in the mid to maybe upper 20's. Not that that's anything to shake a stick at. Maybe if you were doing a downwinder in an area of protected water it could be done, but as soon as you turn upwind or start having to deal with chop, your speed gets cut down considerably...sailing upwind at 20 to 23mph, I highly doubt it. Close reaching maybe, but true upwind I would expect to be in the mid teens at best (and if you weren't fully sheeting in the main, you were probably on more of a reach than a beat).

The average recreational sailor would probably want to stop sailing when the windspeed begins averaging around 20 mph. 25mph for experienced sailors. Once the wind starts hitting 30, things turn to survival mode and just about everyone is off the water if they have the choice. Reports from people sailing in winds of greater than 35mph generally get filed in the "fish story" catagory, IMO.

To depower- Double trap, put a 3rd person on the boat (it is a 21 after all), max downhaul, loosen the diamond wires to allow more mast bend, travel out, roll up the jib.

sm


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:06 am 
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Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 5:22 am
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Location: Columbus, Indiana
I depower my 21SE by using a storm jib I had made.When the wind is over 20 mph my son and I like to still sail but safely.Once on Lake Erie the winds were 20-30mph with six foot white caps very close together and we had a great time.We were sailing parallel with the white caps and rocking and rolling the whole time.My daughter on shored was worried about us as we were too.................Bill 404 21 SE

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:29 pm
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Location: North Bend, WA
srm wrote:
Maybe if you were doing a downwinder in an area of protected water it could be done, but as soon as you turn upwind or start having to deal with chop, your speed gets cut down considerably...sailing upwind at 20 to 23mph, I highly doubt it. Close reaching maybe, but true upwind I would expect to be in the mid teens at best (and if you weren't fully sheeting in the main, you were probably on more of a reach than a beat).

To depower- Double trap, put a 3rd person on the boat (it is a 21 after all), max downhaul, loosen the diamond wires to allow more mast bend, travel out, roll up the jib.

sm


With our traveler all the way out and playing the jib and main, we were going from beam to close reach as the only way to spill wind. I am not sure how fast we were going at this tack, but only know the maximum speed we went was 23.8 mph and averaged 15.8 mph for our 1.5 hour trip. We were generally doing the same tacks port and starboard and spilling wind in the gusts and pushing off to beam reaches in the lulls. When we were spilling winds going upwind we were going slow. Therefore, my sailing upwind was more of a beam to close reach.

We were only single trapped. 3rd person is difficult to find in 48 degree air and water temps plus high winds..... I'll try furling the main next time.

How often do you change the diamond wire tension?

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:35 pm 
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Location: North Bend, WA
Here are the tracks from the GPS for January 2nd. We were generally going on beam reaches darting upwind in the puffs and falling off as much as we dared in the lulls. At the end we went to a deep reach and were able to make it back to the beach.

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