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Old 12-10-2016, 12:47   #1
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DDW with wind greater than 20kts

Does anyone dare sail DDW with winds greater than 20-25kts with a spinnaker? It seems this would the whole point of a spinnaker would be to use with light winds less than 10kts. I would choose other options instead of risking damage to a light-weight spinnaker.
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Old 12-10-2016, 13:17   #2
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Re: DDW with wind greater than 20kts

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Originally Posted by lindabarzini View Post
Does anyone dare sail DDW with winds greater than 20-25kts with a spinnaker? It seems this would the whole point of a spinnaker would be to use with light winds less than 10kts. I would choose other options instead of risking damage to a light-weight spinnaker.
There are heavy weight storm spinnakers typically only found on race boats.
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Old 12-10-2016, 13:21   #3
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Re: DDW with wind greater than 20kts

No point really as you should be able to get up to hull speed with just a well furled headsail.
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Old 12-10-2016, 14:34   #4
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Re: DDW with wind greater than 20kts

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Old 12-10-2016, 14:38   #5
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Re: DDW with wind greater than 20kts

A lot depends on the type of boat involved. If a heavy cruising type where it is nigh impossible to much exceed hull speed, not too much to gain from a kite. If a light modern type of cruiser, maybe it will result in some speed increases, and perhaps extend the time spent surfing on the waves that are common in such wind strengths. (BTW, did you mean apparent or true wind speed of 20-25? If you meant true, then the apparent wind will be quite a lot less, and no worry for the kite.) And of course, if a race type boat, a kite will be up just about any time the wind is abaft the beam!

FWIW, being old farts, Ann and I do use our big symmetrical kite in light airs only, taking it down when the apparent wind reaches ~15-18 reaching or ~12-15 running. The boat is really happy, and would doubtless like us to carry it in stronger winds, but it does get to be a handful to strike, even with a sock.

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Old 12-10-2016, 15:17   #6
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Re: DDW with wind greater than 20kts

I'm with Jim. During our beer can racing days we would fly the chute in 25 true, some of our friends up to 30 but I wrote the cheques so that was our limit. Cruising with just the two of us we don't fly the chute DDW but we will broad reach with it up to about 20 true but not at night although we will fly the chute at night in lighter winds. DDW we go with a poled out headsail and a prevented mainsail.
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Old 12-10-2016, 15:21   #7
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Re: DDW with wind greater than 20kts

25 True... oh... I thought we were talking about +25k over the deck
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Old 12-10-2016, 15:24   #8
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Re: DDW with wind greater than 20kts

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Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
There are heavy weight storm spinnakers typically only found on race boats.
Because my last boat (Kevlar cat) would go over 20 knots in those conditions, with only about 8-12 knots apparent wind. It was terrifying! Only did that a few times.

With my current cat, (cruiser) I agree with you. At about 15 knots true and 12 knots boat speed, it comes down. But sailing at 12 knots is fun! The apparent wind is not that high.
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Old 12-10-2016, 16:22   #9
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Re: DDW with wind greater than 20kts

Pretty much it’s like Jim Cate says. And I’ve been on boats where we had kites up in 40kts true. But of course, the depth of experience onboard was tremendous.So that while you respect the conditions, & enjoy the adrenaline, it’s not as wild, subjectively, as it might seem to others (with less experience). But it's still tough to get them down in such conditions.

Though in that much wind, or anywhere close to it, you often want to sail at a higher angle than DDW, so that it’s easier to control the boat. As with the waves that go with such winds, it’s easy to get pushed far enough off course that you’re either broaching or doing Chinese jibes all of the time. Not that either is a huge event when you’re working with such crews, but it’s very, very hard on gear. And even harder on your sails, & the sailmaker’s fixing them.

Also, you need the speed provided by lots of sail to more easily handle such conditions. As if you’re going slow when pushed by waves which can make you surf, the wave is moving with enough speed to drop the flow over the rudder low enough that the helm won’t answer. Which puts you in the position of being at their mercy while sliding down the face of one. And in those circumstances your last & best hope is that you have a good surfer helming, so that you’re positioned correctly on the wave’s face to avoid having bad things happening on the way down/at the bottom of those big ones.

There's some discussion of this, with pics, in the Dashew's Surviving the Storm, & in their other works. But to be clear, it's not something I'd do, or desire to need to do, in a cruising context. But going too slow in big wind & waves can be a hazard, as is the reverse, obviously.
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Old 12-10-2016, 17:07   #10
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Re: DDW with wind greater than 20kts

20 is not 25.

And how fast is your boat actually?

In a fast light boat 20 is normal and 25 is still easy. In a slow and heavy boat I would drop at 20+.

On the harbour, between the cans, I have seen kites flown in 35 knots and horizontal rain. Weekend racers. Fun no doubt.

It is, anyways, quite easy to keep the kite in 25+ too BUT it is not very easy to drop it in high wind, esp shorthanded. And at 20+ a gust can annihilate many an older weaker kite too.

In our own boat I replace the spinnaker with an APR in higher winds and avoid going DDW then.

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Old 12-10-2016, 17:34   #11
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Re: DDW with wind greater than 20kts

Barnakiel is right. 17-20 knots is way different than 25 and up.

Sailing with just myself and my wife, the main comes down and the headsail works by its lonesome. I have no intention of ever experiencing a boom breaking, skull crushing crash jibe.

Race boat - other rules apply.
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Old 13-10-2016, 10:19   #12
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Re: DDW with wind greater than 20kts

Linda,
I have carried a chute across the atlantic (east to west) several times (usually get it up just before the latitude of Cape Verde), about 5 gybes the entire trip, average wind speed 20 to 25. I prefer to run 15 to 20 degrees off DDW as it is faster and easier. Since I normally sail single handed or with 1 crew I use a martin breaker on the pole and a sock on the chute which makes everything easy.

That being said, DDW in 20 to 25kts I prefer the 130 out on the pole, and the main wing and wing. I have sailed thousands of miles with this rig and made nearly as good of time as with the chute. Once half way across the atlantic a bit of breezed picked up very quickly and we rounded up and pulled the clew out of the chute, I rigged the 130 on the pole , turned DDW and we made just about the same days runs the next few days. A bit more rolly DDW but not so much if you carry a good amount of sail. Speed is stability.

Have fun!

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Old 13-10-2016, 10:58   #13
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Re: DDW with wind greater than 20kts

I don't think I can emphasize how much I hate sailing DDW. Reaching up 15 degrees makes for a much more comfortable (and safe) heading since the likelihood of a crash jibe is reduced.

While cruising I would really start thinking about dropping the kite when the TWS hits 20, and it would absolutly be down by 25kn. There just isn't a need to keep it up in those conditions.

On a race boat... On a J-130 I raced on we had a spinnaker make for 40kn apparent. It was safer than a tinny jib in those conditions, but it was very small, deep cut, and very stable. It's primary use wasn't just to hold the bow down against the main broaching the boat.
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Old 16-10-2016, 18:38   #14
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Re: DDW with wind greater than 20kts

At 23.6 knots true with the spinnaker my Olson 30 will pick up and plane. The boat speed surges to 14-15 or even higher. Its a lot of fun, but you want to be very experienced on the tiller and very willing to broach. I do it singlehanded.

The trade winds to Hawaii are often at this level, so it's normal practice for any boat racing to Hawaii.
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