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Old 07-12-2009, 05:51   #16
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A boat can be stabilized in most all conditions. The work effort to maintain that stability can be the critical factor. When the human effort increases then the limit of your endurance will eventually be the factor assuming you have all the skills required and the foresight to plan and prepare. Strength required increases and reaction times shorten as conditions build. In steep chop the boat can easily lose control and the risks of broaching becomes real.

As far as going out for a sail the limits would clearly be based on if it would still be fun. For longer passages your weather forecast may be OK for 3 days but after that it's more a guess. So preparation on longer passages requires the ability to plan for changes. The more time you have to prepare the better you can minimize the stress on the crew. Cooperation and skill become very important as a single captain can not do everything in all conditions.

For our own boat Force 6 is plenty fun. At Force 8 we are not doing it for fun. We get a lot of steep chop here. When we get those rare times with not much for waves and 30 knots of breeze it's usually the best sailing possible.
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Old 07-12-2009, 18:09   #17
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For our own boat Force 6 is plenty fun. At Force 8 we are not doing it for fun. We get a lot of steep chop here. When we get those rare times with not much for waves and 30 knots of breeze it's usually the best sailing possible.
I agree entirely - sea state is everything - In flat(ish) water I'm much happier in 30 - 35kts with a staysail & reef than 20 -25kts with more sail and getting overpowered in the gusts.

Step out into the China Sea this time of the year and 25-30kts is a not fun at all
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Old 07-12-2009, 20:05   #18
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Ok guys, at what point would you start deploying defensive measures? I am thinking I would get in a sea drogue before it gets too rough- probably short period swells over 10-12 feet and force 8 winds. In all honesty, I haven't had my Valiant out is such weather...yet. (This is my first winter with her)
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Old 07-12-2009, 22:07   #19
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In Beaufort 8 downwind your boat is just starting to feel alive. I would be silly to deploy a drogue in those conditions and upwind you can't use a drogue at all.

There's many places in the world where force 8 is almost daily routine and they sail the same boats as elsewhere.

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Old 08-12-2009, 02:37   #20
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Ok guys, at what point would you start deploying defensive measures? I am thinking I would get in a sea drogue before it gets too rough- probably short period swells over 10-12 feet and force 8 winds. In all honesty, I haven't had my Valiant out is such weather...yet. (This is my first winter with her)
1. When the sea state is causing too much discomfort for proper rest thus creating fatigue. This will vary from boat to boat and crew to crew.
2. When seas start curling over and breaking dangerously.
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Old 08-12-2009, 02:57   #21
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We are not in the Hero stakes here so we tend to think that anyone who would venture out of a nice snug bar in Force 8 35-40kts is a nutter, lunatic, and general fruitcake. Similarly if I was wondering along past a nice snug harbour when tossed by a Gale I would turn in, tie up and get drunk.

We are looking at a few passages in the next few months, one 3,000nms. When out in them its not easy to get off the road, but we slow the boat down and keep the comfort level up higher than some others. Hove to certainly before many others. I just got another quote for new sails and I can tell you they are not pretty! Why blow a main, genoa or the attached strings n' things for no good reason?

We have one bit coming up - the entrance to the Red Sea from the Gulf of Aden where it always blows a gale, and often quite strongly. Fortunately up the butt. With our type of boat we could do it with just a glimmer of tissue from the forestay. Just enough for steerage.

The latter bit of 35kts on the snoz further up the Red Sea will take some other careful consideration. Like anchoring till its more enjoyable to continue, or, strategically firing up the Yanmar.

But let me reiterate: If there is no reason to be a hero, why play at it? Go out when the sailing is going to be fun. The womenfolk will enjoy it and may even give you an extra kiss at bed time

Have a fun trip through the Med. We will be there soon!


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Old 08-12-2009, 03:03   #22
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Id love to be a day sailor - but this is a genuine passage and we places to go. With luck, we'll be off in just a few weeks...
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Old 08-12-2009, 18:56   #23
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We sailed (???) in 64+. It was fun. The wind. Not the waves.

Otherwise, I do not like sailing in more than 20 knots, if the destination is upwind, and beyond 30 knots I am almost completely reefed down and just keep her ticking in a safe manner.

Downwind, it is fun till it is blowing beyond 30, the reason is that if we reef down we do not feel enough control, if we shake the reef she will fear damage to the sail or rig. But we tend to sail with a bit too much sail rather than reefed too deeply - we have more control and comfort this way.

Generally, our fave wind is 15 knots. That is probably why we hardly ever get it. It is normally too light and occasionally too much wind.

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Old 08-12-2009, 19:49   #24
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Talking about a hero??or maybe a dumb::::
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Old 08-12-2009, 20:15   #25
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Always remember waves are not measured in feet and inches but increments of fear...
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Old 08-12-2009, 20:44   #26
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Do you guys actually have this force thing memorized...I have to look it up every time it comes up..:O
Yes. Ever since the age of 12.
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Old 09-12-2009, 02:23   #27
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Talking about a hero??or maybe a dumb::::
Any context on that picture?
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Old 09-12-2009, 05:12   #28
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Do you guys actually have this force thing memorized...I have to look it up every time it comes up..:O
I also.
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Old 09-12-2009, 05:44   #29
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Spend enough time out there and you know the wind force and boat speed while you are asleep in your bunk...Especially when you have inexperienced crew on watch...
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Old 09-12-2009, 06:05   #30
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Wind never hurt anyone, its the waves that do the harm.
SeaCow - if you really do not have time to wait for easier weather windows then assuming it is still E to W along the Med I'd suggest you could motorsail (with just a scrap of well reefed main up for stability) into maybe F7 and gain some ground to westward on a daily basis. Even if you only make 30 miles per day it all adds up - and there will be safe havens you can tuck into if it gets real bad.
As I said elsewhere about your journey, the only 'passages' on that part of your route that cannot be done as day sails are Greece to Italy, Italy to Sardinia, Sardinia to Balearics. And hey - who knows - you could get some of those flat calm days with no wind at all!
Good luck
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