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Old 01-01-2011, 13:34   #1
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Newbie with Dumb Question / Wind, Waves

OK here we go. I would like to ask a dumb question... I have not yet sailed, but I just purchased a 24' C&C. I will be sailing it in the spring. In the mean time, I am wondering what is "smooth sailing". I don't know what is heavy wind, vs light wind in a sailboat. I have a 82 year old mother, and she said she wants to go out with me when I get the boat to Georgia. If you were taking your mother/ grandmother on a sail, what would you say was the a good wind to show her a good time, without scaring her. Also, how about chop. I realize it is a factor of wind, but don't know at what point it becomes difficult/ dumb to be out in. Are 4 foot seas high for a sailboat of that size? I remember being out in a 24 foot powerboat in 8-10 footers, and they were no fun at all. My dad broke the wheel when we hit the bottom of one, and we had to surf her back into shore.
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Old 01-01-2011, 13:40   #2
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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Madhatter23.

Congratulations on your new boat!

Although 4 foot seas aren't very exciting, I'd limit my grandmother's initial sailing experience to 3 ft or less, and winds of 10 - 15 knots.
Keep it tame, until you see how she reacts.

C&C were a great design team, and built great boats. The 24 is nice starter boat. She may hobbyhorse & pound a little in “chop” (waves close together), and the outboard prop will ventilate (come out of the water) occasionaly. Neither are dangerous, but can be discomfiting to a newbie.

Your C&C24 will be nothing like a power boat (much more comfortable in a seaway, once you get accustomed to heeling under sail).
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Old 01-01-2011, 14:39   #3
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Aloha and I second what Gord says. I'd also take a basic lesson if what you say is true. "I have not yet sailed," means to me that you need some expert help getting started.
For a good introduction I'd jump in on a US Coast Guard Aux. Boating Course too.
kind regards,
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Old 01-01-2011, 18:49   #4
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Yikes...I'm feeling sorry for granny already. Please get some experience and maybe some lessons before taking responsibility for gran's safety at sea.
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Old 01-01-2011, 18:59   #5
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I don't think it's a dumb question at all. In your boat, I'd say the granny limit for an experienced sailor is 15 knots, and for an inexperienced sailor is ten knots. In other words, once you learn your boat well enough to know when/how you need to reef to keep it flat, you can take granny out in up to 15 knots of true wind. Until that time, don't take passengers aboard--regardless of age--in anything over 10 knots.

A good rule, additionally, is that anyone over 75 needs to wear a life jacket.

If you'd like to practice with elderly women aboard in high winds prior to inviting your mother to sail, I'd be happy to loan you my mother-in-law.
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Old 01-01-2011, 19:09   #6
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Madhatter23,

Take your mother out on the calmest of days in 10 knots and almost no waves (Flat).
Just ghost along the shore with the water gently lapping the smooth hull as you reminisce about years gone by.
It will be just so perfect and your mom will remember this time you spent forever. Just perfect. Can't you see and feel it, just so perfect.

Been on trips like this before and will always remember the friends and guests we had and the fun conversations we had. Oh Sailing its just perfect.

Mark
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Old 01-01-2011, 19:43   #7
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Thanks for the help(most of you)

I appreciate the advise. Don't worry, I will have experience before taking MOM on the water..even then, it will probably be on Lake Sinclair, not the ocean. I think the trip from LI Sound to Georgia will probably give me a good amount of experience. I took the Power Squadron boating course a while back, and do have my Connecticut safe boating certificate, just haven't sailed. Being that all I have done is power, I don't know how much wind is a lot.
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Old 01-01-2011, 19:55   #8
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I agree with Cotemar
Keep in mind the normal heeling of a sailboat can be pretty scary for first time "crew" on a sailboat.
Good luck,
Steve W.
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Old 01-01-2011, 19:58   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madhatter23 View Post
Being that all I have done is power, I don't know how much wind is a lot.
It's not just the wind that needs to be factored here. If the sails are blown out, 15 knots true may end up being too much. If your only headsail is a 150% genoa, ditto. If you don't yet get the concept that apparent wind increases as you sail closer to weather, ditto. If your mother has recently had a hip replaced, ditto.

Unfortunately, a lifetime of powerboating won't get you closer to answering these questions. Clearly, however, any conditions in which you wouldn't take mom out it a powerboat should be conditions in which you wouldn't take her out in a sailboat until you've acquired sufficient sailing expertise.
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Old 02-01-2011, 13:48   #10
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Although most the rules are nearly the same, sailing is different than motoring so start with the book "Start Sailing Right!" and then ask some questions. Having taken the Power Squadron Courses does help but if you're not certain which sailboat has the right of way, i. e. port or starboard tack or how to determine which tack a boat is on then a bit more study is necessary.
Good luck and I hope you don't mind the suggestions. Everyone here means well and are always concerned about your safety.
kind regards,
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