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Old 10-08-2011, 21:48   #16
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Re: Sailing Wind

You'll need at least 5kn of wind to sail at a speed faster than you can swim. 10kn of wind will probably get you up to 4kn of boat speed in calm waters. 15kn of wind will get you close to hull speed. Take this with a grain of salt as I haven't sailed in a boat under 20' for several score years. Small boats tend to sail better in light air than their bigger brethren, though.

Of course there is that lother problem with wind called 'direction.' Winds on the beam or aft will move you along nicely while forward of the beam may hinder your progress and directly on the nose, stop you dead.

20 miles in a small boat is certainly doable if you can go in a reasonably straight line and the intervening islands don't steal your wind as you try and sail by. Is there a set of oars that come with this boat. Good chance to get some exercise of the wind gods don't cooperate. Somelbody has mentioned it but since you are talking a lake, there may be currents that you have to figure in though they will probably minor unless you are at a bottle neck.
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Old 10-08-2011, 22:09   #17
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Re: Sailing Wind

Sabray...what was your clue...

I would actually like to try sailing at 20 kts...hit 9 one time with tide, wind and engine...actually seemed as though it would like to come up on step. (but no step) The bow kept trying to climb outa the hole!

Andrei...without doing the math, sailing at 20 kts would probably require a Battleship length sailboat and a bajillion yards of sail...some strange and confusing physical thing with sail boats called "hull speed". The longer the boat (displacement hull, not planing). the higher the hull speed. Nuclear powered Carrier ships exceed 30 knots... due to longer hull length and a power source that can push it to the max.

Your 21 footer will max around 6kts...so allow plenty of time...but 20 knots would really put some wind in your face.

Bill
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Old 10-08-2011, 22:20   #18
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Re: Sailing Wind

20km/h = 11kts. Which any proper boat should do
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Old 10-08-2011, 22:23   #19
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Re: Sailing Wind

Not a little trailer sailor. My 22' V22 tops out about 6, 6.5 maybe. Even with the engine (9.9 Johnson) cavitating, pushing a large bow wave, and drawing massive wake.
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Old 10-08-2011, 23:01   #20
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Re: Sailing Wind

Daddle, quit pushing our faces in it. Most of us don't have an off the wind, surfing ULDB flyer. Hell, my water line is almost 1/2 yours so can't even get close to your boat speed displacement sailing. The rest of us will never see the other side of 10kn and have to be content averaging quite a bit less than hull speed. Must admit, have seen 9.1kn surfing for a nano second, however.
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Old 10-08-2011, 23:43   #21
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Re: Sailing Wind

Andrei, the speed of a sailboat is limited by its length, as is intimated above. If your boat is 21', that is its Length On Deck (LOD). But there's not 21' of boat in the water: the Length at WaterLine (LWL) is going to be a bit less than the LOD. Let's give you 18 feet (with a little heel).

To calculate your boat's hull speed, take the square of the LWL (the square root of 18 is 4.24) and multiply by the constant 1.34, for a theoretical hull speed of about 5.7kts., or right on 6.5mph. That assumes adequate wind, a clean underside, and efficiently trimmed sails. With 10kts. of wind or so you might reach your hull speed, but additional wind will not translate into additional speed as you seem to imagine: excess wind (maybe above 15kts. in a boat your size) will have to be compensated for by adjusting your sails to "spill" the excess through without harnessing its power. That is a topic for a whole treatise, but in general, you ease the sheets (the lines that control the sails' trim) to spill wind through them and keep the boat from heeling over excessively. You will learn some of this as you go.

You're not likely to see that max. hull speed on a regular basis. You will likely avg. around 4kts. Hey, let's be realistic: winds shift and die, the bottom of the boat is of unknown cleanness, and you are a novice sailor who should not expect to get the most out of the boat.

To plan your trip, I suggest you use 3kts. of boat speed to do your figuring. That makes a 7-hr. trip out of 20 miles. If the wind is coming from, or from near, the direction you want to go, you will have to tack back and forth (sail a zig-zag pattern) that will put your miles travelled into the high 20s, because adding up all the zigs and zags will equal much more than the distance of a straight line from start to destination (a line called a "rhumb line" on a chart).

That's very conservative, and you may do the trip in significantly less time, but figuring conservatively is prudent. If you have to sail into the wind, it's conceivable that this trip could be longer than daylight hours will give you in one day. If you sail after dusk, you will need to display navigation lights, or find some place to pull up near shore to spend the night, so an anchor is a necessity.

So after I'd anticipated and allowed for those difficulties, I'd make sure I had enough food for two days and enough water for four days; a functioning electrical system, including navigation lights, and a working anchor and plenty of anchor rode, and some kind of chart for the area. Now I could choose either to sail through the night or take a break and get some sleep.

In addition, there is a whole long list of other equipment that would be nice to have: a couple of good flashlights might top my list. Take some time to think out how you will eat and what appliances/supplies that will require, what additional clothing might come in handy (think hours and hours of unrelenting sun, and also more and colder wind than you expect, and dry clothes to replace the ones that will get wet), if you over-night, what you will use for bedding, what might be useful to tie things together (a coil of line or a few shock (Bungee) cords), a handful of basic hand tools, etc. Going through your camping gear might yield several good choices.

If you're adamant about doing this without an engine as a novice, it could be a great little sail, but you should be prepared in case you have a few challenges along the way.


Good Luck,
Jeff
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Old 11-08-2011, 01:32   #22
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Re: Sailing Wind

Hamilton (Lake Ontario) and Lake Huron might have completely different weather patterns, so don't rely on what you see out the window before you leave.

Check the weather here:

[COLOR=#ff4400]]- Marine Weather - Environment Canada
Great Lakes Forecasts by Zone - Great Lakes
Windfinder - Wind & weather forecast map USA Great Lakes (Canada Ontario, USA Illinois, USA Indiana, USA Michigan, USA Ohio, USA Pennsylvania, USA Wisconsin)

Check all three and get both the max and the min... just in case.

Also I would suggest talking to locals in the marina, on the ferry, etc... Ask about local wind and weather conditions. Sometimes the forecast does not reflect what's really happening and it's the locals who know it.

Good luck and enjoy! It's beautiful there
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Old 11-08-2011, 14:36   #23
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Re: Sailing Wind

wheres the motor? Pick one up you are going to need one eventually.. Red
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Old 11-08-2011, 15:11   #24
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Re: Sailing Wind

Geeesh.... I can't believe all these guys. They have all this advice and don't even tell you the really important part when you sail a boat without a motor. I'm actually embarassed by their behavior, I sincerely apologize and I fully intend to make this right.
ALL the really good sailors that have boats without motors have a dirty little secret that they don't tell anyone about. They normally keep it in a locker or down in the cabin out of site so no one can see it. Next time you see a motorless sailboat out on the water you're gonna notice the skipper sitting on the nose of the boat using this incredibly important yet embarassing piece of equipment. It's called and oar and you'll probably need one that is reasonably long so you can reach the water from the front of your boat.....
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Old 11-08-2011, 17:01   #25
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Unhappy Re: Sailing Wind

I'd be more concerned with what you'll do if you do have wind. Not to be negative, but the Great Lakes can easily and quickly build wind that will be more than you can handle in a new to you, light 20 footer, especially if you don't have much experience. Single handing and going from 1 possibly crowded marina to another with no motor could be interesting at the very least. If you do go, consider taking an outboard with you, a hand held radio, and a liability insurance policy, not to mention check the marine forecast before you go. I've been on Lake Ontario in a small boat when I shouldn't have been, and didn't want to be, and can't imagine trying to learn to sail in those conditions.
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Old 11-08-2011, 18:41   #26
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Re: Sailing Wind

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Originally Posted by bchaps View Post
Andrei...without doing the math, sailing at 20 kts would probably require a Battleship length sailboat and a bajillion yards of sail...
Bill
I've done 18.1 kts in my 30ft sailboat.









(Ok, it was for a very short time and was surfing down a huge wave in a force 8 but still did it!)
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Old 12-08-2011, 01:34   #27
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Re: Sailing Wind

I'd also suggest you buy a motor. You sound inexperienced, and if you want to dock the boat in a marina, sailing it in might be a bit too tricky. Especially if there is plenty of breeze. An outboard will be alot cheaper than repairing several other boats....
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Old 12-08-2011, 02:03   #28
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Re: Sailing Wind

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Originally Posted by Andrei123 View Post
Well i guess it would suck, sounds kinda fun tho if youre prepared.

Isthere some formula that kinda translates wind speed to boat speed? if wind is blowing 30kmh for example is that mean you can hit up to 20kmh.
I don't want to be rude, but it sounds like you've never set foot on a sailboat or any other boat before, ever. Is that right?

If so you should probably be thinking of doing a sailing course before attempting such a trip. If you had a motor and could motor all the way i would say fine, go for it, but as is, you're just asking to get into trouble. And for gods sake wear a pfd if you do it and make sure you know how to use your vhf.
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Old 12-08-2011, 04:08   #29
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Re: Sailing Wind

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Originally Posted by alan_za View Post
I don't want to be rude, but it sounds like you've never set foot on a sailboat or any other boat before, ever. Is that right?

If so you should probably be thinking of doing a sailing course before attempting such a trip. If you had a motor and could motor all the way i would say fine, go for it, but as is, you're just asking to get into trouble. And for gods sake wear a pfd if you do it and make sure you know how to use your vhf.
That's good advice that ought to be observed. Just one addendum; even outboard motoring that journey will get difficult in any sort of seaway and wind. The boat will roll and attempt to broach in a following sea so you'll need a steadying sail at least and, without experience and in those conditions, that won't be as simple as it might sound. And with waves, the outboard may be in and out of the water, which'll cause further probs. You must get an outboard, and you must take someone experienced with you. It ain't like drivin down the highway.
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