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Old 08-01-2013, 11:18   #16
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Re: how much is too much wind

gm--yes--reef before the britches have a brown spot.
wharram cats --never sailed one, but they seem to be a swift sailing machine. be safe--i think you will find your sweet spot for winds in short order.
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Old 08-01-2013, 13:48   #17
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Re: how much is too much wind

Amnesia II. Post 11. I know almost nothing but I recognize a good answer when I see it.
Nice one mate.
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Old 08-01-2013, 13:56   #18
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Re: how much is too much wind

It's not the strength, it's the direction.

Post 11 sounds like great advice to me, too.
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Old 08-01-2013, 13:57   #19
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Re: how much is too much wind

I think much depends on the boat and on the direction you go. 20 upwind is too hard on me, but 25 downwind is still fine.

Sea state counts much: it can influence your sailing much more than wind force.

My favourite range is 10-15 knots over flattish seas (say max 6 ft swell/waves) but then again our boat is of an older design. I know new designs will sail fine in lighter conditions.

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Old 08-01-2013, 14:07   #20
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Re: how much is too much wind

In keeping with avoiding sailing hard on the wind (or worse still, having to tack for a destination which now lies upwind)

1) Make sure not to over-run your destination if you find yourself in strong following winds: 10 minutes of sailing past the line of entry might take several hours of very unpleasant slamming and slogging to recover. Even if it's not several hours, it will certainly seem like it.

2) If you expect a wind shift which will put the destination closer to upwind, immediately sail towards the direction the new wind is expected to come from.

This will minimise the risk you'll end up hard on the wind.

Anything which allows you to sail with sheets slightly freed makes all the difference offshore.
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Old 08-01-2013, 14:12   #21
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Re: how much is too much wind

All of this advice is good. Sea state, sea state, sea state and then reef early. An under powered boat is much easier to deal with than an over powered one. If it kicks up throw your schedule to the wind and sail the most comfortable course till it blows out. Safety first, there are very few do overs. If you expect trouble and prepare for it then you should be able to deal with it.
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Old 08-01-2013, 14:36   #22
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Re: how much is too much wind

G'Day Lamita,

One thing that you didn't mention is timing. Are you on a schedule, or will you have the luxury of breaking the trip to avoid the N'ly quadrant winds? If you can stop, the trip is a pretty easy one, with lots of useful and interesting anchorages along the way. It is quite possible to do the entire trip in day-sails.

Do get Lucas's book. Alan is a very conservative sailor and author, and his advice along that shore is very well tested by generations of Aussie sailors. Don't worry too much about the barred entrances... IF you follow Alan's advice about timing of the bar crossings and not attempting them in adverse conditions.

As others have said, your boat will handle the typical coastal conditions well, but beating your way north against adverse winds and the East Australian current is a challenge, so I hope that you have the time to choose your wx and enjoy the trip.

Cheers,

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Old 08-01-2013, 14:38   #23
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Re: how much is too much wind

There is no "right" answer, there are way too many variables in your question:
The boat, your competence, the competence of your crew, the direction of the wind relative to your proposed course, the sea state, the direction of the wind relative to the sea, etc.

Your boat (Mottle 33) won't mind a fair bit of breeze, assuming she is in decent condition with reasonable sails. If the wind is from abeam or astern, you should be able to handle more wind than if it is from ahead of you. Do you have deep reefs in the main and a heavy weather jib?

For me, if I'm not racing, I'd prefer not to be sailing in more than 25 knots to windward, or 30 knots reaching or running. In fact the boat can handle way, way more than that... with 2 reefs and #4, 30-35 knots is fine, with 3 reefs and storm jib we are good for 50 knots. But the reality is that sailing in such conditions is demanding and tiring, so we try to avoid it if possible. Forecasts are so easy to get these days and generally very reliable, so you should be able to pick a decent weather window and really there is no reason to be out there in more wind than you are comfortable with.

Just bear in mind that the east Australian current may well be running fairly hard (southwards) at this time of year, so given that you are heading north, you may want to stay in fairly close... no need to push current if you don't need to.
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Old 08-01-2013, 15:45   #24
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Re: how much is too much wind

wow,, you guys are the bomb,,,all good!!!
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Old 08-01-2013, 17:58   #25
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Re: how much is too much wind

Gotta tll you all this was a very interesting thread for me. It put into perspective. Some things that had not come across before. Here I thought I was this big wimp. Now I know I'm just a regular Joe.

Thanks a LOT. No joke, no sarcasm.
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Old 09-01-2013, 02:48   #26
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Re: how much is too much wind

Once you stop smiling it's time to reef. After fully reefed and you still can't smile it's time to pray.
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Old 09-01-2013, 03:04   #27
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Re: how much is too much wind

Quote:
Originally Posted by lamita View Post
Sailing up from sydney to brisbane for the first time with 33ft yacht. I am used to bay sailing. what is good wind and swell for sailing coastal. Is 20 or 25 knots too hard on the boat or is this ideal in coastal sailing? I seem to be looking for 10-15knts which maybe not enough to move a 33ft yacht.
Hi again Lamita,

I do't know your boat, but 10-15 knots translates to 5-7 meters per second ( say somewhere around force 4-5). Your boat should sail along quite nicely at this and be comfortable even if you are beating up against the wind.

Growly Monster said it well. REEF. And REEF again. Doubt? REEF. Boat heeling a bit more than you like? REEF.

It's no shame to reef earlier than others. Boats are different. Crews are different. Some skippers are better than others (usually the ones that reef are the better ones).

The only thing that can happen if you reef, is arriving a little later. Although frequently, you will sail faster when reefed and not heeling excessively than with all the curtains up.

I have a 40 footer with High Aspect sails, its a racer/cruiser. I reef all the time.

As poster number 11 said - "it's about enjoyment - not endurance"

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Old 09-01-2013, 03:09   #28
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Re: how much is too much wind

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Once you stop smiling it's time to reef.
That is a sure way of getting into trouble LOL.
30-35 knots, full sails up, flying along on a very broach reach is a guaranteed way of plastering a smile on my face, so IMHO the amount you are smiling it no real indication of when to reef!
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Old 09-01-2013, 03:12   #29
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Re: how much is too much wind

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
That is a sure way of getting into trouble LOL.
30-35 knots, full sails up, flying along on a very broach reach is a guaranteed way of plastering a smile on my face, so IMHO the amount you are smiling it no real indication of when to reef!
You can obviously handle though. The smile factor reflects the individual's comfort zone which is usually a fairly good indication of when things need to start happening to ease the situation.
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Old 09-01-2013, 03:29   #30
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Re: how much is too much wind

Some thoughts after our trip north:-
1) As others have said you must have Alan Lucas' book. Latest edition.
2) Your trip planning depends on whether you can do overnight or multi day passages. The trip north can be done in day hops but it can be a long wait for weather windows. We waited a month in Yamba! If going overnight do keep a sharp watch for anchored coal boats waiting to enter Newcastle. They are scattered along a goodly part of the coast.
3) I used BOM (accurate up to 3 days), SeaBreeze (good for planning up to 7 days) and WillyWeather (wave height, direction and period). BOM has a "Forecast Explorer" section for the NSW coast that combines different forecasts to give an overall ranking. We found it to be very accurate.
4) Generally we found that winds over 18 knots, waves over 2 metres and wave periods under 8 seconds made life unpleasant. Combined they can be horrendous.
5) Remember that the Eastern Australian Current can run up to 4 knots and with a southerly wind against it can make steep closely spaced waves that are most uncomfortable. It also slows down the passage north.
6) Entry into Ballina is generally considered to be very dangerous as the bar has built up. We gave Swansea a miss and were glad we did. Alan Lucas is indispensable here.
7) A plotter is most useful, particularly for entry into places that are confusing for a first timer. Coffs Harbour and Yamba come to mind.
8) The NSW Maritime Services maps are inexpensive and contain a wealth of useful information.
9) Once round Point Danger conditions improved dramatically.
10) The Queensland Maritime book "Beacon to Beacon" is indispensable for Southern Queensland, particularly for Moreton Bay and the inside passage from Southport to Manly.
11) Do log on with NSW Marine Safety on your VHF - we were fully legal but were never queried on our legality. I found the Qld. Coast Guard to be less friendly.
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