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Old 03-09-2013, 17:59   #16
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you learn each time you do out sailing I learned to reef early if you go out in South east wind across the Geogian Strait waves can get short and high we cross over in 32 knots waves were about 10 feet due to tide and build up wind SE wind needs concern going back was a good call
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Old 03-09-2013, 18:01   #17
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Re: Sail management under 'high' wind

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Originally Posted by jared1048 View Post
I agree with dan. You did ok.

I would disagree with your comment about possibly turning on the engine at this point of chaos to get your nose into the wind. A friend was in this exact same situation and fouled the prop with the wild genoa sheet line! talk about adding fuel to the fire. He lost his electrical too at that point too which is another story. boatus towed him back in for $1400

We did winter vashon (30 knot winds) and i did similar to you. reefed main and little bit of genoa unfurled. I found myself back asking the same questions your asking. What I was told is to use a full main and no jibb due to the way the sails "pull" or "push" the boat in the water. the main pushed the boat more and is more stable than the little piece of genoa which unbalances the boat and creates lots of weather helm. I did this last time it was blowing 20 knots and did better. You can adjust your main a lot more than you can your head-sail. I ended up pulling out a tiny little piece of my Genoa to just direct air to my main and it balanced the boat a lot better and it felt solid.

So simply. I would try this next time you were in those conditions.

Full main shaped for your conditions (more shape if bashing against waves but not enough to heel past 25 degrees) and sliver of headsail to direct wind back to main.

I agree ... start the engine, but leave it in neutral. As you said, everyone on board were beginners. It's terribly easy to end up with a line in the water and not notice it, and in fact it's a good thing to routinely spot for, esp. when the ship starts hitting the fan ...
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Old 03-09-2013, 18:08   #18
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Re: Sail management under 'high' wind

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Hi, welljim,

Evans' way works. However, I have something to add: at 20 apparent and 6 k. boat speed, your turning down will give you 14 apparent wind speed, approximately. That's still light enough that you probably won't have a kerfuffle getting the genoa down. But this makes me wonder whether you have lifeline lacing to help keep the sail on board, because when that bolt rope leaves the furler track, you can have a huge mess on your hands very quickly. If you don't have the lacing, consider it. We used to use ~3mm diameter line for it.

ALWAYS, ALWAYS CHECK TO BE SURE THERE ARE NO LINES IN THE WATER BEFORE STARTING YOUR ENGINE.

No one's going to be laughing at you, we've all started as beginners. What you now have is the opportunity to go right back out in those wind-against-tide conditions, and try out various options. Do it from an experimental point of view, to see what works best for you and the boat. Try different things: Perhaps someone will loan you a furling #4 for an afternoon (95-100% of foretriangle). If you try dropping the headsail on the wind, try it with pinching way up so it has a chance of falling on deck, the boat will just about stop. If you have crew with you, they can help you secure it. If the motion is too severe, then that's not an option, and you need to bear off till the wind's well aft of the beam, but not about to gybe, and drop it then, but it may try to go overboard--do NOT release the tack!

Finally, always keep an eye on all your running rigging, look for chafe and for tired rope (it looks faded and somewhat fuzzy, usually, not sleek, bright, and slippery). Look at all of it every time you go to the boat, so nothing like that sneaks up on you.

Now, go have some more fun!

Ann
By lacing are you talking about netting?

I got caught overpowered in high (for that boat) waves -- 5 ft, but she was only 8 ft wide. I had a downhaul for the headsail so i thought it was all good.

We used it to take the headsail down, and LUCKILY the leech line was loose. It got caught on a stanchion. So I crawled up there with a knife and a bungee cord. I cut the leech line, pulled down the sail, and secured it to the stancheons with the bungee.

I think we were darned lucky that leech line caught, because if it hadn't, the whole headsail could have gone into the water, still attached to the boat. NOT a good thing.

I learned a lot that day ...
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Old 03-09-2013, 19:33   #19
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Just want to add. In 25 knots with wind anywhere but aft of the beam I'd be hove to anyway. Unless wave height and shape makes that a risky choice. Then I'd run. On a day like the one described by the OP, occuring anywhere in the San Juans, I'd never leave a sheltered anchorage or as it were - Squallicum harbour. But, up there you can round a point and all hell breaks loose. Going back is usually an option though. Great place to learn to sail!
Hove to in 25kts? Really? Why?
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Old 03-09-2013, 20:22   #20
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Re: Sail management under 'high' wind

It's easy for things to get sideways on you. Unless you run around triple reefed with a storm sail 24/7 eventually you will be caught over canvased, or have some problem making it hard to reduce sail. I've got a thread on here right now about a rather nuanced aspect of reefing, which is an operation I've done dozens of times. I'm still trying to "get it right".

Regarding the pitching, that's pretty normal in short period waves. They happen a lot in lakes and other confined waterways where there isn't enough room for fetch to create proper wave trains. It's also common in opposing current conditions.

You learned a bunch, you made it home safe, and you have some plans on what to do the next time it happens. Solid day.
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Old 03-09-2013, 20:25   #21
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Re: Sail management under 'high' wind

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Hove to in 25kts? Really? Why?
I'd reach in it, but 25 close hauled is ~32 apparent. Taking it on the nose, working the boat, shipping green water. I'd probably heave to and wait it out as well to be honest. Bashing into seas like that is doable but it would make for a really wet and uncomfortable ride.

It would depend a lot on sea state. Shipping green water is when things start getting lame.
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Old 03-09-2013, 20:39   #22
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Re: Sail management under 'high' wind

The S of G can step right up and bite your ass if the wind and tide are opposed. I've been out with a very heavy "spray" of water over the cabin top of my boat. The steep, close waves would have made working on the furler or anything on the for deck dangerous if not just about impossible. I think I would have turned down wind, started the engine for peace of mind if nothing else, the dropped the sail or fixed the furler.
What does not kill us make us stronger. Maybe we'll see ya out there some day
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:59   #23
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Re: Sail management under 'high' wind

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I'd reach in it, but 25 close hauled is ~32 apparent. Taking it on the nose, working the boat, shipping green water. I'd probably heave to and wait it out as well to be honest. Bashing into seas like that is doable but it would make for a really wet and uncomfortable ride.

It would depend a lot on sea state. Shipping green water is when things start getting lame.
Spot on. Plus, my boat is 27' on deck with a relatively low freeboard and 8' beam.

Why have I sailed a considerable distance without breaking anything critical to safety and operating the boat? I've had a jib sheet and control lines to the Aries part on different occasions; at least half of the sail slugs in a chicken jibe in 40 knot wind break, and torn sails but nothing more serious. This is attributable to the fact I yeild early, reef early and heave to when conditions are too rough and wind strength threatens to negatively affect my control of the boat.

A sailor once said I look like an old lady the way I move around my boat. Another asked why I usually sail with one reef - to make your boat go slower?

I don't mind the digs, because the way I've sailed my boat has kept me alive, and got me to where I've wanted to go.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:53   #24
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Re: Sail management under 'high' wind

: Originally Posted by Wrong
Just want to add. In 25 knots with wind anywhere but aft of the beam I'd be hove to anyway. Unless wave height and shape makes that a risky choice. Then I'd run. On a day like the one described by the OP, occuring anywhere in the San Juans, I'd never leave a sheltered anchorage or as it were - Squallicum harbour. But, up there you can round a point and all hell breaks loose. Going back is usually an option though. Great place to learn to sail!
Hove to in 25kts? Really? Why?
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Hove to in 25kts? Really? Why?

I missed that post, but I agree that "hove to" should not be necessary at 25 knots. In addition, my boat tends to drift abeam when hove to, which would make for an uncomfortable ride.

Reefing is such a basic skill that even the most beginning sailors should know how to do it. Even if they always sail in "protected" waters, storms happen. If a boat doesn't have an easily used reefing system, IMO the owner should switch it out for one that is easily used, because we're much more likely to use a reefing system in a timely way when we know it can be put in easily and shaken out easily as well. Both boats I have had have sailed comfortably and easily when reefed.

Clearly Wrong knows what to expect in his waters, so the thing to do would be to put the reefing in before rounding that point. Heaving to can be a great safety measure, but if the sailor is inexperienced at it, he or she could actually increase the danger, not reduce it.

There's no magic button. You have to learn your boat and how she handles in typical conditions, and I would include 25k of wind in "typical conditions." That level of wind should not be an emergency unless something has gone wrong with the boat.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:01   #25
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Re: Sail management under 'high' wind

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Spot on. Plus, my boat is 27' on deck with a relatively low freeboard and 8' beam.

Why have I sailed a considerable distance without breaking anything critical to safety and operating the boat? I've had a jib sheet and control lines to the Aries part on different occasions; at least half of the sail slugs in a chicken jibe in 40 knot wind break, and torn sails but nothing more serious. This is attributable to the fact I yeild early, reef early and heave to when conditions are too rough and wind strength threatens to negatively affect my control of the boat.

A sailor once said I look like an old lady the way I move around my boat. Another asked why I usually sail with one reef - to make your boat go slower?

I don't mind the digs, because the way I've sailed my boat has kept me alive, and got me to where I've wanted to go.
OHHHHH -- IMO that changes EVERYTHING!

My first boat was a lot like yours -- 25' instead of 27', and also only 8' wide! I completely agree with you -- an abundance of caution is called for on such a boat, but a little boat like that will teach you a lot about sailing (whether you wanted to learn it or not, right?)

You SHOULD look like an old lady when moving around that boat -- specifically, I used mountain-climbing techniquess -- 3 points fixed, and one moving, in rough water. When it was really rough, I crawled.

I'm glad you described your boat. That is going to change how I interpret everything you write here.

I loved that little boat, and would still have something like her except for my desire to live aboard. Living on that boat would have been one step up from a cardboard box.
Do you have an inboard engine or outboard? That will affect your choices also. I had an outboard. Starting on a boat like that made me a conservative sailor, and I don't think that's a bad thing at all.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:09   #26
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pirate Re: Sail management under 'high' wind

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Originally Posted by Wrong View Post
Spot on. Plus, my boat is 27' on deck with a relatively low freeboard and 8' beam.

Why have I sailed a considerable distance without breaking anything critical to safety and operating the boat? I've had a jib sheet and control lines to the Aries part on different occasions; at least half of the sail slugs in a chicken jibe in 40 knot wind break, and torn sails but nothing more serious. This is attributable to the fact I yeild early, reef early and heave to when conditions are too rough and wind strength threatens to negatively affect my control of the boat.

A sailor once said I look like an old lady the way I move around my boat. Another asked why I usually sail with one reef - to make your boat go slower?

I don't mind the digs, because the way I've sailed my boat has kept me alive, and got me to where I've wanted to go.
+A1... set her on the favourable tack and head below till more favourable conditions.. stay warm.. stay fresh.. 2 sugars for me please
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:10   #27
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Re: Sail management under 'high' wind

[QUOTE=rebel heart;1330609]It's easy for things to get sideways on you...

That's a powerful and true statement, and now that I'm past the "beginner" stage of sailing, the one thing I try to keep in mind all the time. There are, I suspect, countless ways for things to get sideways on us, and all but the most experienced and widest-ranging sailors still have some big, unexpected surprises in store for them.

People like me -- no longer "newbie" but certainly no expert -- need to have the basics down very, very well, because having that knowledge as "motor memory" -- not having to think about it at all -- is what allows us to use that knowledge and experience effectively in a new, unknown (and of course potentially dangerous) situation. And has Wrong has made clear, knowing your boat is crucial.

I have mentioned my friend who over five years has refused to learn how to tack efficiently. She is an extreme example of real trouble just waiting to happen. I think in her mind, she thinks smaller boats are safer (simply not true on any level) and that since that's all she sails, it doesn't matter how much she knows about what she's doing. As long as she can (accidentally) get herself from a port to starboard broad reach, she thinks she's sailing, and she thinks the only "danger" is of running aground, something she's done so much she just counts it as inevitable. Well, it is when you can't turn the boat in time ...

She doesn't know what she doesn't know, and what she doesn't know is pretty important stuff.

I am going to try one more time to teach her to systematically tack. It's just not that hard!
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:15   #28
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Re: Sail management under 'high' wind

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I agree with dan. You did ok.

I would disagree with your comment about possibly turning on the engine at this point of chaos to get your nose into the wind. A friend was in this exact same situation and fouled the prop with the wild genoa sheet line! talk about adding fuel to the fire. He lost his electrical too at that point too which is another story. boatus towed him back in for $1400
The previous owner of my boat did that, and the sheet wrapped around the shaft hanked the prop shaft out, and ripped the gearbox off the engine. The shaft was then jamming the rudder, so no steering - and a major leak of course. Oh, and the sheet ripped the jib off the furler, and wrecked the furler.

So the bill was $14,000 for :

A new gearbox
Prop shaft, straightening the prop
Repairing the rudder
Repairs to the jib
New furler and forestay

Oh, did I mention that his crew had gone overboard? The coastguard picked him up, just in time.

Yes, do not start the engine until you have all the lines under control.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:16   #29
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Re: Sail management under 'high' wind

The point of sail matters a lot too, and this thread started in the context of short period waves.

I challenge anyone to close haul in *only* 25 knots here in a Sea of Cortez norther with its measly 4-6' waves. Did I mention those are four second intervals? Which is further reduced because you're advancing into them, sort of, yielding a horrible effect that has sunk plenty of boats.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:17   #30
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Re: Sail management under 'high' wind

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: Originally Posted by Wrong
Just want to add. In 25 knots with wind anywhere but aft of the beam I'd be hove to anyway. Unless wave height and shape makes that a risky choice. Then I'd run. On a day like the one described by the OP, occuring anywhere in the San Juans, I'd never leave a sheltered anchorage or as it were - Squallicum harbour. But, up there you can round a point and all hell breaks loose. Going back is usually an option though. Great place to learn to sail!
Hove to in 25kts? Really? Why?


I missed that post, but I agree that "hove to" should not be necessary at 25 knots. In addition, my boat tends to drift abeam when hove to, which would make for an uncomfortable ride.

Reefing is such a basic skill that even the most beginning sailors should know how to do it. Even if they always sail in "protected" waters, storms happen. If a boat doesn't have an easily used reefing system, IMO the owner should switch it out for one that is easily used, because we're much more likely to use a reefing system in a timely way when we know it can be put in easily and shaken out easily as well. Both boats I have had have sailed comfortably and easily when reefed.

Clearly Wrong knows what to expect in his waters, so the thing to do would be to put the reefing in before rounding that point. Heaving to can be a great safety measure, but if the sailor is inexperienced at it, he or she could actually increase the danger, not reduce it.

There's no magic button. You have to learn your boat and how she handles in typical conditions, and I would include 25k of wind in "typical conditions." That level of wind should not be an emergency unless something has gone wrong with the boat.
So, you believe heaving to is only for emergencies?

I have no idea what your level of experience is, where you have sailed or how far. But to say "hove to should not be necessary in 25 knots", without considering how different boats in similar conditions perform and how one may be more vulnerable than another reveals a certain amount of naivette.

You also suggest without knowing more, someone who heaves to in 25 knots is doing so unecessarily and without reefing first. You go further by saying they should learn to reef and infer if they had known how heaving to should not be required.

Not going to take what you've said personally, but the fact is you've suggested I must not know how to reef, because if I did I'd have been able to continue reaching into 25 knot wind.

If you wish to wait for emergencies before heaving to, by all means do. But the whole point of heaving to is to rest and or yeild to forces than may lead to undesirable outcomes if you push back - or keep going. And, yeah - long before
heaving to I've reefed down.
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