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Old 15-08-2008, 06:27   #16
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It depends on what you are use to sailing in. As DM said on S.F. Bay it is just warming up. On the bay you would never go out on a summer day if 20 knots would keep you at the dock. Let me repeat myself. It depends on what wind you are use to sailing in.
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Old 15-08-2008, 09:05   #17
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Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
It depends on what you are use to sailing in. As DM said on S.F. Bay it is just warming up. On the bay you would never go out on a summer day if 20 knots would keep you at the dock. Let me repeat myself. It depends on what wind you are use to sailing in.
As others have pointed out, I don't think it's about what I am used to sailing in (which is everything from 5 to 60 knots -- although the upper end I hope never to see again). It's what the NEWBIES would feel comfortable with.

By the way, contrary to popular belief, a Tayana 37 with a big genny and a fairly smooth bottom will still make a knot or two in 5 knots of wind. I am actually amazed at how well my 22,000lb behemoth does in light airs.
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Old 15-08-2008, 16:17   #18
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Having been raised where 20 knots was matter of course, I wouldn't give it a thought, but a yacht's normal behavior can be very frightening to novice sailors or guests just along for a ride, so why give anyone a scare? More wives/girlfriends have been permanently dissuaded from sailing by unnecessarily aggressive husbands/boy-friends than one can possibly imagine. There are, however exceptions...

In mid-October, 1994, I happened to bringing our, then, Cal 2-29 to the Tampa Bay area from Ft. Lauderdale. My volunteer crew was a young fellow from my office that wanted to learn to sail and was very enthusiastic about the trip which was pretty uneventful until we got into the vicinity of San Carlos Bay. It seems that Hurricane Gordon, which has passed us by while we were safely in port, decided to loop around and make another pass at us. We managed to get through the Sanibel bridge and up to and across the "Miserable Mile" going down wind, but once we turned north in Pine Island Sound, the wind and seas got pretty exciting. We furled the head sail and double reefed the main but were still pretty over powered as we blasted passed Roosevelt Channel, where I had hoped to hide out, before I realized it. Our last dodge was at South Seas Plantation marina and I called them on the VHF to see if they could take us. They could but commented that their channel had shoaled to 4-1/2 feet at the turn into the marina. (We drew just under 5.) As the conditions were deteriorating rapidly, I told my novice crew--Jack--to get ready and we gibed the boat to port and took off like a shot, westerly, down the South Sea's Channel--with a rooster tail according to observers on the beach. At the bottom of the channel, with on-lookers on the fishing pier quite wide eyed as we approached at speed, we snapped the boat to port again, laid her starboard rail in the water, and zoomed over the shoal and into the marina where the yacht popped up-right as the wind was blocked by the land and trees to port. Jack just whooped "Cool" and "Far-Out!" with the excitement while my knees were so weakened I had to sit for a minute before we wrestled the yacht to the leeward side of our assigned dock.

Later, in the bar, I asked Jack if he wasn't a bit scared by the events to wit he replied "Well hell skipper, I figured if you weren't scared I had nothing to worry about, right?." "Oh" I said, leaving it at that. (I had been scared shoot-less for the entire exercise!) After two daze of howling weather, the rest of our trip was, fortunately, very uneventful!

Evidently, at least for some people, the "Skipper's" demeanor sets the tone.

s/v HyLyte
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Old 15-08-2008, 17:03   #19
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Growing up on SF Bay if yo cancelled every trip b/c of SCA then you wouldn't get much sailing in the summer. I warn people before hand that if the wind is really nasty the boat can take it but they might not be able to and leave the decision in the hands of the newbie. I tend to judge the newbie as well. If they are pretty fearless then I take them if not I warn them and let them make up there mind.

In terms of did you make the right decision. Yes. We all make decisions based on our comfort level.
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Old 16-08-2008, 09:09   #20
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svHyLyte,

I had to smile reading your post. I always warned people of the heeling, and I always reefed so the boat is not stressed. I would always tell them there's nothing to fear unless you see fear on my face, and then it's time to jump.

When the boat starts hovering towards 20 degrees heel I would reduce sail somewhere. I always wanted my company to enjoy the sail. Not hang on for dear life, and IMHO you can do just that in 20 knots easily.
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