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Old 01-07-2011, 08:18   #16
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Re: What's safe sailing wind speeds for 26ft full keel boat

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We are out at Comox bc and the wind is supposed to be up to 20 and possible 30 nm/h for cross the straight. I haven't sailed much in wind over 10nm I'm guessing. And today it was 10-15 and we were sailing with just the storm jib and no main.
I'm wondering if any other other 26ish footers what they think is a safe to sail in. When they reef, etc.
I was going to go in 20nm winds but not higher. And I was going to go with reefed main and storm jib.
Also I have a full keel grampion
I think most people will agree that it is not so much the wind but the waves that are the problem.
The Gramp. is a tough little boat and will probably handle more than you can. Mine will round up if over powered. I have a working jib(100%) with a single reef point in it and have used it once with one reef in the main and one in the jib. It immediately brought the boat back up on her feet and made a world of difference in the comfort and handling. I realize that the salt chuck is different than fresh water sailing as regards wave heights and period. The Gramp should handle 20 knots easily. Go out over reefed and ease the sails out till you reach your comfort zone
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Old 01-07-2011, 09:05   #17
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Re: What's safe sailing wind speeds for 26ft full keel boat

I got stuck crossing the gulf stream close hauled in 30-35 knots in my 26-foot Westerly Centaur. It's an experience I'd rather not repeat. A broad reach under head sail with a warp out in the same conditions on the other hand was fairly pleasant.
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Old 01-07-2011, 14:26   #18
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Re: What's safe sailing wind speeds for 26ft full keel boat

Thanks for the info everyone. We decided to wait it out and try hit the 10-15 and not the 20nm wind. Just to clarify, I don't have or know what a storm jib is, I just called my 100% a storm jib as its small compared to the 150 I usually use. And we had main and the jib up, but my wife wa worried so we went with just the jib and were able to sail and she was happier :-)
But I don't want to try anything iffy with my 7 month old on board so I'll let the wind come down a bit and make a Point of getting out in stronger winds in the future to see what I can handle.

Really apreaciate the diverse replys an experiences. Keep on sailing
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Old 01-07-2011, 14:36   #19
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Re: What's safe sailing wind speeds for 26ft full keel boat

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Originally Posted by canadianllama View Post
Thanks for the info everyone. We decided to wait it out and try hit the 10-15 and not the 20nm wind. Just to clarify, I don't have or know what a storm jib is, I just called my 100% a storm jib as its small compared to the 150 I usually use. And we had main and the jib up, but my wife wa worried so we went with just the jib and were able to sail and she was happier :-)
But I don't want to try anything iffy with my 7 month old on board so I'll let the wind come down a bit and make a Point of getting out in stronger winds in the future to see what I can handle.

Really apreaciate the diverse replys an experiences. Keep on sailing
In the meantime, try to go out slowly in larger winds. Practice your reefing even though you may not need to so that it isn't a big deal later. As long as the seas are too much the biggest difference between 10 knots of wind and 25 knots (once you are reefed) is the noise of the wind in your ears.
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Old 01-07-2011, 14:42   #20
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Re: What's safe sailing wind speeds for 26ft full keel boat

Read Maiden Voyage, a terrific story of the first American woman and the youngest to solo circumnavigate the world at 18 yrs old. Her boat was 26' and she started out a novice in the captain's role. It is amazing what both ladies (boat and young woman) handled. A very good read. A lot depends on hull design and rigging as well as what the manufactures of your boat intended her for. A big difference between racer, weekend cruiser, and blue water adventurer.
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Old 01-07-2011, 15:16   #21
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Re: What's safe sailing wind speeds for 26ft full keel boat

A Grampian 26 is a good boat, and she will take you were you want to go.. (I wish I had the interior volume you do).

She is not full keel however;



I have raced, and made deliveries on your sister boats.. take your time and enjoy her... coastal cruising with some off shore work will allow you to learn what you
will be comfortable with.

Fair winds!
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Old 01-07-2011, 15:25   #22
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Re: What's safe sailing wind speeds for 26ft full keel boat

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Originally Posted by canadianllama View Post
Thanks for the info everyone. We decided to wait it out and try hit the 10-15 and not the 20nm wind. Just to clarify, I don't have or know what a storm jib is, I just called my 100% a storm jib as its small compared to the 150 I usually use. And we had main and the jib up, but my wife wa worried so we went with just the jib and were able to sail and she was happier :-)
But I don't want to try anything iffy with my 7 month old on board so I'll let the wind come down a bit and make a Point of getting out in stronger winds in the future to see what I can handle.

Really apreaciate the diverse replys an experiences. Keep on sailing
You had a 7 month old aboard???
You certainly didn't say that in your first post. Disregard everything I said.
If something went wrong, ie. a hose popped off a thru hull, a stay parted, the jib wrapped round the headstay...

ps: I don't allow children under 10 as guests on my boat unless it's at the dock. Even with a parent, and with some older children I have asked their parents to sign a liability waiver.
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Old 01-07-2011, 15:57   #23
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Going out in high winds and no experience is not a good move. Find out what a storm jib is. Practice how to reef and always reef early.
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Old 01-07-2011, 17:18   #24
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Re: What's safe sailing wind speeds for 26ft full keel boat

Look, if you continue to sail, at some time you WILL get caught out in winds that are stronger than the idyllic conditions that you have been sailing in so far. IMO, it is far better to go out knowing that stronger winds are about and thus being prepared with smaller headsails bent on, reefing gear ready etc, than to be out there with no preparation and no experience of heavy winds. That's when things go wrong!

So, again IMO, DO go out with 20+ knots forecast, but without children or other liabilities on board. Have a go at sailing with reduced sails, get some experience, and then know that you have home port and a hot shower not so far away.

INcidentally, when Ann and I were preparing for our first long term cruise in Insatiable one, we would deliberately head out during winter storms on SF bay. Everyone thought we were crazy, but we learned where the storm jib sheeted, how that third reef actually worked, and how the boat behaved in 45 knots and big (for SF bay) seas. It wasn't really much fun, but it was definitely worth while.

Cheers,
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Old 01-07-2011, 18:00   #25
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Re: What's safe sailing wind speeds for 26ft full keel boat

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We decided to wait it out and try hit the 10-15 and not the 20nm wind.
Pick your battles and every trip should teach you something. If you do it often by accident you'll get a little taste of more. everyone needs to feel comfortable and easing into it is just fine. I think you'll find you boat can take far more than you can. It's not the weak link in all this. Higher speed winds are actually easier because it is clear what works and when too much sail is too much sail. Some 15 to 20 winds should really be a learning experience and not too much can go bad enough to be threatening. Personally, I prefer a little bit of extra air. The boat starts to snap to and you get a bit of a rush as you close in on hull speed. You start to feel how stable the boat really is. You start to trust yourself and the crew feels comfortable. Big boat or small boat the feeling is the same.

It just means you are getting better. You should be getting better at seeing the wind and how it plays with the boat. It suddenly gets very familiar.
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Old 01-07-2011, 18:08   #26
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An excellent read is the virtue xxxv. I think the vertue was 25' lovely boat. There is one here. Anyway to say can a Boat by length do something is misleading can a particular boat with a crew of x experience do something is meaningful. I would think your boat quite capable and you seem able to decide to challenge yourself in reasonable steps.
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Old 04-07-2011, 22:49   #27
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Re: What's Safe Sailing Wind Speeds for 26ft Full Keel Boat

Well we actually stayed back one day and practiced with the reefed sail an then the next day went when the wind was calmer. We Defintaly need to get out in 20+ and practice without our baby on board. But we defintally won't be stopping sailing. We have a great life jacket for her, and once she can move will be netting and clipping her on. There's lots of safe ways to have the baby and kids on board. Anyways all hhis was good info and makes me interested in starting to learn to sail in heavier winds WITHOUT my kid
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Old 05-07-2011, 01:30   #28
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Re: What's Safe Sailing Wind Speeds for 26ft Full Keel Boat

I'm not the most experienced person around and im not claiming nothing, but I think one should slowly push oneself into harder situations. Thats the only way you will improve. At least that works with me.
It is the as in individual competition sports. If you compete against similar or lower levels of experience you wil not learn a lot, but when you compete against more experienced, you wil l learn much more, and it broadens your horizons.
Thats how achievememts were made.
This holds true for the sea and sailing.
Of course dont take your family out until you are confident in your abilities.

remember experience is what you get from messing up and staying alive from it.it is not what you get from staying in port in a 15-20 kt forecast.
as for me if I haven't done that, I would still be paddling my 8ft row boat on the coast of the medditiranean within very close proximity to the beach.

Good luck And I hope you enjoy safe sailing.
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Old 05-07-2011, 01:39   #29
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Re: What's Safe Sailing Wind Speeds for 26ft Full Keel Boat

All boats are compromises, so what is safe in one will be foolhardy in another. For example a full gale in a Contessa 26 would be a wild and wet experience, but the boat would cope. I dont know your boat so cannot really comment on its suitability. However, it is not the wind speed that becomes the problem, but the sea state, depth of water, and current.

if the wind is against the tide direction, the sea will build significantly. If the wind is from off-shore, then the waves will have had space to build size. If the depth of water is shallow, then the waves will interact with the bottom and become taller and steeper. If all of these conditions are against you, say a real prayer or three, because it can get really wild.
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Old 05-07-2011, 16:17   #30
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Re: What's Safe Sailing Wind Speeds for 26ft Full Keel Boat

Great decision, CanadianLLama!

I sail the Georgia Straight on a 25', and think 20-25 kt is just about perfect with the right amount of sail up. Crossings seem much faster when the ride is exhilerating and it takes concentration on the helm. It was too much wind with my old sails, which were a bit too bagged out even well-reefed down. These are things you learn about your boat, and your crew, as you go places and - occasionally - get caught out by the weather or the situation.

(incidentally, my experience with babies on board is the kid will do just fine, but the parents will not. Sometimes you have to leave the kid to cry while you deal with [fill in emergency here], and that's harder.)
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