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Old 30-06-2011, 19:05   #1
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What's Safe Sailing Wind Speeds for 26ft Full Keel Boat

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
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Old 30-06-2011, 19:33   #2
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Re: What's safe sailing wind speeds for 26ft full keel boat

Been up there in a 30 footer before. Which way are you going? Southeast? Northeast? As I remember usually the wind comes up the straight from the southwest or so this time of year...? I would reef early at maybe 15-20 knots and carry a small jib. A storm sail wont give you much control and may give a lot of weather helm with the main up. Whether you are generally going with the wind or on a close reach will make a huge difference in your trip, especially with limited experience. I wouldnt go with predictions of 20kmph unless you are experienced and know your boat well. Know your landfall too! Have the GPS coordintes etc worked out ahead of time.... nothing like entering a small inlet surfing on 8 foot seas if you're not sure of yourself!! Bottom line is all of the above is general and your boat is specific!
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Old 30-06-2011, 20:13   #3
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Re: What's safe sailing wind speeds for 26ft full keel boat

If you have only been out in roughly 10 kt winds on your boat, I can almost guarantee you that 20-30 kt will be a nightmare. When you double the wind speed you quadruple the force of the wind. It's not that your boat can't handle it but you won't. The fact that you're asking this question and in 10-15 kt you were reduced to just a storm jib says a lot.

I remember being there. Ten knots was great, then 15 was pretty decent but when it hit 20 or 30 it was terrifying. Now, 20 is a good day and 30 is inconvenient. Take your time and get used to your boat in different wind conditions. Learning to reef and hove to is also good practice. Because you wrote your message, I'm assuming it has you worried. You're boat's displacement is a bit less than 6,000 lbs. My first boat's displacement was around 11,000 lbs. and my experience was that it would handle 20 kt with a reefed main and a working jib quite nicely but personal experience is that if you take a light displacement boat such as yours out in anything over 20 knots, it will beat you to death. There will be many hardened old salts here to say otherwise, but I'd stay in port with that forecast. If only because the conditions are usually worse than forecast.

Regards from timid Rich
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Old 30-06-2011, 20:19   #4
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Re: What's safe sailing wind speeds for 26ft full keel boat

A friend of mine and his now wife, had to ride out a hurricane off the coast of Florida in a Venture 25, (with only a centerboard) for three days. They came out a little beat up and exhausted but alive and more experienced. They now have a Norsea 27 (full keel) and won't go out in over 20k if they can help it. I guess you stick to your comfort level when you can, but you can live through much more, and safely as long as you are equipped for it and have the mental attitude and skill to take it on.
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Old 30-06-2011, 20:23   #5
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Re: What's safe sailing wind speeds for 26ft full keel boat

Double reef the main, working jib, if necessary let the main luff a tiny bit (fisherman's reef), head up in the puffs and off in the lulls.
I sailed my Cape Dory 25 and my Alberg 30 this way for years. Dipped the winch bases on a regular basis (my freeboard was low, don't know the Grampian).
Believe me, if it's a full keel boat, she'll round up before you can really get in trouble. And if you have a tiller, it's better than lifting weights at the gym for your arms. It's nice when all the other chickens are ashore. You don't have to worry about running into anyone.
ps: I started with the Working jib so I didn't have to change. 1st reef at 15 knots sustained, 2nd reef at 20-25 knots, traveler down all the way, and one hand on the tiller, the other on the mainsheet ready to pop it if she rounded up too hard. (this is all on a beat of course. Off wind things are different and easier as long as there is no chance of gybing.)



pps: Yahoooo......
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Old 30-06-2011, 20:26   #6
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Re: What's safe sailing wind speeds for 26ft full keel boat

As I recall most boats are designed to sail in 15 kt wind with 135 % genoa and full main. Just a rule of thumb. As the wind starts to overpower, reduce sail.

I have come up the coast (Oregon to the San Juans) in a Cal 2-29 in 45 kt winds and 18' seas. We were going with it (wind and wave) and had a great time. My crew thought we were going to die.

It would have been a different story if we were trying to go against it.

You might start out against the wind and when that becomes too much head home downwind. A broad reach can be quite comfy in strong winds.

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Old 30-06-2011, 21:00   #7
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Re: What's safe sailing wind speeds for 26ft full keel boat

reef early, whenye first think of it, sail fast, have fun--hang on!!!!
my first high winds sail was a bit insane--was a gas, was 0300 in a lightning storm in the gulf of mexico. we were sailing at 10+kts in a 71 kt wind inside the storm, reefed main and jib, sloop. ye dont feel the speed of the wind in the cockpit--- ye can hear it in the rig, and feeel it in the helm and shrouds singing.
in my formosa north of cabo we got 60 kt winds under reefed jib n reefed mizzensail--- we clocked 8+ kts( reallly fast for a formosa 41 under shortened sail). fun sailing. i had opted out of raising the main for this leg--i knew the winds came up fast and smartly--preventer for mizzen boom took out a length of decorative cap before we relocated it to the hawse holes in stern....was a great fun sail. as soon as we left cabo san lucas fuel dock, the winds diminished to nothing before we were out of the harbor to cross the sea of cortez, and had to motor the entire distance across on glassy seas. went from 60 to zero in less than an hour after over 12 hours of fast.
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Old 30-06-2011, 21:05   #8
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Re: What's safe sailing wind speeds for 26ft full keel boat

I use to sail my Catalina 27 (6500lb displacement) regularly in 20 knots , but in a protected bay (Mobile Bay) with lots of room to manuever. While the chop was considerable she handled it well with a reefed furling geneo and one reef in the main. Not that I headed out with a forecast for 20 knots but invaraibly I would go out with the forecast for 15 knots and the sustained would build to 20 knots with greater gusts. If the preditictions are for possibly 30 knots, I would count on it, and sit it out, especially since it appears you will be sailing in a more confining area. As Cheechako mentioned, the increase force of the wind is exponential to the wind speed.
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Old 30-06-2011, 21:18   #9
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Re: What's safe sailing wind speeds for 26ft full keel boat

first time i was in high winds in a 25 ft boat was scary--- i thought we were gonna knock down--- didnt quite-- but also scared the owner--- was quite a gust from isthmus, catalina blew onto us at birdsh** rock. was exciting-- dont know the speed of the wind that day. we got laid hard over but not knocked down--- water coming into ports of her coronado 25-- she was in head and all she could see out port opposite her was water......we werent reefed. would scare wife and kids if you have those accompanying ye-- might be good to avoid this -- coast of kali can get 20 kts easy in afternoon. knowing the patterns and directions normally followed in your sailing area makes it a lot easier to know if is safe or not for you and your situation.
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:10   #10
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Re: What's safe sailing wind speeds for 26ft full keel boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by canadianllama View Post
the wind is supposed to be up to 20 and possible 30 nm/h
I always add to forecast wind speeds. They are forecast usually as sustrained wind speeds, not for the maximum gusts you will encounter. So 30 knots forecast will definitly give you gusts of 35 knots and maybe 40.

For GRIB files I always add 5 to 10 knots wind speed on, and then calculate for maximum gusts.

I would NEVER go out in a forcast 30 knot wind. The bar at the yacht club is much nicer than breaking equipment on your boat and scaring the wife...
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:12   #11
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Re: What's safe sailing wind speeds for 26ft full keel boat

That depends on your skills of sailing. I rounded Point Conception in 50 knots of wind in a 30ftr single-handed. The boat was in complete control. Going down the face of waves was like riding the elevator down in the Chicago Tower building...........i2f
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:18   #12
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Re: What's safe sailing wind speeds for 26ft full keel boat

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That depends on your skills of sailing. I rounded Point Conception in 50 knots of wind in a 30ftr single-handed.
Yes but you did not leave port in 50 knots.

Nor was 50 knots forecast.


So lets not start telling the original poster that we encountered it so he should search for it.

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Old 01-07-2011, 06:56   #13
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Re: What's safe sailing wind speeds for 26ft full keel boat

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Yes but you did not leave port in 50 knots.

Nor was 50 knots forecast.


So lets not start telling the original poster that we encountered it so he should search for it.

I am not suggesting he look for it at all. I am suggesting the boat is very capable of very much wind if you have the skills...........i2f
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Old 01-07-2011, 07:19   #14
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Re: What's safe sailing wind speeds for 26ft full keel boat

is the skills that save ye---had i not been sailing in gulf of mexico in big winds and lightning srorms for a year ida been a bit concerned regarding the 60kts i found in pacific off cabo san lucas---being ready for em helps a lot--i was reefed BEFORE we encountered them----prolly saved us from a good knock down--was intense--- but a lot of fun.... be safe and try not to get into anything over yer head without reefing first, if you can, and sail with weather eye open-- there ARE ways to see the building winds and seas as you sail--- please learn those in your area so you become comfortable with that.
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Old 01-07-2011, 07:25   #15
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Re: What's safe sailing wind speeds for 26ft full keel boat

Quote:
I would NEVER go out in a forecast 30 knot wind. The bar at the yacht club is much nicer than breaking equipment on your boat and scaring the wife.
You get enough big wind in times not predicted that you get your fill of big air without going in it on purpose. I find 25 knots comfortable and 30 if it builds isn't bad. Around here sustained winds over 25 make steep chop. Once the chop is close to 6 ft it's like wrestling alligators and I wouldn't do that on purpose and would try to avoid it. 3 hours fighting that stuff would count as the hardest as I ever worked doing anything. On flat water 25 knots is a whole lot of fun!

Managing the extra wind force is something you need top ease into and learn to handle. The larger forces call for a totally different dicipline.
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