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Old 08-06-2015, 08:42   #1
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Location: North Georgia
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How little wind?

I'm taking sailing lessons next week (on a lake - not open water), and I am curious about how little wind is needed to move the boat.

Winds on Lake Lanier (north Georgia) have been mild - to say the least - so far this month. For instance, the predicted high this week is only about 7 knots. I will be learning on a Catalina 27

So -- will I be sailing or motoring?
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Old 08-06-2015, 08:44   #2
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Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore"
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Re: How little wind?

sailing slowly.
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
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Old 08-06-2015, 08:53   #3
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Re: How little wind?

7 knots is plenty. You will learn more in light wins too. 3 knots and you will be motoring.
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Old 08-06-2015, 10:20   #4
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Re: How little wind?

Around here we get lots of 7 to 10kt winds. You'll learn fine with that, and it's safer too (i.e. an unintended gybe in light are isn't nearly as ferocious as one when it's blowin)

It'll be a tad bit slow, like 3-4 kts of boat speed.
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Old 08-06-2015, 10:30   #5
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Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
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Re: How little wind?

It's a GREAT way to learn. Many of us note that sailing in low wind is much more challenging.
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
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Old 08-06-2015, 10:44   #6
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Location: Nicholasville, Kentucky
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Re: How little wind?

Sailing with just light ripples on the water is a real challenge. You really get to know how to adjust sails properly to get every bit of light wind power from them. It is most exasperating in a race but is a very good learning experience and can be boring.

That's a good boat for your lessons. I kind of like them.
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Old 08-06-2015, 11:42   #7
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Location: Austin TX
Boat: West Wight Potter 19
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Re: How little wind?

If you have a schedule, light winds are a problem. Without one its a time to sit back and relax. My Potter moves in very little wind albeit slowly.
Frimi Captain
Tom Bodine
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