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Old 13-07-2007, 14:17   #1
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Beaufort Sail Configuration

I know there is no one way to do anything but generally speaking what sail configuration would you, or most prudent sailors, carry in these varying wind conditions if you were aboard a 30-40 ft. medium displacement sloop? For the sake of argument let's say you are reaching. I know this is a very general question but humor me.

force knots
0- 0-1 Calm

1- 1-3 Light air

2- 4-6 Light Breeze

3- 7-10 Gentle Breeze

4- 11-16 Moderate Breeze

5- 17-21 Fresh Breeze

6- 22-27 Strong Breeze

8- 34-40 Gale

9- 41-47 Severe Gale

10- 48-55 Storm

11- 56-63 Violent Storm

12- 64-71 Hurricane

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Old 13-07-2007, 15:13   #2
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0- 0-1 Calm - Two battery Operated Fans

1- 1-3 Light air Full Genny, main, A-Sym kite, trousers

2- 4-6 Light Breeze All of Force 1 w/o trousers

3- 7-10 Gentle Breeze Same as 2

4- 11-16 Moderate Breeze Same as 2

5- 17-21 Fresh Breeze Kite down - maybe furl genny a bit

6- 22-27 Strong Breeze Reefed main and genny

8- 34-40 Gale No jib - Tri in place of the main

9- 41-47 Severe Gale Tri and looking for the drogue - all other canvas HAS to be down (dodger etc.)

10- 48-55 Storm Tri & drogue

11- 56-63 Violent Storm Same as 10 and a diaper

12- 64-71 Hurricane Same as 10 and a diaper and abandon ship bag and my insurance papers and

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Old 14-07-2007, 03:52   #3
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Traditionally the strength of the wind and the state of the sea is measured by the
Beaufort Wind Scale.

When a group of sub aqua divers arrange a weekend away, there's inevitably a storm and they have to shelter in the pub.

On just such a weekend, they re-wrote the Beaufort Scale, thus:

Pints ~ Description ~ Criterion

0 ~ Stone Cold Sober ~ Able to stand unaided, everything in focus, smoke rises vertically, drinks only bought when cajoled, sensible conversation abounds.

1 ~ Feeling Warm ~ Very slight deviation from course, but no stumbling, dive organised for next Sunday, voices kept low to exclude non favourites.

2 ~ Slight Inebriation ~ Some incoherence, eyes have glassy appearance, occasional slur. Past dives discussed, some exaggeration, depths marginally increased, boat speed more or less accurate.

3 ~ Gentle Glow ~ Barmaid becoming more attractive, some bantering, drink bought for stranger. Depths always exaggerated, times doubled, enjoyment factor of last expedition doubled. Boat speed increasing noticeably. Decompression times lengthening. Water becoming warmer/colder/darker/clearer.

4 ~ Moderate Inebriation ~ Pronounced slurring, voices increase in volume, some bad jokes re-told, offers of drinks to entire group. Last near miss made to sound as if planned, all wrecks now 20 metres deeper and visibility greatly increased/decreased. Much talk of portholes, some skepticism.

5 ~ Well On ~ Speech becomes incoherent, some foaming, barmaid appears drop dead gorgeous, more pints ordered (Chance of some spray) Speed of boat in knots over-estimated by factor of two. Some slight references to curry/kebab/chinky/pizza.

6 ~ Half Newt ~ Tables move, pattern on carpet becomes fuzzy, jokes get worse, (Probably some spray). Boat now unbeatable, weather last time out worst/best in living memory, depths and times now increase by a factor of four. Renowned club member now takes two hours to kit up while buddies hang on shot line waiting for him. Some kit may be purchased at inflated prices.
6.5 ~ Full Newt ~ Whole pub in motion, next dive planned - Death Rock. Deposits taken, and used for next round. Some mention of "curry and chinky" many bags of nuts and crisps purchased. Barmaid is Pamela Anderson (and she wants you!). Conger/Lobster is so large it moves the wreck when swimming, hence wreck is never in the same place twice. (Or sat-nav is useless due to US military screwing up the signal). Inconvenience may be felt when walking to the loo.

8 ~ Semi smashed ~ Immediate trip to Scapa Flow organised, some glass breaking, insults are extensive. Beer is spread over adjoining tables, new round ordered, kitty is increased. Immediate trip to Titanic is on the cards. More talk of curry/kebabs. Tackle may be placed on the pool table. Locals warned about the dangers of decompression. Boat now capable of 60 knots even with plug lead shorting onto engine casing. Boat keys lost, progress generally impeded.

9 ~ Near Smashed ~ Table dancing is commenced, some structural damage, some falling. Bones may break, injuries may go unnoticed, friends may refuse to acknowledge that assistance is required. Broken colleague is returned to chalet, dumped on bunk and covered with wet-suit for comfort. All return to pub, (chimney pots and slates removed).

10 ~ Smashed ~ Seldom experienced before collapse, dives organised to Red Sea and Scapa Flow for the same week, equipment lent to club pratt, offers of marriage to barmaid/barman. Boat now quicker than "Bluebird", last dive - 60 metres, sitting on the coning tower for 45 minutes, three hours decompression required. Some moans from chalet, severe swelling may be evident, all cries are ignored. Some spray, much foam. Ornamental trees may be uprooted.

11 ~ Nitroxed ~ 60 metre dive to some wreck not far away organised , more deposits taken, new round ordered, many full glasses may be seen, bodies falling everywhere, medical treatment required, no pain felt, more crisps and nuts ordered, cries for curry/chinky and popadoms get louder. Much whiskey of unpronounceable name ordered, smoke fills the room, everything blurred. Small and medium sized divers may become lost for a time. Visibility affected.

12 ~ Out of Skull ~ Communications impossible, speech becomes lost in profanities, old grudges surface, past dives recalled in detail, all measurements quadrupled, boat now faster than Exocet, even with twelve divers and two tanks each. The air is filled with foam and spray, smoke is thick, ashtrays are full.

There may be a short lull--

Trips are cancelled, deposits demanded back, organiser is accused of fraud, diving sucks, all equipment for sale, golf clubs bought from fat bloke at bar. Wife arrives with car, followed by total amnesia and coma.

The above is a guide, intended to show roughly what may be expected in a bar, near to the sea, on a dive expedition, or when a group of divers gather. Further from the sea, or near enclosed water time scales may be shorter and the exaggerations larger.

Please note: The scale above 8 is very rarely experienced, due to the gulf stream and lack of funds, however, when the phrase "the kitty covers everything" is heard, it can be assumed that force 12 will be reached and maintained for the duration of the expedition.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 14-07-2007, 10:46   #4
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Another great one Gord.

But shouldn't this one be in the "scuba diving" thead.
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Old 14-07-2007, 12:26   #5
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Aloha unbusted,
The reason I like Royce's "Sailing Illustrated" is because in a little book it covers so much information. On page 15 of the sixthe edition it shows sail configuration on various points of sail on sloops to 25plus knots of wind. That gets you up to about Force 8 which shows a tri sail and storm jib. After that you take down the jib then main then bare poles.
Kind Regards,
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Old 19-07-2007, 12:19   #6
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Where is force 7?
Don't you have it in Martha's vineyard?


web site
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Old 22-07-2007, 18:31   #7
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No force 7 on the Vineyard. There wasn't enough room for it with all the tourists and summer people.
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Old 22-07-2007, 21:19   #8
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Displacement alone doesn't tell you much. Sail area to displacement will give you a little better idea at to how early to reduce sail, but even then, do you have a high ballast to displacement ratio, is your boat wide, depending on form stability? I have to reduce sail area in about 15 knots true, I know people with medium cruisers that don't have to reduce sail until 20-25 knots true. What is your sail plan? Books generally say reduce the sail with the big area first. I have friends that have gotten great deals on old IOR boats. They have miniscule mains, reefing the main has little effect until you're down to a small jib. There are cruisers with fractional rigs with headsails with little or no overlap. Changing down the jib first in this case is not very useful. I have a Cal 40, it has a 17 foot boom. Even with that long a boom the working jib to main area ratio is about 50%. I have a 150% roller furler jib, but I typically start with a reef in the main, but that is mostly due to the fact that I hate the way a roller reefed jib looks sailing upwind. The boat sails fine that way, but if I'm expecting the wind to continue to increase I would probably change down to a #3 jib first since I don't want to be fighting getting down a big jib in a blow and a #3 is going to have a much better shape with 2 or 3 rolls in it than a 150% with many rolls. One of my thoughts is to add a removable solent stay so I can just roll the big genny up and hank on a blade or storm jib as needed.


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