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Old 21-08-2016, 17:16   #46
Don C L's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Channel Islands, CA
Boat: 1962 Columbia 29 MK 1 #37
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Re: What's Safe Sailing Wind Speeds for 26ft Full Keel Boat

The Etap 30 is not that light. I suspect your measurement of wind speed was in error. With the main pulled in tight and a genoa (jib) up you might be heeled over quite a bit in 15 knots, but not really out of control. It might FEEL that way though perhaps. Do you have the shoal draft version? That will likely be more tender.
1962 Columbia 29 MKI #37
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Old 29-06-2017, 15:06   #47
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Re: What's Safe Sailing Wind Speeds for 26ft Full Keel Boat

I just crossed Lake Michigan in April with 20 knot winds coming in a close reach for about 5 hours after midnight. We had the full main and a 150 genoa up all day and reefed the genny to about 50% when the wind topped 15 kts.

I have a Cal 27 and she handled it all incredibly well. We were at hull speed dragging our dingy and hitting 5-6 foot waves with an occasional 8 footer slipping in.

It was pitch black, raining off and on and with fits of fog every now and then. I would have been frightened, but I could feel the stiffness of the boat as the wind rose. She heeled and stopped firmly.

We then took her our in 20+ knots with only the genny. She handled it fine as well. The waves were much larger then because the wind was coming from the Northeast.

The most important point to know is what direction is the wind coming from and what direction do you need to sail to. I would not have a problem with close or broad reach in those winds. But I don't think I would choose to slug it upwind in 20-30 knots. Sailing downwind can also be challenging if your rudder has a tendency to come out of the water at a crest. The waves will be passing you mostly, with an occasional surfing contest that will happen.

The other aspect is to know your equipment and make sure it's set up properly beforehand. You don't want to have set up your reefing or fairleads in the middle of the channel.
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