When do you refuse to sail?

Nostrodamus

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I have to admit to being a fair weather sailor when at all possible.
As a live aboard with my family I have to think about them as well.
The forecast for today is of high winds so I shall stay nice and snug, batten down the hatches, put the kettle on and do some repairs, read the forums or generally find something to do.
There are those who enjoy sailing in high winds and find it exhilarating but at what point does the fun stop and it becomes dangerous?
At what point do you decide not to go out or if you are out when do you decide to head for that bolt hole?
 

snowleopard

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When setting out I normally set a limit of 4 ahead, 6 behind. Once we're out there of course we take what comes.

We are waiting for a gap in the depressions that are hitting those further north with a view to getting south of Ushant where the isobars are a lot further apart. I'm glad we aren't planning to head up the Irish Sea at the moment.
 

jordanbasset

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We, also Liveaboards, take a similar line to you. There is no hurry, we can wait for a good forecast before we go out. Although not so much because it is dangerous (unless very strong winds) more to do with comfort and enjoying the experience. That said we have got caught out on longer passages but not too often now.
The boat is our home and as such it does not matter if we spend a few more days in one place or another.
 

Sybarite

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I have to admit to being a fair weather sailor when at all possible.
As a live aboard with my family I have to think about them as well.
The forecast for today is of high winds so I shall stay nice and snug, batten down the hatches, put the kettle on and do some repairs, read the forums or generally find something to do.
There are those who enjoy sailing in high winds and find it exhilarating but at what point does the fun stop and it becomes dangerous?
At what point do you decide not to go out or if you are out when do you decide to head for that bolt hole?

It depends on the stretch of water. I have been out in F8 but in the lee of an island. We tucked our nose round the corner into open waters just to see if the boat could continue to sail to windward - it did. On the particular occasion I have in mind in November we were moored in Port Tudy harbour on Groix with the dinghy tied alongside. In the morning it was in the cockpit. A squall on the way back tore the metal hanks on the storm jib.

However while it's a thrill to some it's terrifying to others and so I never willingly try this when the latter are with me. Sailing should be enjoyed by all.
 

shaunksb

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Sailing should be enjoyed by all.

Absolutely.

You tend to be a bit more acceptable to higher wind strenghts when on longer trips and you are aiming to get "somewhere". Which can often take the fun out of a summer cruise and turn it into a delivery trip.


.
 

Rick_A

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I have rounded the mull, with a forecast of f1 on a glorious summers day with no wind at all. Come 9pm it was f6 and come 11pm it was F7-8. Got to craighouse at 2.30am completng our 23 hour trip, after looking at waves breaking above my head by about 10 feet while i was standing at the helm and went in behind the rock at the entrance and just dumped the anchor and went to bed hoping. Not an experience i wish to repeat, especially in the dark but the boat easily handled it.
The worst part was trying to turn the boat into the wind to get the main down and stand tied to the mast while pulling it down.
The weather still doesnt bother me, and with a strong wind forecast it wouldn't put me off.
The boat will handle more than i would put up with.
I love sailing and will do it whenever i can. I've got waterproofs to keep me warm and dry.
 
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Bav34

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According to you only 10% of boats ever go out regardless of the weather ... quote:

Having lived aboard for a while in a Marina it is noticeable that only about 10% of the boats actually go out sailing.

Or was that just modern boats? You lost me.

So I guess the answer to your question is ''most of the time''.
 

crisjones

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We are sat in Holyhead and Port Control are reporting wind speeds of 38knts gusting 49knts on the VHF - we are definitely not going out in that!!!

We are also trying to head South towards the Isles of Scilly and then on to France, Spain and Portugal, but we liveaboard so we can wait for the weather to improve - looks a bit more promising towards the end of the week. Trouble is the forecasts are changing so much it is impossible to predict anything, Saturdays forecast was predicting W & NW & N winds for tues onwards, todays forecast predicts mainly S & SW for the rest of the week!!!!

Definitely looking forward to getting towards Brittany and hopefully some more settled and warmer weather.
 

GrahamM376

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There are those who enjoy sailing in high winds and find it exhilarating but at what point does the fun stop and it becomes dangerous?
At what point do you decide not to go out or if you are out when do you decide to head for that bolt hole?

As SWMBO says, "we don't do rain any longer" which isn't a problem here. Joking apart, your question is hard to answer as it depends on local conditions. I would rather be off the Algarve in an 8 than off Anglesey with a 5 or 6 against a spring tide - been there, done that, lots of times. When we were holiday sailing, I always had the attitude that we could train or ferry home if necessary but now living aboard most of the time, we just wait until we're happy with forecast.
 

Sgeir

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It's not the wind, imho, but the sea state that is the greater problem. Forecasts and actual wind strengths of 5-7 are quite common in our area, and manageable under sail; sea state is definitely the deciding factor for us.
 
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LadyInBed

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When setting out I normally set a limit of 4 ahead, 6 behind. Once we're out there of course we take what comes.

That is also my norm, but I do push up the 4 ahead to the high fives if I am going off the wind and not having to beat through it, as I have the advantage (IMO) of being able to sail without a main, using a high cut Yankee and mizzen.
 

Skylark

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We are sat in Holyhead and Port Control are reporting wind speeds of 38knts gusting 49knts on the VHF - we are definitely not going out in that!!!

We are also trying to head South towards the Isles of Scilly and then on to France, Spain and Portugal, but we liveaboard so we can wait for the weather to improve - looks a bit more promising towards the end of the week. Trouble is the forecasts are changing so much it is impossible to predict anything, Saturdays forecast was predicting W & NW & N winds for tues onwards, todays forecast predicts mainly S & SW for the rest of the week!!!!

Definitely looking forward to getting towards Brittany and hopefully some more settled and warmer weather.

Hi Chris & Sue,

The weekend looked quite lively, according to xxweather. A good test for the new bimini?

We haven't been to the marina for 3 weeks now, I hope AJ is still attached to her pontoon! Let's hope for better weather this coming weekend.

Hope you have a great summer, fairs winds.

Dave
 

snowleopard

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That is also my norm, but I do push up the 4 ahead to the high fives if I am going off the wind and not having to beat through it, as I have the advantage (IMO) of being able to sail without a main, using a high cut Yankee and mizzen.

Yes, 5 when reaching and I'd push it to 7 downwind as we don't have broaching problems because of our configuration.
 

Seajet

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Obviously 'it all depends', but I've found we gain experience anyway, like it or not, so best not to go looking for trouble; sailing is supposed to be fun, not an endurance test.

On census forms etc, when asked 'Religion ?' I put " Is that above or below F7 ?! "...
 
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