The greatest winds we have experienced on PERIGEE have been 35 knots sustained, gusting 42, estimated 6 meter seas, all on the beam. Even with fully reefed sails, it was a strong ride, but not uncomfortable. It never got to the stage of thinking to go to bare poles.
But it did raise the question about how, and when, to slow down.
We carry some old 5/8ths hauling line with about 3 meters of chain, plus an old tyre, to add drag if needed. And a Jordan Series Drogue for if things get really tough.
I have heard suggestions from other cruisers to run out line with fenders attached every 10 or so meters, with chain or an anchor at the end. For example, at 35kts, drop the chain/anchor overboard and run out 10-15 meters of line, then attach a fender, and then run out another 10-15 metes of line. At 40knots, add another fender, and run out some more line. At 45knots, heave-to. I do not wish to be cavalier, but these wind-speeds seem a little low for a Super Maramu as, based on my experience, our boats can handle these conditions with relish.
What are your reefing points, heavy weather plans or storm tactics? I'd be interested to hear from those with experience. And also, at what wind-speed or sea-state would you call for the JSD, or other big-drag-device?
Thanks in anticipation of your responses.