Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Slowing down in increasing winds
Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
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I concur with the advice to listen to those who have been there. How and when to slow down. To windward or wind forward of the beam, when you start banging. Not worth it. Hard on the boat. Conditions will change. How to slow down. Reduce sail until the banging stops, even if that is 2 or 3 knots. The SM will cheerfully go to windward leaping from wave to wave at over 8 knots. No sense in that. BANG BANG. The SM will happily sail with a tiny amount of head sail, or any combination of headsail, main and mizzen. If the wind is forward of the beam you need some headsail. Add whatever you like to that. Dont over power. Ie sail heavily laid over. No point, you go slower and it just aint comfortable. Down wind I have found the SM supremely capable. We got our twin head-sails jammed once and could only reef 1/4. Wind got up to over 40 knots. We were going across the top of South America. BIG seas. With only me and Yvonne on board there was no way I was letting anyone forward to try and sort it. We were stuck with it for 24 hours before the wind dropped briefly and we could get up there to sort it. Boat tracked perfectly under auto helm. Peak speed with Yvonne on watch alone at 2 am was 16 knots .I've never gone that fast and I've never forgiven her. I eased the sheets to let the sails spill forward and Ocean Pearl just trucked. Other than dramas like that we have sailed down wind in very strong air. Get rid of the mizzen first, reduce main and headsail progressively. If the wind is rising, get all the main furled early before it gets too hard to put it away. Any sail aft of the keel pushes the boat sideways. The headsail is always easy to furl if you need to and the boat sails well. Dragging stuff to slow down. Never done it and I dont like the thought of slowing the boat and having waves climbing aboard from the stern. The stern is not designed for that and waves breaking into the cockpit from astern does not attract me. We carry a sea anchor but have never used it but would stream it from the bow.When would we deploy it ? . If the boat was not controllable, and we have never got to that point. I know Kimberlite has used the JSD to good effect but it does not appeal to me. Kent, you were lucky you lost the anchor and chain and it didn't just hang there fully deployed. That is a classic way many yachts have been lost.
Reaching, Reduce sail to achieve comfortable angle of heal but I confess to having to go to the galley to hold Yvonne in place in boisterous reaching conditions. ( I do like going fast) A lurch when serving dinner..........oops.Forget plates, use deep bowls and spoons. How fast is a SM. Off shore we often average 200 miles/24 hours if the wind is 20 knots or more.
SM 299 Ocean Pearl