Sailing with strong winds

If we are considering to go sailing under strong  wind navigation, the main subject is our integrity and security.
In Spain it is said: It is better to he at the port wishing to go sailing, that to be sailing wishing to be at the port.
Check the forecast, and if the gusts of wind are supposed to be raising, just take a break and stay at the dock, it might be a good day for fixing and repairing.
But if the weather conditions are nice and wind is tolerable, we might take some considerations that will make our sailing day more comfortable (as possible as it can be).

On a sail boat, the first action would be to reduce the amount of sail surface is facing the wind. We might decrease the main sail, the genoa (if it is rollable), we can use a small storm sail and navigate with the least amount of sail.
If you have to go to the bow for maneuver, anchor yourself to the safety line of the boat.
It is very important to anticipate to the gusts. A good trick is: If you are starting to consider to reduce sail, it is kind of late already to do it. So do it now! It is always easier to raise a sail that to do the opposite.

If sailing on a motor boat, or we choose to use our marine engine, there are a couple of things to consider:
We are going to be facing waves produced from the wind, and this will make our boat to heel. All the boat, even the engine! Diesel marine engine have a maximum operation angle. This angle is provided to you by the manufacturer. If you heel further from that, you might have lubricant failure.
The boat hull is also confronting the wind, so we really need to take on consideration how are we going to deal with it and how it will be affecting us. Specially on mooring maneuvers.
We will achieve a better marine engine function if we adjust the revolutions at the maximum torque. That does not meat maximum power.
For example for our diesel marine engine Mini44 it is about 2000rpm.
From each one of our engines you can download a pdf with the specifications.

There are many other variables that you have to consider, such as:

– Confirm all your navigation systems work properly (radio, radar…)

– Strow the inside objects properly and close all the doors. (Consider strong heels and the capsizing possibility, floor will be the roof and the tool box my end up flying and hurt someone)

– Wear proper clothes to stay warm and dry.

– Check all the safety items (life line, life jackets, lantern…)

– Revisar todos los elementos de seguridad (línea de vida, arneses…)

– Close all the portholes, hatchways…

– Check the easy access to the emergency anchor and the tool to cut the rigging.

– And of course, check the weather forecast. Don’t go sailing if you are at the port and is supposed to go worst.

In which of this situations you have found yourself?
How have you reacted?
Which other elements we have to take in consideration?

This post is also available in: Spanish

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