Posted by: Wayne | April 20, 2014

Too much of a good thing, follow up

Just a little follow up on the last post.  No new adventures, just the other perspective.  Sorry for the delay, but Holy Week and Easter tend to wreck havoc on free time and energy.

We were sailing at Portage Lakes, OH. The map below should give a clue (shamelessly borrowed from Google Maps).


Click to embiggen

We launched from the ramp at the top left of the image.  The wind was from the SW to SSW (North is up in the picture).  Launch was uneventful (other than the nuttiness due to the lack of cleats).  Things got a bit exciting going through the more open area at the top center of the image.  It was only when we cleared the point into Turkeyfoot Lake that things went rodeo.

The boat was REALLY moving under a reefed main.  I was having to dump sail and head up as soon as a gust would hit.  After two or three gusts, we headed up, sheeted the mizzen tight, furled the jib, and dropped the main completely.

The boat was a bit more controllable under just jib and mizzen.  Maria made the comment about shades of Sandusky.  At Sandusky the wind was blowing, but certainly controllable under jib and mizzen (honestly, I should have been running a reefed main more than I did at Sandusky).  The chop was worse at Sandusky.

This time out, the boat felt definitely overpowered under just jib and mizzen.  About two gusts after dropping the main, I looked at Maria and said we were going back.  She didn’t argue.

Fortunately, heading back was a broad reach under jib and jigger (no issues with pointing ability without the main).  Once we again cleared the point, the wind became more manageable and we continued toward the ramp at a bit lower pace.

As we got close to the ramp, we ended up heading almost directly into the wind.  Combined with the narrow channel, we furled the jib, sheeted the mizzen tight, and broke out the paddles.  The boat made a pretty good pace to windward, but it was a real workout.  Docking, loading on the trailer, and de-rigging were uneventful once we remembered to pull the centerboard up at the dock.  Otherwise, the boat will drift forwards until it touches, then it simply won’t go back for love or money.

All told, sobering and a good lesson, but no injuries or damage.  Ironically, considering the weather, we never dipped a rail.  I wasn’t willing to let the boat go that far given the conditions.


  1. sounds like a good learning curve Wayne
    arwens meanderings

    • It was a good learning experience. Thankfully the learning came without injury or damage.

      I would not recommend Navigator when gusts are much over 20 knots.


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