6 mph wind

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by c0305, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. c0305

    c0305 New Member

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    I am a beginner, only had my sunfish out one time. Weather calling for 6 mph winds tomorrow. Is that suitable for me???

    What window do I need to stay in as for as wind speed??? And how much windspeed is required to even be able to sail?
     
  2. tag

    tag my2fish

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    a while back Wayne posted this wind speed suggestion (here is the post):
     
  3. Edward Teach

    Edward Teach New Member

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    To me 6 knots of wind is a perfect day for sitting in the cockpit with your legs hanging over the side and gently floating along. Although not as exilerating as 12-15knots its an enjoyable experience in itself. No need to worry about capsizing so you can sit back and enjoy the scenery. At low windspeed you still need to be observant of the wind direction to get the most performance from your sail. Have fun you shouldn't have any trouble.

    Edward
     
  4. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    Check with your local yacht club: Winds in certain mountain areas can have 10-knots added to the forecasted wind speed!

    I'll go out in zero knots, just to go find some wind with a thread and a feather! When NOAA weather-radio forecasts light and variable winds, I'm estatic. :)

    Even though the words are "spoken" by a NOAA computer, the words, Light and var-i-a-ble winds are pronounced as though they were poetry.

    It's hard not to eventually find some wind that has "just come up". On a bigger boat, light winds can affect both ends—and either sail differently. :confused: Sunfish "work" great at minimal winds, with just one sail.

    "Legs hanging over", I term "recumbent sailing". On our scenic lake, it's good for me until the wind grows to become about 12-knots—then I must sit, and sailing becomes like work! :mad:

    (But a thoroughly enjoyable work it is!) ;)

    Six knots is a perfectly good wind-speed for a Sunfish. :)
     
  5. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Everybody agrees that 6 mph is just about perfect for a beginner. But please do sit on the deck of the boat and not in the cockpit, so that you will be aware of other boats, swimmers, and most importantly, the wind.

    Sailing in even less wind (0-5 mph) is actually harder because one has to be more sensitive to whatever breeze there might be.

    Please note that there are many threads related to safety, while on the water, on this forum; just use the Search function (in the upper bar) to take a look.

    Good luck!
     
  6. Petrel

    Petrel Member

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    I'm also a beginner as far as the Sunfish goes. If there aren't a lot of trees/penninsulas, you might be able to move along just fine.

    We have a small local large pond and sometimes the weather folks don't get it exact and a bit stiffer wind comes up. A collapsable paddle is a good thing to have handy. Even a 6 mph wind can be fun and you can get used to the boat. I've sailed mine in less than that after the sun sets and the water goes flat. This probably isn't Kosher, but when there is barely a zephir, I DO slump into the cockpit, legs over the deck, eyes alert, and then used my "Just POINT and let the sail 'luff' or do whatever it wants." You'll be surprised at how in that near nothing wind, you can make some slow but steady progress. For me, it's usually toward the launch ramp at that hour (dusk). The only thing that disrupts my course a tad is the waves from PWC or motor boats. Let us know how it goes. Sunfish are, it appears, flexible craft. Have fun.
     
  7. mtseahorse

    mtseahorse New Member

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    How can I gauge wind speeds? I live on a small lake, in a mountainous area - so local weather predictions may be only moderately accurate for my micro-climate. Is there some trick to checking how a flag is catching breeze, or how a ribbon floats in the wind?
     
  8. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    Beaufort Wind Scale - developed in 1805 by Sir Francis Beaufort of England.

    This is a fun set of sketches since it depicts both land and water.


    Click on image for a larger view, Click on the (+) in the upper L of the large image for full size
    [​IMG]

    This is a nice page from NOAA with actual photos of water behavior.


    Small bodies of water develop "white caps" at lower wind speed ... keep this in mind when estimating.


    There are many other scales and variations...

    [​IMG]


    Maybe Santa will put one of these in your stocking...

    [​IMG]


    On-line, the Wildland Fire Weather posts near real-time readings for rural areas, from AWOS/RAWS weather monitors.

    Where's your lake? ... State, County, nearest town.

    .
     
  9. skutzabik

    skutzabik Sails the Bidet

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    Log onto windfinder.com

    If your lake is not in the database, you can contact them and ask to have yours added. They were pretty quick about adding mine and will notify you with a start up date. It is a great tool for planning my chores for no sail days and working my schedule to keep it clear for "hiked out and happy days".:D
     
  10. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    Never Mind ... I see it's listed in your profile. :eek: D'OH

    If you are on one of the city lakes, Lindenmeier, Long, Terry, Warren, etc. the best you are going to find (which isn't bad) is the CSU weather station. You can call up data from both the main campus and the foothills campus monitoring stations.


    If you sail at Boyd Lake, having the airport 1/4 mi away gives you very accurate weather data. All the radio and TV information for the FC/LV region come from this station. If you request a custom WX product like skutzabik suggested, this is also where they will pick up their data from.


    Stay off Horsetooth Res., it's nothing but a 6mi long 1/4 mi wide wind tunnel w/side canyons. Carter is ok, but also being part of the foothills can get very gusty and unpredictable. Carter does have a Sunfish fleet, or did last I sailed it a few years ago. Union in Longmont is great and has lots of sailboats, being a No Wake Lake.


    AWOS stations are all over the place. If you see one near where you sail, you can look up it's data.

    [​IMG]

    No reporting system can give you the idiosyncrasies of your lake..., that comes from experience alone.

    .
     
  11. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    1) I've solved the "awareness-factor" while sailing recumbent within the cockpit, but will have to wait to post the photograph I have of the solution.

    Not that a mechanical aid is the best solution: Even from the deck, I never saw a gal swimming by—as I sailed backwards towards a landing on a (then) windward shore.

    I only heard her splashes as I reached for the dock.

    She may not have detected me, either! :eek:

    2) Check around your computer for any "lake-cams" for your particular lake. The camera should being displaying the lake: if you see only blackness, you may have to wait until dawn! :p

    3) I check NOAA weather by county, then add up to 10-MPH for my general lake area. :rolleyes:

    4) If I see just one leaf moving outdoors, that's good-enough for me to go sailing. :D If everything is moving outside, I find something else to do for the day. :(


    5) I like that Wyoming weather-chain! :) The next best thing would be a "Weather Rock"—hanging by a string ;) :


    If the rock moving, it's windy. If it's wet, it's raining. :cool:


    Sometimes, a "Weather Rock" is far more accurate than NOAA-weather! :D ;)
     
  12. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows" . . . . . .. . . R. Zimmerman



    wait and watch..., it changes
    [​IMG]

    .
     
  13. mtseahorse

    mtseahorse New Member

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    awesome info - - - I can only too easily relate to the WY wind guage - the others will ultimately prove more useful. Am on Warren Lake, and will follow leads you have provided. Have been involved with wildland fire fighting for many years and actually wondered about getting a little spot weather forecasting kit that many firefighters carry -
    Many Thanks for the resources and the help! N
     
  14. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    Being right at the lake, you might want to look into installing a weather station at your home.


    Davis Weather Wizard III
    (there are other makes too, this is simply an example)

    [​IMG]

    Such a station would allow you to build a database of wind trends right at your lake and compare the pattern to regional weather and readings from the other sources.

    Since the Spring Creek flood the city has established its own mini-network of local weather monitors. At one time I thought I recalled wind info as well as rainfall. You might root around the city web and see what else they may have today.

    .
     
  15. ylojelo

    ylojelo Member

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    great site, thanks. I emailed them to see if they can add the lake my boat is on.
     
  16. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    Exactly!

    Now, for my sunblock, camera, sponge, bug-spray and telescoping paddle, why doesn't somebody manufacture a fiberglass drawer that fits snuggly into the Sunfish cubby? :rolleyes:

    ...with a wide "handle"—upon which to rest my back—that accepts a replaceable section of swim-noodle foam? :)
     
  17. mtseahorse

    mtseahorse New Member

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    Many thanks for continuing the info. I sailed on Warren lake early in the summer and moved my boat to Terry Lake in the last month - its a bit bigger and nearer a canyon so seems to catch a bit more wind. Would appreciate hearing secrets to sailing in very low wind speeds.
     
  18. Bill Siler

    Bill Siler Member

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    I sail on a large lake in Idaho, and a very light air day a couple of hundred yards from the lake can be glorious out on the water. 5-10 is good for learning or leisurely sailing. Remember that 10 mph has 4 times the energy as 5. Closer to 10 makes it easier for large people to sail as it is easy to balance the boat without scrunching in the cockpit.
    Have fun.
     
  19. mtseahorse

    mtseahorse New Member

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    thanks. I agree that being out in very light winds is quite enjoyable. Are there any secrets to get as much out of a light breeze as possible?
     
  20. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    Even without any ripples on the surface, a feather and a single 14" strand from an unraveling plastic tarp—hung from the tack of the sail—will get you where you're going. A paper clip tied midway down will keep it away from tangling electrostatically with the boom.

    In buying a big plastic jug of laundry detergent, I may have answered my own question—at least, temporarily. 'Just as soon as it's empty, there'll be a large hole cut out of its side. :cool:

    Any suggestions for a perfect-fitting, but even larger plastic jug?
     
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