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Can you teach a beginner to sail in 20+ knot winds?

reedhedges

New Member
Anyone else sailing inland/lakes (in the north) usually wait until this time of year to get out with heavier winds?

If you haven't seen this guy's channel he has a bunch about sailing lakes in Wisconsin (I think) including multi day camping on his sunfish, has his own techniques for stowing gear (you can see the paddle in this video), even reefing the sail, here's the latest:
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
I recommend not doing this on a first date...
Fortunately, this lady is quite athletic and not afraid of getting (really) wet.

PS: on a more serious note, I have ambivalent feelings about these videos although I must admit that this guy is doing it his own way.


Frank Sinatra - My Way - YouTube
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
The Sunfish is a very capable boat in the hands of a skilled sailor, who knows the conditions and has the proper gear. Our friend Dozer routinely headed out when the winds were up, wetsuit when needed. Cooler water temps would be the first risk to mitigate, and knowing where winds and current might take you if there was a gear breakdown.

IMG_5073.jpg

The Frostbiters would have a great chest of knowledge, they are navigating ice chunks at time, and also sail with buddies.
 

reedhedges

New Member
I usually wait until August and September to sail my Laser on my local lakes, even then there is only occasionally a day with >10 knots and I only got out a few times this year. Maybe i'll invest in a wet suit. Anyone here ever try a smaller sail on a Sunfish? (I have some if the rig from an old "Skate" boat that is somewhat smaller than a Sunfish, maybe ill look for a good hull)
 

Weston

Well-Known Member
I usually wait until August and September to sail my Laser on my local lakes, even then there is only occasionally a day with >10 knots and I only got out a few times this year. Maybe i'll invest in a wet suit. Anyone here ever try a smaller sail on a Sunfish? (I have some if the rig from an old "Skate" boat that is somewhat smaller than a Sunfish, maybe ill look for a good hull)
I have a Super, a Sunfish and a Minifish. I’m thinking of trying the smaller MiniFish sail on the Sunfish when the winds get up above 25. Will post the results to let you know how that goes.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
I recommend not doing this on a first date...
Fortunately, this lady is quite athletic and not afraid of getting (really) wet.

PS: on a more serious note, I have ambivalent feelings about these videos although I must admit that this guy is doing it his own way.
"Can you teach a beginner in 20-knot winds?"

It's sorta like surfing: I wouldn't pick an 6-foot wave to start on. :eek:

Why risk "distancing" a future sailor (from sailing) by a scary/wet ride? :oops:

Select a beginner's day... :cool:
 

Weston

Well-Known Member
On the other hand, trying to teach someone on a light or flukey day can be very frustrating to them, rather than just getting them set up on a course and having them hold it and get a feel for the boat, and have fun.
Fully agree. I took my sister out on Lake St Clair in conditions similar to this. She loved it and can’t wait to do it again. In contrast, I took a couple of the neighbor’s kids out in 4 to 8 mph winds and they were bored out of their mind.
 

stick

Member
I think it was well proven that you can definitely teach someone in 20+. Yes, it helped that Megan was athletic and had no fear. She was very game to drive, flip, and I can't believe she was walking the bow with a camera in hand on day one. I wish he had a ratchet, and that she was wearing gloves though. Megan should have an easier time in lighter winds and should be able go solo pretty quick. He is a good coach. Fun to watch.
 

Josephfinaz

New Member
Fully agree. I took my sister out on Lake St Clair in conditions similar to this. She loved it and can’t wait to do it again. In contrast, I took a couple of the neighbor’s kids out in 4 to 8 mph winds and they were bored out of their mind.
Westin where do you launch on Lake St Clair? I’m in the shores, looking for next summer. Also looking for trailer recs that don’t require me to build my own
 

Mario_

New Member
I just started sailing this year, and my first trip out was in slow to no winds, and with zero first-hand lessons, other than the videos on YouTube. Vanilla.

Maybe my second time out and I pick a day with 20 to 25 mph wind gusts and I perfected righting the boat and catching bronchitis. Can't wait to see what the wind will do this weekend. If I had instruction and winds like this on my first time out I wouldn't be doing anything else.
 
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