How much wind should a beginner sail in?


New Member
I'm about to pick up my first Sunfish this weekend (possibly from someone on this message board) and I'm going out tomorrow afternoon on a friend's boat. I was wondering if you guys had any advice about how much wind is too much for a beginner. I started sailing big boats last year but have never been on something this small. I don't mind being tossed in the drink but I don't want to be in a situation where the boat is constantly tipping over; that doesn't sound like too much fun. Oh, I'll be in the Long Island Sound, FYI. Thanks for the help!


5 - 12 mph is a good "training wind" for the Sunfish. Under 5 mph is hard to sail in
but capsizing usually doesn't occur in the Sunfish until the wind gets into the middle teens. Good luck.

Alan Glos
I agree with Alan as to the wind.I would also suggest that you practice being capsized, getting righted and back on board a few times, in differing winds strengths, in a protected area near shore. If you live on Long Island, a place like Northport Harbor, Cold Spring Harbor on the North Shore or Little Peconic Bay near the east side of Robin's Island. If you are in Conneticut, I can't help you there. Northport Harbor and Peconic Bay are large enough to get up plenty of speed to have fun in. The Sound can be a bit intimidating at first, especialy out east. Do not forget your life jacket and other gear.
Thanks for the info! I'll be sure to go out in winds of less than 10 MPH and I'll practice tipping and righting in Larchmont harbor. I'll let you know how it goes.