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How slow can you go?

Winston29

Active Member
I'm just curious what the least amount of wind you've been able to successfully sail your Capri 14.2 in has been?
What I mean is, enough wind that it didn't just come to a stop in the water and you were able to tack.

When I first got my Mod2, I read that the boat wasn't intended for anything above 10mph, or at least that was the "sweet spot" for the design: A boat that is often described as "over-canvassed" or overpowered.

Stupidly, yes, very stupidly, I took this as gospel and avoided sailing in anything even approaching double digit wind speeds, at least until I got more time in the boat.
Unfortunately, given the wind in summer where I sail is routinely 10 - 15 - 25mph, and often higher than that, this plan only served to rob me of valuable and fun time on the water, and now it's winter and there's no wind at all.

Well, there's a little bit of wind (today's forecast is 0mph with gusts to 2mph), which is why I'm asking how little wind you can sail one of these things in and keep moving.

At the very end of last summer, I managed to get out on two occasions: Once with my brother in 10mph winds, and once solo in 10-13mph.. Both times I felt very comfortable and never came close to a capsize.

Now I'm jonesing for 10+mph days, but they're long gone and won't return for months, so the boat sits. :(
 

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Winston29

Active Member
It's the off season. Humor me! :D What else is there to do but post about silly things and post pictures of our unused boats??
 

speedyox

New Member
I asked that same question during my first season with the capri and the answer I got was something like, "If there are ripples on the water, you can sail" And that proved to be true. You might end up sitting on a mirror for a few minutes during a lull, but as long as the light puffs come back, you'll be able to maneuver. If the forecast is in the 0-3kt range, I'll walk over to a nearby retention pond and look at the water surface to decide if it's worth hooking up the trailer.
 

Winston29

Active Member
My problem, one of them anyway, is that I can't can't step outside and get a realistic idea of the wind conditions..... and not just because there's no water near where I live.

Where I keep and sail my boat is 25 miles from where I live, in a different city. The only way I have of predicting wind speeds is a crummy and often unreliable smart phone app called WindAlert. It's not bad for telling you what the current wind speed is, but it sucks eggs at predicting future speeds.

I use and compare 2 or 3 apps to get a better idea of what to expect before I drive to the marina. Still, sometimes I get skunked.

In the summer it's not an issue, as the area routinely gets winds much too high for all but the most skilled racers and large keelboats.
During those warmer months, I don't worry about not having enough wind, I worry about having too much.
 

speedyox

New Member
windy.com combines several decent forecast algorithms and lets you put your marker wherever you want. No wind prediction is perfect but if you look at all 5 or so models on windy you can usually trust that the truth will be with one of them.
 

caprintx

Member
I've had mixed results with windy.com here. Sometimes it's dead on, sometimes is crazy wrong. Not sure why.

I've quit relying on it after I had to get a sympathy tow from a ski boat back to the dock due to zero wind conditions recently. Windy had forecasted 8-10 knot sustained winds with gusts to 20 all day long.
 

Winston29

Active Member
Windy.com is giving me wildly different estimated wind speeds than my other apps. So different it's hard to believe it's accurate, given the time of year.
 

Coastal Redneck

Active Member
Use the NOAA weather website, they have marine forecasts for your area, just punch in your zip code or whatever... all the same, sailing in light airs is a valuable skill which you will eventually need. I get your jonesing for 10+ knots of breeze, I like the range between 12-18 knots for fast fun sailing. Been busy at work, dunno if I like the new format or platform at this site, but it makes no difference... I probably won't be spending much time on the web anyway. Y'all be good, and thanks to all who appreciated the tales of my island voyages... I still think of those first few voyages, even though they were made over a quarter-century ago. Where does the time go? Seems like the older you get, the faster it goes by, LOL. :confused:
 

aquaman

Member
With 40 years of on water experiance in the Chicago area (half of those as a sailor) I have a pretty good feel for relating wind forecasts to reality. But the best way to guarantee a good outing regardless of wind speeds is to set up your boat for adaptability for whatever happens that day.
My approach:
1. Reefing points in the main.
2. Oversized brass hanks in the jib with a tag line so you can hoist/lower while underway.
3. Tiller tender and small trolling motor that enables a singlehander to manuever around boat traffic at the ramp and work the sails while underway.
4. Canopy to set over the boom for sun protection while motoring or anchored on hot days.
5. 8 lb mushroom anchor to drop on hot windless days. Also swim ladder so you can jump in to cool off.

Having the above gives options to enjoy the boat for all weather conditions. It takes a fair amount of time and some $$ to set your boat up and learn how to use it but once you have there's no reason to miss a day. I'm a former Catalina 22 owner (6 years with it on Lake Michigan) who just used all the tricks I learned, downsized for my Capri.
With reefed main only I've enjoyed challenging days when the wind is 20-25. As it subsides I'm able to increase sail area accordingly. On light air days I like the slightly overcanvassed setup for ghosting along. And if gets too hot or the wind quits, drop anchor, hang the canopy, and jump in. Then take a nap!

When I 've got time this winter I plan on putting together one complete post showing what I did with a $1200 beat up Mod 1 to change it into something special!
 

Winston29

Active Member
I've been thinking about getting a mushroom anchor, but I'm not sure what weight to get. Was the 8# anchor for the 22 or the 14.2?
My only concern with using an anchor, and I know this sounds lame, is the gruesome mess it will leave in the cockpit when I pull if out of the muddy, silty, slimy bottom where I sail. That mud is surprisingly hard to get off of just about anything it clings on to, but I can see how it might be nice to be able to stay in place, should something break or the wind die, risking the tidal current dragging me out into the bay.

The jib is furling, so no hanks, and I did purchase a "Tiller Clutch" last summer (A great and very helpful addition!)

I had SLO Sail&Canvass install a single set of reefing cringles in the main they made me, but I'm still in the process of installing the required tie-downs and hardware.

It's getting there.
 
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