Saturday, June 3, 2017

Upwind woes

Question:

Reboot (a 42' Catalina) is an excellent light air boat. That is great most of the time. Rounding Fisher Island into Hervey Bay (near Bundaberg, Australia) I was confronted with 25 knot winds gusting 30 and 2 meter breaking seas. My destination (Bundaberg) was directly up wind. With my jib set at 30% of "J" I was close to theoretical hull speed. My main was on the "fourth reef", that is the furling bag on the boom. I couldn't point high enough to make any real headway. When I tacked the set and drift nullified my progress. I was solo sailing but considered putting up the main to the third reef to point higher. I was very concerned that I'll lose control if I did. Being solo means all sail changes are very slow. Thoughts on how you would handle this situation?

Postscript: Finding myself blown 25 nm north of Bundaberg with wind and wave forecast unchanged for the next three days and low on fuel I boogied to Gladstone. I considered motoring into Bundaberg but could only make about 2 knots SOG. My fuel would have run out long before my arrival.

Post Postscript: I was coming off a long transit. Suggestions to wait for better weather would not be appreciated.

Fair winds and following seas :)

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