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Best Conditions for first sail with the 170?

Sep 5, 2018
198
Hunter 170 Northfield, NJ
As I get much closer to being able to sail, What kind of wind levels are likely the most forgiving to start sailing?

I finally have a tow vehicle.
Trailer is all good. New bearings, new lights, new covering.
Need to finish up motor mount work, it is warm enough. Need to fill in the holes for gluing the skin down. Need to put anti-skid on deck.
Need to run up the outboard for a while.

If figure practicing stepping and mast and setting the sail a few times in the back yard to get that understood and I will be ready to go.
I hope to be able to have my experienced older neighbor come along for the first few times to provide sage advice.
 
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Jim26m

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Apr 3, 2019
579
Macgregor 26M Mobile AL
Have you ever sailed before? Are you an excellent swimmer? Are you going to go in cold water/weather? If so, will you have appropriate gear on to survive a capsize dunking? Have you reviewed righting procedures for your boat?
5-10 range would probably be a good first sail range. No significant gusting over 10. You need a little wind to move the boat, but you don't want to get over-powered. If you have access to a shallow body of water, just deep enough to allow the boat to sail in, start there. If you can stand on the bottom and walk to shore, that's ideal. If you have never sailed before, I would encourage you to have an experience, and able-bodied, person go with you. If I understand correctly, your boat can capsize, and will not self-right. I would suggest you eliminate the issues associated with capsizing and righting before you raise the sails. If you're not an experienced sailer, take a sailing course, get an experienced buddy, and gear-up for the weather, or wait for warm water/weather.

First trip in the new boat will be a joyful thing if you're prepared. Sounds like you've made a lot of progress on it. I'm excited for you!
 
Apr 16, 2017
841
Federation NCC-1701 Riverside
Thats awesome @Shorefun. 0 to 8 for first day. if you have to use a motor to get away from ramp and back, than that requires good testing. for electric motor, get motor to full power close ramp to be sure it wont trip fuse/breaker.

Here are a couple of my first solo sail mistakes on 170.

1) Wind over 10kts

2) Sailed the boat the first time with jib only. the wind blew us away from the ramp. Wasnt able to tack back to ramp without main. Couldnt furl jib completly afterwards becasue it wasnt buffeted by main and the PO used an oversized control line. luckly we had an anchor out before drifting across lake. So were anchored 75 feet off the lake beach, 300 feet from the boat ramp, with the last bit of the jib swinging around and were bobbing off the anchor line, while i raise the mainsail. oh yeah, im learning how to reef for the first time right now.

3) was using a 50 amp motor but battery box can only handle 30amp. ended up trying to paddle up wind in 10 knots. nope.

Pro Tips:
if you use a motor to get away from ramp, motor to some nearby dock or mooring ball, or just anchor by just the bow ring or front cleat. this will correct you to the wind, then raise main, the jib, untie line and then sail in reverse to catch the wind. so much less hassle than trying to keep nose to wind with motor running.

keep a mooring line connected to one rear cleat. you can make a tiller tamer by having the mooring line go from the one cleat, turn anound the tiller, then tie off on other cleat.

heave to...tack boat but do not change jib line, leaving jib backwinded. turn tiller as if to tack agaon to fix jib. let main out over lee beam. tie tiller off so its pointing to main.
 
Apr 16, 2017
841
Federation NCC-1701 Riverside
Dont forget to raise the centerboard before loading back on trailer.

dont forget about the bungee cord on the centerboard.

when motoring set the centerboard so that the attacment point is about a foot from the mast. This gets you in and out of shallow water while still giving you forward tracking.

When hauling boat...make sure vehicle is in drive and not between drive and nuetral before releasing the brakes
 
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Apr 16, 2017
841
Federation NCC-1701 Riverside
two more Pro Tips

if sailing with just the mainsail, jybe very carefully. with no jib to stabalize the front youll over rotate easily.

mid boom sheeting is a subtle killer. you ll lean forward to get jib lines ready for a tack or jybe and will naurally want to be on the windward side, bent over reaching for jib sheets. If the boom changes sides (because you are looking for the right jibsheet) the mainsheet will grab the back of your neck and try to throw you overboard or at least pin you down on the wrong side of boat.
 

mm2347

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Oct 21, 2008
238
oday 222 niagara
Wind under 10 k. Go out very early in the morning, stay close to starting area so you can head in if or as wind increases. Generally, ripples on the water indicate about 6 to 8 ks and white caps start around 10 ks. Stay conservative.
 
Nov 26, 2012
1,520
Hunter 34 Berkeley
You need winds out of the NNE at 9mph. Tide should be no more that 1.5 knots flood. Temp at 64 F. Lunch should be sandwiches and a fruit. Beer should be IPA.. Wine: white, somewhat dry. Light jacket. Hat. Sunscreen. Gloves.
 
Sep 20, 2014
1,278
Rob Legg RL24 Chain O'Lakes
... If I understand correctly, your boat can capsize, and will not self-right. I would suggest you eliminate the issues associated with capsizing and righting before you raise the sails...
I'm unsure of what you would specifically mean by this statement. A non-ballasted boat will always be able to capsize, and will not self right. It may be beneficial to the OP to suggest what those issues would be and how you would propose eliminating them.
 

mm2347

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Oct 21, 2008
238
oday 222 niagara
Start by watching the weather reports (Underground Weather 10 day has a nice chart) and how they affect the body of water you will sail on. Generally you will want under 10 mph or ks. Ripples form at about 6 to 8 and white caps start around 10. Be on the water very close to sun up, (less wind) stay close to the harbor, head in if or when the wind starts to become uncomfortable. I purchased an inexpensive Davis handheld wind speed meter and it helped me put a number to reference what I was feeling and seeing.
 
Sep 5, 2018
198
Hunter 170 Northfield, NJ
I have a Nissan 2.5 for my motor. So I should be well powered. I still need to run it up and make use it does not have issues. The previous owner claimed it would cut out even after putting a new carb on it. My brother, an experience 2 cycle motorcycle mechanic, noticed the oil had settled and was kind of thick. One jet was not very open with thick oil in it. We are wondering if the guy was using old oil or something like that. I bought premium synthetic oil.

I was already thinking 10 knot wind as the max for starters so that is good.

I am thinking I need a Gopro on board. I figure I will make some silly errors that will get people laughing. On a serious note, I wish a few GoPros were in the budget. I am thinking some videos of some first time sailers out learning would be helpful for others who are thinking of trying. There does not appear to be anything on you tube that I have run across.

I have been looking at radios. I was thinking the HX300 but maybe the HX210 might be better because of the Wx radio built in to it. Kind of confusing looking at all the brands. The Standard Horizon seems to be well rated.
 

JRT

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Feb 14, 2017
1,969
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
I'd go out in 5-6 max, especially if you have no experience or guidance. I'd say 10 is pretty sporty for that boat size and weight.
 
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Jim26m

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Apr 3, 2019
579
Macgregor 26M Mobile AL
Daveinet, good point. I should have been more clear. The issues I was referring to were; capsizing in cold water wearing street clothes; and capsizing in deep water without good knowledge of how to right the boat. If he gets in trouble in cold water, it might ruin his first outing. As you point out, there is a potential for capsizing, and an inexperienced helmsman can capsize in the blink of an eye. Seen it. Done it. Better to be prepared for it.
 
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Apr 16, 2017
841
Federation NCC-1701 Riverside
there is a potential for capsizing
With gusts under 10 you have to really screw up to capsize. I was clothedlined with the mainsheet purchase once in mild conditions and the boat tilted about 45 degrees as the wnd caught the main and im on my hands and knees on the wrong side of the boat floor.

when it gets warmer totallly have fun capsizing it.

Pro Tip:

the transom is open so thatll be your first thought for getting back during a capsize. you have a motor mount on the right and tje rudder post in the middle so you dont have a lot of room on the left for getting in. Youll loose all dignity if you try to get back in on your stomach. You might as well snort like a walrus as you inch and hump your way to the mainsheet.

better way to get back in is to get to the transom, then turn your back to it. then use your arms to lift your rear onto the deck.

You should practice now, in the parking lot wirh boat on trailer. Please post video if you prefer walrus entry.
 
Aug 1, 2011
3,958
Catalina 270 255 Wabamun. Welcome to the marina
You need winds out of the NNE at 9mph. Tide should be no more that 1.5 knots flood. Temp at 64 F. Lunch should be sandwiches and a fruit. Beer should be IPA.. Wine: white, somewhat dry. Light jacket. Hat. Sunscreen. Gloves.
Winds should not contain any smoke from BC. We had more than enough of that last year, thank you very much. Beer should actually be a nicely chilled Moretti, in a 16 oz can. Now we're talking. Sailing? Nah. Just sit on the mooring and enjoy the day.
 

Ward H

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Nov 7, 2011
3,093
Catalina 30 Mk II Barnegat, NJ
Ditto on buying a radio with weather function. Most probably have it but best to be sure the one you buy does have it.
 

Jim26m

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Apr 3, 2019
579
Macgregor 26M Mobile AL
I am thinking some videos of some first time sailers out learning would be helpful for others who are thinking of trying. There does not appear to be anything on you tube that I have run across.
How about skilled sailers having a bit of trouble...
 
Aug 1, 2011
3,958
Catalina 270 255 Wabamun. Welcome to the marina
Ditto on buying a radio with weather function. Most probably have it but best to be sure the one you buy does have it.
Waterproof to 6m and floats. (whatever 6m is) :)