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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14461

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

outhaul wrote:
you won't die as some suggest.

I mentioned that only because a) it has happened, b) I presumed that because he didn't know how to lay his gear on the ground that he sailed alone, and c) he says HE CAN'T WATERSTART. One fall in offshore winds and his next landfall is ~50 miles away. As long as he has observers with a rescue boat and is wearing plenty of neoprene, he should be able to stay safe until rescued ... if they can find him. We've lost people in comparatively tiny inland lakes in New Mexico and Utah in offshore winds. Offshore winds present a very real threat many intermediate sailors are just not aware of, and it bothers me to see its risks dismissed, especially considering the number of serious ocean sailors here who won't do it even with expert skills. I've seen scores of sailors faced with two choices when winds go offshore: rescue by boat or a 120-mile round trip drive to retrieve them, and that's in a stupid river only a kilometer wide. We've almost lost many to hypothermia.

Now add 30,000 square miles and much more frequent offshore winds to the equation.
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spennie



Joined: 13 Oct 1995
Posts: 852
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I hate to agree with ISOBARS, but he's absolutely right. Here in SoCal we get Santa Ana winds that are very strong offshore, and I won't sail them, even though I'm pretty good and have an excellent waterstart.

Why not? What if you break a mast on the outside, down low (boom height)? You'd have to ditch the rig, then out-paddle the wind back to shore. Or wait until you hit Japan.

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DelCarpenter



Joined: 06 Nov 2008
Posts: 190
Location: Cedar Falls, IA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An Easy-Uphaul really works to cut down on the strain of uphauling. Checking the mast to make sure it can't let in too much water could be worthwhile too.

In planing winds & rough water while uphauling I often put the daggerboard down to stabilize the board to make my uphauls faster.

I don't know if this works with a Comet, but one of my friends with a Mistral One Design (372 cm long) said his GPS tests showed him at some planing speeds on reaches putting the daggerboard down some was faster than leaving it up. I don't remember how far down..I think it was 1/3rd or less.
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vikingsail



Joined: 12 May 1998
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Local shops." You might want to check on some areas close to Chicago for help.
Isthmus windsurfing and Southport rigging are both in Wisconson and there is a group of windsurfers in Worthington, Minn that run races every summer. They probably have windsurf instructors who could teach you to waterstart, tack and Gybe. They could be a good source for equipment advice.
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 1518

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a general rule, regardless of where you sail, ALWAYS take a minute to evaluate where you will end up if all goes wrong and no one sees you.

How far is the next shoreline that you will hit?

How long will it take to drift, paddle, swim?

Is your wet suit, etc. adequate to keep you alive until you reach shore?

Even in onshore conditions, will you end of on a rock jetty with 4' waves?

Know your risks before you do something stupid.
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outhaul



Joined: 27 Sep 2011
Posts: 181

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding offshore conditions, I disagree with making a blanket statement saying offshore conditions are in general too dangerous. My launch/situation is different than yours, hell, everyday is different, a million variables at work here.
I will say that using a board like the Exo 11'8 adds an extra element of safety because I could easily spend the night on this board if need be. That, along with wearing the appropriate amount of neoprene, wearing a flotation aid and carrying a phone makes me very comfortable. Now that's me, everyone's assessment of risk is different not to mention some of the biggest variables of all, skill, experience and comfort level. For example, If one is a great wave sailor but feels terrified of offshore conditions than simply don't do it. I'm comfortable with it, so I do it and quite honestly think I incur more risk driving my car on the average day, and not because of my abilities as a driver but because of the mixed bag of other nuts out there. But again, that's me.
In short, do what you know and know what you do.
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slinky



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 430
Location: Old Saybrook Ct.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few other safety items:

floaty wide board
3 piece kayak travel paddle
cellphone in waterproof pouch [mentioned]
gps [ my phone and gps fit in the same pouch]
strobe light
extra line
knife
flotation vest with pockets for above items
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14461

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

techno900 wrote:

How far is the next shoreline that you will hit?

Don't forget, "What language is spoken there?" Sad

and "Are you on the menu?"
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14461

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Slinky ... outhaul: now yer talkin! You're adding valid caveats and preparations the OP needs to strongly consider. I've sailed miles out to sea, alone on the water and on the beach, but with land abeam I could have swum to if necessary and if the landlord didn't object. I've sailed out of the sight of Oregon off Newport. I've sailed miles offshore/downwind (for access to overhead swell) in a New Mexico lake alone, with the full realization that I may have to sleep overnight in total wilderness and/or swim back AND hike miles back barefooted. HOWEVER, I knew the risks and had self-rescue Plans A, B, and C.

But the OP:
• Doesn't have land abeam within range.
• Has made none of the preparations you guys wisely suggest.
• Is on a shortboard, not a big honkin' SUP or KONA.
• Says he can no longer waterstart. (That's a BIGGIE!!!)
• Probably does not understand how fast the windspeed and chop can increase way offshore or how fast the wind can shut off to the point his ONLY self-rescue option on a shortboard is to abandon his gear and swim home.
• Doesn't sound as fit as many of us are.
• Sounds like a nice guy, someone more worthy of concern than some of us.
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frederick23



Joined: 24 Dec 2013
Posts: 474

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gentlemen, I am not going to bring a backpack full of supplies complete with a fire starting kit, because I am not going to spend a night on the lake. I am not going to give up the sport and take up bowling because of a risk in getting hurt.

It’s a safe site. Evanston IL. Look it up. Better yet, come to Chicago in the Summer (NOT NOW!) and see the thousands of boats out on the water enjoying to best place to view a truly world class city.

Been sailing Lasers, windsurfers, 35 foot sailboats all my life on the lake in every wind for 20 years. Trust me I understand the respect it deserves. As a kid I would take Sunfishes out in the N. E. waves and pitchpole them as I tried surfing them down waves. On the wicked Offshore days, I have had a Sunfish out on days I would never windsurf, planing fast enough you could waterski behind it. Offshore winds can be light, can be 25 and gusty or just crazy, or it can be totally dead. The typical Summer day I am on my 7.5 hoping and praying for a gust to come so I can get going. When you get one it may be 18 - 22, you ride it and then the wind can completely die and your standing around in a pocket of nothing swearing until the next gust comes.

Yes there are days when it can be above 25 or more. Some of the squall lines with the big towering thunderheards and lightning will bring readings of 70mph offshore. Again, I will be watching from beach the other fools in motor boats and sailboats racing to get in because they didn’t look at the forecast or even look up and see the pitch black horizon approaching them. I have been in sailboat races in a 35ft. sloop with one of those squall lines coming at you, lightning cracking, staying out, helping smaller boats get in.

There is Northwestern University, the have their own sailing center with instruction and rescue craft and rentals. There is Evanston Sailing beach with the same. There is the coast guard if your really a fool or have a breakdown. There are planes, helicopters. There are a thousand people on the beach. Most of all, there are hundreds and hundreds of boats that make it REALLY hard to not be within waving distance if something failed.

Enough of defending my home water. Offshore winds are sailed regularly and always will be. Look at Aruba or any other thousand places. Would I go out in a 35-50 Santa Anna? No, I would be bowling.
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