Re: The North Channel by Sail and Oar
I've always had more trouble with accidental gybes running dead downwind in Hornpipe in lighter air than in heavier air. In lighter air, I find it more controllable and just about as fast to gybe downwind rather than run. In 20+ kts, there seems to be enough wind to keep the sail and yard pinned firmly to one side of the mast. Hornpipe also steers very easily and it is not too difficult to keep pointed dead downwind.
All bets are off if there is too much sail up, though, which situation I've found myself in more than once. This summer's cruise I found myself in 20-25 kts going downwind and the reefed mizzen in the centre mast step provided more than enough power to stay and hull speed with the occasional surf.
"A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Arran Islands Fisherman