Sunday, November 9, 2008

When do you stop/start sailing?

I've been following a discussion on the UK Yahoo! Groups list about regatta dates for next season. Four of the proposed events are before the end of May, the traditional beginning of the sailing season on the US East coast. One event, the open meeting at Parkstone, is actually slated to start on Feb 28th. Now, such a proposed date for Chesapeake sailors would be laughed at out loud. Even if you could gather together enough sailors to brave the water temperature (the average water temperature in the winter is 4.3C and in the spring 11.9C) you wouldn't find any club members to run the races. February and early March is still skiing season. Boats come out of storage at the earliest for an April launch. Before that, sailing in confined to "midwinter" event in Florida.

No, sailing on the east coast is at most a three season affair, but in many clubs it is restricted to the months of May-October. When I got to Weymouth I was surprised at the water temperature and ended up buying the "super-warm" skiff suit and top from Gary. With all of my swimming even that wasn't enough. So, I'm wondering when mothies around the would say the water is "too cold."

If you're following this blog, take the poll. The poll will be open for a week and I'll discuss the results next weekend.



Bora Gulari said...

In detroit we stop when it is time to head to AUS ;)

Joe Bousquet said...

Your video of sailing on the Detroit River with 40 degree (F) water temperature got me thinking about this thread. That's too cold for me. I have to hang it up at 50 (and not really happy with 55!)


Simon Payne said...

I capsized once at the "Bloody Mary" pursuit race. Then a while later I couldn't let the sail out because the mainsheet froze and went stiff and I capsized again. When I got in the buckle on my life jacket was frozen and I had to undo it with a cigarette lighter.

Joe Bousquet said...

So for the folks sailing in the bitter cold: I suppose you launch off a dock and hop aboard dry? Or are you wading out to chest deep before you scamper aboard? Or wearing dry suits? Not that I'm in the market to try any of the above, I'm just curious.


Dubai Moth Association said...

generally try to stop sailing when it gets to full length wet suit weather!! Brrr chilly! Weymouth was my limit.

Alan said...

When at home I only won't go for a sail of the wind is bad. However there is not a moth I know of within 1000km's at the moment and the sailing season finished in september.
It sucks.

Mark Mellors said...

You need to add a below freezing option. I've sailed when the rescue boat had to go out first to break the ice on the lake. Like Simon said, we had to keep the sheets moving or they froze in the blocks. I got a face full of snow every time I tacked!
I can only do one race a day in that weather though 'cause it eats your energy so quick. Its a tradition at my club to do a race on boxing day (26th December) every year, whatever the weather.
I used to wear drysuits in that weather but since I've got a moth I've got on better with wetsuits.

Joe Bousquet said...


The question referred to water temperature. Of course, of you're really wacked ( :-0 )you go out when the air temperature is below freezing. When your blocks froze, I assume the sea was still above zeroC (although I think ocean salt water can get down to -1 or -2 before it becomes ice.)

Thanks for the input.