How to Sail an Open 60
How to Sail an Open 60
From aboard fourth-placed Neutrogena in the middle of the Barcelona World Race, Ryan Breymaier goes into the details of piloting his 60-foot speed machine around the planet.
What conditions are the most comfortable? Generally, any time the water is flat, life on board is pleasant, no matter how strong the wind. As the wind and waves build, it is progressively more comfortable on board the farther aft the wind goes. Upwind and reaching are a tedium of slamming into waves, ranging from gunshot sounds upwind to banging together two trash can lids while reaching. Until about 22 knots that is. After that, life becomes increasingly violent, and the boat's always heeling at least 15 degrees. It becomes necessary to pay attention to your movements, especially down below, where there are plenty of things to fall on. Outside, above 22 knots, there are always waves and water on deck and in the cockpit, meaning foul-weather gear no matter how hot, unless you are planning on just staying wet, in which case the apparent wind quickly has you quite cold. Upwind is bang bang bang like a war, and as soon as you're reaching, you're going so fast that it's like being on a runaway train—one that's constantly falling over cliffs but never crashing. It is super stressful on the nerves, wondering if you will get into the trough of a particularly big wave and nosedive.
Storm conditions on a boat like this are brutal. In winds over 40 knots, it's more or less impossible to go upwind, certainly not advisable. The risk of breaking the boat or your nerves is quite high, and the accelerations and decelerations in waves are like a car accident. Even downwind, over 38 knots, you've reached terminal velocity, and the boat buries into most of the waves. It's almost impossible to slow down. Even with three reefs and a storm jib, in 40 to 45 knots of breeze, it's possible to be pushed to 25-28 knots of speed quite easily.
I hope this helps to provide a more technical description of why we use certain sails, when, and how we choose them. Maybe now watching the videos, or looking at the routes we sail through the various weather scenarios, will make more sense. Feel free to ask any questions you may have by emailing the website (www.breymaiersailing.com).