New sailor, American 14-6, Went sailing (well maybe I shouldn't call it sailing) Sunday on the Spruce Run Reservoir, here in NJ. Was blowing a bit more than Sailflow predicted, maybe 12-15 with much higher gusts. Rigged the boat but did not bring up the sails and put it in the water from the trailer. (realized now should have reefed). Motored out onto the lake, pointed into the wind and tried to bring up the sails. Started with the mainsail at it was nuts. Very hard to raise. boom kept sticking in the track and the sail was flogging like crazy and spinning the boat. Got it up and tried to sail with just the main. Had to have the tiller all the way toward the sail to go straight. Was getting a little closer to shore than I like, so dropped the sail and motored to the center of the lake again, pointed into the wind. ( The people from the Hunterdon Sailing Club who were out in thier Force 5's and Sunfish were probably dying with laughter at this point). Brought the main up and the jib, but by then were close to the shore again, so decided to bag it. Short to tell, but that all probably took close to an hour. Other than scaring the crap out of my crew (19 year old son, with less experience than me) and amusing the other sailors, not a successful trip.
1. should I put it in the water with the sails up?
2. How do you launch in higher wind?
3. Any other advice and roasting gladly accepted