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Highest speed logged under sail


Top speed under sail  

168 members have voted

  1. 1. What is your maximum boat speed logged under sail?

    • < 10 knots
      6
    • 10 - <20 knots
      58
    • 20 - <25 knots
      41
    • 25 - <30 knots
      39
    • 30 - <35 knots
      12
    • 35 - <40 knots
      3
    • 40 + knots
      9


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I thought it'd be interesting to do a quick poll and find out the 'average' top speed people have logged under sail - I'm guessing that with the foiling generation and increase in offshore performance for short handed boats that more people will clocking 20+ knots on a regular basis.

To clarify, this is aimed at sail BOATS - dinghies, multihulls or keel boats doesn't matter but NOT kite, wing or windsurf boards.

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I noticed no one has yet submitted less than 10 kts. Lots of 4kt Sbox owners here. But I suppose almost everyone here has been on a screaming reach in a Laser or similar.

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Even 4kt Sboxes can have their moment. I clocked 11.2kts on the gps with a folkboat surfing down a wave in a strong quarterly breeze with good shove of tidal current - sustained for between 5-10 seconds.

Realistic measure of real world performance? No, but still in my mind my highest speed logged.

For the sake of full disclosure, in normal circumstances (no waves or current) the boat's highest speed has been 7.6 kts - fully respectable for a full keeled boat with a 20ft waterline!

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yep done the screaming reach in a laser, pity it wasn't during a race..

Have also planed a 20ft 3/4 ton open deck keelboat... Once,

Downright terrifying with the river bank just 50ft off each side.. Went from near last in the fleet to first in 800 yards. Top speed no idea but probably heading for 15.. (normal max about 5.5knots)

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Helm,

We weren't trying for it, We just cleared a bunch of trees with spinnaker up and Bang a gust hit us and off we went. The only time we've planed the yeoman in 20+ years of sailing it.

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7.1 knots in the S20

8 knots in the S2 7.9

12+ knots in the MC scow (hanging on with our toes to the hiking straps)

80 knots in a Sailplane. (Highest form of human life, flying in a thermal with a raptor) 

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A Swan 65 usually doesn’t even surf - 40 metric tonnes with a stern as pointy as a H-Boat my ass! But if you get the timing right on one of those looooong, tall, but not very steep Atlantic waves: KA-ZOOOOOM! 24 knots. 

(I wasn’t helming, my personal record was 18knots the same day.) 

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10 hours ago, NZK said:

I thought it'd be interesting to do a quick poll and find out the 'average' top speed people have logged under sail - I'm guessing that with the foiling generation and increase in offshore performance for short handed boats that more people will clocking 20+ knots on a regular basis.

To clarify, this is aimed at sail BOATS - dinghies, multihulls or keel boats doesn't matter but NOT kite, wing or windsurf boards.

Obviously Peter Burling and Blair Tuke are not reading this forum.

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21 knots single handed in a Santa Cruz 27.  Pinned on port pole under the GG bridge passed the North tower with about 50 feet to spare. (Felt like inches.) Had to wait until I blew into the bay a bit to take the kite down. Never been happier to depower. The second most scared I've been on a boat. 

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2 hours ago, Hitchhiker said:

27 plus on quite possibly the wettest IRC 52 in existence.

IMG_8557.PNG

That's me about to take my hundered and something wave to the face. We went into the back of one wave at 23 knots accelerated to over 24 knots with the gooseneck under water.

But, that's not my fastest.  28.3 knots surfing off Point Conception on Horizon was my peak speed so far. Lots and lots of rides just shy of that.

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I did 15.2 a couple times on our Bene 40.7. That was just before losing it in a jibe broach with poled out #3 in 30 sustained. Later, on watch in the cockpit with another guy driving I saw 17. Then we took the sails down and did 7.5 under bare poles. At night! 

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24.2 knots entering Molokai channel  on Lahaina to Honolulu race, driving High Noon (Peterson 2 tonner with a tiller)

30 something on the Ultimate 30 destruction derby race in Seattle.

20's plus all the time on my Tornado

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Was on the well known day-charter boat Paragon out of Maui when I saw 25 on the log. Yeah, I got my twenty five bucks worth of sailing that day. 

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If bare poles counts as "under sail",

100+ nm in ten hours.

Twice, an East Coast low and Cyclone Osea.

30ft catamaran

Not happy either time.  :unsure:

 

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21 hours ago, ALL@SEA said:

While at the helm, or as crew?

 

Either - if you were onboard it counts.

I hadn't anticipated the stories that go with each top speed - fucking awesome, thanks everyone. 

My max so far is 30 going downwind on an IMOCA headed down the US West coast - that was a fun ride.

 

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30.6 knots in Sundreamer while setting the multihull Auckland to Tauranga record in 2004 that still stands

20.25 knots in my trailer sailor with Jeremy Lomas and his kids onboard 

 

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28 knots crossing Bass Strait on a Volvo 60 with a masthead C6 chute and full main. With both the rear water ballast tanks full it was like playing fetch with a Labrador. “This wave? Can we surf this wave? Please? Wave? Wheeeeeeeeeeehhhhhhh!!!!! Waaaaaave!!!! Again? This wave?”

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17 knots plus on an X119, the transducer would be out of the water on the waves over 17, no one had a gps track capturing and even then in those days the sample rate to was too infrequent to get an accurate speed

its possible I went faster once on a Hobie 18 in an around Treasure Island race, sure seemed pretty fast.

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1 hour ago, Chris in Santa Cruz, CA said:

17 knots plus on an X119, the transducer would be out of the water on the waves over 17, no one had a gps track capturing and even then in those days the sample rate to was too infrequent to get an accurate speed

its possible I went faster once on a Hobie 18 in an around Treasure Island race, sure seemed pretty fast.

True. A boat is not really surfing if the transducer is in the water.

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on the night in question we were overtaking smaller swells but the highest speeds were when we were on the face of larger swells, we set the record for round ups that night, it got totally out of hand and was pitch dark and we finally got to where we were either flying with bow waves back to the helm or on our side trying to coax the thing back up to go again, after hours of this with all hands at battle stations it became unsafe with the fatigue levels and conditions

we finally dropped the chute and with the #3 and one reef we were consistently still doing long surfs at 13-15 knots until the wind machine stopped at dawn in Gaviota

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1 minute ago, Chris in Santa Cruz, CA said:

on the night in question we were overtaking smaller swells but the highest speeds were when we were on the face of larger swells, we set the record for round ups that night, it got totally out of hand and was pitch dark and we finally got to where we were either flying with bow waves back to the helm or on our side trying to coax the thing back up to go again, after hours of this with all hands at battle stations it became unsafe with the fatigue levels and conditions

we finally dropped the chute and with the #3 and one reef we were consistently still doing long surfs at 13-15 knots until the wind machine stopped at dawn in Gaviota

That's when you know it's blowing some, love those stories, "we finally got the chute down and were still hitting 20's with just a triple reefed main"

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Most fun was 23 kts sustained on a F-31.  Was a blast blowing past all the Rolex big boats with their matching crew sweaters as we flew past in a mass of spray. (We were just playing that day.)

22.1 kts measured over a quarter mile on a Hobie 16...

image.thumb.png.dbcec9c0b1375535f329db7f93a609c6.png

28.5 kts max instantaneous on the gps on a Hobie 16 up the delta on a ditch run.  That was simply terrifying, trapped off the rudder casing, not daring to turn for fear of pitch-polling into the river bank...

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28 minutes ago, V21 said:

That's when you know it's blowing some, love those stories, "we finally got the chute down and were still hitting 20's with just a triple reefed main"

the fucking take down was epic, still surfing like crazy with just the full main and burying the nose into the back of some swells (amazing how the chute can lift the bow up), I finally overrode the the guy who thought he was the crew boss and we opened the forward hatch to get the chute below with two guys just puling the thing in, he was convinced 20-30 gallons of water was going to sink the boat, complete tool that guy was, anyway we got the thing down and the 3 up with the reef and then my buddy and I double handed while the rest went down to sleep, owners girlfriend would not let us cross the shipping channel for fear of ramming on a clear moonless night (another tool) so we just sailed into the big hole north of Santa Barbara and sat there for 10 hours with 70 other boats, the guys who went way out to the channel islands and did a big half moon won along with a bunch of small boats that caught up and finished within minutes of all but the smart folks

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41 minutes ago, RedHerring said:

Most fun was 23 kts sustained on a F-31.  Was a blast blowing past all the Rolex big boats with their matching crew sweaters as we flew past in a mass of spray. (We were just playing that day.)

22.1 kts measured over a quarter mile on a Hobie 16...

image.thumb.png.dbcec9c0b1375535f329db7f93a609c6.png

28.5 kts max instantaneous on the gps on a Hobie 16 up the delta on a ditch run.  That was simply terrifying, trapped off the rudder casing, not daring to turn for fear of pitch-polling into the river bank...

You can go high twenties on a big boat while sitting on your ass. To do the same on a small craft while trapezing is epic and a much smaller club. Make one mistake and it can go very bad, especially during the DD. Nice job.

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25kts, during 1993  Brisbane to Gladstone race, my first offshore race, blew like stink (45 kts through the night), new home built boat, water fruit and food sloshing around in pod because of leaking windows, are we having fun yet!

F6865541-1A94-4A25-9D48-596DCA0E9C7C.png

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Not quite. But, the margin of control becomes much tighter. Livin life on the edge!

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12 hours ago, Jason AUS said:

28 knots crossing Bass Strait on a Volvo 60 with a masthead C6 chute and full main. With both the rear water ballast tanks full it was like playing fetch with a Labrador. “This wave? Can we surf this wave? Please? Wave? Wheeeeeeeeeeehhhhhhh!!!!! Waaaaaave!!!! Again? This wave?”

Merit? I was delivery crew back to Sydney years ago and reefed delivery main and little jib somewhere south of Maria we hit 25 +/_, the breeze was fresh, but by no means frightening. She loved to surf. 

High teens, probably low 20s on my last boat, Elliott 7, but always to busy to look at the speedo. 16 was always pretty controlled and comfortable.

18 on a Twiggy trimaran while looking at the hand held GPS, but went much faster lots of times when it wasn't available. 

Still waiting for good conditions for Prion (Mt Gay 30) to show her potential, low teens so far in flat water and 20somethin breeze. 

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Depends if you want to count windsurfing or just sailboat sailing.  On a windsurfer at a speed event I went 38kts.  

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1 hour ago, ALL@SEA said:

Merit? I was delivery crew back to Sydney years ago and reefed delivery main and little jib somewhere south of Maria we hit 25 +/_, the breeze was fresh, but by no means frightening. She loved to surf. 

High teens, probably low 20s on my last boat, Elliott 7, but always to busy to look at the speedo. 16 was always pretty controlled and comfortable.

18 on a Twiggy trimaran while looking at the hand held GPS, but went much faster lots of times when it wasn't available. 

Still waiting for good conditions for Prion (Mt Gay 30) to show her potential, low teens so far in flat water and 20somethin breeze. 

Getaway / Djuice 2

 

Prion is going to be a ball once she lights up!

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3 hours ago, he b gb said:

25kts, during 1993  Brisbane to Gladstone race, my first offshore race, blew like stink (45 kts through the night), new home built boat, water fruit and food sloshing around in pod because of leaking windows, are we having fun yet!

F6865541-1A94-4A25-9D48-596DCA0E9C7C.png

glad you survived you maniac, you probably didnt think you were a maniac at the time though so I will give you that

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^^ haha, was a scary night! didn’t realise until I saw that photo that the jib was nearly hanging in the water and could’ve tripped us over!  
 More recently I’ve had my cruising cat up to 23.8kts with no fear and have even hit 16.9 towing my dinghy (with fear for the dinghy,she always lives on the davits underway since then)

552993E6-0929-462D-B8CC-D633ADAABC0C.png

58CC804E-FB17-44E7-B5C7-E9A900F45E99.png

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I have had some thrilling rides on beach cats and dinghy's but that was before I had methods to measure speed on these boats.
I am curious to know, but don't know how they fit in here.

C&C 35  -  14.3 knots surfing down waves in a blow.  I don't remember the wind speed, but we were doublehanded using a #3 and reef in the main.  Average boat speed over 10 knots for a few hours.  A very exciting ride.

 

If iceboats count:
DN - 44.7 mph - an absolute thrilling rush of speed
C skeeter - 54.2 mph  -  a very comfortable, controlled ride.  Fast and fun to sail all day up to 50mph, lots of power left if I had wind, but at 53-55mph the steering skate wouldn't grip anymore.  Losing steering at 50+mph increases the pucker factor quickly!  Modifications have been made to hopefully address the steering issue.  Looking forward to testing them out.  I expect that I should be able to increase this number now.
A skeeter - 58.1 mph - I was taking it very easy with the boat, sailing it for the first time, literally trying to take it easy.  I was in a bay that was a little small for a boat this size, wind was in the high teens.  Sailing at this speed was smooth, the boat clearly wanted more.  The only concern was how fast the beach was approaching and being ready for the next turn.  The acceleration coming out of the turns was the CRAZY part.  The few other times I have sailed it were light wind days where pushing the boat would get me to 50-55mph.  Looking forward to sailing the boat in conditions that allow me to hold the speed a bit longer and see what she can really do.

 

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3 minutes ago, Waiex191 said:

17 kts on a Hobie 16.  We are beginners and this was our first time with one of us on the trapeze.  Typically we have our maximum speed just before we pitchpole.

https://youtu.be/EbK1J61wFjY

Nice! He said “Uh oh!” Then “I don’t know what happened there.” Heh. Maybe something about that lee bow pretending to be a submarine?

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15 minutes ago, El Borracho said:

Nice! He said “Uh oh!” Then “I don’t know what happened there.” Heh. Maybe something about that lee bow pretending to be a submarine?

Yep, we are working on getting our weight further back on the reach. I've put some hydro-turf on the aft hulls so we can trap way back. Still this pitchpole turned out better than our first.

 

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We've hit the low 20s in the melges 24 at the gorge. Velocitek had us at 21.x, against the current! 

Sailing to Hawaii on a tp52 we mid 20s. On both boats the paddle wheel was out of the water. 

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Moderate reaching on a Volvo 60 - about 22 - 23 knots. We were sail testing not racing.

On my own 40' catamaran:  15.4 knots under main and genoa when it was empty.

~15++ under spinnaker, mid-ocean, 3 am with semi-angry wife sternly telling me yelling at me I should have dropped the chute before the squall hit.

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Retelling,  pardon….  Amati (40er)  going NNW Straights of Georgia, Vancouver to Schooner Cove, SE wind 25-30+, against the tide, 22+ knots sustained for 10 minutes (found on the GPS, later), full main only, by the lee, mostly, 2 of us sipping tea.  Never went down the mine, which was cool, 4-6’ + chop.  Blessings of a tiller, and a WaterRat rudder I suppose, and a cool design. Skipping from wave to wave like a windsurfer, but very smooth.  Wasn’t until we headed up to take the sail down that we experienced how violent the conditions were.  I’ve done 33+ on a Windsurfer down at the Gorge, which had much more drama.  Face plant. Fastest I ever felt I was going was downwind on the windward side of the 520 floating bridge on a big Southwester.  Before GPS.  The waves were so big that I could look down on the bridge deck at times.  Laser Pinball.  Bam bam.  Rudder tore off, and things got sporty…. Best sail of my life.

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I guess nobody windsurfs anymore....or never did in this forum.  20 knots, easy on a short board and flat water with a nice camber induced sail and a nice fin that won't spin out.

30 knots...not as easy but fat or tall windsurfers can do it in flat water with a lot of wind (but you are going faster than the wind with so much apparent, so 20 knots of wind is enough). You are the shrouds no keel and not much wetted surface to get in the way.

Personally, I'm sure I have hit 30, but know as a fact I hit 25 knots long ago when I was younger on a Jimmy Lewis board inside Dungeness Spit, WA with a lot of wind and a speed gun that somebody barrowed from the cops.

I still windsurf now at 63 years old.  Unfortunately no new blood in windsurfing it this country (USA), but anyone can go over 20 knots with cheap used gear obtain through eBay, since a lot of this stuff (carbon masts and short boards) are wasting away in has-been windsurfer's garages. 

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7 hours ago, premiumunleaded said:

I guess nobody windsurfs anymore....or never did in this forum.  20 knots, easy on a short board and flat water with a nice camber induced sail and a nice fin that won't spin out.

30 knots...not as easy but fat or tall windsurfers can do it in flat water with a lot of wind (but you are going faster than the wind with so much apparent, so 20 knots of wind is enough). You are the shrouds no keel and not much wetted surface to get in the way.

Personally, I'm sure I have hit 30, but know as a fact I hit 25 knots long ago when I was younger on a Jimmy Lewis board inside Dungeness Spit, WA with a lot of wind and a speed gun that somebody barrowed from the cops.

I still windsurf now at 63 years old.  Unfortunately no new blood in windsurfing it this country (USA), but anyone can go over 20 knots with cheap used gear obtain through eBay, since a lot of this stuff (carbon masts and short boards) are wasting away in has-been windsurfer's garages. 

I wish I could still windsurf (69, banged up), but it seems most sailors want to pretend the whole thing never happened, and nothing was learned. 

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16 hours ago, premiumunleaded said:

I guess nobody windsurfs anymore....or never did in this forum.  20 knots, easy on a short board and flat water with a nice camber induced sail and a nice fin that won't spin out.

30 knots...not as easy but fat or tall windsurfers can do it in flat water with a lot of wind (but you are going faster than the wind with so much apparent, so 20 knots of wind is enough). You are the shrouds no keel and not much wetted surface to get in the way.

Personally, I'm sure I have hit 30, but know as a fact I hit 25 knots long ago when I was younger on a Jimmy Lewis board inside Dungeness Spit, WA with a lot of wind and a speed gun that somebody barrowed from the cops.

I still windsurf now at 63 years old.  Unfortunately no new blood in windsurfing it this country (USA), but anyone can go over 20 knots with cheap used gear obtain through eBay, since a lot of this stuff (carbon masts and short boards) are wasting away in has-been windsurfer's garages. 

I posted above about my windsurfing speed.  :D

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27.6 on the IOR Maxi Condor on a training day before the 86 Maxi Series in Sardinia.  Full-size 1.5 runner up, 30 crew, and approaching the Straits of Bonifacio from the west.  Anyone who has been there knows the wind funnels through the gap and accelerates abruptly. 

DC was driving, and I called to him to get the kite down.  No, we can handle this.  The next thing we knew we were in 40+ knots. The first good wave, 80,000 pounds of Maxi buried her bow back to the mast, then DC wiggled her free and off we went.  It was truly frightening.  The sheets of bow-wave pushed the mainsail almost to centerline.

Now it was time to gybe to avoid the Lavezzi islands.  Mid-gybe, crash-bang and over she went - deck vertical.  I was hanging onto a pedestal and lost a boot.  The chute exploded, and up we came.

The rig must have been so overtaxed that it went overboard the next day.

Happy days.

 

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1 hour ago, MauiPunter said:

I posted above about my windsurfing speed.  :D

I think that’s what Bruce Peterson did the day I did the low 30’s.  It was a big deal- he was on his way to greater speeds.

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43 minutes ago, Amati said:

I think that’s what Bruce Peterson did the day I did the low 30’s.  It was a big deal- he was on his way to greater speeds.

I kept trying to break 40 but I just couldn't do it.  Anders Bringdal successfully did that day and hit some thing just over 41.  We were doing this in the open ocean on the north shore which is a way different situation than a flat water speed course.  Although the waves did smooth the water out if you timed it right.  Fun stuff.

Here is a photo of me on a 60L - 16" wide speed board during the event:
No photo description available.

 

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@MauiPunter @premiumunleaded For the sake of this poll I wanted it just be dinghies, multihulls and keel boats - I figured foiling versions of any of those were eligible to give an indication of how the sport is evolving. For that same reason I meant to exclude windsurfing, kiting and any foiling boards - the top speeds of windsurfers and kites were, historically, so much higher than most dinghies and keel boats of similar generations that it would likely skew the poll results into the higher numbers. Nothing against either group, just not what I had intended as the topic of the poll...

 

16 hours ago, alphafb552 said:

Somehow I feel all the stories of peak speeds achieved just before everything goes pear shaped shouldn't count... might as well count the speed reached falling down Niagara Falls... :D

Yeah but they're often the best stories - that moment of acceleration on a dinghy or small multi before it all goes very squirrely and sends you round the front is pretty much a right of passage...

 

On 11/13/2021 at 2:41 AM, Jason AUS said:

Getaway / Djuice 2

 

Isn't that one that sold up to the UK to become the V-Project?? I did the Fastnet on that which I think was my first foray into the 20s...

 

On 11/13/2021 at 4:02 PM, kcolborne said:

If iceboats count

To be quite honest I have so little experience of ice boating that I didn't think about them when considering this poll (there aren't too many in the UK or the Med). It's definitely going to skew the results towards the top end of the poll with the numbers you and PL3 are posting....

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1 hour ago, NZK said:

Isn't that one that sold up to the UK to become the V-Project?? I did the Fastnet on that which I think was my first foray into the 20s...

Djuice 1 went up to the UK.

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16kts on both  my B25 and Hot Foot  Sustained 14ish on the B and 12ish on the Hot Foot.  Both boats had second generation  rudder so very  good control especially  the B.  Could  have sat back and enjoyed a rum. Hot Foot big fun but needed more focus from me and the crew. 

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10 hours ago, NZK said:

@MauiPunter @premiumunleaded For the sake of this poll I wanted it just be dinghies, multihulls and keel boats - I figured foiling versions of any of those were eligible to give an indication of how the sport is evolving. For that same reason I meant to exclude windsurfing, kiting and any foiling boards - the top speeds of windsurfers and kites were, historically, so much higher than most dinghies and keel boats of similar generations that it would likely skew the poll results into the higher numbers. Nothing against either group, just not what I had intended as the topic of the poll...

 

Yeah but they're often the best stories - that moment of acceleration on a dinghy or small multi before it all goes very squirrely and sends you round the front is pretty much a right of passage...

 

Isn't that one that sold up to the UK to become the V-Project?? I did the Fastnet on that which I think was my first foray into the 20s...

 

To be quite honest I have so little experience of ice boating that I didn't think about them when considering this poll (there aren't too many in the UK or the Med). It's definitely going to skew the results towards the top end of the poll with the numbers you and PL3 are posting....

NZK:  I answered your poll with my fastest keelboat speed, not my iceboat speeds.  I figured iceboats might fall into the category of "sailing" craft that you were trying to exclude from the numbers.   I included them in my post so you would have them for reference.  Not to mention iceboat season is rapidly approaching and I am looking forward to it.

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