Antares 44 Sailing

Fully Loaded for Cruising

When I left home in December I had the freezer loaded from the local meat market and the “pantry” full of canned goods. I carry a 66 pound Rocna anchor with 150 feet of chain and a 44 pound Bruce with 50 feet of chain on the bow of the boat, the 44 pound Spade that came with the boat and 20 feet of chain are stowed aft for emergency use. I sail with full water tanks and, when possible, full fuel tanks. Additionally during the delivery down here I had 32 gallons of diesel in 5 gallon jugs on deck.

Sail Combinations

I use the 130 for my head sail – I do better with the power in waves.  I reef the main when I’m getting consistent apparent wind staying above 18 or 19.  I think that in consistent wind the first reef at 20 knots apparent would be right, but the problem is that at 20 knots of apparent wind you’re dropping down to 15 or 16 (and sometimes lower) and I like to keep the power on for pushing through waves.  Once I start hitting 24 with regularity I put in the first reef even if I do get some lulls that rob me of the power to get through the waves. I put the second reef in above 28. I’ll also (sometimes) put up a double reefed main to go deep downwind with the spinnaker – the double reef holds the sail down low enough to keep the main from interfering with the chute but leaves some sail up if I need to douse the chute and it also gives me a bit of lee in which to douse the chute (although with the sleeve that is not a real big deal).  I use the Screecher with apparent wind no more than 17 knots and between 60 degrees apparent and 110 to 120 degrees apparent. Wind deeper than 90 degrees I usually go to the spinnaker


From Spanish Wells on the delivery over here the wind was out of the South at 15 knots true. We took up a heading of due east and with a full main and the 130 we were generally between 7 and 8 knots with an apparent wind of 50 degrees on the starboard bow. Later the wind veered a bit and we got 60 degrees apparent and the boat speed went up to 9 (keep in mind that the apparent wind was up to 18 or so – at 70 degrees apparent I could have kept the 8 to 9 knots with true wind on down to around 11 or 12 but would have been able to use the Screecher). 

With an apparent wind of 20 and 90 degrees I would still be looking for 7 to 9 depending on what the waves were doing to me. For the last 15 hours on the way in to Anegada the true wind was from about 110 to 120 at 18 to 22 with gusts as high as 33 knots.  We had the full 130 and a single reef in the main and the speed was between 8 and 11 knots – we “slowed down” to under 8 knots about four times in 150 miles. The boat speed was so high that it drove the apparent wind forward to between 60 and 70 degrees!  

On the delivery from U.S. to BVIs we had a 189 mile day and a 190 mile day. We would have gotten more than 200 miles for our last day but we arrived at destination before the full day ran.  When delivering I plan on 6 knots (all conditions, all winds) but I’ve generally exceeded that.

I have had the boat over 16 knots on two separate occasions. First was in about 17 knots of wind slightly aft of abeam but showing 90 degrees apparent and with the spinnaker up and a single reefed main – the waves were just building up at that point. The second time was on spinnaker alone (no main at all) dead down wind in 22 knots of true wind and under 13 knots of apparent wind, waves up to 12 feet from astern and surfed down – that day it was lots of 10s and 11s with several 13s and one excess of 16.

The boat likes to have 10 knots or more of true wind and it gives excellent performance through a wide wind range by using the different sail combinations.