All, So I'm a Texan; and its 90 degrees here on the first day of spring. It is very routine to get big puffs and 20 degree wind shifts with little notice here. (Im a military/airline pilot by trade and live close to the old base I used to fly out of). Now that it's Spring, the winds will be picking up for the next few months. Today was the start: (here is the metar from Naval Air Station Fort Worth JRB) So far this year, Ive been been out sailing about five times with great success - lots of challenge, relaxation, and peace with my marriage to the wind. As many of you know, I am a beginning sailor and have about 20, 2-3 hour sailing trips under my belt. I have gotten familar with the predictiable wind shifts on my lake due to the terrain, local obstacles, etc. , and have grown quite comfortable on my Sunfish. In the past, have been able to handle 18 kts gusting to 25 (it kicked my ass and was a lot of work; but great fun). I managed to survive it, and learned a ton on how to manupiluate the sails, spilling the excess wind out of them, and riding that exciting line between beautiful control, and that amazing speed (which I always loved in my former days). With todays winds, I stood on my dock, chomping at the bit to get in my Sunfish and give it a go - then the older, more cautious, pilot in me spoke up, and told me to use my head, grab a beer, and sit this one out. 20 kts gusting to 30 - thats a lot of blow (even in a 150,000 lb airplane - let alone my little boat). So now that my beer is empty, sitting on my deck, overlooking my dock and countless whitecaps, I want to ask: Would you experienced sailing masters go out with these winds? Is there a huge difference between a 25 knot gust and a 30 knot (34 MPH) gust? (Save me the cheap 5 knot answer, humor please ). Can this boat be productive and safe in these winds with the right sailor at the helm? Im looking forward to the responses from you guys. Warm (very warm) regards from Texas, Whitecap PS- Thank you to all who helped me restore my old 1968 Sunfish (that had ten holes in it!), sailing has had a profound impact on my life. Ill be grateful to you all for a long time.