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post #8 of Old 02-01-2014
Alex W
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Re: Closer to the wind question

What size is your genoa when completely unrolled?

If it is a typical 130-140% size then rolling up to 90% will have dramamtically bad effects on how close to the wind you can sail. The rolled up sail disturbs the airflow on the front section of the sail, the resulting sail shape has a very deep draft with the draft often too far back, and on most boats you also lose the use of telltales. All of these will reduce the pointing ability of the boat. I only partially roll in the sail if there is no other choice (always reefing my main first), and have recently added a second headsail to my inventory (100% and 135%) for use in higher winds. It is a little bit of a pain to change a roller furling headsail, but it is great to retain pointing ability in higher winds.

How are you measuring your wind angles? 20 degrees off of the apparent wind is quite close. I find the most useful tool to be looking at GPS tracks because that shows you where the boat is actually going (after leeway, current, etc) instead of what angle the boat is pointing.

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