Cruising Sail Inventory
Brent, just a couple of follow-ups...
You don''t mention if your inner stay is removeable and you have a way to tension it when stowed (so it doesn''t bang and flop around). You make a good point about ease of handling and a removeable stay will make jibing/tacking the genoa easier on you. I think this is especially true for single-handers, e.g. when you''ve lost the engine and are working your way into an anchorage. I think this same comment (about ease of sail handling) relates to why a large(r) genoa just doesn''t make sense for you. And as you point out, its versatility is much less than a smaller foresail given the availability of a staysail and the wider wind range in which it will serve well.
I''m not sure you caught my caution about the jiffy reefing line(s). The failure point is at the aft (clew) cringle and the failure is eventually guaranteed offshore. No matter how tight you winch in that reefing line, once the reef is set and wind pumps, that line will stretch and tighten along its run...and where it rides over the cringle is where it will chafe. Since the early 1900''s (that I''m aware of), a seamanlike task after reefing is to seize the cringle to the boom using a piece of dacron line or (my preference) a piece of webbing, then release some of the tension on the reefing line. You''ll get far less chafe and on a line you don''t care about. This is not convenient when off the wind and it defeats the clever arrangement of reefing from the cockpit...but it saves the reef coming undone in the middle of the night, which is what will eventually happen.
Sounds like your cruise has already begun (since you''re working on your boat and getting her cruise ready) so good luck to you and don''t forget - in those awkward, exhuasting, expensive moments - that you''re doing this for the pleasure of it.