Originally Posted by northoceanbeach
I was cruising downwind a little today and left only the genoa up. If this fine practice? SOmeone told me not to do it upwind because it puts bad pressure on the mast. I'm not sure if he knows what he's talking about or not. But I'll not do it until I know it's okay. Was fun going downwind. Was very relaxing.
Sailing with just a jib is just fine. When beating you are likely to experience lee helm (a tendency to turn away from the wind) and the boat will be more exposed to stalling (losing drive)...but if you anticipate these characteristics you can have a fine day sailing with just the jib...assuming you are working with higher windspeeds where a jib alone provides adequate power. The boat will sail more effecienly with main/jib if you can reef the main, but sometimes doing what is convenient and easy is OK.
Many one-designs such as the Rhodes19 don't have reefable mains, if you find yourself out in mid-20s or higher winds, dropping the main and sailing under jiob only is SOP.
On my 36 if I am leaving the mooring in 20+ knot winds for a short sail, I'll just unroll the jib and leave the main furled and covered.