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post #3 of Old 03-18-2010
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The mast, forestay and deck make a triangle. If the headsail fits within that triangle the sail size is 100%, or more commonly known as a jib. If the sail is larger than that triangle, it is a genoa. If the sail is 50% larger than the triangle, it is a 150 genoa (150% larger).

Racers don't use numbers like that. They will have a #1, typically a large genoa, like a 150, a #2, like a 135, and a #3, or a jib. Some will have light and heavy #1, and #2, etc, so that they have a sail for all wind conditions.

Typically, the smaller the boat, the larger number genoa they carry. A small boat like a 22' may use a 150 or even larger, but a big boat, like a 40 would not usually have a sail so large. A 150 on a small boat is still a fairly small sail, so it won't be that difficult to tack, jibe, and trim. A big boat, with a large fore triangle, will have a bigger sail, and this requires more effort to trim (even with larger winches).

IMHO, the condition of the sail is way more important than the size of the sail. I would much rather have a 150 in good condition than a 135 that is blown out. Just sail the boat for the first year and see how she does and how the sail works. A 140 may be fine for you. Unless you are in a real windy place (like San Francisco), it's probably OK. And, as mentioned, a foller furler makes things a lot easier. When I was in the market for a new headsail I bought a 140 that can be reefed down to a 110.

Good luck,

Barry Lenoble
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY

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