Not quite accurate Barry. The Genoa size is determined by LP measurement, not area. Of course, if you have an oddly shaped sail, say a genny with a high cut clew to allow you to see under it more easily, the measurement of LP changes slightly than if you had the same sail with a normal foot and clew.
From the wikipedia entry on genoas...
The term genoa is often used somewhat interchangeably with jib, but technically there is a clear delineation. A jib is no larger than the foretriangle, which is the triangular area formed by the mast, deck or bowsprit, and forestay. A genoa is larger, with the leech going past the mast and overlapping the mainsail. To maximize sail area the foot of the sail is generally parallel and very close to the deck when close hauled. Genoas are categorized by the percentage of overlap. This is calculated by looking at the distance along a perpendicular line from the luff of the genoa to the clew, called the LP (for "luff perpendicular"). A 150% genoa would have an LP 50% larger than the foretriangle length. Sail racing classes often specify a limit to genoa size. Different classes of genoa have overlaps; a number 1 genoa may be a 150%, and a number 2 genoa, 125%. Jibs are also defined by the same measure, with overlaps of 100% or less. Under Performance Handicap Racing Fleet rules most boats are allowed 155% genoas without a penalty.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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