Originally Posted by alanr77
She needs new sails anyway so I may get three reefs installed in the new sail. Definitely need new headsails including a storm jib. The area I sail in is quite volatile and it is very likely that this is not the last storm I will get caught up in.
Look for used sails (from Bacon or someone similar). I am familiar with Bacon's rating system and anything from Good to Excellent would do the trick. If you get a new main consider two reefs but perhaps each a bit bigger than the standard size. With three reefs you end up with a lot of lines on board. Better to have a two-reef system that works really well. I can't imagine that you would ever need a true storm jib for a coastal cruiser since you can avoid the conditions where this would be used - by not going out when there is anything over 30 knots forecast. We just finished a 6400 mile cruise including 11 days from the Chesapeake to St Thomas and I never even 'thought' about using either my storm jib or storm trysail. If you have a larger genoa and a working jib (~100%) that is all you will need.
I have no idea if your boat would heave to well or not. Best thing is to experiment. Try it in 10 knots and see what happens; if it works, try it in 15 and work your way up the scale. The basic idea is pretty simple, tack the boat without letting go the jib sheet. Beyond this there are lots of possibilities, like how much jib is best, how much main, are you better with board up or down, how will you keep the tiller at the right angle. It is fun to experiment. You will not stop the boat in one place. It will forereach at a knot or so but should be pretty comfortable compared to bare poles in a squall.