Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New Orleans
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Was definitely windy this past weekend, and the lake can build up quite a chop--for those who don't know, Lake Pontchartrain is 20 by 30 miles, but only about 14-18 feet deep, so very short wave period, meaning steep waves. We call it the 'square chop', and going to windward is a big slugfest compared to the longer more rolling waves in deep water. Reaching is far preferred if you can do it geographically.
I'd say jib size is dependent on balance with the main, and keeping a slight to moderate weather helm. So you can't reef the main too much even with a working jib, or you'll start to get lee helm (depending on the boat and keel type). Also I think the jib takes more of a beating than the main, so at some point you need heavier cloth than the usual 4-oz dacron. I'd be leery of using carbon fiber as a heavy air jib, it's a strong but brittle fabric and any rip won't stop til it's shredded the sail.
Advantage to using a storm jib is, storm jib shape isn't that important since it fills so little of the foretriangle, so any good one that fits your headstay would work. Or a sturdy looking jib from a much smaller class of boat might work (if the cloth is fairly heavy), and you could pick one up used cheap.
Last edited by nolatom; 10-10-2011 at 10:11 AM.