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jbarros 09-29-2003 09:51 AM

large main or large headsail?

I''ve reciently started looking at some of the faster boats around, and most of them seem to have larger headsails than mains. Is this to beet racing rules, or is there some inherent logic to this? I always thought that sail handling is a lot easier with a big main rather than headsail. Thoughts?

Thanks. :)

-- James

Jeff_H 09-29-2003 02:44 PM

large main or large headsail?
Actually, James, most of the modern fast boats have much larger mainsails than jibs. If you look at boats as diverse as IMS typeform boats, to Open class race boats, to America''s Cup boats, to racing multihulls, to Volvo 60''s, all have large mainsails in proportion to their jibs. Most older rating rule based race boats (CCA & IOR for example), were designed when the rule under penalized headsails and therefore have large jibs as compared to the mainsail strictly as a way of beating the rule. The only modern rule that still under penalizes headsails and so have predominantly small mainsails and large jibs is the MORC rule.

In a general sense, for an equal sail area, a fractionally rigged boat will be easier to handle and will be faster. It is only when you get into unrated area that a Masthead rig shines. If you were designing a rig for speed but independent of rating rules it would probably have a 7/8 fractional rig with minimal overlapping jibs and a sellection of masthead spinnaker and fractionally spinnakers.


jbarros 09-29-2003 06:13 PM

large main or large headsail?
Thanks. I could care less about my rating or time around bouyes. I like wed nights as a chance to brush up on sail handling, but thats about it. Also, the fast boats in my price range are all the older ones ;) but most of them dont fit the rest of my specs, so not realy considering them for serious ownership, just as a point of refrence for other boats.

-- James

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