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post #1 of 5 Old 02-02-2005 Thread Starter
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Self-Tending Jib

I am planning on buying a used Catalina 27. And, since I will be doing a lot of singlehanding (my wife is not a sailor and my kids are young) I have been thinking about installing a self-tending jib.

Does anyone have any experience with this type of rigging. I''d appreciate any help you can give to any/all of the following questions.

1. What do you see as the advantages/disadvantages?

2. Is there much impact on the boat''s ability to point?

3. What type of configuration did you chose?

4. Will I still have the ability to control the shape of the jib?

Thanks for the help

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post #2 of 5 Old 02-02-2005
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Self-Tending Jib

I sail a Cat 270 single handed with just a furler, auto pilot makes life easier but I don''t think a self tending jib is going to be necessary for your purposes.
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post #3 of 5 Old 02-02-2005
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Self-Tending Jib

By it''s nature, a self tending jib is of a non-overlapping type. The C-27 uses an overlapping genny to generate a majority of it''s thrust. You would be losing a great deal of performance in anything less then an extreme high wind situation, and you won''t want to be out with novices in that anyway.

Put you money into an autopilot and a roller furler instead. I do that when shorthanded on my 37'' and it''s fine.

If you still see the "Self Tending" type of headsail to be in the cards, you can come up with a modified version just by using a non-overlapping jib. Very easy to handle and tack by yourself.

A true self tending or "Club Footed" jib is high footed and uses a boom. Just like your mainsail but mounted forward on the boat. You will need to attach the leading end of the "Club" to the stem, like the gooseneck on your main boom. The aft end of the club has a single sheet attached, you can use block and tackle or lead it back to a winch (preffered) and either a track on the foredeck or a block on a pad eye. Be careful if you decide to do the single block approach, as you will be mounting a blaock that will be taking a great deal of load in an area not designed for it. You may have to cut out the core under the area of the block, replace it with something solid, like marine ply, re-glass it back up and through bolt it with a hefty backing plate. A curved track will spread the load, but you still have to use a backing plate. This a lot of work, will add weight to the bow, is costly, and will degrade performance in light to moderate winds.

The young couple in the slip next to me bought a C-27 as thier first boat, they have young kids as well. They seem to be having a blast just sneaking out of the harbor and going for short sails. They use a hanked on headsail, and are learning the ropes as they go along.
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post #4 of 5 Old 02-02-2005
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Self-Tending Jib

Self-tacking jibs are very common in Scandinavia, using a curved track and a traveler car. You don''t need a club foot, which are known as leg-breakers for good reason. If you go to the Rutgerson marine hardware website they sell kits with the requisite hardware. The jib needs to be 85-90% to fit, so as stated above masthead boats that depend on power from overlapping headsails will be underpowered in light to moderate air. Boats designed for these setups have big mains and can be adequately powered up by 6-8 knots. A Catalina 27 would need more like 12 true before it would move with such a small jib. You might try something like a 110. Given a little practice they are easy to tack singlehanded on a 27'' boat and will give a broader wind range.
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post #5 of 5 Old 02-03-2005
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Self-Tending Jib

I would agree that Jacob won''t be well served with a self-tending jib on his C27 but, given the title of this thread, I''d like to reinforce Jon''s observation about the curved deck track and self-tending jib arrangement that is very common in Europe now. I saw this being used on many boats in all seven N European countries in which we sailed last year, not just the Scandinavian ones.

Perhaps its best feature is that it isn''t mutually exclusive with using a conventional overlapping headsail. Some boats will shift from one type of headsail to another, genoa or <100% jib but either one on a furling system, depending on their sailing plans. And larger boats (perhaps 11M+ LOD) with longer cruising plans will sometimes carry both types of sails, using a conventional masthead forestay and an inner solent stay, both sails on furlers, with the inner sail self-tacking and used in heavier air.

This last arrangement is a flexible and easily handled sail plan, except that tacking in light airs requires one to at least partially furl the genoa since a solent stay is so close to the forestay at the masthead, preventing the sail from easily slipping thru. Having said that, however, it''s fair to note that N European sailing is characterized by fast moving frontal systems that can result in widely changing wind conditions, including stronger winds changing frequently in direction. Such conditions justify the complexity and expense of this set-up. My sense is that this would be overkill for a boat sailed exclusively in U.S. waters or the Caribbean. Not a bad choice, mind you - just more than necessary. It would seem ideal for an ocean-crossing cruising boat that plans to visit mid-latitude destinations (NZ or the N Pacific, e.g.).

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