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  #1  
Old 11-30-2006
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Question Self-Tacking Jib Conversion

I have read in the Forum archives discussions of the compromise to sail trim when self-tacking devices are employed. I have also seen some very nice boats that in their design have been outfitted this way by the manufacturer. Risking (what's the downside to risk?) displaying my unseamanship, it would seem fairly straightforward to re-rig such a boat if the owner desired better capabilities. Is this something that should be attempted?

Please feel free to take potshots; it's the price of learning. Yes, I have no experience with sophisticated rigs.

Thanks for your offerings,

Bob

Last edited by jones2r; 11-30-2006 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 11-30-2006
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One of the best sailing boats I have ever handled, a Cape Cod Bullseye, was equipped with a self tending jib "from the factory". It had a jib boom (club) arrangement that engaged the clew on one end and the forestay on the other. When viewed from abeam, the jib club seemed to be at a right angle to the forestay.

The sheet was a continuous line that ran from either side of the cockpit through fairleads on the deck just forward of the mast and thence through a single block on the clew end of the jib club. Sheet adjustments could thus be made on either end of the sheet. When tacking, the sail maintained exactly the same trim on the new tack unless an adjustment were made to the sheet.

Obviously you are limited to jibs and not genoa (lapping) jibs.

Properly done, I don't think there is any disadvantage to sail trim and when you are sailing in close quarters it makes tacking a real joy.

(Why did I ever sell that boat?)
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Old 11-30-2006
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That sounds like a good rig, with the outboard sheet fairleads. You have to have something like that, or a traveler, to keep force down on the club, to help keep the top of the sail fram twisting away. Also, of you do the conversion yourself, be careful about how you mount the club. My dad converted a Newport 41 many years ago in a simple way, by attaching the club to the headstay turnbuckle. I had the dubious pleasure of watching that turnbuckle eventually give way from the fatigue. Fortunately, we were sailing off the wind at the time and kept the mast.
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Old 12-02-2006
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sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice
Hey Bob! Are you getting serious about that Ahlberg? I can't go by their ad without losing five minutes of my life and I've only seen it a billion times.
I'd sail it a while before I changed anything. My memory is that they wanted to make the boat as friendly and flexible for single-handing as possible.
As far as changing it; of course you can-you can do anything you want with some (well, more than some) money. My impression was that they designed the main to draw more to offset the lack of drive from the self-tacking jib. Also, to the best of my knowledge, there is no backstay and a larger "conventional" jib would load the fore-stay more. Load it too much? Don't know. You'd have to replace the main with a different cut to rig a backstay.
If that's what you're buying please post photos with new proud owner-if you don't you're meat!
BTW, thanks for sticking around thru the missile attacks-it's a pleasure.
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Old 12-02-2006
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Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice
Bob, maybe I am not understanding,

You want to know if you buy a boat with a self tacking jib, if you can convert to a normal jib? Is that it?

Does it look like this?? either suspended or attached to the deck??

One more thing why do you want to modify it? Will you be racing? Is it really worth the change? The boat on the picture is a Hanse 37.
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Old 12-02-2006
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The Sagas are recent designs, and I'm sure that Robert Perry took everything into account when he designed the sailplan.

It's hard to argue with the convenience and ease of handling that these rigs provide, especially when shorthhanded or upwind in a real breeze.

I'd live with it a while before worrying about this issue.
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Bob,

Sorry, but I agree with Faster. why change a good design??

Ok. think about this, you might be able to point REAL REAL well with that type of jib, because you will be able to reduce the angle between the jib and the main, more than you would with a 130% 150% genoa. (I went for a smaller genoa, 115 to 120% working inside the shrouds, to point higher, because my boat has a large beam, and I would loose against narrower boats). Can't catch me downwind ehehehe.

So I went for a smaller genoa sail (look at the ACC boats!!) working near the mast and even have a (I don't know the name in english, sorry) rope that pulls the genoa sheet further near the mast. (ask one of the American friends what they call it - is it a barber???).



If you look at SOME racing sailboats they do not have very large genoas.

True you loose some triming abilities, but you gain is ease of sailing!

I make a deal with you. tell me what boat you are thinking about... I will tell you what option. In sailing all is possible.

Last edited by Giulietta; 12-02-2006 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 12-02-2006
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Giulietta,

Thanks for staying with me on this topic. Let me show you the cause for my concern.

"...and inability to fine tune the sails shape, if you care at all about performance a self-tacking jib is a really hard pill to swallow...."

"They are better than most heavy cruisers in light air and beating but compared to a coastal cruiser are not especially good in light air and don't point as well as I would have expected from a narrow waterline boat."

"The only thing we had to do to tack was to throw the helm over, and with a little adjustment of the traveler the boat was powered up again on the new board. In my opinion, the only drawback to a self-tacking jib system is a bit of difficulty adjusting the sail shape to your liking. If we'd been able to trim the jib a little flatter, the upwind tacking angles would have improved a lot."

The first quote is Jeff Halpern discussing self-tacking jibs in general. The second is his discussion of the Saga 43. The third is a quote from Simon Day's review of the Saga 35 in Blue Water Boats.

The Saga is a masthead rig, so I don't believe that a backstay tensioner will help with jib trim. I'm looking for a simple way to alleviate what others have identified as a compromise. I don't want to mention which Saga because there are so few of them available. The rigs are identical, and the solution should be the same.

Please let me know if you need further input.

And thanks,
Bob

ps: Now you know why I find your boat so appealing.

Last edited by jones2r; 12-03-2006 at 05:46 PM.
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Jones:

On a masthead rig the backstay tension does indeed help jib trim, as when properly used it sets the headstay tension and controls luff sag.

On a masthead, it is important that you limit mast bend with checkstays etc, otherwise a powerful backstay can actually lower the rig height and slack off all the standing rigging

On a fractional rig, the backstay is not so much about headstay tension as it is about mast bend and main shape - the runners deal with the headstay issue.

I understand your concerns, esp. in regard to the comments you quoted, but still suggest you learn the boat's habits first, then worry if necessary - it could well be that you'll be satisfied with things as they are. It depends on the type of sailing you expect to do.
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Old 12-02-2006
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I would try not to overanalyze without sailing the boat for yourself as everyone wants something different. But changing it would be so simple as to not worry about it. You may need to add some new tracks, but the boat has to be set up for using a genoa anyway, the tracks probably just don't go far enough forward or are inboard enough for a small jib like is used on a self tacking system. Remember that if a boat is designed with for a self tacking jib it means the for-triangle is smaller anyway, that's a good thing. Reducing sail is done primarily with the main instead of changing jibs.

Last edited by Gene T; 12-02-2006 at 05:42 PM.
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