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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 02-27-2007
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storm jib

Well since I am replacing my blocks (see my previous thread on Mainsheet blocks and all of the great advice I received) I am thinking that I really should be carrying a storm jib.

my boat displaces 10,500 lbs. the J length is 12.5 and the I is 38.5. those are foot and luff measurements respectively, right?

I hank on my sails (nothing against furlers just not for me). So I wonder if anyone has an opinion on good measurements and cloth weight? My draft is 3'8" with a 2500 lb ballast so she is a little on the tender side. I am looking for something to keep her off her ears when the winds start howling.

Thanks in advance,
Mike
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Old 02-27-2007
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Doctom

The "I" measurement is not your luff length, it is the distance on the mast from a line horizantal from your tack to the forestay attachment on the mast. Luff length is the hypotenuse, if you remember your trig, and is slightly longer.

It sounds like you're looking for a heavy weather jib rather than a true storm jib, or, what many would refer to as a #4. These are often of heavier cloth, say 8 oz, non overlapping, sometimes partial hoist (ie the luff length shorter than the forestay) and with a raised clew to avoid catching deck sweeping water.

Any good sailmaker can advise your on specifics for your boat.
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Old 02-27-2007
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thanks for straightening me out on that. Unfortunately I dont have funds to have a sail made and will have to buy a used sail such as from Baconsails.com but was stymied by the myriad of choices and wondered if there was a rule of thumb for storm jib proportions.

Thanks again,
Mike
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Old 02-27-2007
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If you are looking for a true storm jib keep in mind that it differs from a jib in a few ways. The fabric is heavier, the corners are reinforced, the shape is different and the panels are laid out differently then a working sail. In short you need to buy a storm jib with the right dimensions instead of just a jib with the right dimensions. But you asked about the weight of the cloth so you have already considered some of this.

The shape or in particular the height of the clew is selected so that it will sheet to the hardware you use for the working headsails. If you can’t get exactly what you need you can use a tack pennant to adjust the height of the clew so that the sheets lead correctly and depending on how your halyard is made you may also need a head pennant. In no way do you want a sail that has a low clew. It tends to catch the waves in bad weather and puts a strain on the rig and hardware.

What boat is this and who designed her? You may also want to talk to a sailmaker and see if they have the sailplan for your boat. A lot of sailmakers will help you out even if you aren’t going to buy thinking that you will come back at some point and become a customer.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
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Old 02-27-2007
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Mike, also bear in mind that a true storm jib will be high cut, to give you visibility under the sail and to let green water roll off the deck without tearing into the sail. It won't just be a "smaller job".

And, in theory, it will also be a bright color (red, yellow, orange) not plain white, so that you can be seen in case you need help or others need to avoid running you down. You can skip the color--but if the material and stitching aren't extra strong, you'll only be fooling yourself. Just getting a sail the right size won't be good.

Since they are usually cut relatively flat, simple, and strong, you might find that having one made by a loft isn't as expensive as you think. The size also should relate to the size of the reefed main (or storm main) so as to keep the boat balanced in higher winds, so if there is already a "stock" design for your boat, it is worth finding out what that is and trying to stay close to it.

Since you probably will not be interested in getting the last bit of speed and high tech design out of your storm jib I would say this is a very safe bet to ask around for bids from any loft that can supply a "decent" product, as opposed to looking for top notch racing sails. But since it is also a fairly short and simple sewing job--you may find your first choice loft can make it for less than you think, especially if you get the order in now, and tell them "anytime in the next 90 days" etc. will do for delivery.
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Old 02-28-2007
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I am assuming that you aren't cutter rigged, i.e. have a permanent staysail stay. Because if that were the case, I would recommend a heavier, reef-capable staysail rather than a storm jib.

Your J measurement indicates perhaps a 30-32 footer with a 11 or 12 foot boom. See if you have a third reef in your main and see if you can borrow a storm jib of roughly the right dimensions (it's usually the newest sail on the boat, even if it's 20 years old). Then you can practice heavy weather reefing and the use of the storm jib in say, 20-25 knots, which will help you get a feel for the sort of challenges of dealling with the real sort of weather that would call for a storm jib, such as 35-50 knots.

All the other advice here is pretty good. I prefer hank-ons too, and while I have foresail furling on the new boat, the staysail remains hank-on. My old boat is all hank-on, and she points really well as a lot of the big J early IOR boats tend to do.
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Old 02-28-2007
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Isn't there a storm jib that wraps around the furled jib? Those look interesting to me.
pigslo
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Old 02-28-2007
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Pigslo is thinking of the ATN GaleSail, which is made in four different sizes and is a pretty good alternative to a dedicated storm jib, especially if you don't have an inner forestay for the sail. I carry one my boat.
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Old 02-28-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
Pigslo is thinking of the ATN GaleSail, which is made in four different sizes and is a pretty good alternative to a dedicated storm jib, especially if you don't have an inner forestay for the sail. I carry one my boat.
I like it as much for the roller furling "wrapping" attribute as much as for the storm jib function. Partly furled Yankees are terrible sails in most situations, making them "either/or" in heavy air.

I have also heard of far too many tack or furler failures at the worst moments, leading to the loss of the sails. The Gale Sail might be a decent alternative to stripping the stay entirely to run up a storm sail.
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That's one of the design advantages of the GaleSail. It is designed to help prevent the furled headsail from ever unfurling in storm conditions...
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