Last weekend I saw a couple of boats in a local race who had eliminated or modified the upper lifelines where the genoa hangs up if the sail is outboard. Is that modification worth it for casual non-spinnaker racing? Is it legal?
Lifelines can be legally modified, but it may be worth checking the rules too, to make sure the rules have been followed. I''ve had crew go overboard and almost overboard, and the latter is preferable. Reading the USSA Arthur Hanson (sp?) Medal site about rescues at sea - some with happier results than others - is sobering.
Lifeline modification may be legal where you come from, but not in IRC races. We get round the same problem by having two sets of genoa sheets available. Thus if we are on the wind the sheets are inside the lifelines, and if we are to bear away, we clip on the alternate set threaded outside the lifelines and take up the weight as we ease off (and obviously it works the other way when coming onto the wind). Hope this helps.
More to the point, I''m wondering if the genoa is less efficient if the foot rides up and over the lifeline. My genoa is hanked on, and cut very close to the deck, so the foot of the sail is quite misshapen.
That''s why I''m saying use 2 sets of sheets. When hard on the wind we keep everything inside the lifelines ... off the wind everything outside ... granted on a fine reach you can still get a hang up ... why not put an open it/close it gate at that point ... ours has very neat clips that do not reduce strength when closed