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  #1  
Old 06-25-2008
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Desirable sail inventory for extended cruising?

There is no big rush on this but I am looking at the sails that came with my Bristol 45.5 and trying to reconcile this list with what I would need for extended sailing including trans-oceanic with a crew that might only be two in total. Other considerations are storage space on board - for a boat this size there are not many places large enough to store sails and cost - this is not a money is no object situation. The boat is extremely well-equipped with powerful winches which helps a lot - eg primaries are Lewmar 65s and primary halyard winches are 3 speed - so we have the power to handle large sails.

Current sails (condition of all is good to virtually new);
1. 150% furling genoa
2. 135% furliing genoa
3. 90% furling genoa
4. hank on staysail for removable inner stay - heavy and not huge but definitely bigger than a storm jib
5. symmetric spinnaker
6. "Flasher" - this seems to be a light air, nylon reaching sail that goes up the track on the furler rather than being set loose like an assymmetric
7. main
8. storm trysail with separate track
9. riding sail for anchor

What can go from this list:
150% genoa or flasher - this is mainly a storage space consideration
spinnaker - can't imagine flying this sucker with just two of us

Additional sails needed:
storm jib (hanked on)
assymmetric spinnaker - if I get this can both the 150 and flasher go?

Any thoughts? Thanks.
Bruce
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  #2  
Old 06-25-2008
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WOW That's the sail inventory I have! At least until I wake up....

Looks more than ideal. I think your (enviable) job is culling sails instead of forking out for new $ails. The best advice I can offer is that which was given to me a while back. Don't make any major changes to your boat until you've had it for a while. This goes doubly for getting rid of sails.

If I were you I might think about pitching the 150% genoa. But that depends on where you cruise. If you spend all your time in Mexico in the summer you might ditch one of the smaller sails.

I'd look into the "flasher?" a little more and see if it can be used or adapted to a flexible hoist able furler. That might make it easier to get out and use. I'm sure that between that sail, the 150 and the assymetric you've got some serious overlap, but only sailing each will tell you which is best to keep for your boat.

My boat came with a symmetric, which I was originally sure I was going to pitch, but now I'm only 70% sure. Asymmetrics really don't go downwind that well. Here in Puget Sound the wind is either dead behind or dead on. So Asymmetrics aren't a good choice at all. Still, even if I swore to only fly it in light airs I'd worry about the wind picking up and getting it down.

Tell us where you intend to cruise and what ocean routes. I know one couple that cruised the oceans and sold their asymmetric because the swells caused it to fill and BANG over few seconds. Other, who spend more time coastal, love them.

MedSailor
PS I'd look into used storm jibs. They're often built and never used so the used are really close to new.
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  #3  
Old 06-25-2008
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Even if you get the asym spin, you'll probably want the 150% genoa, since the 150% genoa is probably better in heavier winds and upwind than the asym will be.

As for asym's banging...it depends on how rolly the boat is and where you're sailing her.
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  #4  
Old 06-25-2008
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Bruce, a lot depends on the conditions you will be in. I'd suggest looking at polar charts for the boat, if you can obtain them, to see how boatspeed and direction compare with some of the different headsails. And pilot charts for the waters you plan to sail in, to see what wind conditions you can expect there.

Presumably some of the smaller sails (i.e. the 90) are also heavier than the cloth used in the 150. While you can always furl a 150--you're still going to destroy the shape of it by using it in heavy winds (say, 20 knots) while the 90 will be drawing cleaner (no furler bundle) and keeping shape in the same wind. The 90 might very well be you "storm jib" or you might want to replace it with something designed in that thought, although some folks would say the storm job should be hanked on, so you aren't depending on the furler either.

Flying a chute with light crew...Not unless you're real comfortable with it. Could be the first sail to be sent home, they can be a handful.

But spending some time with the boat and seeing how she balances and handles under different combinations will probably make the decisions easier. For the next month or two, I wouldn't get rid of anything in a hurry, unless it is already worn enough to merit retirement.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Bruce, a lot depends on the conditions you will be in. I'd suggest looking at polar charts for the boat, if you can obtain them, to see how boatspeed and direction compare with some of the different headsails. And pilot charts for the waters you plan to sail in, to see what wind conditions you can expect there.

Presumably some of the smaller sails (i.e. the 90) are also heavier than the cloth used in the 150. While you can always furl a 150--you're still going to destroy the shape of it by using it in heavy winds (say, 20 knots) while the 90 will be drawing cleaner (no furler bundle) and keeping shape in the same wind. The 90 might very well be you "storm jib" or you might want to replace it with something designed in that thought, although some folks would say the storm job should be hanked on, so you aren't depending on the furler either.

Flying a chute with light crew...Not unless you're real comfortable with it. Could be the first sail to be sent home, they can be a handful.

But spending some time with the boat and seeing how she balances and handles under different combinations will probably make the decisions easier. For the next month or two, I wouldn't get rid of anything in a hurry, unless it is already worn enough to merit retirement.
Hellosailor,

Polar charts? What are those and where would I find them? It sounds like, from your description, that they give you boat speed estimates for different sail combinations? That's exactly what I'm looking for for my Formosa 41 as I try and figure out what size roller furling headsail to use.

If the charts are unobtainable is there a good way to estimate these values?

Regards,
MedSailor
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How does one switch from three different furling headsails? For a shorthanded crew, it seems like a lot of work & hassle to pull down a genoa that is out full to put up a smaller sail. You'd likely want the smaller sail because the wind is up which seems like a very bad time to be trying to pull down a furling 150% headsail.
Seems like there should be one main headsail on a furler and then some sort of stormsail that can be hanked on over that headsail like those made by ATN. Same for an Asym in a sock that is easy for a shorthanded crew to handle.

My boat has 2 grooves on the headsail furler and came with a second headsail that is alegedly to be used wing & wing. Not sure I'm ever going to get around to using that rig.
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Old 06-25-2008
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Think about adding another furler inside the first. That would solve a lot of issues.
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  #8  
Old 06-25-2008
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The Flasher IS an Asymmetric Chute. We have one along with a sock and it works great! UK Sails Kemah, Texas
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Old 06-25-2008
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xort-
"How does one switch from three different furling headsails? " The same way one reefs a conventional mainsail: before it is needed, or else with a lot of extra effort.
When you have two tracks on the headfoil, traditionally you unroll "this" sail all the way. If necessary, trim to depower the boat and head downwind. Now, you can raise the second headsail (you do have a second halyard of course, and have matched halyards port/starboard to headfoil tracks) inside of the first one. Then drop the first headsail, keeping it inside the rail.
As with reefing the main, the problem comes when you realize that you "shoulda" anticipated the wind change but now are way overpowered. In that case you might want to head upwind, put the boat in irons, and drop the excessive sail from the track. Whatever works out best for you and your boat. Cruisers, after all, have the option of "stopping" to do whatever is best, without worrying about keeping up boatspeed for the race.

Wing and wing is *usually* a slow point of sail, but some boats do well on it. I was trained "no no no" about w&w but finally met a boat where it actually was just as fast as anything else--and the polars confirmed it!

Medsailor-
"Polars" refer to polar graphs, usually plotted in terms of boatspeed versus direction versus windspeed, for a specific sail or set of sails. And then overlaid with different sail options. Hard to describe with words--which is why they are graphs. The numbers can be determined by sailing and noting, or by running a velocity prediction program (VPP) to generate numbers used to plot them. For boats that are raced, someone has usually paid to get charts, or an owners association has access to them. The USYRU should have them available--for a fee. But you also may be able to find a free VPP program on the web, there used to be at least one around, if you really hunted for it.
You have to take them with a grain of salt, since there are always intangibles (sea state, offsetting current, etc.) and there's room for some interpretation, i.e. if they show two different mainsail sizes, and you've got one sail with a deep reef in it, your reef will create turbulence and never quite be the same as the smaller "real" sail would be.
But in general they can show you the fastest points of sail (for boat speed and VMG alike, upwind or down) as well as the most effective sail combinations, i.e. if they show the boat will be faster with less sail--they're usually RIGHT about it, and reefing early may pay off. While they're designed for racing purposes, they can help anyone come up to speed (no pun intended) about how to best trim a boat. If you have a local PHRF group, they may also be able to hook you up with something.
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Old 06-25-2008
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Get rid of the 150% for sure. You don't want to be changing jibs, plus a 150% for your boat is one big sail, I doubt you have the foredeck room to fold it properly, and dumping it down the hatch will fill the forward third of the boat... a real mess. (I take my 150% aboard only to race, and always have an exit strategy for it...usually stopping at the dock to fold and leave behind).

I bet the hank on foresail is your storm jib, measure it, I bet it'll be about 45%...

You need a downwind sail or you'll be doing a lot of powering. I personally think the symmetric is the way to go...buy I leave my spinn sheets run most of the season...and put it up whenver there's at least two of us (plus the AP). You can look into the flasher to see if it will run you downwind well. I doubt it, so if money is no object, have a rigging shop build you a sprit and buy a new asymetric to go with.
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