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  #1  
Old 12-30-2008
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New Head sail - what size?

We are thinking of purchasing a new head sail and would appreciate some thoughts on what others use as their primary head sail. We have a 1979 MKI Sabre 34. We sail primarily around cape cod, nantucket and Marthas Vineyard. With a few extended trips during the season.

Not sure what size head sail we should purchase. I am thinking a 130 would be the most versatile. In heavy air our 100 works fine but its old and getting thin and limits our pointing ability. Our 150 is old, thin and limits our ability to point close to the wind and seems to big for our primary head sail. FYI - The main sail is about 6-yrs old and is in good shape. Any thoughts on what would be an appropriate size to have as the primary head sail on the boat would be helpful?

Thanks in advance-

Joe
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Old 12-30-2008
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A 130% genny sounds like a good choice.

I'd recommend having the sail cut with a higher clew than normal, rather than a deck sweeper to make it easier to see around when sailing shorthanded with the full genny.

If you're going to go local, I'd highly recommend Harding Sails in Marion, Mass. Talk to Graham and tell him Dan with the Telstar 28 sent you.
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Old 12-30-2008
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140 max

Ambianceack,

For the conditions around you, I would go no larger than a 140. It also depends on what wind conditions you like to go out in and how quickly you reef and if you have a RF for the headsail. If you have a RF, a 140 with with a foam luff and two reef lines would be a pretty universal headsail for light and fresh breezes. If you get into heavy air, you then can drop the 140 and put on the 100.

I have a RF 135 on my boat (about your size) and it is our workhorse sail. I also have a 150 and 130 and a 110. I have yet to use the 150 and 110 as I can reef down the 135 to about a 110.

DrB
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I have new sails on order for my boat and made the final decsion on headsail size based on disucssion of my concerns and the type sailing we do. The boat came with a 150 and after taking measurements the sailmaker was of the opinion that given the location and length of my genoa tracks that a 140 was the largest that could properly be sheeted and he suggested a slightly higher tack. I also thought the 150 was a bit much to tack so we went with the 140 and are looking forward to next season to see how the new sail handles.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ambianceack View Post
... I am thinking a 130 would be the most versatile. In heavy air our 100 works fine but its old and getting thin and limits our pointing ability. Our 150 is old, thin and limits our ability to point close to the wind and seems to big for our primary head sail. FYI - The main sail is about 6-yrs old and is in good shape. Any thoughts on what would be an appropriate size to have as the primary head sail on the boat would be helpful?

Thanks in advance-

Joe
You have it right with a 130%. My primary sail has been a 125%...works well for me, I change down when it gets too breezy. I don't change up for light air, as the 150% is too large and a hassle to refold on the boat - it only comes out to race.

Have the sail fit to reef once ( to about 100%) and you are ste except for storm conditions.
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A neighbor of mine had a RF 155 made last summer works well for him on a hunter 27 or 28? It has 2 reefs built in. He got a UK tape drive carbon IIRC, altho it maybe the TDS, slightly less expensive, but still a tapedrive. I got a tds main last summer.

I've been hanked until Oct when a new 155 carbon came in, that will be used for racing. I have on order for spring delivery a 135 or 140 in a high cut clew. Cannot remember off the top of my head which it is. That will be the cruiser, across puget sound for dinner and back.

I also have a 110 dac/mylar that I use in winds above 15-20 with spouse cruising, or 20'ish racing. Along with a 130 1.5oz nylon reacher coming for the <7knot wind eveing summer races.

My old genoa was about a dacron 135 that was later cut with a higher clew. That is a nice way to go for cruising. For around puget sound where I am, a HC 140 to me would be better, I'm seeming to recall that is what I ordered, will have to look it up. If it is a 135, may change it out to a 140......You may want to look at Ullmans CAL sails, a laminate that is the same price as a high end dacron, with equal life. I know of one person with this sail, luvs it! Got a RF155 for his 40' live aboard, furls great, sails faster than his dac sail did, but at 20 yrs old, most sails are pretty well shot!

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Thanks for the help! We will likely go with the suggestions for the 130 at Harding. Thanks for the thought Dan, however we are existing customers of Hardings', but will pass along your compliment to Graham.

Joe
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Joe—

Post photos of the new sail when you get it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ambianceack View Post
Thanks for the help! We will likely go with the suggestions for the 130 at Harding. Thanks for the thought Dan, however we are existing customers of Hardings', but will pass along your compliment to Graham.

Joe
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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Sail size

I'd second or third or fifth the 125 to 135% LP size. You may consider having some "luff filler" sewed in as well as two stripes on the bottom of the sail. Rolling to the first stripe gets you to 110%....the second gets you to about 90%. The "luff filler" makes it a flatter sail when rolled up. Sail makers use different techniques for this filler. Some use foam, others sew in extra fabric, some use a sewed in length of line. There is also a lighter weight sun covering available you should discuss that is stuck on and then sewn. Last, the head and tack can be configured with strong spectra straps instead of pressed in or sewn in rings. This sets the sail up closer to the furler and aids in rolling it up.

Good Luck!

121 Guy
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Good call 121. A friend of mind has a North 150 Genoa that roller reefs very nicely. The narrow "bolt rope" for the furler is only in the center 50% of the sail, and the whole sail has a zippered sleeve that goes around the furler foil. When reefing the bolt rope pulls and the sleeve slips giving the sail a nice shape without a big lump from the foam that most sail makers use.
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