S/V Lilo, Islander 32
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Lafayette, Oregon
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Sail Weight Question
We have an older 32' Islander Sloop, weighting in at about 10K pounds IIRC and we are in need of new sails. I am having a hard time digging up information on sail weights.
A little about the intended use of the boat...
We are planning a two year cruise in a year or two, down the west coast of the US from Washington to California, Mexico Central America, then possibly left through the canal or right to the south pacific, depending upon our mental state and financial state at that point. We are definitely operating on the go simple go soon methodology, but also want to be reasonable when it comes to what kind of equipment we need.
One of the next projects coming up is new sails, the ones we have are totally shot. I have been looking at used sails to save money, and I am trying to figure out what weight I need to look at. I have looked at new sails too, and some sites have all there "offshore" sails at 8 oz or above, other tend to break it down by boat size and recommend 6 - 7 oz for our boat size.
I have found a good looking used main sail, but it is only 6 oz, but does have 2 reef points. Would we be just asking for trouble to go with a main in the 6oz range? Do we really need to stick with 8oz range?
We are not performance sailors and are operating with limited funds. If going with a lighter sail just means we reef earlier and go a little slower, I am fine with that, but if going with a lighter sail means we will be in serious danger in a storm, I would definitely hold out for a heaver sail and spend the extra money.
I was a bit surprised to not see more info on sail weight on this forum then I found, so please, if you have great knowledge in this area please enlighten us! (But please refrain from the "You just need to work until you have a million dollars in the bank and can afford 6 separate main sails before you should consider crossing the bay" posts. Thanks :-P )
Edit : Another option we may consider would be a lighter main now, and if we want to go west into the pacific, get a heaver main then, and keep the lighter for a spare. Thoughts on that?
1964 Islander 32
Saint Helens, OR
Last edited by IslanderGuy; 02-03-2009 at 08:38 PM.