headsail terminology questions (heavy/light) - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 26 Old 04-13-2009 Thread Starter
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headsail terminology questions (heavy/light)

what do the terms such as "heavy #1" or "light #2" mean when describing a headsail?
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post #2 of 26 Old 04-13-2009
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When racing seriously, a boat will sometimes carry a couple of #1 Genoas, one made of heavier material than the other. A very light #1 Genny will be useful in a very narrow range of wind strength, but will be great for that kind of light wind condition, especially upwind, when reachers and spinnakers are not usable. As the wind picks up, the light # 1 could be blown out or at least deformed so it is dropped and up goes the heavy #1, approximatly the same size, but stronger. I have never heard of a light #2 since if you need a lighter #2 you might as well go to a #1.

In addition, boats racing across oceans, such as the Transatlantic, need to carry spare sails since it is not at all unusual to blow out one or two over the course of weeks of racing round the clock. Usually one will be lighter than another, thus the terminology.

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post #3 of 26 Old 04-13-2009
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I'll take a stab.........

"Heavy" most likely means the cloth weight, with heavy meaning
"offshore" or "capable" of handling much higher wind velocities. Most of the heavy weight cloths are in the 7 to 8 ounces/sq yard minimum. Light means a lighter weight cloth, typically for inshore or coastal conditions, anywheres from 4 to 7 ounces/sq. yard.

The numbers refer to the rank in order of relative size. A #1 typically refers to a headsail that has the max range of overlap for your boat, so it would be the largest. For some boats it is 180% of the fore triangle, some 160%, some 150%., a number to 2 would be smaller, maybe 140 to 120%, a #3 would be 90 to 110% ish, etc.

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Last edited by DrB; 04-13-2009 at 04:59 PM.
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post #4 of 26 Old 04-13-2009
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VERY generally a #1 will be in the 155% range, a #2 would be say 135% and a #3 maybe 110... a #4 would depend on the rig, and then you're down to storm jib which is roughly the size of your underwear

You'd have a light #1 and a heavy #1, but the other sails aren't carried in different weights. Exception being something like a windseeker I guess, which an extremely light small-ish sail for use in conditions where peeing off the transom actually has a measurable impact on boatspeed
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post #5 of 26 Old 04-13-2009
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Great question rich! I've been wondering the same thing. And welcome to Sailnet dude!
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post #6 of 26 Old 04-13-2009
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What is a Code-0?

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post #7 of 26 Old 04-13-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EO32 View Post
What is a Code-0?
Not quite a genoa, not quite an asymmetric spinnaker... in simplest terms. Used for power reaching say something like 80-110 AWA
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post #8 of 26 Old 04-13-2009
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While we can all hypothosize, the numbers of the % style showed up in the IOR days, I also believe the heavy/light #1 etc showed up at the same time too. A light #1 would be potentially for winds to 5-7 knots at best. A std #1 might be a 155 like the light one, and a heavy #1 would be slightly smaller in some cases to a 150 or so, along with heavier cloth. A std/med #1 would work up to say 15knots, a heavy to 20 or so knots.

A #2 or 3 or 4, Again, depending upon the boat, how big a headsail it can handle, ie a fractional with a max 110, all the above about lt and mde and heavy #1 go out the door, as your max will be a 110 all thru the wt range, with boats like mine, a #3 would be a 110 with a max Jib being a 155! some boats even can handle 160-180 jibs.

In th end, not sure you will get a simple this is it answer. As what a #1 etc will depend upon the boat and the skipper etc.

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post #9 of 26 Old 04-13-2009
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When I raced on big boats, light and heavy had to do with apparent wind speed. The light was good to 10-12 after that the 1. The boat carried 28 sails and had something for everything, including trysail and blooper. If you've ever gone 14 knots under a blast reacher and two reefs, you know what a suit is.
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post #10 of 26 Old 04-13-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerregis View Post
When I raced on big boats, light and heavy had to do with apparent wind speed. The light was good to 10-12 after that the 1. The boat carried 28 sails and had something for everything, including trysail and blooper. If you've ever gone 14 knots under a blast reacher and two reefs, you know what a suit is.
I've done 14 just barely cracked off onto a close reach with 3 reefs, and the main was 6' short of a full hoist so really, 4 reefs!

And no, you crazy multi zealots... it was on a mono

Last edited by ste27; 04-13-2009 at 09:16 PM.
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