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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 04-28-2010
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Life/Headsails/Compromises

I was wanting to get some feedback about genoas/jibs/roller furlings.

Ref: Mac26 classic (not the motorsailer) with roller furling.
use:Cruiser not a racer
location: South Texas bays
winds: usually 10 - 20mph
Main issues:

My 135% genoa needs to be replaced. After talking to some people that know the Mac, the 150% genoa seems to be the preferred size for a genoa, mainly due to the chain plates/shrouds placed so far out (at the hull) that the 135% is hard to sheet properly.

People say you loose a lot of pointing ability / performance, with a 150% furled up to a standard size jib. I have only sailed with a 135% and to be honest, it seemed to point pretty well but I wonder if the 150% might be noticeably worse.

Ideally, in a good breeze it's better to have a jib, in light air, downwind, it's better to have a genoa.

One other Mac owner, changes his sails on his roller depending on the wind conditions. He's more of a racer than me.

I understand that roller furlings are by their nature, a compromise.

How do others decide on type/size of their head sails?

I plan on taking her out with a hanked on jib to experiment before ordering a new sail. (a jib also came with the boat, although has never been used)
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Old 04-28-2010
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Frankly, in 10-20 knot winds if that is ave, a 135-140 will be ample. You will do reasonably well in 10 knot winds, yet can hold it to 20, granted you might be pushing a 135 at 20, but it can be done. On my boat, a 155 is pretty much past ok at or around 15 steady. At 20, my 110 and full main is nice, a reef and the 140 works well too.

I can actually point higher with the 110, but my tracks for the blade are different, and farther in ward than my tracks for the 130, 140 and 155 sails I have.

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Old 04-29-2010
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The main way to decide what size headsail to get is to determine what the average conditions you'll be sailing the boat in most often. If you sail in an area with high winds, then a small genoa or even a working jib might be a good idea. If you sail in an area with very light winds as the typical conditions, then a light 150% genny might be a good choice.

I'd point out that most roller furling setups will not have very good sail shape if any more than 30% of the sail is reefed as a general rule. Adding a foam or rope luff to the sail can help with this, but only to a small degree.

Also, sailing in conditions that REQUIRE you to sail with a heavily reefed genny will often end up damaging the genny, since it may be of lighter cloth than is really designed for heavier wind conditions—leading to the cloth being distorted and stretched out unevenly from using it heavily reefed.

If you sail in an area with normally heavier winds, then a good compromise might be to get a 110-130% genny and add a wire luff screacher that is on a furling drum to use for light air conditions.
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Old 04-29-2010
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I believe you havea lightly-ballasted boat, so a 150% as a primary sail would be an even worse choice than it would be anyway...forgetaboutit. A 150% wont point any better than a 135% with a wide shroud base, the small sail gives you more chance to trim inside the shroud, tho a 135% probably not.

Get a 135% with a luff pad that improves the furling reef so its a little better, still a compromise. I personally prefer to change down if needed...
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Old 04-29-2010
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Yeah, even not racing if you had a 135 and a working jib, and simply chose the right one for the day (proves/uses you headsail halyard on a regular basis) you'll have much more controlled and enjoyable sailing.

For better downwind results think about a spinnaker (either type) rather than adding a 150 to the mix. It will add to your skills and enjoyment (though perhaps take away from your wallet....)
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Old 04-29-2010
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I use both a 100% jib and 150% genoa on my furler and change them out depending on how much wind there is that day. The jib track is on the forward cabin top and leads the sheets inside the shrouds so I do tend to point higher with the jib. The genoa tracks are way aft on the cockpit combings and lead the sheets on the outside of the shrouds so I do not point as high but the genoa is a godsend when winds are light which they generally are in the PNW. Unless it is really blowing a gale, it is usually light, we get the extremes here. I find having two headsail choices a blessing and I only cruise, not much into racing. Conditions here are too subject to change so I prefer the two headsail choice setup. I also have a furler that easily facilitates changing headsails, not a big deal. I use the 150% genoa most of the time. I have a 2003 MacGregor 26M.

Last edited by CaptKermie; 04-29-2010 at 01:34 PM. Reason: Forgot something
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Old 04-29-2010
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CaptK

I really hadn't thought about switching out the sail on the roller furling, based on wind conditions. Perhaps I will add that to the mix of options.
At about what wind speeds do you decide to go with the 100% jib?

I did have a passing thought about rigging a removable forestay slightly aft of the roller furling headstay, to hang a jib on for days with heavier wind conditions.

I suppose ignorance is bliss. I have been sailing with a 135 roller furling genoa for 5 years without an issue. Now I am confused

I was just going to replace with another 135, but several of the Mac sites have said they don't recommend the 135. I can understand that a 150 rolled up to 100, wouldn't look too good.

Of course this really isn't a Mac issue. For those others with roller furlings and 135 - 150 genoa's, how small do you reef them when the wind picks up?


Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptKermie View Post
I use both a 100% jib and 150% genoa on my furler and change them out depending on how much wind there is that day. The jib track is on the forward cabin top and leads the sheets inside the shrouds so I do tend to point higher with the jib. The genoa tracks are way aft on the cockpit combings and lead the sheets on the outside of the shrouds so I do not point as high but the genoa is a godsend when winds are light which they generally are in the PNW. Unless it is really blowing a gale, it is usually light, we get the extremes here. I find having two headsail choices a blessing and I only cruise, not much into racing. Conditions here are too subject to change so I prefer the two headsail choice setup. I also have a furler that easily facilitates changing headsails, not a big deal. I use the 150% genoa most of the time. I have a 2003 MacGregor 26M.
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Old 04-30-2010
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I wouldn't second guess yourself here. If you've been sailing for 5 years with your 135 % and have been happy, with the performance I wouid stick with it. A new sail will give you even better performance, if your old one was blown out.

When, It was time for me to replace my headsail, I went from a 150 to a 135 and never looked back. With your average winds of 10-20, I believe you have the correct headsail if you're cruising.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest View Post
I wouldn't second guess yourself here. If you've been sailing for 5 years with your 135 % and have been happy, with the performance I wouid stick with it. A new sail will give you even better performance, if your old one was blown out.

When, It was time for me to replace my headsail, I went from a 150 to a 135 and never looked back. With your average winds of 10-20, I believe you have the correct headsail if you're cruising.
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