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  #1  
Old 02-18-2011
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Genoa Questions

Just began researching a new genoa and looking for advice. My boat is is a Islander Freeport and used for cruising the Caribbean(eastern and western), Gulf of Mexico and the Americas. I only carry what's mounted on the boat, mainsail and genoa. I've been getting quotes for an offshore sail in 8.3-9.0 oz weight. My question is what size would you recommend, 130 or 150? She's had a 130 for the past 30 years and thousands of miles which seems to work well. Would a 150 give me anything? Her mast is set back a good distance in the boat. It actually looks like theses boats were designed to be cutters so the genoa is pretty big. Thanks.
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Old 02-18-2011
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A 150m is useful in really light air, but turn into a problem as the wind picks up.

Do you have a genoa fairlead car positioned so that you can use a 150?

What was the sail plan design? A larger genoa may upset the balance of the boat.

Will your furler arrangement take a larger genoa?
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Old 02-18-2011
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I never use my 150. It's much more likely to snag on a shroud during a tack than my 135, and I'm frequently single- or short-handed. I have not been able to balance the boat under the 150, though to be fair I have not practiced with it as much as the 135. With the wind around 10 kt, I have no trouble making 4-5 kt with the 135 upwind, and 5-6 on a reach. In the same wind, the 150 would backwind my (old, probably blown-out) main a lot more on a beat.

For light airs (< 5 kt) I have a lightweight (probably nylon) 155% "drifter", and spinnakers for downwind work.

I'm a daysailer/weekender. The 150 doesn't really have a niche to fill in my inventory. It's only on the boat because my wife won't let me keep it under the kitchen table in our apartment.
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Old 02-18-2011
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why a 150?

A 150 is SO BIG and really only useful in very light winds. Racers use them because they have a extra railmeat to counter balance the increased loads. The only real time I have seen one used is on a race boat in light air.

If you are just two of you, I'd forget about the 150 unless you plan to sail in 8 kt winds or less. They are difficult o trim well and if you get a big gust of wind, the boat will be more difficult to sail (helm). You won't see a significant increase in performance in any wind above 8 kts and actually may suffer because the difficult to sail "flat".

A good compromise between performance and handling is a 135 to 125, depending on how you boat is set up. With a fractional, go with a 125, masthead, 135. 130 is basically a good all-around headsail.

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Old 02-18-2011
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Given the generally reliable trades in most areas you're frequenting, the large J measurement you describe, and the fact that you're cruising I can't imagine why you'd consider a 150... I suspect you'd rarely actually make full use of it, and that's quite a few more feet of heavily loaded sheet to grind in on each tack.. (but you may not tack often, I suppose......)
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Old 02-18-2011
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Cutters are designed to carry Yankees (about 110%). We use a 135% as are primary head sail that reefs to 110%. Cutters are nice as when reefed correctly the center of effort can be kept over the keel.
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Old 02-18-2011
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I'd recommend going with a 120-130% genny and then getting a screacher or code 0 for light air situations later on.
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