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Old 09-01-2012
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What size head sail?

Well here I am. After a 20 year break from sailing, I am the new owner of a Morgan 323. I am amazed at the luxuries I have now, like a roller furling and a GPS... I've been sailing her in the LIS, NY Harbor and up and down the Hudson River. It's feels good to be back on the water! The NorthEast is my main sailing ground but I am getting her ready to spend some time in FL and the Carribean. It is time now to get a new head sail and it makes sense to me to get at 150% head sail for those July/August 5kt days on the Sound and when I go offshore (maybe 5% of my sailing time) I can always furl it in heavy weather. I have heard different stories that I need a 135% head sail when going offshore, because it is not the same as a furled 150%. Of course the sail loft wants to sell me both! What do you guys and girls think?
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Old 09-01-2012
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Re: What size head sail?

If it were my choice and I was going offshore with my boat...
I'd want to have a back up jib. Maybe even a 110% that could really roll up and still hold some shape for crappy conditions. The foam luff tape really does help the sail shape when partially furled.
I'd also want to have at least 2 or 3 reef points in my main sail and a spinnaker/drifter for when the winds get light out there.
Storm sails? Maybe.
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Old 09-01-2012
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Re: What size head sail?

For boats over 30 feet that are used for daysailing and coastal cruising here in the northeast, a 135 is probably the best compromise if you only have a single headsail. Decent light air performance and can be reefed to about 100% and retain decent shape. For longer cruising, you definitely need more than one headsail.
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Old 09-01-2012
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Re: What size head sail?

We have a very extensive suite of sails from a #4 through a light #1 (150%) with a foam luff pad but have found that a mid-weight 135 has been our preferred sail in almost all conditions and, had we to do it over, I would have gone with a 110. The 150 has limited application and, even with luff pads, does not set particularly well when partially furled because of the bulk along the luff. Based upon our experience, I suggest a 110 coupled with a furlable assymetric. The assymetric really is a pretty good sail and the ability to furl it makes handling quite easy, especially so the new top-down furling system.

FWIW...
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Re: What size head sail?

I ran a 150 on my previous boat, current boat came with a 110 and an assy in a chute. I'm finding it to be an extremely versatile combo, you can carry the spin even above the beam using it like a lightweight genny (~a 160 or so).
The only time I miss a big genny is if I have a downwind run that's too short or I'm just too lazy to hoist the spinnaker.
I'd seriously consider HyLyte's suggestion, a 135 might work ok but I've come to appreciate the slightly greater range I can sail with the 110.
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Old 09-01-2012
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Re: What size head sail?

When it came time to replace the old 150 on my boat, I went with a 135 with a foam luff and couldn't be happier.
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Old 09-01-2012
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Re: What size head sail?

I second (or third) the 135. I used to sail Reboot, a Catalina 42 with a 150. It was great in Lake Michigan. As soon as I got into the Atlantic it was a lot of sail and spent a lot of time furled. I now have a new 135 (offshore sail, triple stitched, heavy fabric, luff pads.) Amazing as this may sound it spent 80% of its time doing a transit from Florida to Portugal furled down to a 110 or even smaller.
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Old 09-02-2012
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Re: What size head sail?



My 150 rolls up fine with a nice high tack to not catch waves

The bigger issue is the PITA of tacking it VS a 135 and How much performance the extra 15 really gives you

It's not a problem in the 30 knot range at which point I rather not be out anyway
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