SailNet Community

SailNet Community (
-   General Discussion (sailing related) (
-   -   What is a Genoa? (

Kacper 11-08-2006 04:21 PM

What is a Genoa?
hey Guys,

This a little bit of a dumb newbie question, but could someone tell me the main difference between a Genoa and a Jib? Is it just the size or are the differences in shape?

Also, how do you properly reef a Genoa or a Jib on a roller furling system. I went out yesterday and the wind went up to 25 - 30 knots in just 10 minutes in English Bay Vancouver, I just had the Genoa up and the boat keeled over with just that sail up. I thought I would try my very first attempt at roller furler reefing, but this ended in a wild disaster of flying, flinging, slapping, swearing, and jammed furler a couple times.

Feeling defeated I motored back to the dock :(

It was probably the wrong boat for those conditions anyway. Catalina Capri 24


Parley 11-08-2006 04:41 PM

Sounds like way too much sail for that boat in those conditions. In my limited understanding of sail shape/cut, I understand a genoa is simply a big jib (110 +). In other words a headsail larger than your working jib; typically used in lighter airs. I'm sure others with actual knowledge will chime in here and straighten it out, so to speak :)

As far as reefing with a roller furling system, it is dependant upon the furling unit being employed some are simply furlers (CDI is a good example as are other "flexible" type furlers), while others are designed for reefing (Harken, Hood are good examples).

sailingfool 11-08-2006 04:46 PM

54 Attachment(s)
As to your definition guestion. Wikipedia has it pretty good:

As to reefing a jib, you should be able to partially furl a jib the same why you completely furl it at the end of the day, just roll it only part way. Most partially furled jibs don't provide very good sail shape but the smaller area can reduce the forces generated a lot.

If this is a 130%+ sail, you might be better off in those winds furling the whole thing and sailing with just your main.

If your having trouble with your furler in a breeze you should see if you can dig up whatever instructions came tihwt that unit. In short, to furl in a breeze release enough of the jib sheet so you can take in the furling line by hand. You should always keep some sheet pressure on the sail so that it furls tighthly (otherwise a sail can be subject to being opened in a storm). If you cannot haul int he furling line by hand, or the halyard wraps, then something is wrong with the furler. There are a number of Saiilnet threads as to what can go wrong with a furler, you can search for those.

Get on the Catalina email list and see what has worked for other owners of that boat.

juniebomba 11-08-2006 04:46 PM

hey kacper,

Parley is right regarding the genoa. it's bigger than a jib but the shape is similar. unfortunately I know nothing about roller furling systems other than they are a pain in the butt on a smaller boat.

empresa 11-08-2006 04:49 PM

The difference is size. Most properly made modern roller reefing genny's have foam in the luff of the sail so when you roll it in partway (reef) it will still have good sail shape. The trick to reefing it in is to make sure you have tension on the clew so it does not flop all over, or wrinkle up. Reef before you need to.

Cruisingdad 11-08-2006 04:53 PM

Well, most sailors use the two terms interchangeably, but in general:

A Jib is 100% of the foretriangle (The triangle made between the forestay, mast and deck). A genoa is anything past that. A 155 Genoa, for example, would be 155% of the foretriangle.

As far as reefing with a roller furling, this should be your basic technique (at least as I do it).

1) Build up forward speed.
2) Grab the furling line (ususally rigged to port, in my experience) and hold the tiller or wheel in your right.
3) Steer almost (ALMOST) dead into the wind and pull it in quickly.
4) Cleat off the furling line and fall back off to regain momentum.

Most people (myself included) will mark their reefing line with different colors so that you can know at a glance what % you are at: 135, 100, 75, etc. These colors correspond with where they would fall on the cleat on my boat... but whatever works for you... as long as it is the same for all the colors.

Just so you know, a jib is a much better sail for heavy air than a jenny, because after you reef in a genoa past about 75% or so (in my opinion) it has lost so much of its sail shape it does not perform well at all. This is why many boats have a inner forestay so they can run a smaller storm jib or working jib while still maintaining their Genoa for light airs.

Hope all that made sense. You will get the hang of it after you do it a few times. Don't get discouraged. It is like riding a bike: you have to fall a few times before you get it down.

Write back with any questions. Have fun with the boat.

- CD

sailingdog 11-08-2006 10:35 PM

Actually, a jib is any sail that is 100% of the foretriangle or less. There are storm jibs that are far smaller than 100%. Genoas are any headsail that are larger than 100%.

Furling a roller furling genoa should be fairly easy. Generally, if you need a winch to furl're doing something wrong.

While roller furling/reefing systems are really convenient...they're not all that good for reefing more than a single reef or so. For instance, a 150% genoa can be reefed down to a 125% or so fairly well, but even with a foam or rope luff, it starts to get baggy if you try reefing it to a smaller size.

tenuki 04-02-2007 01:19 AM

Kacper - is your boat a fractional or masthead sloop? You gotta be careful in high winds with just a lot of headsail and a masthead rig, that can place unnatural balance on your standing rig. (I'm sure plenty of people will disagree with this point) Also, masthead rigs are not as good as fractional rigs sailing on just the main ( again, room for discussion). Of course I have a masthead sloop...

Regarding the shape of a large genny when reefed the bigger problem is a higher center of effort I think, not just bad shape due to awkward sheet angle. It's as if you are attaching the tack 3 feet or more off the deck, moving the forces of the sail higher. This causes your boat to heel more and have less efficient forward thrust, which cascades to other problems.

I think your failure was to not reduce sail before the wind got out of hand, but I guess you just chalk that up to experience eh? "D I think the rule of thumb for us beginners is if anyone on the boat thinks the word 'reef' it's time to do it. :D

A lot of time if the weather report is predicting winds over 10 knots I'll just reef the main at the dock. :D I'm a wus but then again when the real men are flailing around madly on the foredeck with their wives screaming at them to not die I'm safely in the cockpit making sure my coffee doesn't spill. :P

sailingdog 04-02-2007 01:37 AM

There's also the fact that as you reef a roller furling sail, it tends to bag more, and then the sail is fuller just when you really want a flatter sail shape....

When you reef depends a lot on the boat. I'll reef the sails if the winds are above 20 knots... but really don't have any need to reef before then... but my boat is probably able to handle more wind before reefing than most monohulls my size... :D

tenuki 04-02-2007 01:39 AM


Originally Posted by sailingdog
but my boat is probably able to handle more wind before reefing than most monohulls my size... :D

Oh sure, rub it in.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:06 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
(c) LLC 2000-2012

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome