Join Date: Nov 2011
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I'll try to give you some understanding about the sails for your boat. I suggest that you look up puddleduck.com which is a builder and sailor site for the Puddle Duck Racer, a simple little box of a boat. There is a section called design your duck wherein they discuss the center of effort and center of lateral resistance and under the sail section there is more related info. I think that the site gives a lot of relatively easy to understand info for novices and that it can help you to understand how sails and lateral resistance work.
As for your specific boat, you should be able to determine the size jib that you need by subtracting the square footage of your main (I think that you said that you have a main sail) from the total sail area of the boat (per the multihull info I sent to you last night).
The difference should be the total sq. footage of your jib. A 110% jib is fairly typical which is to say that the length of the foot of the sail is 110% of the distance from the fore stay to the mast. If you go to the hardware store or marine store (try Harbor Freight if there is one near you) and get some stainless cable and fittings you should be able to make a bridle that will run from an eye at the front of each of the bows to a center ring (that you purchase) that will serve as the attachment point of the bottom of the fore stay. Your jib will run from the ring (center of the bridle) to the front of the mast. There is probably a tang already on the mast (or holes where one was once attached). The tang will be the piece that is used to attach the top of the fore stay. Once the bridle and fore stay are rigged you will be able to determine the length of the luff which when added to your knowledge of the approximate length of the foot will allow you to determine the length of the hypotenuse (leech) of the sail triangle and thus determine your jib area. If that area varies from the size that you have calculated by subtracting the main sail area from total sail area, you can alter the length of the foot (or the luff) until you get close to the right number. There are several places on line that sell used sails and they will state the lengths of the luff, leech and foot of the sails offered for sale.
Fully battened sails (like Hobie sails) are great if you can get one, of the right size, but a more conventional sail with minimal battens will probably be sufficient for your early learning. 40+ years ago when I first learned to sail I went down to the local yacht club and showed interest and the next thing I knew I was crewing every weekend. I hope that you can find someone to take you out sailing because that will greatly help you understand how to rig and sail your boat – and I hope that you are able to follow what I have written and that it is helpful to you.