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post #1 of 19 Old 03-18-2012 Thread Starter
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Simple genoa question

Recently heading for home on a 43 ft Hanse on a cold, very wet and windy day, the skipper was all for simply motoring all the way, but I suggested it was easy enough to unfurl the genoa and save fuel, so we did and got up to 7.9 knots on a beam reach with a force 4-5 wind, gusting 6. Apart from a bt of weather helm in gusts, this seemed quite adequate and fairly comfortable with an element of sporty thrill about it.
The skipper has been casting doubts about the genoa, saying the benefits are negligable or even counter-productive in high wind conditions and my simple reply was: 'You put up less sail when the wind increases'.
I am a bit old. In my day, if the wind picked up significantly, You simply dropped the foresail, hanked to the forestay by snap shackles, unclipped it and put up a smaller jib. Admittedly somewhat scary but very quick to do.
My question is: What are the optimum conditions for deploying a genoa?
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post #2 of 19 Old 03-18-2012
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Re: Simple genoa question

That's a complicated question. There is no doubt that with a fresh breeze like you had the genoa would add considerable power to the boat. Sou nds to me like you had a fun sail. And like you say, if the wind built and you were overpowered, maybe having difficulty steering, the optimal solution would be to put up a smaller sail. That's what I do on my boat as I don't have roller furling.

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post #3 of 19 Old 03-18-2012
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Re: Simple genoa question

I am much happier sailing with two sails. You can use them to maintain balance. If the weather helm was a bit much in the gusts, ease the main. If you are easing regularly, put in a reef.

Was this a self-tacking jib? Many Hanses have that set up.

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post #4 of 19 Old 03-18-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Simple genoa question

The boat has a self-tacking rig. It's very useful when close hauled and frequent tacks are required when cruising with a crew of 2. That's all, in my opinion.
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post #5 of 19 Old 03-18-2012
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Re: Simple genoa question

Off Topic

Agree with Jack re having two sails up but what do you guys thinks if only one sail ? Head or Main ?

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Re: Simple genoa question

I've done a whole race of about 15 miles one time with a 140 genoa up. Actually did pretty well overall in 15-25 knot winds.

BUT, unlike a Hanse, I am jib oriented from an SA standpoint. the 140 is about 310# where as my main is 195. I've also sailed with just the 110 up, and a main, the 110 and main are simlar, with the 110 being 220#.

A lot probably depends upon up, down, balance of a given boat etc. At the end of the day, if the balance is resonably, you are moving as fast or faster than one was motoring.......sounds like the right sail(s) to me!

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post #7 of 19 Old 03-18-2012
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Re: Simple genoa question

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Originally Posted by tdw View Post
Off Topic

Agree with Jack re having two sails up but what do you guys thinks if only one sail ? Head or Main ?
I like the main = even though you can argue about CE, pointing etc.
much more stable , manourverable (where's my spell chacka), good for narrow channel stuff eg sandy straits/jumpinpin etc.


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Re: Simple genoa question

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I like the main = even though you can argue about CE, pointing etc.
much more stable , manourverable (where's my spell chacka), good for narrow channel stuff eg sandy straits/jumpinpin etc.
The main only does not point as well as a foresail and main.

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post #9 of 19 Old 03-19-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Simple genoa question

On this occasion, genoa only was a good choice. The skipper had achieved his main objective, testing the new German mainsheet system, on the previous day and as it was cold and very wet with the prospect of the wind turning cyclonic and up to force 7 later. It was only a 4 hour passage and the prosect of getting the main down outside Portsmouth harbour in such conditions didn't appeal much! With a following force 3-4, the genoa drove us at the same speed as the motor on medium throttle, about 4 knots. I wasn't sure what 'cyclonic' actually meant but I soon found out when the wind suddenly went from southwest to a bitter, strong northerly. A boat following us 2 hours later came in with both sails in a force 9!
What I have noticed is that when close hauled, the genoa distorts the main when very close, suggesting that the jib is best on this point of sail and is self tacking. I guess it's all down to choosing the appropriate foresail according to wind direction and strength before you set sail, because changing when under way is a real hassle.
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post #10 of 19 Old 03-19-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Simple genoa question

It strikes me that as the genoa can be furled, we could dispense with the jib. There are 2 problems with that idea. Firstly, when reefed, the genoa tends to unfurl because the jamb is not up to the strain. A meatier jamb would solve that.
The second problem is that the position of the clew needs to be adjusted according to the amount of sail deployed. Currently, this can only be done by changing tack to release the tension on the travelling block. My guess is that if left free running, it would tend to slide forward, so a control line, on both sides, running back to the cockpit via a jamb to free winch would facilitate adjustment of the position, without tacking or even going forward to do it directly.
A third issue is that on one tack the airflow would be slightly compromised by the furled part of the sail being on the inside edge. I guess the furling mechanism is not bi-directional, so it's probably not possible to furl the other way round, but when cruising this wouldn't be a significant problem. Comments appreciated, please.
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