mainsail roach and size of genny - SailNet Community

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Old 03-07-2013
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mainsail roach and size of genny

In final stages of building a new boat. Have had multiple conversations but still not clear on two points
1.pluses and minuses of building main with large roach extending behind back stay. With big roach I ?tacking in light air?wear? life of sail ? use with dutchman. Steve Dashew's discussion suggests large roach is way to go and seems convincing. Don't expect to race at all ( well maybe a bermuda)
2.pluses and minuses of having a 140% genny vrs a 130%. Boat is a solent rig. All sails Vektron was thinking to go with the 140% in a heavier cloth. Would use genny as reaching/running sail with a pole and solent upwind. Also in very light air ( sail built with luff foam so fuller when not reefed). That way not dependent on ASM and two head sails would cover most circumstances. Have orange storm jib on removeable no stretch "baby" stay for if and when. Figure with just two of us going a weight up on cloth but keeping it a 140 would allow lazy sailing ( genny and no main) even up to 25kt downwind. But smaller sail less to handle. Cost for all decisions about the same.
please help Tx
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Old 03-07-2013
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Re: mainsail roach and size of genny

A large roach w/o a backstay whip (assuming backstay interference will occur) is a MAJOR PITA gybing in light air.. I was always scared of ripping a batten out of the sail until we put a backstay whip on... that has solved the problem, however whips are problematic on in-line spreader rigs (you can't afford to slack the backstay off so much.. with swept spreaders the mast support remains - not sure of the rig config of the Outbound)

As far as the 140 vs 130, I'd go with the smaller.. don't think you'll notice a lot of difference until the point you're tempted to motor anyhow. With the solent rig you're pretty well stuck rolling most of it up for a tack or gybe, so make it easier on yourselves... JMO, as always
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Re: mainsail roach and size of genny

thanks for the input Faster. ?Is it worth it in terms of performance to bother with the large roach at all.
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Re: mainsail roach and size of genny

That's what I was thinking. Maybe no roach at all. I would imagine a lot of sail failures start with ripped batten pockets. Wouldn't it be nice to just have a tight hollow leech without any battens? I don't know if the difference between a large roach vs a hollow leech would be enough to upset balance.
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Re: mainsail roach and size of genny

The hollow/battenless leech is a pretty big performance/trim/helm balance hit, IMO, and the major knock on in-mast furling setups for me. Probably less so for a long distance reachy cruiser, but around here where it seems the wind always comes from where we're headed it wouldn't do...

I can't find a profile sailplan.. so it's hard to say how much roach could be carried before running into handling problems...
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Re: mainsail roach and size of genny

I had a straight cut mainsail (no roach) for years. The small amount of power lost is compensated by less sail repair and the ability to reef or raise on any point of sail on any wind.
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Re: mainsail roach and size of genny

Quote:
Is it worth it in terms of performance to bother with the large roach at all.
Yes.

When we had our mainsail built by Evolution two years ago, I specifically requested as full a roach as possible. The Chesapeake is notorious for light air and the sailmaker recommended a 2.5" overlap with a 2+2 batten configuration. There have been no wear issues during tacking because the leech slacks when the mainsheet is released. I couldn't be happier with the performance improvements, speed, acceleration, and pointing (yes, the main is a contributor to pointing ability). We driven the sail in 0 to 30kts without issue.
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Last edited by Sabreman; 03-08-2013 at 09:57 AM. Reason: corrected sailmaker recommended overlap
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Re: mainsail roach and size of genny

Thanks all-Sabreman ? Do you have sacrificial plastic strips sewn to the aft end of the batten pockets. Dashew suggests a tube of plastic over the top of the bckstay. There's no chance I can use a backstay whip. The spreaders are not sweeped back at all. I have running backstays but it would be a PIA to use them just for the usual knocking around.
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Re: mainsail roach and size of genny

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Do you have sacrificial plastic strips sewn to the aft end of the batten pockets.
I do not. The sailmaker at Evolution did not recommend it and I did not think to ask. I did ask if there would be a lot of chaff and he explained that when tacking, the sail slacks and there isn't that much chaffing. He initially recommended a larger 2.5" overlap, but I reduced it to 1.5". I see no wear after 2 seasons cruising and light racing (but in vigorous conditions).

I will ask about the sacrificial strips, it's a good idea. But to be honest, if there was wear, I'd simply have it repaired. Wear is a normal part of a sail's life and I don't realistically expect one to last 20 or 30 years. The benefit of the 2+2 configuration and full roach are too great for me to consider going back. When properly trimmed, this sail rocks. It's the one that you see above.
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Re: mainsail roach and size of genny

We have more like a 4-6 inch overlap.. it wouldn't go through on a tack without at least 8-10 apparent and hung on gybes something awful... the whip or an extended masthead crane were the 'cures'.. other than a different sail. Since the crane extension was tickling a boat buck (initial estimate $700) a piece of fiberglass bar did the trick. A whip requires use of a lightweight (dyneema, eg) backstay since the wire is too heavy once you get to 35 feet and up...
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