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Are Two sails better than One?

Does having a Jib in addition to the main sail make the boat go faster? Why would having 3 (with a spinnaker) would be even more advantages?

I read that the boat is limited by it's hull speed, if thats correct then whats the point of adding sails?

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Re: Are Two sails better than One?

1. Yes. the jib not only adds sail area, it bends and funnels the wind in a way that also makes the mainsail a more effective windfoil when going upwind.

2. Because when the wind is at just the right angle and speed, you can carry mainsail, jib, and spinnaker without any sail blanketing the other. Wrong angle, it won't work well.

3. Good question. Hull speed is not an absolute limit. But to speed above it, an inordinate amount of energy is required, and adding more sail area may just make her harder to handle without much increase in speed. Racers may take that chance and expend that effort, most other sailors won't. And, some of the lightweight, flat-bottomed skiff-type sailboats (large and small) don't have a "hull speed", because they can rise up and plane, or at least surf.

Or even rise up and "foil". You watched the America's Cup??

Last edited by nolatom; 10-14-2013 at 06:25 PM.
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Re: Are Two sails better than One?

Even if the wind was strong enough that you could get to hull speed with one sail, that wouldn't be very balanced. The boat would pull one way or the other. Far better to have two smaller sails in strong winds than one big one.

But most of the time when the winds are light, you are going less than hull speed and are trying to put out as much canvas as possible.

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Re: Are Two sails better than One?

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Does having a Jib in addition to the main sail make the boat go faster? Why would having 3 (with a spinnaker) would be even more advantages?

I read that the boat is limited by it's hull speed, if thats correct then whats the point of adding sails?

Thank you!
Spinnakers are typically used only in downwind light air sailing.

Yes, the boat is limited to it's hull speed in most cases and having both the main and the jib will help you reach that speed. Most of the time. They work as a team, each having a different function, and someone else can go into the physics of it better than I can.

Donna



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Re: Are Two sails better than One?

Wow thanks for the responses everyone this is helping me understand much better. I appreciate everyones response!
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Re: Are Two sails better than One?

the number and size of your sails are changed to keep the boat at a desired speed. some time there is not enough wind to go hull speed and just beacuse there is enough wind you may not want to go that fast. having a main and a jib will make the boat sail a lot faster upwind when it is hard to reach hull speed. most boats will not sail upwind any where near hull speed.

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post #7 of 7 Old 10-14-2013
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Re: Are Two sails better than One?

What overbored said, but you can also always fly a spinnaker in 30 knots and go way over hull speed if you have the right boat.


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