Join Date: Apr 2006
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"LOA:9.5M...UpWind: Flat water, 12 knots wind I can go 6 knots"
That's good enough for a boat with old sails and new crew. Typical for the length.
What kind of sails and sail controls are "right" for you can be a long debate, I would keep my wallet stowed and get some time on the boat first to see what you want to do. If you are in an area where there are any sailmakers, try calling the local ones first, or stopping by. Let them know you're new, you have questions abou sail trim, and maybe buying new sails, and can anyone come out to the boat either to sail with you or to take a look? Or to talk for a few minutes? (Stop by at 10:30AM with coffee and donuts, odds are they'll make time.)
The "big" racing lofts may not want to bother with you, but some shops will. Likewise, if you ask the mailorder places, some will take the time to talk with you, or invite you to call them. Others won't.
Having an IOR design and not having rail meat to ballast it, means you won't be hitting the full potential of the boat. Nothing to lose sleep over, you do what you can. If you can find some VPP (velocity prediction program) software, or polars for your boat, you can get some figures on what combinations of sail and trim are going to work best for you. With the VPPs you can do things like compare wind speed and boat speed to sail size. That can tell you that reefing at 12 knots, or 14 knots, or 16 knots, is faster than not reefing. And what size foresail is fastest, etc.
Of course you can get some of that information just from sailing the boat but sometimes you can't "pretend" to have a sail as easily as the computer can.
I'd also say to stick to dacron, nothing exotic, for cruising or club racing. And for every sail control you add, yes, you can get more control but you also will have to do more work and rig more lines. So, if you start with what you have, spend a month or two getting the feel for it and thinking out options slowly--and with input from other sailors, racers, or lofts on your boat--you'll probably spend less and get more in the long run.
Or, if you go into real competitive racing...you'll join the "headsail of the week" club. Use 'em once and throw 'em away, time for a newer better sail.