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post #1 of 21 Old 09-02-2015 Thread Starter
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partiallyfurlled jib good or bad

I've talked to two respected sail makers and they both saiduse all of your jib or none of it. The reason they gave me sounds good.Thier logic is that I'm putting pressure on the jib whereit shouldn't be and that will cause the shape to stretch out and blowout its shape sooner,and suggested a getting a new sail for summer when it's the winds are stronger.Sounds good but than again if I buy a second jib it would be best for them,and not my wallet. I have an islander 30 in the San Francisco bay if that helps.
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post #2 of 21 Old 09-02-2015
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Re: partiallyfurlled jib good or bad

I use my head sail reefed, but I have a foam luff fitted. The sail has good shape to near 50% but any more than that and there is no shape, and my sheet blocks can't be moved any further forward. After 50% furled you'r no longer really looking at performance but just getting out of where you are. My sail is old and on its last leg having had plenty of all weather use.

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post #3 of 21 Old 09-02-2015
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Re: partiallyfurlled jib good or bad

For cruising, I call BS. That's like saying no sail should ever be reefed. A partially furled headsail will lose efficiency, since it's not cut for any length. However, I think the loft was trying to make some revenue.


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post #4 of 21 Old 09-02-2015
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Re: partiallyfurlled jib good or bad

I think my questions would be: how big is your current unfurled genoa and what percentage of the time do you feel you need to sail with it reefed, and how much sail are you taking in? There was a 150 on my boat when I bought it. When it came time to replace it I installed a 130 that I felt suited my vessel ( which tends to take an early reef) and the average conditions in my home waters better. For very light winds I carry a gennaker.

If you feel that you need to substantially reef your genoa "all" summer long on SF bay, then they may be correct in "suggesting" a smaller sail. You may find a smaller sail is still fine for spring and fall as well. I'm not suggesting that you ditch your current sail, If you have a foam or rope luff pad it should help maintain some shape even when furled. Just something to consider when it comes time to replace.
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post #5 of 21 Old 09-02-2015
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Re: partiallyfurlled jib good or bad

Roller furler system vs. reefing furler system

Not all furling systems are made to allow the sail to be partially furled. Systems that do are more substantial than those that don't and the sails are reinforced. The boat I sailed on with a furler that allowed it had a jib with beefier edging and had clearly marked points to which the sail was to be partially unfurled.

Not to say that you can't do it but I believe that you'll compromise the sail. I've been told that it's ok if you don't have a reefing furler system. I prefer to save my sail.

Jib Furling Question

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post #6 of 21 Old 09-02-2015
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Re: partiallyfurlled jib good or bad

If you reef it and it blows out the shape, you'll have to buy a new sail....two sails. If you buy two sails you won't have to reef but you will have to crawl up on deck to change the sails periodically....two sails. I'm not seeing the disadvantage of having roller reefing for your foresail.

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post #7 of 21 Old 09-02-2015
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Re: partiallyfurlled jib good or bad

It also depends on how close to the wind you are sailing. When going downwind, the sail is fully stalled. You are using 100% drag and need no lift, so sail area is everything and shape doesn't matter. You can reef as much as you want when going downwind.

When you are beating, it is the exact opposite. You need all the lift you can get and drag forces cause leeway, so shape is everything. That is when reefing hurts performance most.

What is acceptable is up to you, depending on where you are on the convenience-performance axis.
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post #8 of 21 Old 09-02-2015
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Re: partiallyfurlled jib good or bad

All sails cut and assembled from FLAT sail fabric material are 'broadseamed' near and towards the luff portion of the sail. Broadseaming is the 'tapering' or narrowing of the 'width' of the panels by cutting away thin curved strips of panel material so that the sail can take on its accurately curved 3 dimensional shape. Broadseaming only occurs in the forward or first 30-40% of the sails cord length.
The resultant 3-dimensional shape (due to the panels being 'broadseamed') is what gives a sail its 'aerodynamic' ability.

If one rolls-up (furls/reefs) the first 30-40% of a sail's cord length, all the broadseamed section of luff to mid-cord panels are no longer 'available' to generate that 3 dimensional shape in the forward part of the sail.

Rx: rolling up beyond 30% of a sails cord length causes a sail to become the equivalent of bowed flat sheet of plywood.
The maximum one can roll up any sail and expect any reasonable shape is about 25-30%, 'maybe'-40%, maximum. Beyond that value the area where the point of MAXIMUM DRAFT is now inside the rolled up material; and, the sail no longer has exposed 'sail draft' other than a flat steady continuous curve - which can not be a 'decent' aerodynamic shape for other than being a 'parachute'!!!!!!!

Another way to look at this is: a 'Cruiser' who has his/her sails 'rolled up' beyond that 30%, and who cant start his/her engine while attempting to claw away ('point'/closehauled) while being 'blown' towards a lee shore will ultimately risk being called - 'beach debris'.

;-)

Last edited by RichH; 09-02-2015 at 11:59 AM.
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post #9 of 21 Old 09-02-2015
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Re: partiallyfurlled jib good or bad

Interesting discussion, never really concerned me, maybe it should. My Neil Pryde Genoa has reefing lines. I reef it often now. Initially I would put on a tough face and leave it out, but now I realize the boat is actually faster when flatter. Life is short man and am not swapping sails. If it wears out I can replace it with the money I saved by not buying the smaller jib. Besides I would rather spend the money on a whisker pole, that is my next purchase.
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post #10 of 21 Old 09-02-2015
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Re: partiallyfurlled jib good or bad

Rich , thank you. That description makes sense to me. I have looked and read and pondered sail shape , sail cuts and that post tied a lot of the information together for me.

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