Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New Orleans
Thanked 35 Times in 32 Posts
Rep Power: 10
This is way, way general, but anyway (assuming you're on a boat with reefable main, and several jibs), very roughly:
0-3 knots--doesn't make much difference, heel the boat to leeward and be patient.
3-12 knots--if you want speed, use the largest overlapping "genoa" jib, and full main. If you don't care, or want greater visibility forward, use the "working" 100% jib, with full main
12-18 knots--Full main and working jib
18-24 knots--Reefed main and working jib
Above 24 knots--try to be in port, but if not, you need a double-reefed main and a storm jib.
Your mileage may vary, depending on experience, type of boat, and of course, sail inventory. In a perfect world, you'd have 4 jibs--big overlap, small overlap, working, storm. Most mortals have only 2--medium overlap, and working jib.