Join Date: May 2002
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Re: Wing on wing
A masthead rig is generally characterized by having a big jib and a small mainsail. A fractional rig is generally characterized by having a big mainsail and a smaller jib.
IMO, sailing wing and wing with a masthead rig is much easier than with a fractional rig. I think it's because the generally smaller genoa of a fractional rigged boat can easily become overwhelmed by the turbulence of the wind that spills off the big mainsail, and, as a result, the jib gets backwinded and collapses much more easily. I think the relationship between the size and orientation of the mainsail and the genoa is what causes it to be more difficult to sail wing and wing with a fractional rig. It can be done with a fractional rig. It's just more difficult, IMO.