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post #1 of 5 Old 10-09-2011 Thread Starter
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heavy weather sailing

In the new orleans area,, starting to get into the heavy wind time of year...

Only been sailing for 8 months or so and wanting to learn a lil more about sailing in higher winds....

I know i can reef or double reef,,, but at what point do you need to reduce the head sail size. Is there a magical number... I am going to be useing the 100%... I have a 31 Niagara...

I have the harken carbo raceing foil #6, and was wanting to know if i can use a gail sale, or storm sail.... It will not be hoisted all the way to the top,, so would it rip out of the foil??? and do i need and exact cut sail, or can i just use a smaller sail in the heavy winds.... thanks,,, Kevin
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post #2 of 5 Old 10-09-2011
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Originally Posted by nolasailor View Post

I know i can reef or double reef,,, but at what point do you need to reduce the head sail size. Is there a magical number... I am going to be useing the 100%... I have a 31 Niagara...

I have the harken carbo raceing foil #6, and was wanting to know if i can use a gail sale, or storm sail.... It will not be hoisted all the way to the top,, so would it rip out of the foil??? and do i need and exact cut sail, or can i just use a smaller sail in the heavy winds.... thanks,,, Kevin
The usual response to the furl in the headsail after the first reef on the main, then a second reef in the the main and furl in the headsail some more. You can tell by the balance in the helm.

A storm sail will not rip out of the foil. Your genoa probably does not reach the top of the of the foil.

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post #3 of 5 Old 10-09-2011
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Nola, here is one of the best Heavy Weather Sailing threads I've found on the web:

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/seaman...r-sailing.html


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post #4 of 5 Old 10-09-2011
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Thanks for pointing out this thread

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Nola, here is one of the best Heavy Weather Sailing threads I've found on the web:
+1 to Smack - this is an awesome thread - thanks for pointing it out!

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post #5 of 5 Old 10-10-2011
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Was definitely windy this past weekend, and the lake can build up quite a chop--for those who don't know, Lake Pontchartrain is 20 by 30 miles, but only about 14-18 feet deep, so very short wave period, meaning steep waves. We call it the 'square chop', and going to windward is a big slugfest compared to the longer more rolling waves in deep water. Reaching is far preferred if you can do it geographically.

I'd say jib size is dependent on balance with the main, and keeping a slight to moderate weather helm. So you can't reef the main too much even with a working jib, or you'll start to get lee helm (depending on the boat and keel type). Also I think the jib takes more of a beating than the main, so at some point you need heavier cloth than the usual 4-oz dacron. I'd be leery of using carbon fiber as a heavy air jib, it's a strong but brittle fabric and any rip won't stop til it's shredded the sail.

Advantage to using a storm jib is, storm jib shape isn't that important since it fills so little of the foretriangle, so any good one that fits your headstay would work. Or a sturdy looking jib from a much smaller class of boat might work (if the cloth is fairly heavy), and you could pick one up used cheap.

Last edited by nolatom; 10-10-2011 at 10:11 AM.
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