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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Jib or Main question?
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Thread: Jib or Main question? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-29-2008 01:38 AM
kenjnott
Sailing with only a jib

I have an Ericson 29 which I have sailed many times with only a jib in 20 knots plus. Usually I use a beat up old 100%, hanked on jib and the boat sails well both to windward and reaching. Admittedly it does not point as high with just the jib as with both jib and main. I also don't crank it all the way flat. I can get 5 to 6 knots in a 25 knot wind beating to windward at about 55 degrees off the wind. Advantages of using just the jib are the boat does not heel as much, no rounding up during gusts, less fighting the wheel, only one sail to take down, etc. Some people have told me that using only the jib stresses the rig. As an engineer I can not see how having less sail up causes more stress, but then I have not done a finite element analysis of both cases.
Try it on your boat.
05-28-2008 11:18 PM
nk235 Since I first started this thread I have done a lot of experimenting in different wind conditions with different sails. One day it was blowing 15-25mph and I had a reef in the main and the geneo 3/4 unfurled. I was doing between 5.5-6.5 knts and the helm was balanced so nicely that I could have steered with my pinky. The boat actually does sail very nicely with just the genny but there is a far amount of weather helm. It does not particularly sail well with just the main. I'v also learned it is different with every single boat. My last boat was a 25' with a very tall main stepped further toward the bow than most boats and also with a very small fractional jib. That boat sailed excellent with just the main and very poor with just the jib. The Morgan 323 I have now is my first mast head sloop with roller furling and I just bought it this season so I didn't know what most others did in different conditions. Now that I have been out on it a lot more I am starting to get a feel for how this particular boat responds in different winds with different sail combos out there. I can tell you though it is real satisfying to have the boat cranking along over hull speed and also having the helm be perfectly balanced so you know you are sailing the boat correctly.
05-28-2008 06:53 PM
philsboat When sailing shorthanded in high winds I like to use the main only with lots of shape well forward .This works on all points of sail even going to windward if you don't sheet the main past the lifelines.No winches to crank just sit back and steer.

Mirage 25 masthead
05-28-2008 06:01 PM
baileywick I have a Niagara 35, large fore triangle. In > 15 knots, start of white caps on Chesapeake Bay, I routinely sail with just the roller furling 135 % genoa. As I have gotten more a senior citizen, I find removing the sail cover, hauling the main up, and replacing the sail cover not to be as much fun as just unfurling the genoa. I have no problems with unbalanced helm, etc. She sails at hull speed on just the genoa with 20 knots wind!
05-28-2008 05:22 PM
RickQuann If it's blowing hard, I usually reef the main in advance, before getting underway. As a preference, I'll sail under main alone verus jib alone, but a little headsail with a reefed main tends to balance my rig the best, especially upwind.
05-28-2008 04:27 PM
T34C nor can you tack, without some sail area aft (meaning a reefed main, or a storm trysail). You just won't make it around with just a foresail.

I have to disagree on that one. I've done it many times without a problem. However, as has been said, all boats behave a little differently and this may be an issue with yours. It isn't true as a general rule.

My sail choice when the wind kicks up is full 145% genny and mizzen. Works well 'til around 27-28 kts. wind, then roll in a bit of the genny. Obviously this won't work on most boats.
05-28-2008 04:20 PM
nolatom
Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
This statement is misleading. Most modern sloop-rigged boats will sail very well to windward with the genoa alone, including being relatively close-hauled. You don't necessarily need to have any mainsail out. Once in the BVI I sailed past a 50' ketch with a professional crew and flying all sails beating to windward, in a Pearson 10M with the genoa alone!

While you can reach OK with just the main, most boats will do better (sail faster) with just a genoa. And, as you've noted, it's much easier to roll in or out to set the area needed for the wind conditions and point of sail.

When going upwind, most boats will go very slowly under main alone. They really need a headsail in order to make the main an efficient contributor to boat speed. The difference is really dramatic. Try it yourself: set a course closehauled in a decent wind, note your boatspeed, then drop (or furl) the headsail, leaving the full main. Your boatspeed will fall off to almost nothing. By the way, this isn't a bad way to sail up to a mooring in a strong wind.

Bottom line: for your trip I'd start out with just the genoa and see how it works. If the wind falls light and you need more sail area, then put up some main. Of course, an alternate strategy would be to tuck in a reef in the main before setting out, and unroll enough genoa to get your boatspeed up.

Bill
I don't necassarily disagree, but I don't think my statement was was misleading. You can't hold close-hauled in really heavy air (though you might be able to close-reach), without some sail area aft (meaning a reefed main, or a storm trysail) and a foresail too. You just won't make it around unless you have both a mainsail and storm jib, no matter how small. With no jib, the C/E is just too far forward without any headsail, and the CLR just too far aft, to bring her about without some headsail. If you don't have to tack, fine. But if you do, in order to stay off a lee shore, then you have to have some sail in the aft half of the boat in order to head up, and you have to have some headsail to get you through a tack.
05-28-2008 03:35 PM
CBinRI I like a reefed main for stability and as much jib rolled out as seems appropriate, except that it you roll it in too much, you're probably better off with no jib.
05-28-2008 02:28 PM
brucelongman
Sailing with Genny only

I have a Catalina 30, Jeanneau 34 and an Elite 32. All three have masthead rigs with 135 Gennys. I have sailed all three boats in 25 plus with Genny only, provided you're on a reach. Rolled the Genny in by 1/3 and flew prefectly balanced at 6 plus kts, with no weather helm. Your Morgan is heavier though, and might need some more sail power. All boats handle different, so this is just my experience.

I prefer sailing in heavy winds with Genny alone as it is easy to reef and put away in case of emergency and building winds. Also means you don't have to go up on deck which is always a good thing in heavy seas. As all my boats have lazy jack stack packs, it makes dropping the main a lot more difficult in adverse conditions (you have to point DIRECTLY into wind or sail gets caught on lazy jacks). Thus my prefernce for genny only.

Ideally a reefed main and reefed headsail will give you your best balance, especially if beating, but this is a small sacrifice for safty. A genny is easier to pop out if you get a big gust.

Capt. Bruce
Windsong Sailing Charters
05-28-2008 01:54 PM
pag616 i sail an alberg 29 (nye yachts, late of bloomberg ontario). Following four years of sailing on lake ontario at the nigara river exit, i installed an inner 'baby' stay so the rig now resembles a cutter. in fresh winds i hoist the inner staysail and reef the main - no foresail.

the boat actually sails the best under fresh conditions with the afore mentioned rig - great balance a literally no weather helm.

Vince grandinetti
youngstown, new york
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