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  #1  
Old 07-21-2009
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Headsail choices

Hi All...

I have a 150% and a 95%, and that's it. How much wind do you guys typically wait to see before deciding to go with the 95%? Is there any merit to carrying something smaller like a 125%?
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Old 07-22-2009
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I think you would find a 110 or a 125 would be a good blend with the 150 and 95. I have a 155 carbon, a 140 cruise delivery laminate, a 130 3ox nylon drifter for light wind days, ie under 6 knots, a 110 in a dac/mylar mix, and a storm jib, about 35 of the for triangle. I have been toying with getting something in the 80-90 range when the 110 is too much, and the SJ is too small. For me that is 25-35 or so.

Marty
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Old 07-22-2009
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Okay, hre's the deal

Some boats can carry a 150% genoa in huge winds (20+ kts), while other boats a 150% genoa in those winds would blow the boat over. It's basically a function of sail plan. If your boat is main driven, a 150% genoa would probably be too much. On a boat with a small main in the sail plan, the 150% would be may be fine for strong winds. So the answer is.......really depends on your baot.

On my boat, anything over 12kts of winds (apparent) with a 150% genoa would be too strong for efficient sailing; basically a lot of weather helm. I traditionally run a 135% genoa up to 17 to 20 kts of wind before I reef it. My boat runs poorly under main only when beating, but great when running. Under jib/genoa only I can beat pretty well at a good speed, but need the main to point 5 deg or so higher and a half a kt faster.

Most boats will do well with Genoas in the 115 to 140% range up to winds 20 kts or less, so if you have the funds, get something in that range and use it as your all around genoa and use the 95% as a heavy weather sail and the 150% as a light air sail.

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Old 07-22-2009
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The switchover point between your small and large jib depends upon your boat and what works for it. We find our 155% overpowers the boat upwind when the wind gets up to around 20 knots. We start to heel too much and slow down, despite the spray making us look fast. Depending upon the circumstances, we may keep the large jib up and reef the main in order to reduce heel. Perhaps the next leg is a jib-reach; too tight for the spinnaker. Perhaps we think the wind is going to die down. In a breeze of 20 or more knots, we go with the smaller jib. In that much breeze, the large jib funnels too much air into the slot, too, and ends up backwinding the main for half it's area: not fast. We have about 8 tons of lead in the keel to keep us on our feet, however. A lighter boat or one with a different hull shape will respond differently to the conditions. You will have to try different combinations of windspeed and sails and see what works for your boat.
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Old 07-22-2009
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I think the decision on headsail changes is based on the use of the boat at the time. As an example if I’m racing I will keep my #1 up in winds over 20 knots but when I’m just playing around or heading out for vacation I would drop and change to a #3 in 20+ knots. The same logic applies to reefing the main or reefing a furling headsail. I guess what I’m saying is that I can’t opine on your question without knowing some other information. What are your current sails made out of? Can any of them work on your furler? Do you race? Do you have a furler that you can reef? How much heel can your boat take without going sideways or becoming unmanageable due to weather helm? Do you have a crew?

Every situation demands a different sail plan and a different set of guidelines. I would hate to see you buy another sail that you don’t need or buy one that you won’t ever use just to have it.
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Old 07-22-2009
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The question of "When to reduce sail?" is the main concern. The answer to this question is:

Reduce your sail area whenever you ask yourself the question: Should I reduce sail?

There is no specific way of learning which sail to use. It differs from one boat to the other, from one user to the other.
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Old 07-22-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blt2ski View Post
I think you would find a 110 or a 125 would be a good blend with the 150 and 95. I have a 155 carbon, a 140 cruise delivery laminate, a 130 3ox nylon drifter for light wind days, ie under 6 knots, a 110 in a dac/mylar mix, and a storm jib, about 35 of the for triangle. I have been toying with getting something in the 80-90 range when the 110 is too much, and the SJ is too small. For me that is 25-35 or so.

Marty
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Old 07-22-2009
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Thanks everyone. I am finding that my 150% backwinds the main and puts us in a steep heel heel at breezes I would not think are signifigant, like maybe 8 knots true. I finally installed a wind speed indicator so I'll be able to see exactly what apparent and true wind speeds cause the issue.

The boat is 30 feet with a 37 foot mast. I don't have lots of space on board for too many sails, so I'm hoping to find a size head sail I can use from 8 knots up to maybe 15 or 17, when its time to use the 95%.

As someone here said the 150% makes a good light air head sail.
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Old 07-24-2009
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If you're getting that much backwind in that little air, it sounds like the main needs flattening. Is your backstay good and tight? Vang on at all? Outhaul and cunningham? Sheet socked 'way in? You have probably already done all these things. Next step might be to try opening up the slot by barberhauling the jib OUTBOARD, perhaps with a snatch block on the rail. This will affect your pointing ability (though perhaps not really that much) but could increase speed markedly. Otherwise, it could be that your main is simply too blown out and baggy, and you need to give Omar the tentmaker a call about a getting yourself a new (flatter) main.
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Old 07-25-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulk View Post
If you're getting that much backwind in that little air, it sounds like the main needs flattening. Is your backstay good and tight? Vang on at all? Outhaul and cunningham? Sheet socked 'way in? You have probably already done all these things. Next step might be to try opening up the slot by barberhauling the jib OUTBOARD, perhaps with a snatch block on the rail. This will affect your pointing ability (though perhaps not really that much) but could increase speed markedly. Otherwise, it could be that your main is simply too blown out and baggy, and you need to give Omar the tentmaker a call about a getting yourself a new (flatter) main.
Yup, I put tension in the main halyard, backstay, clue outhaul. I have not rigged a cunningham yet but its on the list. I need to add a deck plate under the mast first. I have not tried the to open the slot yet, thanks for that tip.

According to the sail maker, the sails are 7 years old and are pentex laminates. He said that material is similar to Dacron and polyester, stronger than Mylar but weaker then Kevlar. They have not seen much use in the past few years, but I don't know before that. The surveyor remarked that they seemed to be in excellent shape but he didn't see them under sail.

I called the sail maker again and he advised that I'll know when they are ready to give up the ghost based on where the draft is. He said if my 150% has a draft 50% back, then its done. He said the main was okay with a draft 50% back but not further. I'll hopefully get a chance to check them tomorrow, if it does not rain.

To answer a few other questions, I don't have a furler, but rather a dual track foil. I predominantly have been racing, very little cruising. I'm still looking for a crew that wants to race as much as I do, hopefully I'll recruit a great crew by next season. The raid has really put a damper on stuff this season.

I have been experiencing weather helm, and I am trying to retue the rig to reduce it. My mast is like a phone pole so I don't see it bending much.

I would also hate to buy a sail I don't need, but if I need new ones I'll get them. I just want to be sure first.
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