Relocating to north to Maine ... looking at a new jib
I have a 1981 C&C 32 masthead sloop. My sail inventory includes a kevlar racing set and canvas cruising set. I have a 150% (kevlar) and 130% (canvas). I'm looking into getting my hands on a working jib to double as a "storm sail" in a pinch for my relocation from Charleston, SC to Maine. What would you guys recommend? If anyone has any specific knowledge of my boat ... what is the smallest jib my jib track would support? Thanks for any ideas!
The people you may wish to talk to in Freeport Me..... North Sails
Ask them what they think.
North Maine? East Maine? We sail east main and only have a 160 jib on our Irwin Citation 34.
Don't know your boat, but on my masthead Peterson 34 sloop (which is usually moored on the mid-coast in Maine), I have a 135% genoa, a 100% jib, a heavy-weather staysail, and a storm staysail (these latter two hank onto a removable inner forestay).
For an offshore delivery from South Carolina to Maine, you're definitely going to want some way of reducing your headsail to well below a 130.
Do you fly your sails from a roller furler? hanks? or a slotted foil?
Are your jib lead cars easily adjustable on their tracks (e.g. block and tackle system vs. pin-stop)? How far forward do your tracks run?
Do you have a slotted toe rail to which you can attach snatch blocks for alternate leads?
Can you rig an inner forestay or a solent stay, off which you could fly heavy weather sails?
For sailmakers in Maine other than the North loft in South Freeport, I recommend:
Pope Sails and Rigging in Rockland: Pope Sails & Rigging
Maine Sailing Partners in Freeport: Maine Sailing Partners, Sailmaker, Racing, Cruising Sails
Hallett Canvas and Sails in Falmouth: Hallett Canvas and Sails
For rigging, I recommend Maloney Marine Rigging in Southport: Maloney Marine Rigging, Inc.
My jibs are hoisted on a Harken roller furler with twin slots.
The jib cars are pin-stop. ...easily adjustable on the lazy sheet. :) The jib track runs only as far forward as the mainsail traveler (mounted cabin top forward of the companionway hatch). However, I do have a good toerail for installing snatch-blocks on. I don't intend to go through the effort of rigging up an inner forestay.
While I agree that much more involved systems would be 'ideal' I am currently just trying to come up with a workable solution for possibilities during this voyage. I intend to watch weather closely and use weather windows to my advantage. I would, however, like to get my hands on something smaller than the 130% for the voyage that I could also find use for in my cruising inventory during my time in Maine (Portsmouth). I am sending money in a lot of different directions to outfit a racer cruiser to support an offshore delivery voyage ... only to revert back to coastal cruising after arrival ... so I'm trying to find something I absolutely need for the trip but would get use out of after.
More questions: so it sounds like you are not planning a continuous offshore voyage from SC to ME, but will be stopping off at ports along the way (where you can wait out bad weather). Will you be staying inside in the ICW, Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay, Long Island Sound, or will you be making hops outside?
On to the sails, roller furling is good. One thing you could do, if you don't have it already, is to have a foam pad (or rope pad) added to the luff of your 130 -- these are supposed to help maintain some sense of shape when the sail is partially rolled up (by taking up more of the belly of the sail as it rolls).
Secondly, look for an ATN Gale Sail -- you may be able to find one second-hand -- these attach around your rolled-up genoa on the headstay. Once you get to Portsmouth, you could then sell the Gale Sail (e.g. through SailNet and other sailing forum classified ads). This would give you a small heavy weather sail without requiring any special modifications to your boat.
Third, a jib in the 100 to 110% range would probably be a great addition to your inventory. You could save money by looking for a used sail that would fit (try Bacon Sails & Marine Supplies ), and just sheet to snatch blocks on your toerail (your track doesn't seem like it goes far enough forward). For this starter sail you wouldn't necessarily need a sun cover or luff pad - just get something of appropriate weight and size that will fit on your furler. This would give you a chance to try a sail in this size range, and if you decide you like it, then you could talk to a sailmaker about a custom-fit new sail, and the sailmaker would be able to advise you about sheeting options and what would fit your track, etc...
Since you'll be ending up in the Portsmouth/Kittery area, check out the Piscataqua Sailing Association: www.sailpsa.org
They also have a crew wanted spot on their website where you could advertise for crew for your delivery.
You might also try Points East Magazine crew wanted site: Points East, the New England Cruising Magazine
FWIW, there is a North Sails loft in Greenland, NH
There are only a handful of all-weather inlets along the Atlantic coast, so you need to be as careful about planning your trip as you are about selecting sails. You can still get caught with high winds on the inside route on the larger sounds in NC and the Chesapeake (if you go that way, via the C&D Canal and down Delaware Bay to the Cape May Canal), but you will have more options to seek safe harbor.
If you intend to go offshore for extended periods, you'll need to do more than select sails. You will need to consider inflatable PFDs with harness, jack lines, an EPIRB (which you can rent from BoatUS) and a life raft. There are also a lot of things you need to secure below and you also need to assure that you keep sea water out of your fuel and water tank vents.
Your best bet is to wait out questionable weather and not try to stick to a predetermined schedule. There's a lot to see and appreciate along the way, so it won't be lost time if you plan accordingly.
That said, I brought my own boat up from the west coast of Florida to Connecticut and practiced what I just preached. The worst weather we encountered was unexpected winds in the 38 kt range in the Chesapeake. We were able to duck into a harbor of refuge within a couple of hours.
Based on your original question, it sounds like you might want to recruit a crew member or two with appropriate experience if you go offshore.
I appreciate your advice. My ponderings are specific to sail selection. I am no stranger to offshore survival, safety, and outfitting (small sailboats aren't the only way we find ourselves on/under the ocean...). My question here is specifically to get opinions on sail selection that would serve me during the voyage (which I have a good idea of) which I could also find use for during weekend cruising in Maine ... finding use for it in this specific area of the world after the voyage being the entire point of my question. No offense but ... I'm not asking for a crashcourse in making my boat seaworthy ... I am more than capable of that. The sail inventory "overlap" is what I'm asking about.
Wow, I suppose I was a bit presumptuous, but the casual reference to "in a pinch" and "storm sail" threw me off.
I've sailed in Maine and all along coastal southeastern New England on my 35' masthead sloop. I have several genoas (including a laminate) and mains of different weight. It would appear that your current sail inventory is appropriate for weekend cruising in New England. I would clearly separate coastal sailing from offshore sailing, however, and--perhaps incorrectly--assumed you were not making that distinction.
When I made my delivery trip to New England, I went offshore for almost half of the 1700 mile trip and carried a set of real storm sails made for my boat. I also had an extra set of stays (inner forestay and running back stays) attached by my second set of spreaders to handle the extra loads.
It appeared that you might not have considered the potential for a dismasting due to sail loads in storm conditions. I misinterpreted this omission as an indicator that you might need to consider other factors than the headsail. Obviously that was a real stretch on my part. I should have stayed off the soap box.
It's no problem. Food for thought is always safer said than not.
The distinction between offshore and cruising was the reason for my question ... just looking for any overlap I might be able to find between the two. I'm certainly willing to delay the trip for a gale but would prefer to keep moving on a front ... or afternoon storms. I guess direct questions would serve me better so that is my fault ... will a strong 100% working jib do much for me in coastal cruising around Maine? What are coastal sailing conditions like up there?
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