Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Dana Point, Ca
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Re: Sails for light winds
Absent an adverse current, our race committees will usually start a race in any wind that is consistently 3 kt or more, and a 155 can be kept full and driving to windward in air that light. Chop isn't much of a factor in air that light, except chop that's generated by power boat wakes. After the start, everyone prays that more wind will fill in before we start the downwind leg, because there might not be enough air movement to lift even a light air sail. That's when we hope for a shortened course at the windward mark.
IMO, special sails that are useful in narrow wind ranges are of more value in longer races, but not so much in shorter, around-the-buoys races, because you have time to make sail changes in longer races. If the wind increases during a short race, I'll sail past you while you're struggling to change the sail, and you won't be able to catch me because you changed to the same sail as me.
I think those sails are useful for longer races and especially for modern ultra light designs that can glide on a whisper of air. For older, heavier boats, I think they're too expensive, considering how seldom you'll really need them, and they don't help a heavier boat as much as a lighter boat.
That's not to say they're not useful, as long as you can justify their cost.
this is a case where we would use the code 0. our rig only allows a 108% jib and we would start the race with the jib, the code 0 already hoisted and furled and as soon as we could we would unfurl the code 0, we would not be able to point as high as boats with a 155 genoa but would be sailing about twice as fast which would make up the difference in the distance we would sail by sailing a 5 degree lower angle. just before the windward mark we would furl the code 0 and lower and hoist a furled spinnaker for the downwind leg. with all the foresails on furlers the length of the race does not make that much difference.
"FULL TILT II" 2011 BENETEAU FIRST 30
"GOLD RUSH" PRINDLE 16
Last edited by overbored; 04-14-2019 at 09:25 PM.