Are self-tacking headsails really a new invention - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 13 Old 05-25-2016
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Re: Are self-tacking headsails really a new invention

Here on the Southeast Coast, we use our boats all year long, with the best sailing conditions during the fall, winter and early spring. Great sailing can be had during a cold front's entry and exit thru the area. Wind is from the western quadrant with speeds a blustery 20 to 50 mph. As we all know the modern roller-furler's sail shape in the semi-furled condition is sadly deficient. I went to a local sail maker, who with the aid of several photos of my boat at dock with the sails up, and a computer program, designed for the boat what is essentially a Solent rigged, 85% boomed high clewed, high cut, hanked on staysail with two sets of reef points. The aft end of the staysail boom is approx. 3 ft. forward of the main mast. This rig is set up in the fall and removed in late spring. Adding two sets of reefs points to my mizzen completed my high wind requirements. The self-tacking requirements were necessary due to the narrow creeks and rivers that have to be negotiated in these areas. When you're short-tacking up a mile of shallow 90 ft. wide tidal creek, a missed tack is not something you want to happen.

Last edited by seabeau; 05-25-2016 at 06:33 AM.
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post #12 of 13 Old 05-25-2016
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Re: Are self-tacking headsails really a new invention

This discussion is of great interest to me, as we just bought a Freedom 40/40 with a self-tacking 95% jib. We have sailed her for only a few days, beating into the (mostly light) wind all the way down from Maine, so I'm just learning how to get the most out of the rig and how to handle it properly.

The jib is hanked-on and fullly battened, with a camberspar that's not at the foot of the sail (which is high cut), but a bit higher, and on a traveler which is located on a raised bridge that straddles the front of the cabin. When tacking, the end of the camberspar tends to hit the carbon mast, leaving marks. It also hit me once when I was up on mast steps trying to get the head of the main all the way down for stowing, leaving marks on my legs. Ouch!

That said, tacking is fun, as you don't have to worry about anything, just turn the wheel. The main is YUGE, fully battened and with a full roach, a mylar composite. It must weigh close to 150-200 lbs and I think its S/A is over 650 ft.
However, when raised, the bottom part of the luff (roughly the area between the boom and second to last car) still has quite a bit of slack in it. I think the sail is all the way up, but I'm afraid to try raise it the last few inches as the halyard is already under a lot of strain, and the line clutch and the electric winch are creaking ominously.

I know there are some Freedom 40/40 owners on this forum, as well as general sailing experts, so any tips on how to deal with these issues and how to maximize the efficiency of the rig would be greatly appreciated!
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post #13 of 13 Old 05-25-2016
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Re: Are self-tacking headsails really a new invention

My Cal is a masthead sloop with hank on sails, I have a furler for lazy nice weather 100% I find that in ruff conditions it will fail to close and has to be dropped. So my boom sail is the way to go in the ruff weather, 75% hanked on sail with a boom attached to the deck. Easy to sail and when dropped stays on deck, no trouble and easy to single hand! For real sailing Hank on a 170 % and go!..Dale
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