Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: New England
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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!