Dumb Jib Halyard Question...can it be TOO tight? - SailNet Community
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Dumb Jib Halyard Question...can it be TOO tight?

Just got a GREAT shape Ullman Carbon 140% Genoa that fits my boat perfectly. The question is (and it may be a dumb question) how tight should I tighten the jib halyard. Being a laminate sail should I be more concerned about the tension on it? With the Dacron sails I have had on the boat, I tightened then used the winch on the deck to give it a few more clicks and then tied it down. I did the same with this sail but I was wondering, is that a good idea? thoughts.....

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Re: Dumb Jib Halyard Question...can it be TOO tight?

The right tension depends on a lot of things - there's really no way to say without trying it out. I'd make it fairly tight, then go out & sail and see how it looks. Big wrinkles parallel to the luff would indicate too tight.
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Re: Dumb Jib Halyard Question...can it be TOO tight?

Depends on how much it blows.
If you wanna take good care of it, loosen it when not in use.
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Re: Dumb Jib Halyard Question...can it be TOO tight?

Hanked, or on a furler or foil? I find I need much less halyard tension with my current boat with a furler than I did with my previous boat with hanks.

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Re: Dumb Jib Halyard Question...can it be TOO tight?

Halyard tension should be adjusted the same as any other sail. Tension should be less in light air to give the sail a fuller, more powerful shape, and more taut in stronger winds. There's no benefit to over-tensioning a sail. It won't point higher or foot faster.
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Re: Dumb Jib Halyard Question...can it be TOO tight?

There are two ways that you can over tighten a jib halyard. The first is that it is too tight to have a proper flying shape. In light winds the halyard wants to be tight enough that the jib does not sag on the stay. That is usually only hand tight.

At the upper end of the wind range, you will want a lot of halyard tension.Carbon sails stretch very little. In fact it takes a little while to get used to them.

By way of example, with my carbon-dyneema jib on my 38 footer there is less than 6 inches in the position of the mark on the halyard between way too loose for light winds, and as tight as I need to get the halyard for heavy winds. (That is with a low stretch halyard.) My prior Kevlar sails stretched roughly 50% more than that and my Dacron delivery Genoa stretched roughly 14" to 16" and had a much narrower wind range being too heavy for really light winds and too stretchy for the upper end of moderate winds. (I e. My carbon sail wind range is from 3- 4 knots to 25 knots, while the Dacron sail is 4 knots to around 12 knots.)

In some ways carbon sails are very tough, meaning that they are typically much lighter and can stand up to much more wind than Dacron sails. But you can over load them and damage them by excessively tightening the halyard.

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Re: Dumb Jib Halyard Question...can it be TOO tight?

Thanks guys!!! great info!! I think I have too much tension on it...I'll ease it back.

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Re: Dumb Jib Halyard Question...can it be TOO tight?

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Originally Posted by NewportNewbie View Post
Thanks guys!!! great info!! I think I have too much tension on it...I'll ease it back.
Jeff gave a great summary. My view is that laminate sails will perform very well with moderate tension, so there is no reason to grunt on them, the way we sometimes do with aging polyester sails. Additionally, the furler bearings won't like it, and who remembers to release tension before furling?

Just get the wrinkles out and call it good.

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Re: Dumb Jib Halyard Question...can it be TOO tight?

In my experience laminate sails don't need nearly as much halyard tension as dacron sails, however small adjustments can affect draft position.

Treat that laminate sail gently, and try to avoid storing it on the furler. If you must, at least slack the halyard tension off when not in use.

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Re: Dumb Jib Halyard Question...can it be TOO tight?

Laminate sails do not need as much tension and do not stretch, truth be told they shrink over time. ask any sailmaker what is the bestway to store a laminate sail and they will say to roll it, not flake it. so leaving it rolled on the furler is really easier on the sail then flaking. last boat we flaked all the laminate sails and we had delam after a while from flaking, on the new boat we keep the jib on the furler and not a problem any where on the sail after 4 years. we use a zipper sleeve cover. If the sail can't stretch and the halyard tension required is low then there is no reason to slack the halyard when not in use. laminate sails require you to relearn everything you knew about sails.

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