110 vs. 135 Headsails - SailNet Community
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110 vs. 135 Headsails

I'm curious as to how many people carry both a 110 and 135 headsail. I carry a 135 as my primary and a 160 for light air days. We sailed yesterday and the wind was pretty strong at times (16 knots) causing me to reef/furl my 135 and I was wondering just how much performance I was missing out on by having to reef. Is the difference significant enough to purchase a 110 or should I just continue to reef the 135 when necessary? I sail a San Juan 28 and I sail on the Chesapeake. Thanks.

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Re: 110 vs. 135 Headsails

I carry a 100, 135 and a 160. I far prefer to change the jib vs furling it. My view is that sail shape and (on my boat anyway) performance is noticeably better with a smaller sail vs a furled sail.

I will furl only when I get caught by surprise, otherwise I will swap out the jib as appropriate.
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Re: 110 vs. 135 Headsails

Did you reef the mainsail?

Do you have a Foam Luff on the 135?

I think I'd ask myself how often, you have run into a situation where you wanted a 110. If it's fairly often then it might be worth it to purchase one. Bacon's might have something you could try.

I used the 110 on my old Bristol 29 more than any other sail. FWIW.
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Re: 110 vs. 135 Headsails

Have a 110 on both my boats but never use them. The 150 on the furler has a foam luff and reefs down with good shape. Sail in a predominantly light air area so don't have much need to reef let alone go down to a 110. For ocean passages have a 135 with foam luff which reefs down to 110 with good shape. Use that sail for 4-5 figure mileage passages. The one time I had to reef beyond about 110 size the sail worked fine reaching. Probably not the best shape for hard on the wind sailing reefed below 110 but who wants to go to weather in 30k plus winds. My experience on passages is a 135 is the right all around sail size. Will power the boat adequately in light air, perfect sail in 10-30k winds, and still good shape with a foam luff when furled in the typically max 30k winds in the trades.

When I bought my current boat it had a 110 on the furler. From the nearly unused condition of the other sails assume it was the PO's exclusive use sail. The boat was sailed out of Richmond, CA on SF Bay so 20k plus winds were the prevailing conditions. A larger sail probably would have spent much of its time furled so the 110 made sense.

Look at your prevailing conditions and use a sail that fits the conditions you'll be sailing in most of the time. To me a foam luff is a must have so the sail will have good shape when furled down 20% or so. Some people switch between two sails depending on the season. On SF Bay, that would be a 135-150 for the winter and a 110 for the summer. For most other areas it would be the opposite with a larger headsail in the summer and smaller in winter. On the Bay I stuck with a 135% year round as wind speeds would go from near ghosting to 20 plus in an afternoon. Boat lived in a lighter wind area and could stay out of the worst high wind areas so sailed mostly with the full 135 with short periods reefed. Unless you have a high aspect modern rig, wouldn't go with a 110 primary sail. It will drastically hurt performance in lighter conditions and leave you praying for bad weather to take advantage of the 110.
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Re: 110 vs. 135 Headsails

Depends on the boat and average wind where you sail, IMO. I had a Hunter 25.5 with a 135 genoa and now have a Hunter 34 with a 110 (it also had a 135, but I sold it). Both boats (same designer) move well in light air and with the 135 I had to reef the main or furler (usually the furler for convenience) when the wind was steady above about 10 knots. With the 110 I can keep full sail up to about 15 as long as it isn't gusting much over. Sure, I lose a few degrees of pointing ability, but I can make hull speed or better with the reef so who cares...I'm usually daysailing, not racing to a mark. I sail on LI Sound and the winds seem to be predominantly 5-10, but more days a bit over than under.
Parenthetically, it seem to me that the wind on western LI Sound has been generally stronger the last two seasons, and the old noon to 3 August lulls are becoming more of an exception than the rule. Global warming or my imagination?
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Re: 110 vs. 135 Headsails

Hey,

Are you sailing fully crewed or shorthanded? Are you racing or just sailing for fun? How long will you be sailing?

On the boat I race on, we have 3 headsails (#1, #2, #3). The #3 is about a 100 and it gets used maybe every other year.

On my boat, I have a single headsail, a 135 that I can roll up to a 110 and still have good shape. I casually race my boat, always short handed, and I am NOT going to be changing headsails.

If you think you will be sailing for a few hours, and have a crew, then by all means get another head sail. If you're day sailing, or short handed, or not going to be sailing all that long, then I would just roll up the 135 and give up a few degrees of pointing.

On my boat I use full sails up to 15 kts or wind. At 15 kts I reef the main. At 20 I reduce the headsail to a 110. At 25 I will either furl the headsail (if the main is already up [and reefed]) or just sail on the headsail (if the main has not been raised). If the wind is over 25 I probably won't be sailing.

On the race boat with 6 guys we have more options. #1 and full main to 15. #2 and full main to 20, maybe 25. #2 and reefed main to 25, maybe 30. #3 and reefed main above 30.

Those numbers are all for apparent wind.

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Re: 110 vs. 135 Headsails

On my Santana 30 I had a 100 on board and a 135 lived on the furling. That 135 gave us all the power we needed in most conditions. We could fly it without the main and still get good boatspeed in anything over 10kts.

When we started to get overpowered I would put up the #3 and flatten the main with mast bend and the boat was happy and fast.

It the 16 years we had that boat we did not ever reef the main or the jib, although we rarely sailed in anything over 25kts. It just doesnt get that windy around here in summer.

I think changing headsails is much faster than roller reefing a bigger one, even with a foam luff. The foam is just there to provide a larger diameter to roll on, I doubt it does anything positive for the sail shape. Think about the way sails are shaped...the foil shape and draft position are built into the sail. If you roll up the front few feet of the sail you are rolling up that inherent foil shape.

I get that it is convenient to use roller reefing, but don't kid yourself that it is not a huge compromise to sail shape and performance.

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I did not reef the main only because we were close enough to the marina that i just decided to furl the 135 and drop the main and motor back to the slip. Also, i don't change headails under way but judge which headsail to use going out based on the forecast. In fact, we changed out the 160 to the 135 based on the forecast. I purchased the 160 from Bacon so if I decided to buy a 110 it would be from them as well. Just wondering if it's worth if the 135 furled to 110 is just as good.
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Re: 110 vs. 135 Headsails

I single hand alot, and even when I have guests aboard they're not usually sailors. So, I am content with my 135 with a foam luff, and furl it if necessary.
It's not often that I have to furl it. when I do, I may lose a few degrees to windward, but I'm not racing. Frankly, I don't notice any lack of performance off the wind.

The boat came with a 150 and it was too much sail for my prevailing conditions. So, when it came time to replace I dropped in size.

I have a 34 ft. boat, I don't picture me hauling down that big 135 in a fresh breeze and raising a 110 in a shorter period of time than it takes me to take a few turns on the furler. And, I don't have to leave the cockpit!

I think you have to ask yourself how often you feel the need for a smaller head sail. If it's often then it might be worth the investment. If it's only occasionally, I'd furl the 135 a bit and take a reef in the main.

If you're racing and have a full crew, that's another story.
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Re: 110 vs. 135 Headsails

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Originally Posted by Horace74 View Post
I did not reef the main only because we were close enough to the marina that i just decided to furl the 135 and drop the main and motor back to the slip. Also, i don't change headails under way but judge which headsail to use going out based on the forecast. In fact, we changed out the 160 to the 135 based on the forecast. I purchased the 160 from Bacon so if I decided to buy a 110 it would be from them as well. Just wondering if it's worth if the 135 furled to 110 is just as good.
I used to do the same thing; look at the forecast and put the small sail up at the dock, although a few times when the wind built unexpectedly I would do a headsail change, but then I'm an old foredeck guy, so I am comfortable with that. It is understandable that a lot of people are not, or just can't be bothered to make the effort. Of course it gets a lot more difficult to do that on larger boats. The non-overlapping headsail on the 39' boat I have now is pretty heavy!



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