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Hello,

I'm in the process of purchasing a 2003 Bavaria 44. The present owner has Full Batten Main and a 150% Genoa. When speaking with him he consistently mentions that often when the wind picks-up and sailing up wind (I assume over 20 kts) he finds himself rolling-up the Genoa and motor-sailing where he is going. He tells me that this is because the Genoa looses to much shape if reefed more than 10% - 15% and he just doesn’t like to sail or treat the sails that way. When asked why doesn’t he just get a smaller Genoa or Jib he says that he rather have the 150% for the lighter days and motor-sail on the heavy days. We sail in the Puerto Rico / USVI / BVI area where is rare to have winds bellow 12 – 15 kts and most days is over 15.

I rather sail to where I’m going and not motor-sail. Any comments or suggestions? Is it realistic to consider a stay-sail installation on a boat that is not originally rigged for this? What are my choices?

In terms of materials to choose from; I’ll be purchasing new sails for this boat soon after I buy it. I love a well trimmed and balanced boat; what’s the best material I can get for this boat keeping in mind that it’s a cruiser(durability and long life is a concern), most likely it will not be raced, and if so it’ll be done on the Jib and Main Class.

Thank you very much for your most informative forum.

Labestia
 

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Many boats go well to windward with just the genoa (and with the main furled). They balance very well this way, and go like blazes.

I've spent many, many years sailing in the Eastern Caribbean, and going upwind with just a genny is very comfortable. Lots of folks get it backwards: they furl the genny instead of the main. A boat with just main alone is a dog to windward...many act like you're "hove to" :)

That said, a 150% genoa is a big baby, and you might need to furl it a bit in the heavier tradewinds. I used to carry a big drifter built of light nylon...about a 160-170% size....but blew it out so many times with 20 knots across the deck I finally had to trash it.

Try the genny alone first. Then, if need be, go for a smaller headsail. Or, possibly, think about recutting the 150% genny a bit. If it's a low cut deck sweeper, you could probably cut a considerable amount off the bottom to raise the clew, which would give you better visibility and more seakeeping ability when heeled. I did that 11 years ago with my No. 2 genny when I fitted a new ProFurl furler, and that sail is still going strong. It sets pretty well when furled, too.....even WAY more than 10%.

Bill
 

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If the winds are as consistent in your region as you suggest, and since you are planning to get new sails anyway, I would recommend downsizing that genoa.

A 130-135% might be a better choice. With the ability to roller reef it down to about 120%, you should be able to cover a fairly broad wind range. A medium weight (0.75 oz) asymmetric cruising spinnaker would be a good addition to the sail inventory for downwind sailing in light air.

But I also agree with btrayfors -- try reefing the mainsail first. This would be good advice even with a smaller 130-135% genoa.

Congrats on the new boat!
 

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Whether the boat sails better in certain conditions under just main or just jib/genoa really depends on the boat, I suspect. Our Pearson P30, for example, sails very nicely on just the main, windward and all, reefed or not. But our main comes down closer to the deck than that of many newer boats, which, I think, are rigged for more room above the boom for dodger, bimini, etc.

Admittedly, one reason we choose the main over the foresail is because, with a Tuff Luff system up front, the main is simply easier to hoist and stow :).

Jim
 
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