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You're correct in that a 125% 'jib' is technically a genoa, but the term genoa is often inferred to mean the standard 155% or 'largest headsail' you may have (at least prior to the advent of the newer 'code' sails)

Why 155%? mostly because that's the upper limit for a standard race rating before being penalized (might actually be 153 - depends on jurisdiction and rating system)

A 'class' jib would be one that's legal for a particular one-design class - many of which eschewed genoas, trying keep the class competitive while keeping costs down.

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2,309 Posts

All of these names are just handy names and are essentially meaningless. What really matters is the size of the sail. My "working jib" is 105% and roughly 200sqft. It doesn't have a full hoist luff, the luff is 32' when up to 36 or 37' will fit on my furler. Racers would call this a #3. I could also order a "blade jib" that would be 95% and 200sqft, it would just have a longer luff and a shorter foot.

My genoa is 135% and roughly 280sqft. In racing terms this would be a #2. It does have a full length luff. 135% is a compromise size often used on furling sails, it gets closer to the performance of a 155% #1 but furls down to a 100% "working jib" for higher winds.

A #1 would be 155% and roughly 315sqft on my boat.

When evaluating headsails for my boat I compute the overlap (the percentage) as well as the sqft. One number by itself isn't that helpful, having both lets me better understand how the sail will fit.

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2,309 Posts

Jib Overlap Calculator

As an example my working jib is 32' luff, 28' leech, 14' foot. The J on my Pearson 28-2 is 11.25'. Punching that all into his calculator I get:

Sail Area:

195.69

Luff Perpendicular:

12.23

Overlap(%):

108.72

The same sail on one of my friend's Yankee 30 would be 95%, because their J is is 12.75'.

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