SailNet Community banner

1 - 20 of 49 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,184 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
It's looking like being a windy summer in SF Bay so I'm thinking of the sail plan for winds in the 30-40 range. Up to 30 I use the first reef, and maybe furl the jib to 75% to 85% or so (full size is 100%).

Then we have the second reef in the main. The question is, with it, to just furl the jib more, to say 50%? The problem is I don't think the shape is good then. The other weekend in the slot the jib was heavily furled and was making all sorts of flapping and noise. It just didn't look or feel right.

So I was thinking of the Gale Sail for days when it gets really snotty. Will the fact that the main is reefed to about 50% of its size when double-reefed, and the Gale Sail will be 25%, cause problems with weather helm?

What do other sailors use when it's blowing hard?
 

·
Member
Joined
·
599 Posts
Yeah, I have the same problem...like you, double reefed in the slot, wondering what to do with the jib...when 50% furled the shape is so bad it doesn't help the overall airflow, is ugly, noisy, and probably stresses the sail. I am torn between a Gale Sail and a storm jib...I have heard that the Gale Sail is so thick over the furled sail that the windage is a problem. Would welcome comments from folk.

A storm jib on a baby/inner stay seems like the optimal solution (except that I don't have one).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,265 Posts
Yeah, I have the same problem...like you, double reefed in the slot, wondering what to do with the jib...when 50% furled the shape is so bad it doesn't help the overall airflow, is ugly, noisy, and probably stresses the sail. I am torn between a Gale Sail and a storm jib...I have heard that the Gale Sail is so thick over the furled sail that the windage is a problem. Would welcome comments from folk.

A storm jib on a baby/inner stay seems like the optimal solution (except that I don't have one).
Have you tried furling the jib just to the point it still has acceptable shape and going to 2 reefs in the main?

Most roller furlers will only keep their shape when reduced around 20% or so, so its not surprising you can't get decent shape with it rolled 1/2 way in.

If you sail in those conditions frequently, maybe you should talk to your sailmaker about a jib with high clew (I think its called a yankee cut) to produce a sail with less area than a standard 100% jib. Other advantages of the high clew are better visability and its clear of the water if conditions are such that you are getting green water over the deck.
 

·
Member
Joined
·
599 Posts
Okay PalmettoSailor, you just opened the door to one of my favorite bits of sailing trivia. Won't solve my or MarkSF's problem, but:

The Yankee sail is basically an equilateral triangle. It can be therefore be hoisted either way up - the head and tack are effectively interchangeable. This led the British (a long time ago) to comment that "even a Yankee can hoist it correctly!", and the name stuck :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,370 Posts
It doesn't blow 40 in the Bay much. You're looking at a #4 or storm jib going upwind. 40 in an ebb out in the slot is seriously rough and miserable sailing. If you're going out, even though your close to shore, take these conditions very seriously. Talk to a sailmaker. They'll have a good idea about how and what to use to balance your sail plan. Personally, I'd call Pineapple Sails. If you boat has a 'class association' website or the like, I'd give them a shout as well.
 

·
Over Hill Sailing Club
Joined
·
3,688 Posts
I've decided that it is better to use just a good, heavy working jib as my primary foresail. Its small size to start with allows it to keep some shape when furled down. The only time I'll put the Genny on is if I am pretty sure the winds will not get over 15 knots. Trying to roll up a large genoa to reef in a 30 knot wind does not work well because the shape is buried, resulting in a big belly in the center and the foot is raised too high. On the wish list is to rig up an inner forestay/running backstays with a small, Amsteel or wire-luffed jib for storm duty.

For 40 knots, think about an inner stay to keep the center of effort closer to that of the mainsail.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,184 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I think one thing I need to do is properly mark the furler line. Right now, reefing the jib involves some guesswork.

So I have a 100% working jib. Thinking of placing marks on the furling line at 85% and 70% of the full area. Any tips on what to mark the (black) line with?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,184 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Yeah, I have the same problem...like you, double reefed in the slot, wondering what to do with the jib...when 50% furled the shape is so bad it doesn't help the overall airflow, is ugly, noisy, and probably stresses the sail. I am torn between a Gale Sail and a storm jib...I have heard that the Gale Sail is so thick over the furled sail that the windage is a problem. Would welcome comments from folk.

A storm jib on a baby/inner stay seems like the optimal solution (except that I don't have one).
The problem is I don't know which I fancy less, changing the jib in the furler in a blow, or installing a Gale Sail in a blow. Both seem unattractive to me. I guess you could install a storm jib at the dock if the forecast is for strong winds. But then I think I ought to just stay at the dock!
 

·
Over Hill Sailing Club
Joined
·
3,688 Posts
The problem is I don't know which I fancy less, changing the jib in the furler in a blow, or installing a Gale Sail in a blow. Both seem unattractive to me. I guess you could install a storm jib at the dock if the forecast is for strong winds. But then I think I ought to just stay at the dock!
Indeed! Getting caught offshore in a gale is one thing, CHOOSING to go out in one is not on my list of happy things to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,370 Posts
SF Bay isn't offshore. The good thing is there are a number of microclimates around, so you can pretty much pick what you want to deal with. Hit 17 kts in a Moore 24 in the slot years ago on a blowy day. Great fun, but getting uphill and just outside the gate was a washing machine ride for sure. OP, if the forecast is for 35-40, put your 100% on the roller. It's a no brainer...unless you already have a #4.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,088 Posts
Mark, have you measured your sail and you are pretty sure it is a 100% or less? I can sail balanced with my blade (95%) and a double reef. There has been only a couple of times when we resorted to taking in a few turns on the furler (Mrs B don’t do 40kts with anything more than a hanky flying). Our blade is 9oz high modulus Dacron and holds its shape well in strong breezes. Is yours getting a little past it’s useful life? The problem with blades is you have nothing off the wind – I like to fly the kite on the return leg back to Alameda. Usually furler line is low grade Dacron like Sta-set, very stretchy. You might want to consider getting some draft tape from a local sailmaker and put “tick” marks on the foot of the sail where you want to furl to. My personal experience with the Gale Sail is it is a PITA to deploy and a Sunbrella UV cover on the jib makes for a lot of friction when you are trying to hoist it.
 

·
ASA and PSIA Instructor
Joined
·
4,096 Posts
If you are in SF bay in conditions requiring a storm jib, you will be at the dock anyway, its an offhore sail (when you cant get off the boat).

Dont mark your jib sheet for furling points, mark the foot of the sail. The furling line length changes whenever you switch sails or rerig. Sew a small piece of black cloth to the foot, as the sailmakers do.

Definitely use both main reefs, and also a small jib. Avoid furling your jib at all if possible as it is a poor solution.

Assuming you have a small jib, here is the sequence I use:
135%, full main
135%, main reef 1
135%, main reef 2
135% only or 100%, full main depending on what's up and how long
100%, main reef 1
100%, main reef 2
100% only
Now its mid-high 30s, time to go home. You can start furling the 100%, but I have never done so personally. over this you need storm sails.
 

·
Over Hill Sailing Club
Joined
·
3,688 Posts
Sorry I was not clear. What I was inferring is that offshore, you have no choice if a gale comes along so you have to deal with it. CHOOSING to go out in 40 knot winds is not usually too wise a move!
 

·
Mermaid Hunter
Joined
·
5,689 Posts
In my opinion the Gale Sail is a fundamentally bad idea.

Watch the video ATN Sailing Equipment | The Gale Sail | Easy Handling Storm Jib and note the relatively benign conditions. Are you really going to drag that bag forward in 35 or 40 knots? Rig the sheets? Hank that sail on?

See if you can borrow one and hose it down. Get the furled jib wet also. Now try to raise the Gail Sail.

I strongly suggest you get a free-flying storm jib to a hard point on deck. Bag it on deck and run the sheets before you leave the dock on anything more than a day sail.

We lost the furling line offshore last week (I was on delivery) and it took an hour to get the jib down off the furler and lashed on deck. Winds were only in the high 20s and seas only 6 to 8 feet. I was darn glad to have 6'2" 26 year old Nick on board as crew.

We did a lot of crawling - none of that walking stuff from the ATN video.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
We were out in the Bay this Spring in solid 30kt winds with gusts in low-mid 40s heading across the slot. I had 2 reefs in the main and the full 100% jib and we were doing fine and were balanced, though any more wind would have altered the equation. Obviously depends on the boat, but I have yet to reef our jib - and based on what folks are suggesting here, when the wind pipes up past 40kt, the choices are dealing with an imperfectly performing reefed jib, or trying to put on a storm jib in those conditions. My leaning is toward dealing with the jib to at least get me to behind Angel Island or Tiburon where it'll almost certainly be a bit more mellow....I'd certainly be on my way home at this point....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,292 Posts
Another option depending upon the boat, is jib only! My boat in 35-40 does pretty well with a 110 up by itself. Then again, it is a masthead config, a fractional may not do as well.

Along with, I am only 28' and 6000 or so lbs, a 40' 15-20K lb rig would have a different config up yet. Some of it will also depend upon the waves, be them short in duration vs longer, etc as to where you might want the sail power to be and how.

Marty
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,909 Posts
I used to be a firm believer of just reefing the jib and running on it. I changed my mind after a few good storms at sea.

On my boat, the Main is the best thing to have up, especially ofsshore. I will tell you why. It puts the center of effort in the middle of the boat and after many hours/days you can make to weather without doing a thing. Just get up to speed and follow through with your tack. Easy-cheesy and anything that requires very little effort is worth it when you are worn out. Also, that increases your weather helm and does not decrease it or give you a leward helm which can be a nightmare in a breaking sea and you can broach. Thus, my main is by far my weapon of choice offshore in a storm. Screw the jib. First time you wrap it backwards/backfill it behind itself and have to go forward to get it loose in 10 foot seas, you will curse it. Did that too.

I think storm jibs are a different story because they put the center of effort closer to the middle of the boat. THe are cut to have a small belly but still hold shape for performance. Few people have a true storm jib and most I suspect wouldn't know what to do with one.

I would say just learn to put a couple of reefs in you main and learn the boat. Most sloop rigged boats will perform well that way.

My opinions.

Brian
 
1 - 20 of 49 Posts
Top