SailNet Community banner
1 - 20 of 73 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With very limited experience I ask this question. If you have a furling jib why do you need a storm jib? Doesn't just partially furling your jib do the same as a storm jib? Or is there some other quality of the storm jib that I am not aware?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,314 Posts
main issue, is a storm jib is usually made with heavier cloth than a typical jib. So one could tear up a typical jib in a real storm, ie say gale or above winds.

Marty
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,507 Posts
Hey,

Good question.

A sail is a lot more than just a triangle made of dacron. A sail has a 3 dimensional shape, and that shape is based on the wind the sail is designed to be used in.

A large 150% genoa, designed to be used in winds under 15 kts, is made of a relatively light material, is cut with a lot draft, and will generate a lot of power. A #3 jib, which is a lot bigger than a storm jib, is both physically smaller than a genoa, is made of stronger (and heavier) material, and is cut flatter than the genoa so that it doesn't generate as much power.

The storm jib will be the smallest and heaviest sail. It will be cut very flat so that it can be used in high winds to generate just a little power.

Now, back to your question, a 150 genoa can be rolled up so that it is the same SIZE as a storm sail, but it won't work nearly as well. First, there will be a lot of sail material rolled around the headstay. That sail material is not aerodynamic. The 150 when rolled up will have too much draft and will generate more power than the storm sail. Lastly, the sail material is probably not strong enough to handle the high loads.

Barry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Normally a storm jib gives you control of your boat when the wind is 30 knots up for the typical cruiser. A roller furling sail is light weight for one and puts the center of effort to far forward which reduces the ability to control the boat. Idealily it would be closer to the main in a staysail type of installation which would give better control as well as no fear of it unfurling out to a 120% genny in 50 knot wind. I personally do not like roller furling because it fails when you need it the most. I still hank on and know the sail will be there an not grow bigger than it really is by unfurling. I have even put a storm jib on my main with the main completely tied down and had great balance on a sloop rig. I think most people here have learned their hard knock lessons little by little and I feel you will do the same. I have been sailing only forty years so I guess I am a little seasoned in my past history of learning through mistakes. You really don't have to have a storm jib as long as you are a fair weather sailor and keep on top of the weather conditions. It is your choice, But I would not go off shore without one in my stores along with several other items. I wish you fair winds..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Normally a storm jib gives you control of your boat when the wind is 30 knots up for the typical cruiser. A roller furling sail is light weight for one and puts the center of effort to far forward which reduces the ability to control the boat. Idealily it would be closer to the main in a staysail type of installation which would give better control as well as no fear of it unfurling out to a 120% genny in 50 knot wind. I personally do not like roller furling because it fails when you need it the most. I still hank on and know the sail will be there an not grow bigger than it really is by unfurling. I have even put a storm jib on my main with the main completely tied down and had great balance on a sloop rig. I think most people here have learned their hard knock lessons little by little and I feel you will do the same. I have been sailing only forty years so I guess I am a little seasoned in my past history of learning through mistakes. You really don't have to have a storm jib as long as you are a fair weather sailor and keep on top of the weather conditions. It is your choice, But I would not go off shore without one in my stores along with several other items. I wish you fair winds..
Thanks. To take advantage of your 40+ years, what are your "several other items"?
 

·
Barquito
Joined
·
3,756 Posts
I would agree with Bill about not needing a storm jib. Presumably you are sailing on Lake Michigan, or another inland lake. Most likely, you will be dealing with thunderstorm winds, not sustained gales. In a T-storm, I'm guessing you would just drop all sail and motor until it passes. Remember that even with a foam luff, the sail you have up there is a roller furling sail, not a roller reefing sail. Just doesn't do well if rolled up much.
 

·
Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
Joined
·
4,525 Posts
I have to disagree a bit with what is being said. But first some definitions. A storm jib is not the same thing as a smaller jib. It refers to a quite small, very heavy sail meant for storm conditions, not 30 knots. So a racing boat might have a #1 (say 150% and they might have two, one with heavier and one with lighter cloth), a #2 (135%), a #3 (110%), a #4 (85%) and a storm jib which would be a much smaller still. On our cruising boat we have a 135%, a 100% both to go on the furled, along with a staysail and storm jib which are hanked and on a removable inner stay.

Now to the use. In 35,000 miles we used the storm jib zero times, the staysail a few times and the 100% once on the way to Easter Island when we damaged the 135%. The 135% was used in some nasty conditions, a few times in excess of 50 knots with perhaps 6 feet of sail unrolled. It is quite flat then and works well. It was built by North and has worked very well indeed for us. It probably has been up for 30,000 miles. Modern sail cloth if it is in good shape is remarkably strong stuff. The 135% is being replaced, not because it is shot but just because it is old and worn. It will go to Bacon and I imagine someone will find a useful, cheap sail that is OK for coastal use. We will likely use it to from the Caribbean to New England and keep the new one for later.

The vast majority of cruising is done off the wind (that is why you choose the route you do - part of the gentlemen don't go to weather approach) and sail shape then does not matter that much. Changing a furler sail when it starts getting really windy, say 35 knots+ is not any easy task on a boat of decent size since the sail really wants to go for a swim when only the three corners are attached to something and the bow is going up and down 8 or 10 feet and the ocean wants to land on deck. In most cases, changing sails happens at the dock when you know the forecast for the day. If you are on a long passage you pretty much stay with the sail you have on. One reason people are cruising with bigger boats now is that they do not change headsails like guys like Chichester and Moitessier did. Those guys were tough and resilient with the number of sail changes they did. If you have a sloop, i.e. no inner stay to put up a smaller sail, it is a problem. This is one reason why I think that Solent stay rigs make a great deal of sense.

On the Great Lakes you don't need a storm jib since you are not going to get caught by a gale that will last for a day or so. Also shelter is almost always not too far away. As someone said, the main problem is thunderstorms and these can bring a lot of wind, but they don't last long so you can roll up all or almost all of the jib if it helps with steering. You can either motor or heave-to (how to do that has been discussed here) and wait it out.
 

·
Senior Smart Aleck
Joined
·
2,150 Posts
With very limited experience I ask this question. If you have a furling jib why do you need a storm jib? Doesn't just partially furling your jib do the same as a storm jib? Or is there some other quality of the storm jib that I am not aware?
Read some of the Coast Guard rescue threads on this forum. One of the common elements is lack of storm sails and shredded/jammed roller furling sails, no electricity, and disabled engine. The crew is scared, the boat is out of control, and the captain activates the EPIRB. All of this could have been prevented with storm sails onboard (and some balls).

Whether you need a storm jib really depends on how and where you use your boat. Many casual weekend sailors, the same who almost always have roller furling, seem to sail only on a reach in pleasant conditions (with the boom centered); otherwise, they are motoring. They rarely sail upwind in uncomfortable conditions, and usually motor dead downwind because they lack symmetrical spinnakers and/or are afraid of gybing. Go out sailing on a beautiful day and the majority of the sailboats will be motoring somewhere.

Circumnavigators may spend most of their time riding the tradewinds downwind, but coastal cruisers are not so fortunate. I seem to spend 90% of my time either beating upwind into waves or running downwind on my trips. You never know what you will be sailing in. I prefer hank-on jibs and carry a storm jib. You may never need it, but it is a small investment for safety in the worst conditions. Imagine the day you may need to sail away from a lee shore in heavy winds, or at least gain some control over the motion of your boat, and your engine is disabled. If nothing else, it will give yo some peace of mind if you do any kind of serious sailing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,072 Posts
Construction of 'storm sails':
Usually twice the material 'weight' of normal conditions sails.
Usually triple stitched (or even quadruple stitched) AND the seams are additionally glued before sewing.
The 'best' will have small triangular reinforcing 'patches' on each of the seams that terminate at the leech; and, possibly will have a small hand-sewn 'rope' added to the leech for additional strength and protection.
..... because of the strength requirements vs. 'flogging', when tacking/gybing ..... or luffing during such high wind conditions. A 'bombproof sail'.

The sail SHAPE as cut will be very different from a sail used in 'normal' conditions. There are essentially THREE curvatures inbuilt to any sail - luff entry shape, luff hollow shape, and draft position.
• The position of maximum draft in a high wind sail is usually 'well forward' of the normal 30-40% of a 'normal sail' ... to compensate for the increase of adverse helm due to excessive heeling. In any sail, where the point of maximum draft occurs is due to 'broadseaming' (in a cross cut sail) - the tapering/curving of the edges of the panels before sewing; the front of each panel is always narrower than the leech end and the taper is 'curved' so that the sail becomes 'rounded' at the point of maximum draft.
• A foresail is ALWAYS curved vertically along its luff - to compensate for 'wire stretch or sag', the higher the wind pressure, the more sag is expected hence more 'luff hollow' is cut from the leading edge. Mess up that well predictable relationship of wire sag and 'luff hollow' and the boat will skid to leeward instead of beating to windward ... and will include/mimics BODACEOUS weather helm.
• Luff entry shape - the relative flattness or roundness of the luff section of the sail -- from the luff going back for a few % of the sail's cord length. This is where the maximum 'suction peak' (Bernoulli) occurs in a sail ---- right behind the luff, when sailing upwind/aerodynamically. The 'flatter' the luff entry, the more precise the helmsman must be as the sail will have a very narrow operating range of 'angle of attack'; if this range is exceeded then luffing or separating. A more 'rounded' entry will result in a more 'forgiving' sail through a wider range of angle of attack. Storm sails have very 'rounded' luff entry shapes - makes it easier for the helmsman. The higher the wind speed or the maximum speed of the boat, the 'rounder' the luff entry .... VERY rounded for a VERY fast boat or VERY fast wind speeds.

In comparison to a sail on a furler and all rolled up .... all these 'curvatures' are all rolled up inside the furled sail !!!!!!!! Normally you can only 'roll up' a sail by ~30%; after that you only have FLAT shapes exposed.
Try beating or clawing off a lee shore, get out of the way of a ship, etc. etc. with a dead-flat sail, your sphincter will probably be beginning to 'pucker'. The sail efficiency will be dismal , your tacking angles will be beyond dismal AND youll need much more exposed surface area and thus more heeling moment to boot.
The typical experience will be for a boat that can tack through 80-90° during normal conditions ... when 'furled' beyond that 30% sail area reduction will 'probably' only be able to tack through 120° during stink condition - maybe.

IMO - In real stink conditions, its better to sooner go to a deeper reef (& maybe a headsail change) --- with LOTS of draft to drive the boat through waves ---- than to sit there with lots of FLAT sail all rolled-up and go nowhere without any speed while heeled waaaaay over fighting 'weather helm' and only left with 'lousy tacking angles'. In BIG waves you need POWER (1st gear); power comes from draft; Flat sails are for sailing fast (high gear) in FLAT water.

Rx - a roller furled sail will have all the important 'curvatures' rolled up inside when furled beyond that 30% roll-up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,989 Posts
Lots of consistently good, but also varied responses in this thread. The consistent info works for everyone: storm sails are more strongly built and cut differently from those used in better conditions. The varied answers show how each boat and situation can be a little different. What works will depend upon the balance of the boat, the sails, the wind, the waves, the course, and the crew. It can be quite a balancing act.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,334 Posts
With very limited experience I ask this question. If you have a furling jib why do you need a storm jib? Doesn't just partially furling your jib do the same as a storm jib? Or is there some other quality of the storm jib that I am not aware?
No, you are correct. One does not need a storm jib.
It would be impossible in a blow to drop the genoa and raise a storm jib anyway.

They are old fashioned sails made for the time before furlers. Back then, each time the wind changed strength you needed to pull down the sail you had up and put up a nother sail... Until the wind got right up and you were changing from a No3 to a storm jib.

Roller Furling is an unsung hero of the increased popularity of couples cruising long distance. It really must have been a pain to change sails in the old days. Even on race boats when i was a kid, at night, in the cold my fingers unhanking sails was a misery.

I love my genoa furled. The shape is great, the drive is excellent and its so easy to pull it in or drop a few more feet out. Just wonderful. I would laugh at any suggestion to use a storm jib.

Mark
 

·
Registered
Corsair 24
Joined
·
4,594 Posts
storm sails are great as are small jibs for over 30 knot winds...honestly its just depends on how you learned to sail and what you prefer at this point...

roller furlers are great..but they have shortcomings...and like already mentioned they are by far not the best for sail shape in high winds especially production furlers for common cruising boats not talking racig open 70s here

2. with hank ons you always always have a back up and specific sail for specific scenario.


3. with an inner stay or solent stay preferabbly removable and easy to attach with a realease clip you have redundancy and you also back up the rig, especially if you have running backs that hep the mast from pumping and breaking stuff.

and lastly sail shape

there are really really nice blades out there made that can handle 50knots plus and maintain that shape you need to sail....

a furled up genny way out there up front is nothing more than a storm rider aka anti rolling mechanism...they absolutely positively suck for fighting a lee shore...also like mentioned affect helm quite badly and since they dont have the correct shape basically all you are doing is inducing heel

I have also noticed the tendency on cruising boats to furl when the wind is already way up(kind of like reefing too late) and this causes all sorts of issues with parts breaking.

paired this with te tendency to haul in the boom midships and the not wanting to heel too much syndrome most cruisers today have what happens today is most people turn the damn engine on to ride out storms instead of doing what the boat is designed to do.

some boats fair heavy weather better than others and sail better angles but any boat should be able to sail in heavy winds...its a matter of finding what your boat likes...

personally Ill be adding an inner forestay...removable since there is a track midships...just a matter of connecting a tang up the mast...

my boat came with a storm jib and small 100 percenter...I have options too for light winds...

that doesnt mean that I wouldnt enjoy a furler, especially now that the wife will be sailing with me...anyting to help her out...

cheers
 

·
Swab
Joined
·
825 Posts
With very limited experience I ask this question. If you have a furling jib why do you need a storm jib? Doesn't just partially furling your jib do the same as a storm jib? Or is there some other quality of the storm jib that I am not aware?
As long as you stay close enough to a safe harbor to start the engine and run for it if the wind kicks up, you probably do not need a storm jib. Having said that, the first time you find yourself offshore in a real blow without one, you will know the answer.

The only option might be to lie ahull with no sails up at all. Otherwise you risk the roller furled jib blowing out. There are those who claim that rollers are perfectly acceptable nowadays but I have seen too many unfurl and be blown to ribbons in the marina or jam on a daysail to ever trust one offshore.

Just my opinion based on personal experience. YMMV
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,142 Posts
Looks like you've received some good answers to your question. Furl it too much and it's no longer really a sail. They become inefficient very quickly.

I'm a neighbor of your's up here in Muskegon and have four decades of experience on Lake Michigan on boats of various sizes.

On a boat like yours, for day sailing and occasional longer excursions on the Great Lakes, I see no reason for a true storm jib. You pretty much pick your weather, and you're never too far from the next port.

On the Catalina 309 that I recently sold, I had a 150 furling genoa and a furling main. Oh...and an asymmetrical spinnaker that I seldom used. I often wished I had a 135 furling genoa that I could swap out with the 150, as I often found myself overpowered, and if I found myself under-powered, no amount of extra sail was going to do much good.
 

·
Over Hill Sailing Club
Joined
·
3,688 Posts
Good descriptions above about the strength of a storm sail. Designing for headstay sag is very important. Rolling up a larger sail works to a point but then the shape gets completely thrown out of whack and you wind up beating the heck out of your good headsail.

A better place for a storm jib is on an inside stay designed for the purpose and working with a trys'l, both sails operating on a lower set of stays and shrouds. This puts the center of effort closer to the mast and not way out on the bow. It adapts the whole rig to the dangerous conditions. Storm jibs also need a high foot so as to stay away from water coming on deck. While seldom to never used, having a storm rig is a basic safety item designed so as to never find the need to push the button on the EPIRB.

It seems that there have been plenty of instances followed right here on this forum of people abandoning boats that could well have hunkered down, heaved-to and ridden out conditions if they were equipped with storm sails.
 

·
Mermaid Hunter
Joined
·
5,686 Posts
With very limited experience I ask this question. If you have a furling jib why do you need a storm jib? Doesn't just partially furling your jib do the same as a storm jib? Or is there some other quality of the storm jib that I am not aware?
No. A partially rolled up headsail becomes inefficient very quickly. You simply can't point worth a darn. I recall tacking back and forth between England and France making no headway for way too long. Rolling up the jib and (painfully) putting up a staysail on an inner forestay made all the difference in the world in terms of both progress and comfort.

It is your choice, But I would not go off shore without one in my stores along with several other items. I wish you fair winds..
Based on my experience, a storm jib in your sail locker is of limited utility. A removable inner forestay reaps huge benefits in this regard. Inshore and coastal you just sail with a 135 or 100 on the furler. Heading offshore you rig the inner forestay and rig the staysail/storm jib, including running sheets. When conditions are bad you roll up the headsail and fly the staysail/storm jib.

No, you are correct. One does not need a storm jib.
It would be impossible in a blow to drop the genoa and raise a storm jib anyway.
I disagree. If everything is ready to go it isn't hard at all. BTDT. If you have to hump sails along the deck in a blow then you are certainly correct. The easy answer is not to do that. I don't leave port headed offshore without storm sails ready to go, on deck, hanked on, lashed down, and sheets run.

A partially furled headsail simply doesn't point well, no matter how much you crank in on the backstay.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,213 Posts
The orange is cute
With center of effort moved aft with sail on removable inner stay boat will balance and even hove to.
Forces on mast where running back stays are. Must less force on mast,
Not difficult to tack in big wind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,213 Posts
But listen to Killarney . It's STORM jib. What's the odds you are going to see a storm ? We comfortably sail in 40 + with a couple of rolls in Solent and 2nd or third reefed main depending on point of sail. Spend money on third reef and bullet proof head sail system. Or on Jordan series rogue. Then drop the rags deploy it and be safe down below if you are caught in the middle of the lake with huge distance to shore.
Listen to SVA- stay is rigged and sail yanked on with sail tie to hold it down neatly before you leave offshore. Don't bother with rigging third reef coastal either. Just an unnecessary long string on the sail.
Thread has much wisdom from experienced people. Only other thing some transits/ races may require stuff like this but for cruisers like you and me not relevant . I have storm jib but not try sail. Wisdom of that could be discussed and would be interesting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,072 Posts
.............. What's the odds you are going to see a storm ? .......
It all very much depends on WHERE you do most of your sailing and what weather 'surprises' are customary in your immediate locale.

My home base is the Chesapeake which at its southern end near towards "Hatteras" is renown for generating its own and sometimes unpredicted and sometimes very severe and long lasting weather. Twice, once entering near the Virginia Capes and once already inside the VA capes, I have experienced 'blue holes' BOMB right on top of me. A 4-5 mile in diameter crystal clear blue 'hole' open up on top of me and which had the 'traditional' ~F10+ (55-60 kt+) wind wall at its edges. Damn little wind, but WAVES, on the inside of the 'hole', and these LOW centers do move so you have to either move with and inside of them or take an absolute 'drubbing' if you decide to pass through the 'howling wind wall', .... if there is enough sea room to do so. Getting 'caught' in one of these suddenly appearing 'blue holes' may take MANY hours to pass through and many miles of 'blammo' until thing settle down; like 6-8 or more hours. The second time this happened I hove to on a triple reefed main ... and waited it out for 5-6 hours while the tide pushed me north further into and 'up' the Chesapeake.

I sail a 'heavy' cutter rig, my staysail has the ability of a deep reef in place of a storm jib; I can a triple reef instead of using a trysl.

With suddenly and unexpected forming LOW PRESSURE cells all the winds 'enter' towards the center of these 'weather bombs'; therefore, you CANNOT sail 'downwind' to get OUT of one and you must be able to 'beat your way out' if you dont have the 'sea-room'. If you expect to go close hauled to exit OUT of such a weather BOMB, youd better have correct gear and sail combos and be able to deep reef AND 'point'. You simply cannot affect an 'exit' from the center of a surprise LOW center by sailing 'downwind' as downwind is always towards the exact very center of a rapidly forming LOW pressure cell, ... most do not have 'benign' centers such as 'blue holes'. NOAA does a 'rotten' job of predicting 'weather bombs' because of the 'immense difficulty of such prediction'.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,213 Posts
Rich I'm with you on this which is why I have a storm jib. Also note in some respects severe weather in coastal setting may be more dangerous than off shore. No running room off lee shore. Depths less than 8x wave height so breaking and stacked up. Waves reflecting off shore. Confused winds due to channeling in bays rivers or deflected by hills islands mountains. Also inability to see local weather coming at you like you may be able to offshore.
Having said that was thinking about O P in my reply. Don't think there are micro bursts,white gales etc. commonly in those waters but may be wrong Know they can see extreme weather but thought it was seasonal.
 
1 - 20 of 73 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top