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Old 20-10-2012, 01:57   #1
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Blade Jib?

I am getting a new suit of sails for Christmas, hurrah! A new main and yankee are of course priorities. But I will probably spring for an A-chute, and I'm thinking about a blade jib.

What do you guys think? I realize that with a flatter, newer yankee I will have less lust for the blade jib, but still. . . I am not a fair weather sailor and often find myself in 20, 25, 30 knots and more of wind in the English Channel, and I am planning to cruise Scotland, Norway, and higher latitudes.

It seems to me that a principal headsail which I can use without reefing up to about 30 knots would really transform sailing in this kind of weather. The high aspect of such sails must make for very good performance upwind. Would make a good partner to my in-mast furling main which has a very good shape when reefed way down (for all of its other disadvantages).

Then over 30 knots, I can just go to staysail alone, as I do now.

What do you guys think? Will it be worth the hassle? I realize I will have some headaches with sheeting angles, car tracks, etc.
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Old 20-10-2012, 04:29   #2
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Re: Blade Jib?

DH, we love our 90% hi-aspect jib in 9.8 oz. dacron. The sheeting angles are perfect with the jib leads all the way forward on the tracks. We put it on the furler for the winter in the Bahamas and it stayed there until back in Maine the next summer.

It's a PITA to switch jibs, and we're not rigged with an inner forestay, so the challenge is deciding ahead of time which jib to put on the furler. Realistically the blade jib is for windier seasons or cruising grounds, or longer passages. We don't switch on a day-to-day basis, let alone while underway.
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Old 20-10-2012, 04:38   #3
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Re: Blade Jib?

Check out ➥ Self-tacking Jibs | Cruising World
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Old 20-10-2012, 05:02   #4
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Re: Blade Jib?

My #3 is the jib that gets the most use. It's so easy to tack too - only 6ft of sheet to pull. Woohoo !
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Old 20-10-2012, 05:14   #5
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Re: Blade Jib?

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Thanks, Gord, very interesting.

A lot of positive comments. Hmm.
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Old 20-10-2012, 05:15   #6
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Re: Blade Jib?

Maybe to save cost, I could have my existing Yankee recut into a #2 or #3 jib? It's in quite good condition despite 12 years of use.
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Old 20-10-2012, 05:30   #7
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Re: Blade Jib?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Maybe to save cost, I could have my existing Yankee recut into a #2 or #3 jib? It's in quite good condition despite 12 years of use.
DH, we are also thinking along the same lines. A new Genoa is on order and Kemps tell me its on the cutting table at the moment. They are pushing DP fabrics over the likes of Challenger and have recommended Dimension-Polyants C-Breeze for us rather than Marblehead suggesting it is a much better quality fabric and more suitable for low aspect Genoas. However, sorting out the fabrics between junk and quality between each sailmaker has been a lengthy confusing process especially trying to find the right balance between quality and cost.

Having had a good look at our existing Genoa the main problems are damage to the UV strip, worn strops at the head and foot and its a bit grubby on the luff. However, the material whilst used looks usable. Kemps have suggested cutting it down to 110% so I will take it in for them to view. I would probably not bother with the UV strip and keep it simple since it would only be used occasionally.

The good news is you are surrounded by sailmakers.

Pete
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Old 20-10-2012, 05:38   #8
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Re: Blade Jib?

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Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
DH, we are also thinking along the same lines. A new Genoa is on order and Kemps tell me its on the cutting table at the moment. They are pushing DP fabrics over the likes of Challenger and have recommended Dimension-Polyants C-Breeze for us rather than Marblehead suggesting it is a much better quality fabric and more suitable for low aspect Genoas. However, sorting out the fabrics between junk and quality between each sailmaker has been a lengthy confusing process especially trying to find the right balance between quality and cost.

Having had a good look at our existing Genoa the main problems are damage to the UV strip, worn strops at the head and foot and its a bit grubby on the luff. However, the material whilst used looks usable. Kemps have suggested cutting it down to 110% so I will take it in for them to view. I would probably not bother with the UV strip and keep it simple since it would only be used occasionally.

The good news is you are surrounded by sailmakers.

Pete
Cool, thanks. Let us know how this project goes.

Oir old headsails will be stretched and bagged out. The good news is that the cloth used for a 135% yank or gennie will be heavy for a #3 jib. I whonder if the stretch can be cancelled out in recutting? Will it continue to stretch? I don't understand any of these things.
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Old 20-10-2012, 05:47   #9
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Re: Blade Jib?

Pete, are you usi g the Challenge Warpdrive sailcloth? I fought this sounded pretty interesting: http://www.challengesailcloth.com/pd...ve_article.pdf
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Old 20-10-2012, 06:01   #10
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Re: Blade Jib?

Yes, that's one of the things I need to chat to them about. The good news is the original fabric was a heavy weight Contenders Supercruise, sort of mid quality fabric and since it is cross cut should be achievable. No idea how you would even start re-cutting a radial sail.

I still have the invoice for the current Genoa made in 2001. Its replacement will cost exactly the same amount 1300. Guess its a tough market at the moment.

This article was quite useful:

Sails, Sailmakers, Lymington, Sanders,

Until recently we almost exclusively used Hood Dacron for our cruising sails which was woven on old fashioned looms in Ireland. Unfortunately this facility has now closed down which has forced us to re-enter the market place in order to source alternative cloth of a similar quality. This has been an enlightening experience because we have not only discovered how cheap some fabrics are but also how poorly they perform. After testing all the styles from all the manufacturers we were quickly able to eliminate a large quantity as being "not good enough" but this still left us with a range of styles that needed to be "catalogued". After a lot of indecision we finally agreed to segregate them into three qualities which we rather topically call: Bronze, Silver and Gold. The size and shape of these qualities is the same however the fabric utilised varies i.e.
1) Bronze quality:
a) Bainbridge Ocean Premium Plus (The standard Bainbridge Ocean range, sometimes called Fastnet,
was one of the first to be eliminated).
b) Contender Cruise.
2) Silver quality:
a) Dimension Polyant C-Breeze.
b) Challenge Hi Modulus.
3) Gold quality:
a) Dimension Polyant AP and SF.
b) Contender HA and Blade.
In short, the more you pay the better the resistance to stretch the greater the durability and performance.
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Old 20-10-2012, 06:45   #11
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Re: Blade Jib?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Pete, are you usi g the Challenge Warpdrive sailcloth? I fought this sounded pretty interesting: http://www.challengesailcloth.com/pd...ve_article.pdf
No, Kemps are using Dimension Polyant C-Breeze, which they say is as good as Marblehead. Since the name C-Breeze isn't very inspiring Kemps have called it Portland Premium but its the same high tenacity fabric. The fabric is more expensive than budget fabrics, but doesn't break the bank like Hydranet would.

The warp drive fabric looks interesting wonder how it compares to their Marblehead or say Hydranet. Talking of Hydranet, friend with a M40 has just had a new Hydranet Genoa made and I watched as he sailed past me during the summer. Must say its a beautiful sail but it wasn't cheap. Hydranet was twice the price of Portland Premium which is difficult to justify for channel sailing. If your going north however it might be worth it for the Genoa.

The one other thing we have done is to have a strop fitted to lift the tack up so the sail doesn't rub on the pullpit and I can see under the sail. So whilst the LP is 140% the sail area is reduced. Haven't done the maths but its probably the equivalent to 135%.

Pete
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Old 20-10-2012, 07:16   #12
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Re: Blade Jib?

My problem with self-tacking jibs is that most have terrible shape off the wind. The leads are simply too far forward and cannot be adjusted. The low clew is a part of the problem.

I have one, I like it OK, but I don't use it much. Much less versatile than my roller furling genoa, which roller reefs very well. IF I were to chose a strong weather sail, it would simply be a smaller jib with a high clew.
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Old 20-10-2012, 09:19   #13
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Re: Blade Jib?

I have been following this tread with some interest. I don't understand why the Yankee cannot be reinforced to preform well when it is partially furled, then you would have a blade for those days you need them, and a Yankee (which I find to be the best all around ocean jib) when you completely unfurl it.
I think the blade should be made for the staysail....for extreme conditions.
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Old 20-10-2012, 09:33   #14
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Re: Blade Jib?

We have done quite a bit of headsail development on Hawk, but our rig is quite different than yours (fractional) so I don't know how relevant it is.

Our primary working jib is high aspect and sheets inside the stays - when reaching with it we clip on a 'short sheet' with the block a bit forward and out on the toe rail. The clew when sheeted for close hauled is about 2' off the deck - this is lower than earlier jibs.

I do not know if that officially makes it a 'blade' or not. A blade in my mind entails a very low deck sealing foot.

One thing to be careful about with a low foot, especially when planning to use it in some breeze to windward, is waves getting caught in the foot. That's a huge stress loading on the fabric.
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Old 20-10-2012, 15:07   #15
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Re: Blade Jib?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
I have been following this tread with some interest. I don't understand why the Yankee cannot be reinforced to preform well when it is partially furled, then you would have a blade for those days you need them, and a Yankee (which I find to be the best all around ocean jib) when you completely unfurl it.
I think the blade should be made for the staysail....for extreme conditions.
G'Day Newt,

Perhaps my nomenclature is different, but to me a Yankee has a very high clew, little or no overlap, mid range weight and a full hoist. A blade has a low clew, possibly even a deck sweeper, no overlap at all, heavy cloth and again a full hoist.

Thus, a partially furled Yankee has a very different shape from a blade, no matter how much it was reinforced.

As others have mentioned, the blade was developed as an upwind sail for moderate to heavy conditions, and is mostly used on masthead rigs. The Yankee is suitable for most wind angles and is generally used in moderate conditions. Both are useful sails, but if one has a blade on the forestay one better have some form of light air sail (code 0 or drifter) or big fuel tanks!

And as far as I am concerned, the idea of changing furling sails at sea on boats of much size is not on for shorthanded crews, so you better get it right before you leave!

Cheers,

Jim
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