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Old 27-09-2011, 09:04   #16
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Re: Cruiser Light Wind Sails

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
For long term cruising, ignoring for sake of discussion the additional boat bucks invested in more sails, I would have to compromise based on how much space on the boat I want to devote to sail storage. Then how many sails I can fit into that space and the relative usefulness of each sail.
Skipmac makes a good point. In my 41 footer, I only had room for a spinnaker onboard, so an extra jib had to go in the sail locker ashore. I was seriously considering turning the forward head into a sail locker permanently, because it would have been a better use of that space for my purposes.

Fortunately, I sold the boat before I could rip the head out, and the 46 footer I currently sail has plenty of room for sail storage.
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Old 27-09-2011, 09:08   #17
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Re: Cruiser Light Wind Sails

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
It always puzzles me how well the cruising boats are equipped for heavy weather and how poorly for the light days, while in fact I think I have seen way more light winds than storms in all our adventures.

b.
Now that you mention it, this has certainly been my experience as well.

Another factor, I would rather reef down for strong winds (within reason of course) than sit in really light winds that can't keep the sails filles so the the boat is rocking, the sails flogging and the boom crashing back and forth. Usually end up dropping all the sails to maintain my sanity (what little I have left). Light weight sails would stop a lot of this and gallows would tame the boom.
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Old 27-09-2011, 09:14   #18
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Re: Cruiser Light Wind Sails

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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
So cruisers, do you find a upwind light wind useful?
From practical experience when cruising - no.

Our last boat came with a 90% self tacking blade headsail and a huge main. We got a symetrical spinnaker for off the breeze running. This was in 2005. All cross cut and well built.

The blade headsail was super high & fast upwind in medium to strong winds, but as you'd imagine not the best reaching and frankly no good upwind in the light stuff.

So in 2006 we ordered a 200% mylar code 0 which was an increadible sail. It needed to be as it cost 10,000 euro. It gave us 7 knots boat speed upwind in 7 knots of true breeze. Perfect sail if the conditions were right or if you were racing in light stuff with a big crew.

But it came on it's own facnor furler and would not last a month with too much UV exposure. Meaning rigging it took 30 minutes at least. Taking it down two up when the apparent breeze got close to 20 knots was a real PITA. And the sailbag to hold it took as much space as the spinnaker.

So in 2007 we got a well built 120% genoa which would still work upwind if furled to 100%. It was the answer to a lot of our needs. We reached like deamons, went quick upwind in light to medium, still stormed upwind in stronger stuff with it furled, and even off the breeze the genoa poled out was almost only a knot slower than the spinnaker. And a lot easier for two to handle.

A month in and the blade headsail went to the bin. I doubt we used the code 0 more than three hours over the following 3 years. And only used the spinnaker when racing with crew.

They say you learn by your mistakes so hope others can learn from ours.

As a result of the above, I'd forget a pure light wind sail and suggest a well cut furling genoa with a foam luff would meet the needs, last longer, and save the cost and space consumed by multiple sails.

Cheers
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Old 27-09-2011, 11:34   #19
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Re: Cruiser Light Wind Sails

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Originally Posted by Bash View Post
Skipmac makes a good point. In my 41 footer, I only had room for a spinnaker onboard, so an extra jib had to go in the sail locker ashore. I was seriously considering turning the forward head into a sail locker permanently, because it would have been a better use of that space for my purposes.
Which brings up one of my pet peeves. I'm sure there must be one out there but I personally cannot think of a single production "cruising" boat under 50-60' that has an actual sail locker.

Not asking for some humongous, multi sail storage room like they put on some of the racers, just a small area with a deck hatch between the chain locker and fore-peak to keep extra sails: storm main and jib, spinnaker or drifter, and maybe a spare jib or two, tops. Done carefully it wouldn't take too much away from interior accommodations and might actually make the berth in the fore-peak a little more usable by taking the pointy area away from the bunk and using it for sails.

Of course if there is one out there I probably couldn't afford it anyway so guess the rant is entirely moot.
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Old 27-09-2011, 13:02   #20
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Re: Cruiser Light Wind Sails

I kind of use our forward berth on our 410 as a sail locker (not going to consider turning the forward head into a locker like Bash did as I like that shower best when not underway.

I sent a quote request to Doyle Sail for one of their UPS sails that they say bridges the gap between my 115% regular head sail and my asym spinnaker. Doyle says the UPS is useful from 33-180 degree apparent. If so it may be more useful than my asym.

My wife and I can drag out and put up our asym in 10 minutes, which means we use it a LOT more than our old boats sym spinnaker as dealing with the pole just worn me out.

We don't like sailing on the edge, which for us isn't all that edgely. So we probably would be taking down any light wind sail way before 15 knots apparent.

Guess I'll see what the price works out to be.
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Old 27-09-2011, 14:22   #21
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Re: Cruiser Light Wind Sails

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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
I kind of use our forward berth on our 410 as a sail locker.
I kind of do the same but for some reason, when I have guests on board, they get annoyed when I dump a wet sail on their bunk at 2:00 am.
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Old 27-09-2011, 15:26   #22
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Re: Cruiser Light Wind Sails

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I kind of do the same but for some reason, when I have guests on board, they get annoyed when I dump a wet sail on their bunk at 2:00 am.
Gee Skip what an A-hole you are! When I have guests I put mine in the saloon. Or I put it in the bag and put at foot of my aft berth, where it doesn't really lost me any foot room.

But then I'm assuming you aren't just rying to get rid of your guests!
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Old 27-09-2011, 18:33   #23
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Re: Cruiser Light Wind Sails

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Gee Skip what an A-hole you are! When I have guests I put mine in the saloon.
Me? And you make your guests sleep in the saloon?


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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
But then I'm assuming you aren't just trying to get rid of your guests!
Well, you remember the old quote, "Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days." I do give them a couple of weeks before dumping wet sails on their bunk, at least as long as they bathe occasionally and don't eat too much.
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Old 27-09-2011, 19:22   #24
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Re: Cruiser Light Wind Sails

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I kind of do the same but for some reason, when I have guests on board, they get annoyed when I dump a wet sail on their bunk at 2:00 am.
You need better guests.

It's hard to fault the boat manufacturers for the lack of sail lockers in smaller boats. Most consumers, given the choice between a 40' sailboat with two heads or a 40' sailboat with a single head and a sail locker, would elect to purchase the former.

My current boat has three staterooms: one for the owners, one for the guests, and one for the sails. If we end up with extra guests who insist on sleeping with the sails, that's their problem.

Fortunately, we've only had people sleep on our sails twice in the first five years we've owned this boat. Part of this is because when people ask how many folks our boat can sleep, we always answer, "Four, if everybody's willing to share a bed."

We love our sails.
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Old 27-09-2011, 19:52   #25
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Re: Cruiser Light Wind Sails

FWIW Lynn Pardey addressed this at the SSCA Annapolis GAM over the weekend. Her take is that a big light nylon drifter is well worth it. Keeps you sailing when you would otherwise be motoring.
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Old 27-09-2011, 23:53   #26
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Re: Cruiser Light Wind Sails

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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
So are light wind close reaching/reaching sails worth it to a cruiser in the long run? Or is it mostly just going to sit in the bag taking up space after having eaten some boat bucks? Or does one when cruising just sit it out at anchor etc and wait till later because you don't have a schedule?
A copy of "World Cruising routes" is much cheaper.

At the very least you should have the current behind you.

Downwind light air is another matter though, plenty of that going on cruising.
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Old 28-09-2011, 04:50   #27
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Re: Cruiser Light Wind Sails

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Me? And you make your guests sleep in the saloon?
Was joking!

I put the sails in the saloon, not the guests.
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Old 28-09-2011, 05:58   #28
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Re: Cruiser Light Wind Sails

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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
Was joking!
Me too.


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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
I put the sails in the saloon, not the guests.
I knew that.

But seriously, it does come down to dumping sails in your guests living quarters or walking over and around them in the living area.

For my boat it looks like the best option is a very large locker under the V-berths. Not the most convenient but I think guests forward would prefer having to move and remake the bed vs sleeping with the sails, wet or dry.
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Old 28-09-2011, 06:20   #29
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Re: Cruiser Light Wind Sails

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Originally Posted by Bash View Post
You need better guests.
I tried but the better guests wouldn't put up with me so I had to settle for what I could get.

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Originally Posted by Bash View Post
It's hard to fault the boat manufacturers for the lack of sail lockers in smaller boats. Most consumers, given the choice between a 40' sailboat with two heads or a 40' sailboat with a single head and a sail locker, would elect to purchase the former.
Regrettably quite true. That plus the compulsion to design a boat with as many beds as possible so the producer can brag in their brochure "32' boat, sleeps 12".



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
when people ask how many folks our boat can sleep, we always answer, "Four, if everybody's willing to share a bed."
Typical guests are another couple, occasionally with their offspring. Where I often run into a problem is when moving the boat with crew, which for various reasons usually ends up three unaccompanied guys who aren't too receptive to sharing.


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We love our sails.
Same here. I do have my dream list that I would have if money and space on the boat were not concerns.
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Old 28-09-2011, 10:02   #30
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Re: Cruiser Light Wind Sails

Great discussion.

Quantum built me a great 135 with a foam luff of one of their laminates in a weight most people use for a #1 instead of a #2. I keep it on the furler during the summer on the Chesapeake. My #3 goes back up the rest of the year. Offshore and cruising we choose the one we think will be more useful over the next week. I don't much mind changing sails but I also don't want to do it every day without a bigger crew.

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It's hard to fault the boat manufacturers for the lack of sail lockers in smaller boats. Most consumers, given the choice between a 40' sailboat with two heads or a 40' sailboat with a single head and a sail locker, would elect to purchase the former.
What sells is what gets built. That said, my 40' boat has one head and a huge sail locker under the v-berth. That has meant buying sheets that allow me to open the v-berth (it hinges out from the center) without having to completely remake everything.

It all works out pretty well as offshore no one sleeps up there anyway except in very light conditions.

I have room for whichever jib isn't on the furler, a staysail, my asym, winter canvas, the bags for the active jib and main, and still have room for another sail.

Everything goes in and out through a big hatch overhead, which takes some work on the bigger stiffer sails.

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Light weight sails would stop a lot of this and gallows would tame the boom.
I don't have gallows. I use a dock line from the preventer attachment at the boom end to a stern cleat and then with the traveler all the way to the other side crank down on the mainsheet. Keeps the boom well in place.
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