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Old 23-02-2009, 02:01   #31
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Which brings me to my next topic: has anyone have any luck stitching foam into the luff of their headsails?
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Old 23-02-2009, 04:27   #32
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Yes! It made a world of difference in the ability of my 110% genny to handle heavy winds. It stays flat when as much as 2/3 of it is rolled up. I highly recommend doing it. When the wind gets up to the 40-50 knot range, I have a triple reefed main, full staysail and the genny rolled up to where it just overlaps the inner stay-my "spitfire" rig. Can sail along at hull speed, heeled only 15 degrees.

I was convinced to do it after a rough trip from Virginia to Bermuda and back, our first offshore passage. We saw squall after squall with winds from 35 to 50 knots. Without luff pads, the heavily furled genny was very baggy, and produced way to much heeling and weather helm, and it didn't draw very well.
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Old 23-02-2009, 05:06   #33
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In my experience, a 110% head sail, roller-furling, luff pads, and a high-cut foot is perfect for a cutter rig.
We have had two cutters and both had 110% head sails. In other than the lightest air back winding them well sends it through the slot. The Gozzard has a bigger slot than the CSY 33 with the same height mast did so we didn't rig a tacking line from the clew. With more air to push the sail through it goes easier. Both stays were parallel to the forestay. You do need to tie the bowlines in the right direction so the knots don't hang on the inner forestay. I don't see where it matters when there is no innerstay so it is no issue on a sloop. In most cases the sail when it does hang up on the stay loves to hang on the knots in the clew. If you mess up the tack and let the sheet go too early the clew sends the sail around the aft side of the inner stay and it is a lot more hassle unless it's blowing well and following through loads the sail in the slot and drags it through. Well back winded helps in this case too. Sloppy tacking makes more hassles in light wind.

When the waves were heavier the tacking line saved some trips to the bow. Bottom line was it worked but it was not magic. Were it on some spring loaded low force furler the tacking line might not have fouled so easily. If you had a third crew member it would help to let them furler the tacking line.

I ran the line forward to a pad eye almost on the end of the bow sprit. Attached to that was a fixed line with a block on the end. I made the lead long enough to then lead fair a second set of stanchion blocks just like the furling line mounted a few inches down. It helps when pulling the clew through the slot in light air. It did work well but it was a second line that could foul and did once in a while. You had to take up the slack as you tacked so it didn't wrap around the windlass.

I agree with Hud as well in a true cutter the head sail isn't supposed to be that huge. Flying smaller sails is part of the idea. In light wind the cruising chute is what you want. We don't reef the head sail much. If it is that strong out there the staysail alone will do. I have reefed the staysail to half in a gale. Both head sails at the same time in medium wind is fine as long at it is blowing beam to close hauled.
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Old 23-02-2009, 06:43   #34
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Our cutter rigged ketch has a 130% genoa and a fairly small storm jib on the cutter stay. The stays have some clearance - say approx. 7 feet on the deck level - however, to some extent, we have the same problem. Also for us, leaving the jib sheeted eases tacking of the genoa. We ease the jib immediately after the genoa is clearly making it through.

For us, the problem exists only when close hauled and is smallest in light winds. Then it is always possible to just pull the genoa through with the new sheet. On 20+ knot winds the genoa also flies through without any assistance. That is good, since having both jib and genoa unfurled would be too much after 25 knots. On moderate winds, the genoa is trying to find its way between the mast and the cutter stay. Then the problem can be completely avoided by sailing with the jib as well.
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Old 23-02-2009, 08:04   #35
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Which brings me to my next topic: has anyone have any luck stitching foam into the luff of their headsails?
When I ordered my new roller-reefing genoa from Quantam it came with foam sown into the luff.
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Old 23-02-2009, 12:09   #36
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When I ordered my new roller-reefing genoa from Quantam it came with foam sown into the luff.
And...did you like what it did for you?
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Old 23-02-2009, 12:54   #37
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Many sailmakers are using rope luffs now instead of foam. Foam eventually flattens out. Here is the write-up from one of the North Sails site:
RopeLuffô (for furling genoas)
Rope Luff is an alternative to other roller reefing options such as foam luff pads or AeroLuff. A Rope Luff works on the same principal as a foam luff pad, allowing the sail to furl around the headstay smoothly. A tapered bundle of ropes are placed inside a dacron sleeve and stitched to the sail behind the luff tape. Rope Luff is light weight, aesthetically pleasing, does not absorb water, and is mildew resistant. Rope Luff can also be sold as a separate sleeve that can be used with other sails, or removed entirely to transform your cruising sail to a racing sail for casual club racing.
North Sails Israel - Information - North Cloth - Cruising Laminates


I used rope on my latest headsail.

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Old 23-02-2009, 19:38   #38
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And...did you like what it did for you?
Minor complaints so far. Before the sail was made they wanted to know which way the furling rolled so that the foam was on the inside (for those who may not know).

I believe the foam they used in mine was non-absorbent but a soft rope sounds like it would work if there were as least three lengths of a soft multi plait of 5/8" or more side-by-side.

It's purpose is to avoid such a hard bend at the front of the foil where the luff tape extends from the slot. The older round foils didn't have as much stress as the newer oblong foils.

I noticed trying to get that first wrap around the foil is a bitch. I've put in a small winch just to get it started. A larger drum on the furling would help but after the first couple wraps is gets fairly EZ.
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Old 24-02-2009, 00:30   #39
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We orderer a new genoa from NorthSails about a month ago. As far as I understood it correctly, foam was no longer available, removable ropes were the only option.
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Old 26-02-2009, 15:13   #40
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I have a quite highly cut yankee, one of the main problems we had was the knot that attaches to the sail used to catch on the inner stay, what I did was to use some whipping line and whip the two lines together about 12" away from the knot, you whip the lines parralel to each other leading them on opposite directions, the whipping doesent have to take much load as you dont ever pull on both sheets at the same time. As the lines are whipped together they slide over the stay without catching.
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Old 26-02-2009, 15:21   #41
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the whipping doesn't have to take much load as you don't ever pull on both sheets at the same time. As the lines are whipped together they slide over the stay without catching.
I might try that one. On boats where the slot is parallel and a bit narrow it does hang more than a bigger slot. Some folks splice the two sheets together. I would prefer to be able to take one off if required or flip the ends.
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Old 26-02-2009, 17:00   #42
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It worked well on my boats, two things: tack and dont release the headsail, then release it slowly so it will bulge through the gap before complete release. Also, If you have one long sheet, use it by putting a bend (loop) at the center of the length through the clew and then run the sheet ends through. this makes a nice small knot. Often the big double Bowlines would hang up on my staysail stay....
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Old 26-02-2009, 17:34   #43
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Cheechako,

That knot is called a "Lark's Head", and slides through the slot nicely. That's what I use.
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Old 26-02-2009, 18:17   #44
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I have a quite highly cut yankee, one of the main problems we had was the knot that attaches to the sail used to catch on the inner stay, what I did was to use some whipping line and whip the two lines together about 12" away from the knot, you whip the lines parralel to each other leading them on opposite directions, the whipping doesent have to take much load as you dont ever pull on both sheets at the same time. As the lines are whipped together they slide over the stay without catching.
As often as I change/take down my sheets I would just use rigging tape.
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Old 27-02-2009, 09:04   #45
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Thanks HUD, good to know what it's called.
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