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Old 30-12-2009, 09:23   #1
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Furling No.2 or No.3 ?

Seasons greetings to all who drop by this thread and thanks in advance for any advice on headsails. For the last couple of years i have been refitting an old IOR warhorse with the intention of making a half circumnavigation via the pacific. The boat is currently on the great lakes in the usa, the planned route is out via the st lawrence seaway and then to the caribbean via bermuda.

As part of the refit we added antal track to the mast for the main (now fully battened) and trysail and have rigged an inner forestay for the storm jib and No.4. After a lot of deliberation ive opted for a Facnor continuous line furler for the headsails.

I did inherit a reasonable sail wardrobe with the boat with some nice race sails along with a bunch of spinnakers however i want a dedicated cruising sail to live on the furler and have been deliberating over size and material choice. Its here that i am stuck and in need of advice/opinion: Should i go for a number two or a number three; dacron or laminate?

The beast is a 50' Frers, masthead rig built in alloy and weighing about 12000 kg empty. For our voyage we wont have the full crew of 15 alowable under IRC Pic is attached:
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Old 30-12-2009, 10:04   #2
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Hey, we have one of those picures!

Really you're the only one that can answer that question but probably the #3 will make you the happiest if you want to cruise.

Some questions: Is she stiff? When do you down shift from the #1 to the #2? Do you bother with a #2 or go from the Heavy #1 to the #3? How hard do you want to work, overlap is a pain.....

A fifty footer will have a pretty high leech load so some sort of string/laminate will keep the draft where it needs to be. If you go with string and overlap the spar will beat it to death quickly.

We found, given our size, a spectra main with full battens and harken batt cars works well and the front end is a 100% (no overlap) kevlar string sail.

Our boat speed is generally wind speed in the lower wind ranges. This set up is fine till about 27 over the deck upwind. Then we either reef or move to a staysail on the inner forestay. When the breeze is in the 40's I'm happy to sail with just the staysail.

Oh, and add a lazy cradle for the main and make sure to use spectra.

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Old 31-12-2009, 06:10   #3
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Joli, thanks for the reply and comparison pic! the lazy cradle is definitely on the list as well - but tell me, why use spectra for this? As for sails, unfortunately i have had only limited time with this boat on the water so its a bit of a guessing game and trying to assimilate information from various sources. In terms of shape she is similar to a swan 51 or 53 with rig dimensions almost the same as the 51 - just not as heavy. in terms of stiffness - she carries a fair amount of form stability with the wide beam, you can feel her loading up as she leans over but i wouldnt describe her as overly stiff or tender.

All the sailmakers suggest she will be underpowered more of the time with a three and especialy reaching, no doubt however the three would be an easier sail to tack short handed (J=19.7', I=68') and would make a better upwind sail shape in any breeze: the number two is harder to sheet flat as the shrouds limit this.

Im in contact with the skipper of a sistership who sails in holland, they go from the No.1 to the No.3 at about 14kn apparent which is good then up to about 25kn when they go to the No.4.

I admit i am leaning towards the No.3 as the 'one headsail' for most conditions, in the end if is is very light there is always the option of hoisting something else from the warchest.
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Old 31-12-2009, 10:53   #4
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We started with the same thought process, sailing with one of our #2's but after a couple seasons moved to a #3. Our I is 86 and J is 26 but the boat is heavy, 65k lbs, so we need the rig. We'll often sail upwind in 5~6 knots but we much prefer a minimum of 10. Once you get a larger boat rolling the apparant wind builds and larger sails aren't really needed for cruising. I would think you are probably pretty quick and would experience the same.

You'll want the spectra lazy cradle since the other stuff will stretch, your main probably weighs over 100#s?

Here is the photographer ~ 70' off the water:

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