, I'm from a racing
background, 14 sails
, I like to be able to sail when possible. For my boat, the inventory below will keep us moving well as long as we have more than 4 knots when going upwind and more than 6 knots when going downwind. With less wind
than that (and an ocean swell rolling through) it becomes more or a challenge to keep the boat moving:
two mains (primary, backup)
headsails: no. 1,2,3,4, jib top
symmetric spinnakers: 0.5, 0.75, 1.5 shy kite
windseeker (no. 4 headsail shape built out of 2.2 oz mylar/kevlar)
downwind twins (2x155% jib tops built of 1.5 oz nylon)
that get the most use:
, no. 2 and no. 4 headsails, 0.75 and 1.5 kites.
Jib top and downwind twins on downwind tradewind passages.
windseeker when there is absolutely no wind
in the middle of the ocean
no. 1 is great for upwind in < 10 knots wind
no. 3 is used to get upwind in 18-30 knots and lumpy conditions
0.5 oz kite - really soft downwind conditions, often use 0.75 kite instead and reach more
never used for real (though used often enough for fun):
storm jib, trysail
For a bare bones cruising inventory on a masthead sloop
, I'd suggest a main & backup main with 3 reefs
, storm jib & trysail, no. 2 (135% LP) and no. 4 (85% LP) headsail, 0.75 spinnaker
with ATN sock. You will be slow in lighter conditions 60-120 degrees apparent wind and that's where a jib top or drifter can pay handsome dividends. Beyond 120 apparent in less than 12-15 knots you're looking at running a spinnaker to keep boat speed up.
Carry spares, such as sail repair tape and material, spare batten stock, spare mainsail
cars/slugs, clew rings, cringles, etc., and the tools to keep the inventory operational.