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Old 06-10-2014, 14:13   #61
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Re: New Sails! Advice Needed.

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Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
Dockhead,
Not to make you crazy (purposefully anyway), but have you ever considered adding a textile (Dyneema/Spectra) Solent Stay. They you could fly a drifter/reacher or a big genoa (both with hanks) for light air. And since they'd be on hanks, it'd take all of 90sec. to brick them (accordion them down the headstay, & then roll them up from the clew end) & slide them into a sailbag.
Either one done that way would be about the size of a beanbag chair, & fairly easy for one guy to stow or recover from belowdecks. Plus, one can pick up pre-loved headsails from racing boats, & have a sailmaker do any mods to fine tune them to your yacht, as well as installing a set of hanks, fairly inexpensively.
I don't know if Dockhead will like this idea, but it makes a whole lot of sense to me! .....however, there are those who might say we're over-steeped in frugality!

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Old 06-10-2014, 15:16   #62
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Originally Posted by IdoraKeeper View Post
Dockhead, just curious about what indicated to you the that the old sails were too bagged out to be acceptable? Did they appear bagged or did you detect substantial performance loss before they started to look bad? In any case I envy new sails. Please keep us advised on the project going forward.
Can't get the belly out even with the leech drum tight. Can't move the draft forward no matter how much halyard tension you put on. Have you seriously never had to deal with a bagged out sail? Lucky guy!
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Old 06-10-2014, 15:35   #63
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Re: New Sails! Advice Needed.

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. . . if you are near a big sailing venue . . .

Had to laugh, as I'm writing this from Cowes, IOW

But yes, point well taken. I'll give that a try.
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Old 06-10-2014, 15:56   #64
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Re: New Sails! Advice Needed.

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Running the sheet of a Yankee out through the end of a pole will give it a bit more projected area, but not much, as that sail doesn't even begin to fill a foretriangle. So given that, you have to run extra deep to gain extra efficiency from said petite headsail. And spin pole lengths start at the "J" measurement & get longer from there.
In racing, there's a penalty for over length poles (due to their added speed advantages), but... if you ain't racing... And by over length, I'm talking like 10-25% of J.

Poles do tend to help genoas a fair bit, but even then, you need to be running semi-deep (beam reaching or so, to DDW). Though I personally would pick a pole up for a cruising boat (and likely a spare), even if I had to scrounge, or build one myself. The gains IMO are big enough to be worth it.
FYI, sometimes you can find pre-loved pole ends for peanuts. They're the expensive parts. And then buy the tubing, or find the right diameter section of pipe (even sometimes agricultural stuff's a perfect fit, & CHEAP - no joke) to make your own.

The nice part about having the pole on a jenny, is that they do stabilize the sail a good bit. Both when it's real light, & when the sea way, or the boat's rolling would cause a non-poled jenny to empty & refill with every wave cycle. Which costs you a good bit of speed.
And they really help to stabilize a big poled out headsail when it's heavy, as between the foreguy, topper (topping lift), & sheet, the clew (and subsequently the sail) are locked in place. Like a main with a preventer cranked on hard... including the perks which go with same. Plus a stabilized sail has well attached air flow (as is also the case when it's light), and that's where it really helps with speed gains. Here's why.

Air flow is constantly detaching & reattaching to sails, as well as changing angles etc. As little in the world exists in a steady state, but especially so with the wind, as it's CONSTANTLY changing. And even tiny changes, like 0.2kt or 2 degrees, alters the whole wind flow & force dynamics on a sail.
Each time this happens, it's akin to tapping the brakes on a car... and then of course you have to use the accelerator to get back up to speed. Doing both of those things burns up a lot of energy, actually it's where most of the gas in your tank winds up going. As something of great mass moving at a constant speed, with little outside forces acting on it needs surprisingly little energy to stay at that speed.
So, the less you do it/it happens, the more fuel (speed) you keep via not decelerating, & then re-accelerating.

So with your sails, everything which you can do to keep the wind flow well attached to them, & in as steady a state as possible is where you make gains. Literally, just how (smoothly & gently) a crew moves around on a racing boat can cost or gain them several miles a day, as the motion of literally 1 man on a 20 ton boat is enough to affect these things. And having your jib poled out & locked in keeps it so that it moves with the same pitch & role of the boat. Where as without a pole, it takes a LOT longer to settle down after each roll, if at all (much more so when it's light).

Not to mention the wear & tear on gear, sails, & the crew's nerves, every time the jib goes bang when it refills. Jerking the boat forward in a stutter stepping, stop start kind of motion.

On poles & kites or other types of headsails, all of the above is true, but one of the biggest perks comes from when the pole is strapped down to the deck & pushed forward of the bow several feet. Or the same is done by attaching it to the mast & projecting it forward of the headstay.
Then, when you put the clew of say an assymetric out at the fore end of the pole, it takes a huge portion of said sail out of the (wind) shadow of the main. Giving you a lot more projected area, in addition to letting a lot of the sail operate in clean, undisturbed air (always a GIANT bonus). And it also gives the main a much cleaner patch of wind to operate in as well. Plus, since the foresail's not blanketed, & it's center of effort is further forward, the boat's trim is a lot more balanced.

When your trim's in good balance, then there's less need to use the rudder (drag), or to depower the main to reduce weather helm. On top of that, the sails (a much greater percentage of them) are operating in cleaner air, so there's even less wind detachment & reattachment with each wave cycle or small change in wind speed or direction (than there would be sans having a pole).

Also, one can attach the tack of other types of downwind sails to the end of the pole and gain the same benefits. The catch being that you have to pay attention, & not fly the sails in too much wind, or crank on the halyard real hard (as you'll destroy the pole).
There are ways to allow you to do such, but they require a much more complicated pole setup. Especially if you want to do things like crank on some serious halyard while having the tip of the pole 20 degrees to weather.

For now, I'm going to leave discussion/explanations of cranking the pole to weather while flying upwindish sails, to someone else, or for another time. But I will say this, in some configurations, doing it is so effective that it's been banned most classes of racing yachts out there (at least to my knowledge). Albeit again, it's more of a specialty, racer'ish type thing to be doing in the first place. And to some degree requires some even more specialized hardware, plus a few magic tricks (to make it work well).

And for everyone who learned something, I'm taking donations. 5kg bricks of gold bullion work just fine ;-).
Seriously, I hope I helped out a bit, even if I did incite a whole 'nother level of questions. But the above is the Cliff Notes version of a good bit of a 2 day, mid level J-world racing class.
Yes, a tour de force of sailing knowledge. Thanks a lot for that.

Yes, I long for the same control I have over my main with the preventer rigged and cranked on hard. That's the very practical essence of my pole-envy.

I don't think that I will get to these exotic upwind pole tricks anytime soon. My ambitions are much more modest at this stage, but still I'm trying to absorb all of this knowledge.
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Old 06-10-2014, 19:59   #65
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Re: New Sails! Advice Needed.

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Can't get the belly out even with the leech drum tight. Can't move the draft forward no matter how much halyard tension you put on. Have you seriously never had to deal with a bagged out sail? Lucky guy!
A tight leech line puts belly in . . . . . not out. Maybe you meant the luff ?
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Old 06-10-2014, 20:54   #66
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Re: New Sails! Advice Needed.

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Had to laugh, as I'm writing this from Cowes, IOW

But yes, point well taken. I'll give that a try.
In that case an old TP-52 symmetric pole can probably be found just about anywhere
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Old 06-10-2014, 23:19   #67
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Re: New Sails! Advice Needed.

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Thanks for reminding me about this option. I had once considered and rejected it because of the tremendous (as it seemed to me at the time) cost, but now that the cost goalposts have moved so much, it might be worth another look. Evan, have you ever tried these?

I was quoted 10,920 euros in 2012 plus VAT, for a parasailor of 2,228 square feet with 310 square foot wing. Made in Ukraine; I wonder if their operations are not affected??

.

Dockhead, we talked about this some time ago and they quoted a similar price to me. Eventually I decided to purchase a wingaker, which is much cheaper. Slightly different concept, but from tests on a smaller boat, the light wind performance seems to be better. First hand experience beginning of next season


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Old 07-10-2014, 01:32   #68
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Re: New Sails! Advice Needed.

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Originally Posted by savoir View Post
A tight leech line puts belly in . . . . . not out. Maybe you meant the luff ?
I didn't say tight leech line, I said tight leech -- from sheet/vang tension which, combined with outhaul, is how we try to get the sail flatter. The baggier the sail, the less this works, unfortunately
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Old 07-10-2014, 04:03   #69
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Re: New Sails! Advice Needed.

Cry Havoc & Unleash the Dogs of War - AKA Some "Unconventional" Foresail Possibilities:

I'd seriously think on the 2nd headstay option (Solent), as it only needs be a foot or three below the primary headstay, & inboard as much at the deck. So the foretriangle size doesn't change all that much. Heck, for that matter, you could swap the stay positions, & put the primary headstay on the inside.
And on a boat your size, you can pick up a cheap-o, 2nd hand hydraulic tensioner for $2-300 tops. So that once you hooked up the stay, it'd tighten up with half a dozen throws of a lever from the cockpit (panel). Which is cheaper than any hand powered stay tensioners you can buy. Removable Cutter Stay vs Solent Stay

But the big perk is that you can by pre-loved sails & try out different concepts until you find out what you like, which also doesn't keep you on the foredeck half the time, for cheap (relatively). That, and any big downwind sail's going to be a lot easier to handle on a stay vs. free flying. Kite wraps SUCK.

Also, for any kind of big headsail (foretriangle size or bigger), bar something for purely upwind in a moderate to stiff breeze, something with a touch of belly is fine. And you can pick up oversized used Dacron (or Nylon) sails, & have'em cut into whatever you want.

I've done the latter, including on a 50' racer which I used to look after (for a bit of coin) and we made a bitchin reacher with hanks out of a cheap middle aged Dacron genoa.
It didn't have quite the wind angle range of a true reacher (well, while holding ideal shape anyway), but it made for easy handling & good speed. Enough so that the owner could take out work/business cronies on booze-n-schmooze cruises, & still have plenty of sail area for it to be fun even when it was light (with easy, non-bolt rope, handling).

One other sailmaking Frankenstein experiment which I haven't tried, but should work (theoretically), is to take an old reaching assymetrical kite, setup it up (with hanks) to hoist on a headstay, & use it as a drifter/reacher. Though it might need a bit of TLC on the luff via a sailmaker.
Even so it should still retain the ability to also be flown from a pole for the deeper stuff.
Again, it's an idea to run by a sailmaker or three.

There's one other bastardized option to consider. When I first got my boat, I didn't have the coin to spring for a furler, but wanted a bit light air jib, in addition to like a 110% with hanks (plus a Solent & smaller). So I talked to a few different sailmakers & asked them if they could take a beat up, and or oversized #1 (155%+), and add attach a piece of Spectra webbing or cordage to the luff to turn it into a Code 0'ish/light air jib.
Surprisingly, all 3 sailmakers gave me the nod, though with the caveat that I wouldn't have quite the shape as a true 0, or pointing of a jenny (that it'd likely be good for 045 AWA or so of pointing).
But for a few hundred $ vs. a couple thousand $ it was an intriguing light air option. I didn't get around to trying it, as I've got a lot of sail even with just a 115%. But such also may be worth running by your sailmaker.

As to your current set of over the hill (baggy) headsails, is there any chance you can have a sailmaker do a bit of nip & tuck work on them, to give them a face life? If they're not a complex panel pattern, sometimes it's an option. Assuming that the cloth has any life left in it.
Like for a sail with horizontal panels, think of it as "taking things in a little at the seat". As for all intents & purposes that's what the sailmaker's doing.

Also, where you talk about tightening up the leech, on some bigger racing mains, a ring gets put into the sail about a foot above the tack, & they're termed flatteners. To them is connected a line going to a hydraulic ram inside of the boom. And much of the time they do a decent job fulfilling their name.
The one on that 50'er which I used to look after was GR8 when the main was on it's last legs.
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Old 07-10-2014, 04:35   #70
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Re: New Sails! Advice Needed.

Qoute: "Kite wraps suck!"

Amen brother - amen
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Old 07-10-2014, 04:38   #71
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Re: New Sails! Advice Needed.

Error Correction on Flatteners: The ring is placed about a foot above the Clew. Although it might work even better if placed at the same height, but say 8" inboard from the leech so that you get an even better angle of pull on the main's middle aged spread. Though it likely warrant a reinforcing patch, & or webbing fan in it's vicinity.
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:04   #72
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Re: New Sails! Advice Needed.

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I didn't say tight leech line, I said tight leech -- from sheet/vang tension which, combined with outhaul, is how we try to get the sail flatter. The baggier the sail, the less this works, unfortunately

Same thing. Loading up the leech area with mainsheet tension won't work as a mast bending device on your boat. The mast is too heavy.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:24   #73
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Re: New Sails! Advice Needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
Cry Havoc & Unleash the Dogs of War - AKA Some "Unconventional" Foresail Possibilities:

I'd seriously think on the 2nd headstay option (Solent), as it only needs be a foot or three below the primary headstay, & inboard as much at the deck. So the foretriangle size doesn't change all that much. Heck, for that matter, you could swap the stay positions, & put the primary headstay on the inside.
And on a boat your size, you can pick up a cheap-o, 2nd hand hydraulic tensioner for $2-300 tops. So that once you hooked up the stay, it'd tighten up with half a dozen throws of a lever from the cockpit (panel). Which is cheaper than any hand powered stay tensioners you can buy. Removable Cutter Stay vs Solent Stay

But the big perk is that you can by pre-loved sails & try out different concepts until you find out what you like, which also doesn't keep you on the foredeck half the time, for cheap (relatively). That, and any big downwind sail's going to be a lot easier to handle on a stay vs. free flying. Kite wraps SUCK.

Also, for any kind of big headsail (foretriangle size or bigger), bar something for purely upwind in a moderate to stiff breeze, something with a touch of belly is fine. And you can pick up oversized used Dacron (or Nylon) sails, & have'em cut into whatever you want.

I've done the latter, including on a 50' racer which I used to look after (for a bit of coin) and we made a bitchin reacher with hanks out of a cheap middle aged Dacron genoa.
It didn't have quite the wind angle range of a true reacher (well, while holding ideal shape anyway), but it made for easy handling & good speed. Enough so that the owner could take out work/business cronies on booze-n-schmooze cruises, & still have plenty of sail area for it to be fun even when it was light (with easy, non-bolt rope, handling).

One other sailmaking Frankenstein experiment which I haven't tried, but should work (theoretically), is to take an old reaching assymetrical kite, setup it up (with hanks) to hoist on a headstay, & use it as a drifter/reacher. Though it might need a bit of TLC on the luff via a sailmaker.
Even so it should still retain the ability to also be flown from a pole for the deeper stuff.
Again, it's an idea to run by a sailmaker or three.

There's one other bastardized option to consider. When I first got my boat, I didn't have the coin to spring for a furler, but wanted a bit light air jib, in addition to like a 110% with hanks (plus a Solent & smaller). So I talked to a few different sailmakers & asked them if they could take a beat up, and or oversized #1 (155%+), and add attach a piece of Spectra webbing or cordage to the luff to turn it into a Code 0'ish/light air jib.
Surprisingly, all 3 sailmakers gave me the nod, though with the caveat that I wouldn't have quite the shape as a true 0, or pointing of a jenny (that it'd likely be good for 045 AWA or so of pointing).
But for a few hundred $ vs. a couple thousand $ it was an intriguing light air option. I didn't get around to trying it, as I've got a lot of sail even with just a 115%. But such also may be worth running by your sailmaker.
Cool. I see a lot of logic and sense in this, and I am seriously thinking about it -- in fact, this is looking more and more like Plan "A". I really like the idea of experimenting with different used sails rather than dropping a lot of money on a custom sail in the beginning.

A number of high end large cruisers have an arrangement like what you are talking about. I see it more and more. Discovery yachts are all, I think, made with this second forestay. I think they have a blade on one, and some kind of reacher/Code 0 on the other.

This combination could be really relevant to our conditions here -- at 50+ latitude, we get a much larger proportion of strong wind days than in milder climes. In a decade of cruising SW Florida, I never saw anything above F6 except in a squall; up here, a F8 is so common that we still consider it "go" weather (versus "stay in port" weather) as long as the true wind is not ahead of the beam.



Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
As to your current set of over the hill (baggy) headsails, is there any chance you can have a sailmaker do a bit of nip & tuck work on them, to give them a face life? If they're not a complex panel pattern, sometimes it's an option. Assuming that the cloth has any life left in it.
Like for a sail with horizontal panels, think of it as "taking things in a little at the seat". As for all intents & purposes that's what the sailmaker's doing.

Principle headsail, a 120% yankee jib, irreparably destroyed in a storm at night in the Baltic (Carsten of this parish was there ). I had already given it the nip and tuck which helped. But nearly 3000 miles upwind, sometimes in hard weather, took the remaining life out of the jib.

I have not messed with the staysail; it's shape is crap anyway since it's on a self-tacking track, so I don't even understand whether it's baggy or not. I learned how to barber-haul it into better shape this year, especially (surprisingly to me) downwind, where getting the clew outboard just a foot or two made a huge difference in the shape, and drive I get out of it. Pulling the clew back and inboard with a barber hauler has made it work much better upwind, too. I think I will leave it -- it's a storm jib as well, and made out of extra-heavy material, so pretty much bomb-proof. I guess it will look funny flying with new carbon main & yankee, however.

The mainsail is still usable, but the belly has come back into it with a vengeance. In-mast furling mainsails last almost forever because of the perfect storage conditions inside the mast -- the cloth is still strong and stitching fine; just shape blown out somewhat. I will keep this for a spare.


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Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
Also, where you talk about tightening up the leech, on some bigger racing mains, a ring gets put into the sail about a foot above the tack, & they're termed flatteners. To them is connected a line going to a hydraulic ram inside of the boom. And much of the time they do a decent job fulfilling their name.
The one on that 50'er which I used to look after was GR8 when the main was on it's last legs.
Very interesting -- ever seen something like this on a cruising boat? Is it just like a Cunningham? Maybe I can rig something like this up. In our conditions, I sometimes desperately need to get the sail flatter.

Note that I don't want to tighten the leech necessarily -- overtightened leech is proof of a bagged out sail. It means I have oversheeted or overvanged the mainsail trying to get the belly out. Sometimes I want the leech to be looser and some twist in the sail, but nevertheless with a shallow profile.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:52   #74
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Re: New Sails! Advice Needed.

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Can't get the belly out even with the leech drum tight. Can't move the draft forward no matter how much halyard tension you put on. Have you seriously never had to deal with a bagged out sail? Lucky guy!
Well sure. Had my Yankee re cut and repaired last winter. Same symptoms as you. Now, with Yankee and blade up I gained about 3 degrees to windward. It wasn't subjective. Shows right up on the instruments. When I took the sail in I felt like I was being a tad over reactive. Ultimately I was glad I did it.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:52   #75
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Re: New Sails! Advice Needed.

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Same thing. Loading up the leech area with mainsheet tension won't work as a mast bending device on your boat. The mast is too heavy.
Sorry, I'm not expressing myself well. My mast is about as bendable as the Brooklyn Bridge, so mast bending is not part of any plan.

What do you do when you want more shape in your mainsail? Naturally, you slack the sheet and/or vang and the outhaul, then play with halyard tension to position the draft. If the wind pipes up and you need to get that shape back out, to make a more aerodynamic shape (balance of lift and drag; NOT depowering the sail via mast bending), then you take the slack back out of those controls. With a mainsail in good condition with the shape it was designed to have, you can get the shape out of it -- get the belly out; make it flatter, with less drag -- before all that much leech tension comes on. "Make the sail flatter; more mainsheet! More outhaul!" is the knee-jerk reaction I and probably most other mediocre sail trimmers like me have, and it leads to over-sheeting and over-tight leeches if the sail is getting baggy.

That's the effect I was trying to talk about. You're probably a much better sail trimmer than I am and thus way beyond this elementary mistake.
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