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Old 17-01-2012, 15:07   #1
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Reducing Genoa Size ...

I'm in the process of getting quotes for replacing my sails. One sail maker suggested that I reduce sail area of my genoa from 150% to 135%.

I can understand the pros and cons of reducing the area and it is probably beneficial for me as I intend to do a lot of solo cruising, but it almost feels wrong giving up a bit of speed.

I am also thinking about a roller asymmetric for light wind reaching, so I am starting to think I will hardly ever miss the sail area.

I'm just wondering if it is common for cruisers to choose to reduce their sail area?
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Old 17-01-2012, 16:45   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoppy
I'm in the process of getting quotes for replacing my sails. One sail maker suggested that I reduce sail area of my genoa from 150% to 135%.

I can understand the pros and cons of reducing the area and it is probably beneficial for me as I intend to do a lot of solo cruising, but it almost feels wrong giving up a bit of speed.

I am also thinking about a roller asymmetric for light wind reaching, so I am starting to think I will hardly ever miss the sail area.

I'm just wondering if it is common for cruisers to choose to reduce their sail area?
I find jibs and gennies small in SFO. Big in Asia near the equator. Its got to do with average winds.

You need to figure out your average wind speeds, tolerance for sail changes and plans to sail or not with a code zero or a-sail.

I wouldn't trade my 150 on a furler for anything. But I would add an asymetric on a sprit!

What wasnhis logic for reducing sail area?
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Old 17-01-2012, 16:50   #3
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My sailmaker adviced me to go fom 100% to 95%. his rationale was that my new tri-radial hi aspect jib was gonna be so much more powerful that it'll outperform the old sails anyway, plus his computer program indicated better sail balance. I went for it and am happy I did

This was Elvstrom/Sobstad sailmakers.

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Old 17-01-2012, 17:02   #4
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Re: Reducing Genoa Size...

My cruising rigs were high cut 115-120%. Does leave you a little short of sail in light air, but I motorsail in light air mostly anyway and it's a great size in a good blow.... Do you want to change sails alot or just go with a compromise?
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Old 17-01-2012, 17:35   #5
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Re: Reducing Genoa Size...

We have a 150 and it's usually very windy/gusty where we sail. We are downsizing to a 135. We often end up reefed and the sail shape goes to crap pretty quickly on the bigger genny.
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Old 17-01-2012, 17:39   #6
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Re: Reducing Genoa Size...

I'm watching this thread with interest. My 150 is getting a little thin. I have a 100 and it's in excellent shape but most of the time too small. It's awfully nice on the arms and shoulders though so maybe, when it's time to get a new genny, a 135 would be the way to go. Not this year though, I'm just finishing a rebuild of the iron genny that's leaving me a little threadbare!
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Old 17-01-2012, 17:45   #7
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Whatever you do, keep your old genoa ... I just got a new one for my Lagoon and sailed a lot of the way on my last ocean crossing from Cape Town, South Africa to Fortaleza, Brazil using both Genoa's on downwind ... Found It absolutely fantastic and so much easier to control than the asymmetric ... Trip took us just over 21 days
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Old 17-01-2012, 18:33   #8
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Re: Reducing Genoa Size...

Ocean passages usually are routes with decent wind. A 150% would probably be furled/reefed most of the time. A 135% wouldn't need to be furled as often. You can still get a pretty decent setting sail when you roll it down to 100% especially if you have foam luff. A 135% will give you a sail that will be servicable for about 75% of your passage making.

For the other 20%, an asymetric spinnaker will do the trick. The cruising route prevailing winds usually mean reaching or running. Perfect conditions for an Asymetric spinnaker especially if the winds go light.

The remaining 5% is going to be way too much or not nearly enough wind. We never experienced the former and fortunately not a lot of the latter, either.

A 150% genoa only really comes into it's own in quite light air to windward. Since we cruisers don't need to go to windward, it will mostly be taking up space. If you're like me and must sail no matter what, crack off a bit and go with the Asym.

Don't know what the summer winds are in the Eastern Med. If they are light like Long Island Sound and you plan to stick with that area and season and do coastal cruising, then a 150% would be the sail to have.
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Old 18-01-2012, 01:31   #9
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Re: Reducing Genoa Size...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
What wasnhis logic for reducing sail area?
I told him that my boat is in the Aegean at the moment where the Meltemi likes to blow a bit and that perhaps sometimes during the life of the sails I will move the boat to Australia, party or perhaps wholly on it's own bottom.

The sail will get extra stitching and stuff for long distance cruising.
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Old 18-01-2012, 01:55   #10
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Re: Reducing Genoa Size...

I think also a factor may be that the extra area of a 150 compared to a 135 does nothing for you upwind; in fact increases drag so may perform worse than a 135, even in light air. The extra area of a huge overlapping genoa is only of any benefit downwindish, where you might be better off with a different type of sail anyway. Remember upwind aspect ratio is everything -- the more overlap, the lower your aspect ratio.
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Old 18-01-2012, 03:47   #11
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Re: Reducing Genoa Size...

I suppose a big 150% made for long distance cruising is going to be heavy and struggle to hold shape in light winds. So reducing the size and thus weight perhaps may result in a smaller performance drop than what the reduction in sail area suggests????????

Perhaps it is better to get the 150% only when using lighter cloths?
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Old 18-01-2012, 04:40   #12
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Re: Reducing Genoa Size...

Your sailmaker was being conservative. If you plan on lots of solo sailing then make your biggest jib 120%.
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Old 08-02-2012, 18:25   #13
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Re: Reducing Genoa Size ...

I sail in the Great Lakes where the winds are often light. The 150 the boat came with used too heavy a fabric to set properly. When the winds were light, the sail would fold. When the winds kicked, the sail was too much. I had it cut back to about a 115 which is a better size for this weight fabric and added an asymmetrical spinnaker with snuffer. Couldn't be happier.
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Old 08-02-2012, 19:34   #14
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We run a 155 from the bowsprit, a 110 from the bow, both on furlers. Every thing is backed up with a staysail. We would not give any of them up. That said when we were in San Francisco we would never use the 155 in the summer. When the wind was ripping, there were times when we would be down to just the staysail and a double reefed main just flying along. Here in San Diego the 155 sees a lot of use. we have been known to set all three head sails and just fly. You need to balance the sail to the conditions. Trying to cover all of the bases with just one head sail is asking a lot of it. You will be giving up performance, or being over powered, and that is just slow, not to mention all of the stress you will be subjecting your boat to. As with everything there compromises trying to get the job done with just one head sail.
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