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Old 03-11-2012, 05:25   #1
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Sail Inventory for a Large Cruiser

Some of you may have followed the thread with my tortures finding new white sails.

Besides new white sails, I want to fill out the rest of the sail inventory -- I have been doing without these last three years.

I don't have a dedicated sail locker -- a big design defect of my present boat in my opinion. So I don't have space to store a lot of different sails, so I need to be careful in planning my inventory. Maybe you guys can give me some advice.

I sail in the English Channel and hoping to get up to some high latitudes next summer -- Scotland, Iceland, Orkneys. So there's usually a lot of wind and rarely do I encounter light wind conditions. So the first sail I lust after is something like a blade jib or maybe a No. 3 yankee -- a high aspect 95% or 100% headsail for sailing upwind in winds of 20 to 30 knots. This is a big hole in my sail plan -- over 30 knots, the staysail alone is fine, but much over 20 knots and the regular yankee has to be reefed and starts to lose efficiency. So I'm going to try to have my old yankee recut into a sail like this. If the lofts tell me it won't work, I will considering buying a new sail like this, made of extra heavy Dacron, I think.

That should be all I need for sailing upwind.

The next hole in my sail inventory is for sailing downwind. Having nothing but white sails is actually not as big a problem for me as it might be somewhere else -- with enough wind, I can sail even DDW with just my yankee. But naturally when the wind drops off, I can't get up speed like that, and I have to sail wing-on-wing. If the wind is less than 15 knots or so true -- forget it. I have to motor, or broad reach and gybe. So it would be good to have something for sailing downwind, or reaching in lighter wind (say 15 knots or less true).

I am not considering a regular spinnaker for reasons obvious probably to everyone -- how many crew would I need to fly something like that on a boat my size? Doesn't seem practical at all. I might consider a parasailor, but the price is absurd. So I am looking at cruising chutes, which seems to be the right sail to solve this problem, although they do not seem to be much good DDW or close to it. But in exchange it seems to me that an assymetric cruising chute will be useful in light air right up to a close reach -- I suppose this will be more useful than I imagine, not ever having sailed with one of these before.

For tradewind sailing DDW or close to it for days at time -- something I'm not planning on for the near future -- I would rig up a twizzle rig, I think. But meanwhile it looks to me like the cruising chute will be the right thing, as opposed to blasters, reachers, and other light wind sails -- simply because the cruising chute works further off the wind, which is where my main problem is.

Does it seem to you guys that I'm on the right track? I guess if I go with a cruising chute, I will have to add a bowsprit or some other way to secure the tack, and probably a whisker pole (very expensive for my boat).

What do you think?
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:29   #2
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Re: Sail Inventory for a Large Cruiser

Have you seen this:

Yankee Genoa sail | eBay

There won't be many yachts that can use a sail of this size and it says "never been used".

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Old 03-11-2012, 07:40   #3
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Re: Sail Inventory for a Large Cruiser

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
Have you seen this:

Yankee Genoa sail | eBay

There won't be many yachts that can use a sail of this size and it says "never been used".

Pete
Believe or not, that sail is way too small for us -- my yankee luff is about 22 meters or 72 feet . . .

Shame, of course, for 600 pounds . . .
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:12   #4
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Re: Sail Inventory for a Large Cruiser

Shame, there is also couple of new 90' North spinnakers which keep appearing on e bay UK. Not suggesting you use it as a spinnaker but that is a lot of material which could be taken apart and turned into cruising chute perhaps.

How about a rediculous low offer of 20% for this, no one else will need a 90 ft spinnaker and if they have a 90ft boat then they won't be buying secondhand off e bay.

North Sails Asymmetric Spinnaker with snuffer | eBay
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:26   #5
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Re: Sail Inventory for a Large Cruiser

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Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
Shame, there is also couple of new 90' North spinnakers which keep appearing on e bay UK. Not suggesting you use it as a spinnaker but that is a lot of material which could be taken apart and turned into cruising chute perhaps.

How about a rediculous low offer of 20% for this, no one else will need a 90 ft spinnaker and if they have a 90ft boat then they won't be buying secondhand off e bay.

North Sails Asymmetric Spinnaker with snuffer | eBay
35 meter luff! Wow! I'll ask the sailmaker (as soon as I choose him) whether it's practical to cut down.
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:30   #6
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Re: Sail Inventory for a Large Cruiser

I had a similar problem on my 37 foot cutter. When going down to main and staysail my speed and power to get thru waves would fall off. I had all new sails made the main now has a very large roach that goes past the backstay. The new head has a low clew ( sets just over life lines) 135% lp. The stay was is heavy high clew on a boom. When I roll up the gen it still killed my power. I had a second staysail built a little lighter good to 30 knots lower clew loose foot with battens to fill out roach area. With this larger staysail the boat will stay powered up better. With this new set I could/would go with less overlap higher clew on the head then use my drifter in lighter air. I don't change my headsail much in summer in spring/fall I run my 110% ish yankee. If you can find used sails to buy or try it would help to dial in the set up you want.
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:57   #7
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Re: Sail Inventory for a Large Cruiser

Our sail inventory:

Primary working sails:

760 sq ft main sail - full battens, 2 (deep) reefs

Cruising 'code zero' on dyneema luff with removable furler. (winds under 13kts)
105% jib (on furler) (12kts - 30kts)

Maximum size staysail that will fit in the triangle inside the stays (slight overlap and low foot). (25kts - 40kts)

Storm sails:
ORC Trysail, bagged on its own track

Two sizes smaller staysails: ORC sized storm jib and a 'hurricane jib'. We have used the storm jib but have never used the hurricane jib (we just go to bare poles) and I plan to give it away.

Downwind:

'Blast reacher' on a dyneema luff that can be furled with the hardware as the above code zero. We in fact don't use this as a blast reacher but as a 'twin headsail' for downwind work a little stronger than the zero is comfortable in. We pole the 105% to windward and fly this sail to leeward. This is 'essential' (for us) for downwind tropical passages but less so for mid/high latitudes.

Traditional A2 in a sock - we have really stopped using this sail (And I did not even bring it on last summer's cruise to Nova Scotia) since we got the zero (which is just so much easier to use and does not drop all that much speed or angle).
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:14   #8
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Re: Sail Inventory for a Large Cruiser

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
Our sail inventory:

Primary working sails:

760 sq ft main sail - full battens, 2 (deep) reefs

Cruising 'code zero' on dyneema luff with removable furler. (winds under 13kts)
105% jib (on furler) (12kts - 30kts)

Maximum size staysail that will fit in the triangle inside the stays (slight overlap and low foot). (25kts - 40kts)

Storm sails:
ORC Trysail, bagged on its own track

Two sizes smaller staysails: ORC sized storm jib and a 'hurricane jib'. We have used the storm jib but have never used the hurricane jib (we just go to bare poles) and I plan to give it away.

Downwind:

'Blast reacher' on a dyneema luff that can be furled with the hardware as the above code zero. We in fact don't use this as a blast reacher but as a 'twin headsail' for downwind work a little stronger than the zero is comfortable in. We pole the 105% to windward and fly this sail to leeward. This is 'essential' (for us) for downwind tropical passages but less so for mid/high latitudes.

Traditional A2 in a sock - we have really stopped using this sail (And I did not even bring it on last summer's cruise to Nova Scotia) since we got the zero (which is just so much easier to use and does not drop all that much speed or angle).
Thanks a lot for that, Evans.

A couple of questions:

1. So your main working jib is just 105%? So little overlap? What led to that choice? I wonder myself whether large overlapping jibs don't just create a lot of heel and drag with little gain of drive -- they have a lower aspect ratio, after all. My yankee is about 135%.

2. So you're not finding an a-chute useful at all for downwind sailing? You prefer the Code 0 and blast reacher, although these sails are not supposed to be for anything too far off the wind? You are poling them out, I guess, so maybe that's the key?

3. It sounds like you are using your Code 0 and blast reacher on one of those rope-twist furlers, is that right? So you hoist with a spin halyard and belay the tack to a padeye or something on your stem fitting? Do you use your regular jib sheets, sheet leads, etc., or do you have separate sheets and sheet leads?

Thanks a million for all this valuable information.
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:57   #9
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Re: Sail Inventory for a Large Cruiser

I agree with Evans about the A2. Unless you sail with 4 or more, you will get very little use out of a spinnaker. Spend the money on a pole.
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Old 03-11-2012, 17:05   #10
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Re: Sail Inventory for a Large Cruiser

For upwind work it sounds like you have a pretty good feel for what you need.

Frankly I like large roach mains, with smaller jib, since I feel like it is easier to get good power from a reefed main than from a partially furled jib. But here the problem is typically not enough wind, rarely too much.


If you really want to explore a spinnaker, my absolute recomendation is a multi-step approach.

First, add a retractable bowsprit. I have one from Selden, and love it, but wouldn't have a problem buying a different brand.

Second, talk to your sail maker about what holes in your inventory you want to fill, and how many sails you are willing to carry.

A Code 0 is really an upwind sail. They can be carried on reaches, but really loose power here.

A standard genniker trades the upwind ability for much better reaching power. Still not realistic to sail very deep, but nice none the less.

Finally is a true runner. You won't be able to carry it high, but it will allow you to dig much deeper with power than the others.


Third. Take whatever sails you have decided on, and put them on furlers. The genniker and Code can go on a standard tight luff furler, while the runner requires a top down furler (they are much more expensive).


The advantage of this is that the rolled sail can be left up when sailing, so no one needs to move forward of the mast to deal with it. With just a little work the lines can be led back to the cockpit, like a standard furled jib, and no one even has to leave the cockpit.

Secondly the furlers these days allow you to use one furler for multiple sails, so you just need one drum regardless of how many sails will set from it.



In my idea setup I would have... (Based on North polars at North Sails: Downwind Sail Performance Guide )
1) 115 jib on a furler
2) Code 0 for light air upwind work, where the 115 isn't enough (this is a good option instead of messing with a larger head sail)
3) a slew of spinnakers all set for the same furler. I have placed them in the order of importance to me

A) A2 to have something that is really a good runner
B) A3 as a nice transition from the Code 0. When you are reaching.
C) A4 or A5 for heavy weather spinnaker carries.
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Old 03-11-2012, 18:23   #11
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Re: Sail Inventory for a Large Cruiser

Three spinnakers plus a code 0 will take up a huge amount of space.
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Old 03-11-2012, 18:43   #12
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Re: Sail Inventory for a Large Cruiser

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
For upwind work it sounds like you have a pretty good feel for what you need.

Frankly I like large roach mains, with smaller jib, since I feel like it is easier to get good power from a reefed main than from a partially furled jib. But here the problem is typically not enough wind, rarely too much.


If you really want to explore a spinnaker, my absolute recomendation is a multi-step approach.

First, add a retractable bowsprit. I have one from Selden, and love it, but wouldn't have a problem buying a different brand.

Second, talk to your sail maker about what holes in your inventory you want to fill, and how many sails you are willing to carry.

A Code 0 is really an upwind sail. They can be carried on reaches, but really loose power here.

A standard genniker trades the upwind ability for much better reaching power. Still not realistic to sail very deep, but nice none the less.

Finally is a true runner. You won't be able to carry it high, but it will allow you to dig much deeper with power than the others.


Third. Take whatever sails you have decided on, and put them on furlers. The genniker and Code can go on a standard tight luff furler, while the runner requires a top down furler (they are much more expensive).


The advantage of this is that the rolled sail can be left up when sailing, so no one needs to move forward of the mast to deal with it. With just a little work the lines can be led back to the cockpit, like a standard furled jib, and no one even has to leave the cockpit.

Secondly the furlers these days allow you to use one furler for multiple sails, so you just need one drum regardless of how many sails will set from it.



In my idea setup I would have... (Based on North polars at North Sails: Downwind Sail Performance Guide )
1) 115 jib on a furler
2) Code 0 for light air upwind work, where the 115 isn't enough (this is a good option instead of messing with a larger head sail)
3) a slew of spinnakers all set for the same furler. I have placed them in the order of importance to me

A) A2 to have something that is really a good runner
B) A3 as a nice transition from the Code 0. When you are reaching.
C) A4 or A5 for heavy weather spinnaker carries.
Sounds like you are confusing cruiser with racer. My sail inventory was a dacron 125% furling genoa and a dacron main with standard roach and 3 slab reefs. Good enough to cruise around the world, and fast enough to win the round-Bequia single handed race three times in a row, as well as the Kings Cup and the Langkawi Regatta.
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Old 03-11-2012, 22:07   #13
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Re: Sail Inventory for a Large Cruiser

We've been cruising our 64' schooner around for the past 6 yrs with only my girlfriend and 7 yr old daughter. when sailing deep down wind in light air, I pole out our furled #2 jib to weather and either roll out our big Jenny or Assy Spinnaker to Leeward. If the boat is rolling at all the Spinnaker stays set much better. I do all the Spin setting and dousing easily by myself. I have a custom bail with a sparcraft shackle, a 3' Spectra pennant on the tack, that can be spiked and lets the tack fly if the wind comes up and easily be doused. I have done this many, many times in 25 kts app wind with NO problems. I'm not sure how the boats with adjustable tacks do it? Let the sheet fly? Not near as safe.
This setup works just the same on sloops as I do it on my trips down the Mexican coast. VERY easy on the crew. On deeper angles you'll want to douse the mainsail.

Happy Sailing, Greg

I tried to upload a great photo of this but the wifi here in Thailand is too slow!
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Old 03-11-2012, 22:28   #14
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Re: Sail Inventory for a Large Cruiser

I guess the pic did go thru. I forgot to mention they are cruising chutes with socks. North has CD Direct with good pricing as I've bought several, including the one in this pic. I'd go with the 1.5 oz. I once was flying along til it reached 34 kts, doused it myself as described in my last post, and its still with me!
Notice that I'm the only on deck and set all the sails myself. The girls are still getting up and making breakfast!

Cheers
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Old 03-11-2012, 23:48   #15
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Re: Sail Inventory for a Large Cruiser

A telescopic pole is a great way to make it possible to pole out a headsail safely and with relative ease, sailing short-handed on a big boat.

If I'm setting up for running wing-and-wing, there's a choice as to which side to have the headsail, and which side the main.
I always try to anticipate future course changes, so as to pole the headsail to a side it can probably stay on : with a telescopic pole there's no need to remove the pole if you gybe the main (easy single handed in comparison with gybing a poled headsl) and harden up to a beam reach. Great for taking avoiding action in a crossing situation, for instance.
If you'll be as high as a beam reach for a while, you can shorten the pole. The stability of the headsail set , poled to leeward like this, makes course-keeping a doddle. I find quite often with the headsail slightly overtrimmed and the mainsail slightly under-trimmed, a reasonably well-mannered boat will sail herself with the helm lashed or locked. (Hardening up the preventer helps considerably with this: subtle force changes on the main are transferred with more immediacy through to the hull, which accordingly follows the wind more faithfully, the pole does the same for the headsail )

A telescopic pole is highly adaptable, either set

1) To windward: for wing-and wing with either a white or coloured sail (or to make a 2-piece imitation kite, using a reacher to windward and a Code 0 to leeward, as Evans does) - which needs the pole fully extended

Or
2) poling out a headsail or reacher or jib top to leeward, as when broad reaching (to project the headsail clew far enough forrard and to leeward that the headsail will stay full, instead of being a PITA and collapsing every time you steer a wee bit deep)

In the latter guise, the pole needs to be shorter than when poled out to windward.

The chief advantage though of the telescoping action is that you can connect the pole to the mast in the fully collapsed condition, oversheet the sail to bring the clew safely inboard (and limit flogging potential), couple the clew up to the pole, then ease the sheet while cranking out the pole to the desired length.

When I have to do this on my own, in any sort of breeze, I use the cockpit coaming winch as a turning block (but with three turns around it, omitting the self tailer) and bring the tail of the sheet direct to a winch on the mast so I can ease it progressively as I extend the pole. The sheet can be walked back to the primary at leisure, and controlled from the cockpit thereafter.

This short vs long pole effect can also be simulated with a long, fixed length pole, if you have a long track going way up the mast where you can run the butt end, but the compression load gets out of hand if you have it 'short' in a breeze, whereas the telescopic pole is really strong when it's collapsed to a short configuration.

Forespar make telescopic poles with an internal purchase to extend them, they call them "line control"; I build my own (I use webbing rather than line for the multipart purchase) - I could probably dig out some drawings if anyone's keen.

Whisker Pole Seminar

I'm not fully in agreement with everything they say but it's just a matter of individual taste and preference: I don't doubt their methods would work.
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