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Old 22-02-2016, 06:39   #31
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Re: Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

How big is your genoa?- If it's under 130% the you could get away with a storm jib. If you are out for 5 days in 20 to 30k winds forward of the beam you're going to beat up the rolled up genoa pretty quick. Ideally you'd have a smaller jib and a storm jib as a minimum. I'm a big fan of the solent type rig.
When it gets over 15 to 20, the genoa is rolled up and the smaller jib (hanked on) is deployed. -- Tim
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Old 22-02-2016, 07:16   #32
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Re: Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

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How big is your genoa?- If it's under 130% the you could get away with a storm jib. If you are out for 5 days in 20 to 30k winds forward of the beam you're going to beat up the rolled up genoa pretty quick. Ideally you'd have a smaller jib and a storm jib as a minimum. I'm a big fan of the solent type rig.
When it gets over 15 to 20, the genoa is rolled up and the smaller jib (hanked on) is deployed. -- Tim
The genoa is billed as 104%, but the rig is described by some as a modern-day cutter rig. The in-mast furling main is 449 sq. ft. and the genoa is 453 sq. ft. I believe it's equipped with a releasable fore-stay chain-plate.
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Old 22-02-2016, 08:51   #33
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Re: Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

For sure not a 150% foresail, 130/120% is big enough.

Ours is 135% and about to be replaced with one a little bit smaller unless we go with the option of a split headsail set up.

A removable inner forestay Bennie/Solent style with a tall slim non overlapping hanked on headsail is a nice to have option.

We have a Genniker in a sock that we use quite often, set INSIDE the fore triangle and we can use that up to about 18 knots app and up to about 60 degrees too.

We will fly that for short trips of say around about an hour, say a dash down from Tintamare to Marigot. But then we like sailing and don't 'need' to run the engine to charge the batteries.

We have a Caribbean built Mainsail built by Doyle in the BVI's (made in Barbados of course) Fully battened with a big number two reef (no third one) and with lots of extra roach. This is an awesome sail. A PITA to flake neatly and properly even with a stack pack as I think it is a version of white S/S not Dacron. But once set it works superbly in up to 20/22 knots app I cant remember when we last pulled in a reef. We have sailed in westerlies down island even had a South Westerly in the USVI, strange amazing but true. We have sailed down in the lee of Martinique Dominica and Guadalupe in company with other boats one inshore on Starboard tack and one about 1/2 to 1 mile offshore on Port tack with winds at 180 degrees to each other, so the trades are not always as 'written about'.

Also if you sail down here March April May June 10 knots can be a lot of breeze at times. So IF you like/love sailing do get a lightweight sail.
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Old 22-02-2016, 09:18   #34
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Re: Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

I have found a 135-150 Genoa, a staysail and an A2 make for a great all around combo down here. I no longer carry a pole and I take the boat from the Virgins to Grenada/Trinidad and back every year. If I were to head further west I would.
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Old 22-02-2016, 11:01   #35
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Re: Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

Between the BVI and St Martin is the only time in about 30 thousand miles of cruising/deliveries that I ever had to resort to a trysail and storm jib, and still got my butt kicked. I didnt have a working radio, so wasnt up on the weather, and I payed for it. When I arrived in St Martin there were several boats sunk in the harbor and another 3 or 4 on the beach. This was during the regular cruising season. You say you have a chain plate for a removable head stay. Figure out how to rig it and buy a small/storm jib to have available. It wont cost a whole lot, and hopefully you will never need it, but if you do , it will be worth its weight in gold. On another note. Sailing with the trysail convinced me to have a third reef put in when I had a new main made for my next boat. The trysail was a real PITA. Cruising anywhere with just 2 sails is not a good idea. Just my 2 cents worth. _____Grant.
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Old 22-02-2016, 11:08   #36
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Re: Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

Just read Flying Scots post mentioning a deep second reef, rather than a third reef, and I agree completely with that idea. ____Grant.
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Old 22-02-2016, 11:18   #37
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Re: Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

What do you need? Just the small headsail and main is fine. I wouldn't cross the Atlantic with that set of sails, but the Carribean is easy sailing with short hops and very good weather forecasting.

Personally I like spinnakers any time I am off the wind so I would carry an A2. It absolutely isn't required, but I like them and sailing fast is fun.
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Old 22-02-2016, 16:17   #38
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Re: Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

Thanks one and all for your advice. I've concluded that having a second headsail is a good idea (if I can pay for it) and that watching the weather is imperative, regardless of my sail inventory. Going to sea brings with it an inherent risk; hopefully I'll gauge the risk appropriately.
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Old 22-02-2016, 16:22   #39
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Re: Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

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Between the BVI and St Martin is the only time in about 30 thousand miles of cruising/deliveries that I ever had to resort to a trysail and storm jib, and still got my butt kicked. I didnt have a working radio, so wasnt up on the weather, and I payed for it. When I arrived in St Martin there were several boats sunk in the harbor and another 3 or 4 on the beach. This was during the regular cruising season. You say you have a chain plate for a removable head stay. Figure out how to rig it and buy a small/storm jib to have available. It wont cost a whole lot, and hopefully you will never need it, but if you do , it will be worth its weight in gold. On another note. Sailing with the trysail convinced me to have a third reef put in when I had a new main made for my next boat. The trysail was a real PITA. Cruising anywhere with just 2 sails is not a good idea. Just my 2 cents worth. _____Grant.
If you are going from the BVI to St Martin and need a trysail, the answer is simple--turn around and wait for better weather.

I carried a solent stay half way round the world before I took it off as unnecessary. One 125% furling genoa went the whole distance---the stronger the wind, the more you furl it. It may have been a little less efficient than a smaller sail, but I was about the only one in my group who actually sailed up the entire Red Sea. I carried a duplicate 125% in case of problems, but only used it as a twin headsail rig across the Atlantic.
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Old 22-02-2016, 16:55   #40
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Re: Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

If you can fit an inner fore-stay rigged to the hounds ideally but masthead is OK if there is room behind the furling gear Can be either permanently rigged or a temp one. You can get used hanked sails for it really cheap. Storm jibs are often in near new condition as people rarely get them out and I would also look out for a hefty No 2 jib about 60% of your genoa area. Will be flat cut and pull to windward much better than a deeply furled genoa if the wind gets above 30kn. Getting away from a lee shore if caught by a strong wind change when anchored or pusher there on passage and the engine alone may not be up to it (or may have stopped because all the sediment in the tank got stirred up and blocked the filters)
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Old 23-02-2016, 04:51   #41
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Re: Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

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Originally Posted by gjordan View Post
Between the BVI and St Martin is the only time in about 30 thousand miles of cruising/deliveries that I ever had to resort to a trysail and storm jib, and still got my butt kicked. I didnt have a working radio, so wasnt up on the weather, and I payed for it. When I arrived in St Martin there were several boats sunk in the harbor and another 3 or 4 on the beach. This was during the regular cruising season. You say you have a chain plate for a removable head stay. Figure out how to rig it and buy a small/storm jib to have available. It wont cost a whole lot, and hopefully you will never need it, but if you do , it will be worth its weight in gold. On another note. Sailing with the trysail convinced me to have a third reef put in when I had a new main made for my next boat. The trysail was a real PITA. Cruising anywhere with just 2 sails is not a good idea. Just my 2 cents worth. _____Grant.
YES WELL that was really dumb why did you not just turn round and WAIT for a nice weather window.

RE THE SUNK and BEACHED BOATS...in St Martin (Marigot Bay and the Lagoon) that was due to a TS becoming and developing into a hurricane as it left St Baths giving those in Sint Maarten/St Martin no real time to take proper hurricane precautions.

Re leaving the BVI's for SXM in silly weather we were weather bound in NS VG with two other boats and decided to clear out 'early' so we could make an instant departure once we saw a good weather window. On 'trying to clear out' the lady in C&I NS VG (Gun Creek) said don't be silly you are not going anywhere tomorrow or for at least four or five days...come back when you have some good weather and you are actually ready to sail to SXM,

SO if a C&I lady can say don't be silly you are not going to SXM in this weather why would any sensible person say I don't care I am going and then go.....also in NSVG weather forecasts are posted daily so totally no excuse for being caught out and going sailing without a forecast.

Two areas to beware of in the Caribbean The Anegada passage eastbound from NSVG to SXM and the Saba Bank, both areas to totally avoid in the wrong weather.
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Old 23-02-2016, 07:46   #42
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Re: Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

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Thanks one and all for your advice. I've concluded that having a second headsail is a good idea
Imho a nutty idea.
In the Caribbean u are never more than 40 miles from a sail maker.

We are not talking about an ocean by island a day sail apart with good weather reports if one decides to listen to them.

Of all the great sailing areas of the world here is one that's top marks for everything.

If you are racing or your wealth and boat storage size is huge then you NEED many, many sails and a few extra masts to cart them on. For everyone else a total ways of money.

Do yourself a favor: come here and if u need extra sails have them shipped in. Its duty free.
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Old 23-02-2016, 08:02   #43
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Re: Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

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Imho a nutty idea.
In the Caribbean u are never more than 40 miles from a sail maker.

We are not talking about an ocean by island a day sail apart with good weather reports if one decides to listen to them.

Of all the great sailing areas of the world here is one that's top marks for everything.

If you are racing or your wealth and boat storage size is huge then you NEED many, many sails and a few extra masts to cart them on. For everyone else a total ways of money.

Do yourself a favor: come here and if u need extra sails have them shipped in. Its duty free.
I have to agree with MarkJ on this one. Yes if your sailing offshore it is prudent to have a spitfire or storm jib preferably on a separate stay and at least 2 reefs in the main with the second one being a deep reef similar to a normal 3rd reef.
But we are talking about the Caribbean here. If you monitor weather and only sail when it's right for you then you'll never use the storm sails. This is not offshore sailing where you have to deal with unknown weather. You get to sit in well protected anchorages and sail in excellent weather to the next island that you can see in most cases, common let's not make this seem tougher than it is, there is a reason it's so popular for inexperienced sailors and charter folks.
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Old 23-02-2016, 09:00   #44
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Re: Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

The OP is in New York. He hopes to cruise the ICW, Bahamas and then GO to
the Caribbean. Please don't give the OP the belief that he's not likely to see
conditions GETTING there that a prudent sailor shouldn't have more than 2 sails. I think based on his comments that he's now knows this. Why all the "talk" of the weather once he gets to BVI, leewards etc? He needs to get there.
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Old 23-02-2016, 10:22   #45
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Re: Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

It is interesting to be called dumb, when I didnt turn around in the dark and head back towards mostly unlit islands and hope to find the pass to get in to sheltered water. This was pre GPS days and I was doing an overnighter, so that I could arrive safely in the daytime. It would have been suicidal to run down wind. So much for well thought out internet advice. I stand by what I said about the op rigging some type of inner forestay and having a small sail for when things get bad. I would not say that you cant cruise the Caribbean with 2 sails, but it doesnt leave you much in the way of options. It is sort of like saying you can cruise with just one anchor. Yes you can, UNLESS SOMETHING GOES WRONG. Have a nice day. _____Grant.
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