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Old 20-02-2016, 12:52   #1
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Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

I recently purchased a new Beneteau OC with a headsail and a main, but no other sails. Wondering what sail or sails I should consider adding to the inventory. Planning to go down the ICW, then across to the Bahamas and into the Caribbean. Any suggestions?
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Old 20-02-2016, 13:20   #2
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Re: Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

I just have a main and genoa. And a pole for the genoa.
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Old 20-02-2016, 13:50   #3
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Re: Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

Yes, at a minimum, I probably need to add a pole.
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Old 20-02-2016, 14:11   #4
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Re: Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

We have more sails than a main and headsail but to answer your question..those two will get you where your going in the Caribbean. For downwind work a pole is a great addition. With the islands so close there is really no need for storm sails and with the trades you won't need special light air sails so pretty easy peas.
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Old 20-02-2016, 14:22   #5
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Re: Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

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Originally Posted by robert sailor View Post
We have more sails than a main and headsail but to answer your question..those two will get you where your going in the Caribbean. For downwind work a pole is a great addition. With the islands so close there is really no need for storm sails and with the trades you won't need special light air sails so pretty easy peas.
Yes, I was thinking mainly of the light-air sails; not so much storm sails. An aside, I grew up sailing on Lake Ontario with hanked-on headsails and winches on the mast; we carried a genny, a 1 and a 2 jib. Spent lots of time on the foredeck.
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Old 20-02-2016, 15:02   #6
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Re: Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

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Yes, I was thinking mainly of the light-air sails;.
The last time there was light winds in the Caribbean was in one of those stupid historical novels. The ones everyone says are so accurate. Same book popped us a westerly wind... that's never happened either.
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Old 20-02-2016, 15:14   #7
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Re: Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

Once past the Bahamas most light air sails are a waste . Once in the trades many will reverse the roach in the main and throw away the battens . Trade wind sailing will spoil you for the rest of your life .
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Old 20-02-2016, 17:20   #8
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Re: Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

I don't doubt that the online sail makers make a fine sail.

The point is did they make a great sail for your boat? That's hard to do from far away. Watching sails go on several boats, there were lots of little things that had to be tweaked. To get it just right.

Those that didn't use a local loft just had to live with it. The others had perfect sails.

Some people drive those stupid Smart cars, so mileage will certainly vary.
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Old 20-02-2016, 19:16   #9
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Re: Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

Assuming that you have a furler for the headsail and the headsail is about 125% and has a foam or rope luff to keep its shape when you partially furl it, you have all you need for the Caribbean. Or for round the world for that matters.
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Old 20-02-2016, 21:06   #10
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Re: Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

I remember sitting around with a bunch of cruisers in the Windwards somewhere and all of us had a 110 or 115 genoa and a mainsail which most of us had at least one reef in all the time. I suppose there were lighter winds occasionally but never so much I wished I had the bigger genoa on the boat. It stayed in a locker in Maryland and I never regretted it.
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Old 21-02-2016, 06:00   #11
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Re: Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

Thanks folks! Sounds like no Code Zero, at least for now; my wallet is heaving a sigh of relief ;-)
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Old 21-02-2016, 06:31   #12
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Re: Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

So secondhand storm sails and light wind sails are dirt cheap in the Caribbean then?

That is wishful thinking I suppose . . . . . . .

Otherwise I will have to make some. /sigh

Ohhh slightly off topic but very related, anybody had any luck with the likes of Toyota heavy duty sewing machines? Or Singer or Brother ones? I will need one for repairing, reinforcing, and making sails (and dodgers, bimini's, cushion covers, and pirate eye patches). I'm a bit wary, as some reviews suggest a lot of those labeled 'heavy duty' aren't particularly.

Perhaps I should just bite the bullet and buy a Sailrite zigzag though.
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Old 21-02-2016, 07:32   #13
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Re: Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

I'd recommend having luff pads or luff rope sown into your genoa. It makes a huge difference in sail shape when you reef the sail, and gets rid of some weather helm when beating.

In two years of cruising the eastern Caribbean, I only used my asymmetric spinnaker once when sailing off the wind from Guadeloupe to Antigua. It did come in handy sailing to and from the Caribbean from the States.
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Old 21-02-2016, 11:58   #14
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Re: Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
The last time there was light winds in the Caribbean was in one of those stupid historical novels. The ones everyone says are so accurate. Same book popped us a westerly wind... that's never happened either.
Mark, we've hit very light winds, and during our sail from Deshaies to Les Saints, we got a west wind. Not what we usually get, but it can happen.

Maje
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Old 21-02-2016, 12:15   #15
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Re: Sail Inventory for Caribbean Cruising

Came across this post and thought I'd share it. It doesn't relate specifically to my cruising plans, but does offer advice on downwind-sail-type selection. The best sails for downwind cruising | Sailing Totem
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