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Old 01-10-2011, 22:55   #1
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Self-Tacking Jibs

opinions (specifically negative opinions) about self tacking jibs?

boat is a 39' and 26k lbs center cockpit.

can you fly a genoa or am i limited to no overlap?

i still want to convert the sloop to a cutter. any impact / limitation for the future cutter state?

if the decision is to go with a self tacking jib, standard or jib boom?

any help?

thx.

-steve
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Old 01-10-2011, 23:10   #2
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Re: self tacking jibs

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Originally Posted by ssanzone View Post
opinions (specifically negative opinions) about self tacking jibs?

boat is a 39' and 26k lbs center cockpit.

can you fly a genoa or am i limited to no overlap?

i still want to convert the sloop to a cutter. any impact / limitation for the future cutter state?

if the decision is to go with a self tacking jib, standard or jib boom?

any help?

thx.

-steve
Any self-tacking jib I've seen has relied on a club (a spar along the foot of the jib) and cannot overlap the mast at all. With a cutter rig you can put a club on your staysail and in light air hank to the forestay a jib of whatever size you desire. The jib won't be self-tending, though.

Fabbian
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Old 01-10-2011, 23:57   #3
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Re: self tacking jibs

There are 3 ways to make a jib be self tacking:

A) club foot, essentially a boom at the foot of the sail, tackle to the end of the club, with falls coming down on each side of the boat, the leeward fall(s) pull the clew down and back and the windward fall(s) pull the clew towards centerline. Club is a safety hazard bumpy conditions, and it is hard to get the leach to tension properly if I recall correctly.

B) cruising traveller, basically the same running rigging as the club foot but no club. It is difficult to get good sail shape, decent isn't terribly hard.

C) radiused track just ahead of the mast, sheet runs from the cockpit forward to the tack, back to the traveler the up to the clew, optionally then back to the traveler to get a 2-1 mechanical advantage. There may also be a traveller line to control how far outboard the sheet leads. Track is a tripping hazard if it is raised off the deck and the clew requires a headboard-like fitting so the lead can be adjusted at the wind strength changes and the sail ages. See Photo of an Aphrodite 101.

All self-tending options require sail to be smaller than the foretriangle. If the boat has double lowers that is also a consideration.

The times I have seen club footed jibs they have all been really old boats or a newer boat with the club on the staysail and the foresail was loose footed.
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Old 01-10-2011, 23:59   #4
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Re: Self-Tacking Jibs

My self tacking jib has no spar. It is attached to a curved track allowing it to change tacks without major sheet adjustment. However it can't exceed 100%. You sacrifice some power for the convienience. A 135% genny would greatly increase your power but won't self tack. They are nice for single handing. Everything is a compremise.
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Old 02-10-2011, 05:11   #5
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Re: Self-Tacking Jibs

Did you ever see a Hoyt Boom in action? I had one on my staysail on my Island Packet 380. It worked great with the roller furling sail and didn't require a track on deck. One sheet trims the sail. The boom flexes up or down in response to sheet tension to maintain a good sail shape. Another nice feature is that you don't need a topping lift. Very simple, very effective.

The Alerion boats use it for a completely self-tending jib. I have no idea what it would cost to retrofit one.
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:20   #6
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Re: Self-Tacking Jibs

One of the major advantages of a self-tacking staysail, ours is on a boom and traveller, is the ability for anyoen to single hand. It is my go to sail when I have to single hand. With that and the mizzenI do pretty well even in close quarters.
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:05   #7
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Re: Self-Tacking Jibs

all great info, thanks.

can i ditch the self tack, if i want to fly the genoa?

while i will be doing a lot of single handing, i dont like the idea of being restricted to a smaller sail (not to mention the previous owner left the jib on the roller for 10 years and i currently only have the genoa and i was not planning on buying a new jib until the winter when i convert to the cutter rigging.)

i was looking at the harken self tacker with boom which i think addresses some of issues as nothing is raised off the deck.

anyone use this: Harken Self-tacking Jibs & Staysails
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:24   #8
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Re: Self-Tacking Jibs

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Originally Posted by ssanzone View Post
all great info, thanks.

can i ditch the self tack, if i want to fly the genoa?
Rig the stay sail with self tacking. Does not impact the genoa rigging at all that way. Does not make sense to rig self tacking for the fore jib if you are going to add a staysail.

The Harkin diagrams are good. One thing you will sometimes see is the sheet line come from the traveler to up high on the mast and then back down and back to cockpit.
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:35   #9
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Re: Self-Tacking Jibs

Some cutter rigs have a self tacking staysail but the forestay would prevent the jib from being self tacking unless it didn't overlap wouldn't it? Unless you're adding a bowsprit they are going to overlap.

If the issue is ease of tacking when solo, it isn't difficult once you get used to it. I'm in a 42 foot and usually have a 150% genoa on. I have a fairly simple routine that allows me to tack on my own. Most of the time it goes very smoothly.
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:46   #10
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Re: Self-Tacking Jibs

hummingway,

i am with ya... the boat is in a yard having the standing rigging done. we started discussing sail plans and running rigging (mentioned that much of my time sailing will be solo) and the yard manager mentioned self tacking jibs.

after a bot of googling and some CF archives i was not sold on the value prop and posted.

i have managed a 135 (on a 38') by myself and didnt think it was that difficult which leads me to believe with time and practice, it will (can) be 2nd nature.

i guess i could be easily convinced. if all the feedback way 'self tack is DEF the way to go' it would be an easy decision.

-s
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