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Old 27-02-2014, 03:56   #16
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Re: Sail Inventory for circumnavigation

We have been using the ParaSail on its own with success. I know this is an expensive option but a very easy sail to manage even on your own. The ParaSail design allows it to remain stable down to minimal breeze and will absorb large gusts as the wind builds without damage. There is also the advantage of the upward lift with gusts due to this design. For downwind sailing being able to fly this sail without the hassel of preventers and flapping jibs makes for a quite and hassel free passage.
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Old 02-03-2014, 15:53   #17
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Re: Sail Inventory for circumnavigation

Both the sailmaking professionals and those who use the sails on their boats may find this sail plan PDF file for a Helia very useful. Thank you to Barney at TMM for requesting this info from Fountaine Pajot.

Gordon, with your extensive sailing experience aboard a Helia, you have probably already determined what your sail inventory will be for your Helia. Would you mind sharing your sail plan for sailing safely with relative comfort and performance in seas from calm to gales.

Frank
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File Type: pdf Helia Sail Plan v2.pdf (144.7 KB, 230 views)
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Old 04-04-2014, 21:50   #18
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Quantum Sails address the sail inventory topic

Thank you to David Flynn from Quantum Sails for his very detailed and insightful opinion on this topic. His comments are the following:



Happy to offer my two cents on the ideal circumnavigation inventory for a typical mid-size catamaran like the Helia 44.My thoughts would not be significantly different than what I suggested for the two monohulls,but there are some subtle differences.



Mainsail




First, in terms of basic configuration, the sail will feature a large roach profile with approximately 14% more area than a conventional monohull sail with a backstay constriction. I don’t know if I would go to a “square top” setup as diagrammed in the sailplan. This is very fashionable these days but creates some issues. The first is what to do with the diagonal required to support this profile in the head when the sail is down. There is a very clever fitting that allows this batten to



be swung into place when ready to hoist then relaxed so the sail can be flaked properly. The other issue is bias stretch. I would not recommend woven polyester (Dacron) for a square head


mainsail. There is too much concentrated bias (off threadlike) loading in the head. Woven materials will distort under this kind of load. Composites, where fiber can be introduced specifically to accommodate the head loadings in a square top will work. In either case, proper battens which are very stiff are absolutely necessary. In reality, a more conventional roach profile can provide the same area and somewhat simpler setup. It will also be easier to control twist. Again, with woven polyester I would not do the roach profile any other way. (more on materials to follow)



Battens are key element in any mainsail, and the bigger the roach the more important they become. Standard round rod battens work okay but there are stiffer alternatives which will support the roach better over time. RBS and CTech are two companies which make high quality batten alternatives. They add cost but are worth considering if you are expecting a sail to hold its shape for the long haul.



Three reefs are necessary with a typical catamaran roach profile. I would not bother with a storm trysail, just a very deep 3rd reef. Proper luff hardware (a track system like Harken, Antal, Fredrickson, etc) is a must since the sail will utilize 5-6 full length battens.



Genoa




This is straight forward sail. Geometry is constricted by limited sheeting options. Cruising catamarans typically have relatively small headsails, so one sail pretty much does it all. However, it would be nice to have a proper storm jib or small solent style jib as a heavy air



alternative. Since changing sails on the fly is difficult short handed in heavy conditions it would be great to have this sail on a separate, removable stay like the Gunboats typically do. I know most cruising cats are not setup with the structure to support an inner forestay, but it would sure be nice.



Materials For Upwind Sails




There are three choices: classic woven polyester, various tri-radial options, and composite membrane construction. The trade-off is cost versus shape life. Ultimately any choice should be similarly rugged. Woven polyester or one of fortified woven fabrics like Hydranet or Fibercon may remain intact longer as a triangle, but the sail shape will have given up the ghost long before ultimate failure. Introducing fibers with higher modulus (ability to resist stretch) like spectra, carbon, vectran, or aramids and composite construction reduces stretch. Sail shape is all about stretch. If a sail is going to remain flat and draft forward, and the leech is not going to become elongated, stronger components are necessary. A carbon/technora membrane sail will have 5-8 times the stretch resistance than a woven sail. The sail will have a significantly better sail shape initially and in five years there will be no comparison. The composite sail will look virtually as new.




Woven Materials



All top cloth makers (Contender, Bainbridge, Challenge, Dimension) provide various grades of woven polyester, distinguished primarily by their stretch characteristics. The lower the stretch, the more expensive. Typically, each manufacturer refers to their top of the line as HA (high aspect). The only downside to these fabrics is that the same relatively small fibers which allow for a dense weave and low stretch also burn up more quickly in the sun. For extended cruising applications, some additional stretch is the penalty for using slightly larger yarns that maintain their tear strength better over time. All woven sails here are spec’d with Contender Supercruise. Comparable products: Challenge HMW, Bainbridge Ocean Premium, Dimension Heavy. All could be spec’d with HA fabrics if better performance were the primary design criteria.



Composite Materials



Composites for cruising sails have come a long way since first introduced in the mid eighties. The latest generation of “membrane” style construction effectively eliminates the paneled “jigsaw puzzle” approach with a one-piece integrated fiber network that address sail loadings as a complete whole. Issues of de-lamination have largely been addressed with advances in lamination technique and adhesives. Dramatically better shape life and gains in initial performance are available, particularly as the boat size and loads increase. There are virtually no sails for boats over 65’ that are not of some form of composite construction. This is in and of itself is ample proof of the viability of modern membrane composite construction.



Tri Radial Options



There are various pre-made materials available to use in “paneled” tri-radial constructions, including Hydranet, Fibercon, Radial Dacron etc. which are not composites that could also be considered. Hydranet, a spectra reinforced woven material has been used in this application with success. It makes a durable sail with slightly better performance that has no mildew issues, though typically round the world sailors don’t have mildew issues because the sails are in constant use.



Reaching and Offwind



This is actually where you will spend most of your time with any luck. While a genoa is a better reaching sail than a small jib, a Code Zero is a much better reaching sail. A careful balance between size and shaping, and lighter material, will make this much more useful. Using it on a conventional furler makes it totally reliable and easy to use.


The Helia 44 is setup with a short sprit for this type of sail. For broad reaches and runs there is no substitute for an asymmetrical spinnaker. With the Code Zero always on tap, I would go for a full size A2 runner, optimized for the broadest angles possible. Cruising catamarans are not speed demons and do not pull the apparent wind forward significantly as compared to their mononhull brethren. You need to be able to broad reach. The two hulls allow the use of additional lines to the tack of the sail to pull it around to weather making it particularly effective. Some cruising cats actually use a


symmetrical spinnaker controlled from either ama for dead downwind sailing. An ATN spinnaker sock would still be my choice given their long track record, simplicity, and reliability. Top down furlers can also be considered though a full discussion of pros and cons should be had, particularly for a large girth running sail.



Summary



If it were me. I would have a Fusion MC Carbon/Technora mainsail and genoa with CTech carbon battens. Screacher/Code Zero either Fusion MC Technora or a tri-radial paneled sail out of Dimension CZ 30. A2 asymmetrical out of Dimension Airx 700 nylon. Furling solent on a torsional luff rope out of Hydranet or Fibercon.


Of course, since I am only playing this as a virtual fantasy game, I have no budget…


Respectfully submitted,


David Flynn, Quantum Sails
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Old 04-04-2014, 22:48   #19
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Re: Sail Inventory for circumnavigation

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Originally Posted by onthehook17 View Post
2. Something I have always wondered about is "Why don't cruising catamarans ever carry a whisker pole or a spinnaker pole?" Seems like an easy piece of equipment to carry lashed to the lifeline stanchions and very useful for sailing dead down wind in heavy wind / seas with a poled out headsail.

Yes, me too. On Ovive I installed a 22' whisker pole, one piece made of carbon fiber. If the winds were light we flew the spinnaker but as was often the case winds were 20 to 30 knots from directly behind or on the quarter where the jib was useless behind the main. By having a poled out jib we did not have the collapsing sail issue. A very common day for us was a double or triple reefed main and the jib out the other way on the pole. Main very well prevented and clinched down tight to keep of the shroud. If a squall were to threaten at night the kids could roll the jib in very easy, with the pole left in place. We averaged 200 miles a day with this set up.
I like the idea of twin jibs although have never tried it. I would want two whisker poles so I could handle the wind coming around on the quarter. I suppose you could just set one on the side that was most likely to be your windward side.
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Old 07-04-2014, 17:02   #20
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Re: Sail Inventory for circumnavigation

That's a pretty fascinating reply from David Flynn. I've been working with someone from Doyle Sails to try and come up with an inventory for Starry Horizons and it seems the suggestions are fairly similar.

Doyle has suggested a tri-radial screecher made out of 4oz Dacron with a UV cover along the leech and foot of the sail. The UV cover was suggested as a way to allow us to leave the sail up while furled for longer periods of time without having to immediately put it away after every use. The UV cover might decrease performance a bit but the ease of use makes it worth it to me. They're also suggested thinking about using a "square weave" dacron in the screecher to allow for a bit of a stronger material and thus better sail shape longer, but I'm not yet convinced the extra cost of the square weave would be worth it for a cruising application.

For reaching and downwind, they're suggested a nylon Asymmetrical Spinnaker on a top down furler for ease of use. This would be a large sail at almost 1,400 sq ft. I've been doing some more research into top down furlers and I like the Pro-furl Spinex line that has extra ball "sail" bearings that fit onto the torque rope to help ease furling the sail and is a bit easier on the sail as well. The nice part about these systems (Selden is the same way) is that you can buy one furling drum and use it for both sets of sails. The spinnaker will require a top down furling kit, but the screecher can just be furled normally. Each sail will require their own torque rope.

This set up seems to have a lot of advantages for shorthanded cruising. The biggest being the ability to manage sails from the safety of the helm, rather than going forward to handle a large sock. Plus, with the quote I have, we could purchase both sets of sails and hardware for only about $2k more than just the Parasailor sail would cost.

That being said, every owner I've talked to has great things to say about the Parasailor so I can't say we've decided for sure one way or another.
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Old 08-04-2014, 06:30   #21
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Re: Sail Inventory for circumnavigation

The inventory we are using for passaging on our L450 cat is the following:

- Full batten dacron square top main; 3 reefs
- Genoa 130% dacron
- Storm jib (100ft2, ATN) hanked onto the furled genoa
- Gennaker; from bowsprit
Its a new inventory.

For a preventer, if needed, I will be running lines down the boom, secured at the end and led to the gooseneck that can be released and bought forward to the bow and routed astern to the winches.

We reef at night, regardless, and the gennaker is a day sail only.

Steve
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:09   #22
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Re: Sail Inventory for circumnavigation

When you ask sailmakers for advice, you have to give them your RTW parameters, or you are going to get the wrong answers.

1. You need to specify the number and abilities of the crew. If its going to be a 60 year old cruising couple, you are going to need a different inventory than a boat with 6 Volvo racers aboard.

2. In a tradewind passage over 50% of the time you will be at apparent wind angles of 120 to 180 degrees. The true wind will range from 8 to 30 knots, with the constant possibility of (usually night time) squalls which will be 150% of the average wind. If you don't have a sail plan which can be adjusted by one 60 year old woman, you will spend your passages with a reduced sail plan which is safe in 45 knots, but painfully slow in 8 knots.

3. Your sails are going to be in the tropical sun for 10 years. If your sailmaker tries to sell you on high-tech sails$$ which hold their shape better, ask him for the tests that show these sails$$ don't disintegrate in the sun for over 10 years. Better yet, ask him to for a 10 year warranty against sun damage.

Going back to requirement #2, I think Yeloya's suggestion of an extra identical 120% genoa hoisted on a twin luff furler plus a whisker pole is probably the best solution. I used this arrangement on a 58 ft mono from the Canaries to St Lucia and it worked quite well. We had winds to 60 degrees apparent in the first 48 hours, so the main stayed up and both genoa sheets went to leeward. When the wind came aft the main came down and the pole went on the windward genoa. Squalls could be easily handled by easing both the sheets and sucking in the furling line (the boat did have power winches) from the cockpit.
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:36   #23
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Re: Sail Inventory for circumnavigation

While I know you are looking at inventory. The first requirement of your sails is durability. This has two implications:

-- Chafe WILL be a problem for both sails and running rigging. Put in more chafe protection than you think you'll ever need. Carry extra to make repairs at sea.

-- Most sails don't last as long today. In the 80's, a typical set of sails could be expected to last 20 years in seasonal use. Try asking a sailmaker for a 20 year sail today . Whether this is the fault of the material or the sailmakers I don't know. See the following from Mack Sails (who I would also consider for your sails)

Sail Cloth
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Old 08-04-2014, 09:14   #24
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Re: Sail Inventory for circumnavigation

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While I know you are looking at inventory. The first requirement of your sails is durability. This has two implications:

-- Chafe WILL be a problem for both sails and running rigging. Put in more chafe protection than you think you'll ever need. Carry extra to make repairs at sea.

-- Most sails don't last as long today. In the 80's, a typical set of sails could be expected to last 20 years in seasonal use. Try asking a sailmaker for a 20 year sail today . Whether this is the fault of the material or the sailmakers I don't know. See the following from Mack Sails (who I would also consider for your sails)

Sail Cloth
Good points. Carry a roll of sticky-back dacron repair/reinforcing material and put it on chafe spots before they wear through.

Don't let your sailmaker talk you into straps on the tack and head of your genoas--they WILL fail--insist on stainless rings instead.

Also insist that the sun covers be sewed on with Tenara thread--dacron thread will have to be replaced every 3 years. For that matter, the same goes with all your canvas and covers.
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Old 08-04-2014, 09:39   #25
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Re: Sail Inventory for circumnavigation

I'm a big advocate of the twin headsails. Coming over from the canaries to Antigua in December it was the only sailplan we needed. Spinnakers sound nice in theory and can certainly come into their own in light air but in practice if there's a decent swell going (most of the time.....) they are a pain as they jump up and down with the swell causing all kinds of problems. I'm amazed to read that any of you ever sail DDW, especially with a spinnaker up! Death roll anyone?! VMG is generally much better sailing at about 160 apparent and gybing every few days and the motion is so much better with a bit of pressure on one side keeping the boat stabilised.

I've never tried the identical twin headsails on the same foil but i like the idea. Unfortunately i don't think i'll ever be able to justify buying brand new sails two at a time.

Someone mentioned sailing with a poled-out genoa and a full main? I find the sailable angles with that arrangement are very limited. Too high and the pole becomes a hindrance, a few degrees low and the genoa collapses in the shadow of the main (and then fills again with a WHAP and threatens to do all sorts of nasty things to itself and the deck hardware). Personally, this would be my ideal sail inventory:

Twin headsails (or even better, a square-sail hoisted in the fore-triangle that rolls to reef it :-) )
Main
Symmetric spinnaker for going deep in light air/low seas
Assymetric spinnaker for reaching in light air.
Storm jib (really tiny and cut flat from heavy cloth. I've used it twice so far and it's made life really nice when it could have been distinctly otherwise)

If i had to pick one to lose, it would be the symmetric chute.

A bit off topic but someone mentioned drogues. I love mine. When i get tired of helming in really heavy weather i stick it off the stern, go below and sleep like a baby.

Opps, i just realised this thread is only concerned with cat sail plans. Sorry! In that case i have no idea! Only did one passage on a cat and it was beam-reaching the whole way from the BVI's to Bermuda with 35 knots of breeze for the most part. Brilliant sailing!
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:00   #26
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Re: Sail Inventory for Circumnavigation

Great to see some additional suggestions, but since this is a Helia specific thread, I'll go back and touch on one question specifically for our boat, the whisker pole.

I've been told that a whisker pole won't work on the Helia given that the diamond spreader support for the mast has a wire that runs along the front of the mast and would get in the way of a whisker pole.



Perhaps someone with more experience using whisker poles than I could chime in, but at least so far that is the reason I haven't considered it to be an option.
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Old 08-04-2014, 16:05   #27
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Re: Sail Inventory for Circumnavigation

Hi

I like leyoya's idea of twin jibs, but this means having to rerun the sheets for the jibs depending on the wind direction.

I have successfully tried running wing on wind with Jib/Gennaker in the past.

So if I want to be especially lazy and fool proof why not run with.

60-150 Up to 20Kn Main / Gennaker
60-150 >20Kn Main / Jib
150-180 Gennaker / Jib Wing on Wing furled to meet wind speed

The only problem is downwind light so an ASI may be added but this is a PITA in my opinion as even with top down furler you need an extra out of mast halyard. The gennaker will fill at >5Kn.

Can anyone see any problems with this.
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Old 08-04-2014, 16:25   #28
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Re: Sail Inventory for Circumnavigation

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Originally Posted by StarryHorizons View Post
Great to see some additional suggestions, but since this is a Helia specific thread, I'll go back and touch on one question specifically for our boat, the whisker pole.

I've been told that a whisker pole won't work on the Helia given that the diamond spreader support for the mast has a wire that runs along the front of the mast and would get in the way of a whisker pole.

Perhaps someone with more experience using whisker poles than I could chime in, but at least so far that is the reason I haven't considered it to be an option.
I don't understand, but mainly from lack of experience with a whisker/spi pole. Why would the pole and front shroud get tangled up? I would think the pole would be out the side to the clew of the genaker. No??
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Old 08-04-2014, 17:19   #29
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Re: Sail Inventory for Circumnavigation

Run your jib all the way out, draw an imaginary line from the clew level back to the mast. This would be the ideal attachment point for the whisker pole. If your diamond stay is attached there or just slightly below that point you may have an issue setting it up. If the diamond stay is above then great, if below you need about 4" between the front of the mast and the stay depending on how much forward of 90 degrees the pole would have to swing to intersect the clew properly which will depend on how long your pole is.
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Old 09-04-2014, 15:17   #30
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Re: Sail Inventory for circumnavigation

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If the winds were light we flew the spinnaker but as was often the case winds were 20 to 30 knots from directly behind or on the quarter where the jib was useless behind the main. By having a poled out jib we did not have the collapsing sail issue.
If the winds are 20 to 30 knots Helia sails to every direction with every possible sail configuration very good. Sometimes people (mostly monohullers) forget the fact that catamarans have a huge windage. When it starts blowing over 30 knots from the aft, one should be more concerned about slowing down the boat rather than speeding up..

The trouble is in light and aft winds. If you don't have or you don't want to hoist a spi/screecher, then the gib becomes really useless. In this case, I have a simple trick; I carry two sets of pulleys that I attach to amidship cleats with a 50-60 cm rope. I take the genoa sheets to these pulleys and from there to the winch. As the genoa traveller is way inside, this way the gib is much nore exposed to aft winds an works much better. If the wind change direction, you can keep this setup until 60 degrees apparent. From thereon, you need to take the sheet to the usual traveller.

Cheers

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