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Old 14-02-2014, 17:48   #1
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Sail Inventory for Circumnavigation

In the December issue of Cruising World, Ralph Naranjo authored an excellent article concerning the ideal offshore sail inventory for a Passport 545 or Valiant 40. The assumption was westward heading predominantly tradewind latitude circumnavigation undertaken by a sailing couple that includes the Panama Canal and the rounding of the Cape of Good Hope.

The amazing and informative aspect of this article is the question was asked to professional sailmakers from both coasts who all weighed in on their recommendations. Overall, there was often consensus among the experts caucused, but there were a few conflicting observations too.

So my question: What is the ideal sail inventory for a FP Helia 44 undertaking this same adventure. Certainly, I assume this information would probably apply to a Lagoon 440, Nautitech 44, etc.; however, it may not. Let's also assume that we are not multi-millionaires or circumnavigating a Helia 44 on $1000/month; you get the idea.

I will do my best to send this thread link to the expert sailmakers who partipated in the CW article and I would like to thank them in advance for their time, expertise and participation.

There will be no wrong opinions or questions asked in this thread. Let's all pitch in our thoughts and opinions. So that this post does not get exceedingly long, I will close here and look forward to your ideas.

Onthehook17

The Experts:
Bob Pattison, Neil Pryde Sails, admin@neilprydesails.com
Carol Hasse, Port Townsend Sails, info@porttownsendsails.com
Kelly Buchan, Ullman Sails, ullmanintl@ullmansails.com
David Flynn, Quantum Sail Design Group, dflynn@quantumsails.com
Will Keyworth, North Sails Chesapeake, Will@sales.northsails.com
Butch Ullmer, UK Sailmakers, newyork@uksailmakers.com
Andrew Schneider, Doyle Sails, aschneider@doylesails.com
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Old 16-02-2014, 08:32   #2
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Re: Sail Inventory for circumnavigation

Excellent idea for a thread, although I'm guessing everyone who replies may have a different answer

We're currently at the boat show">Miami Boat Show trying to answer some of these very questions. Our current line of thinking is as follows:

1) Standard Main & Genoa
2) Code 0
3) Storm Jib
4) Parasailor

A Code 0 seems to be the default answer for the first additional sail, a storm jib has been recommended several times for serious conditions and as a better option than losing shape by rolling up the genoa. I've gotten mixed opinions on a Parasailor so far, but I like the concept a lot and am still looking into it a bit more. Other options could be an additional asymmetric that could be furled using a top down furler.

Looking forward to some more opinions.

David
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Old 16-02-2014, 20:44   #3
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Re: Sail Inventory for circumnavigation

I would have a symmetrical spinnaker of 1 oz or greater weight. Used often without the main down for periods of DDW sailing.
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Old 20-02-2014, 22:34   #4
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Re: Sail Inventory for circumnavigation

Here goes. Since I started this thread it is time for me to put in my 2 cents.

A couple more assumptions:
1. This catamaran has a bow sprit forward of the forestay
2. I did not buy a catamaran to sail upwind. If my next destination is within about 40 degrees of the wind direction, I am going to Plan B. Plan B includes an alternate destination, motoring, or waiting for a wind change. Sailing in retirement means that I will not be rushing my trip. My sail inventory is designed around sailing downwind primarily. If I can stay on one upwind tack at 50+ degrees to the wind then that's fine.
3. Since my sailing will be mostly within 35 degrees north or south latitude, I plan my sail inventory around 60% light wind, 30% normal wind, and 10% heavy.
4. I bought a boat with a mast and sails to sail as much as possible.
5. Safety being a primary concern, I would like to keep all sail handling chores in the cockpit if possible. This seems especially important for a boat handled by 2 people where overnight passages are a common occurrence.

Sail Inventory.
Aft of the mast:
1. Dacron square top mainsail with full battens and 3 reefs. I will keep my lazy jacks, sail bag, and slab reefing. When the convenience of in mast or in boom furling of the main outweigh the sacrifice of sail performance and reliability then that will be considered. I am already looking for improved rigging for reefing the main with pressure in the sail.

Forward of the mast:
This is where the options get a little crazy. Upwind, reaching, dead downwind, heavy wind, light wind; we didn't get into sailing because it was easy!! Fun and challenging, yes!
1. My first thought is to add a solent stay 24 inches or so abaft and parallel to the head stay. The next decision is should this stay have a removable deck attachment point which would eliminate the use of a furler, however it would make the use of the genoa more friendly. I am assuming that the centerline fiberglass portion of the bowsprit on the FP Helia that runs below the trampoline is sturdy enough for a solent stay attachment point that has adequate backing.
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.
3. On the forestay would be the standard 10 ounce furling 120% genoa. Adjustable lead cars for the genoa sheets is one of my first upgrades.
4. On the solent stay, I imagine the ideal would be a full size non overlapping jib made of Dacron that would be self tacking and on a furler. This sail would be the primary upwind sail in normal wind conditions therefore eliminating the need to tack the genoa when sailing upwind. The full solent jib would be used in heavier weather with the first reef in the main and then require a small amount of reefing when weather dictates a second reef in the main. Working out the furling line leads to the solent stay furler is not something I have done yet.
5. Considering the time that will be spent in light winds, a gennaker for light winds aft of the beam and Code 0 for light wind reaching seem like the appropriate choices to be flown from the bowsprit.
I have heard many pros and a few nightmares about top down furlers, however I imagine putting both of these light air sails on a top down furler for 2 reasons. When reducing sail at night on overnight passages, I would like to roll up the gennaker and leave it on the bowsprit to be deployed easily in the morning. Gennakers using an ATN sock need to be removed from the foredeck and stowed each night. Second, each of these sails can be furled from the cockpit by the person on watch without leaving the cockpit.
Each of these sails would be on their own torque rope and both would use the same furling device that would remain on the bowsprit along with the furling line leads. Having no experience with top down furlers, I do not know if this would allow for enough tension in the luff line of the Code 0 to provide proper sail shape.

This leaves sailing dead down wind:
1. Poled out headsail either solent jib or genoa alone
2. Double headsails.
3. Para-sailor. (depends on the budget)

OK, let me know your thoughts and my errors. What am I missing or wrongly assuming.
What sails would you carry on your catamaran circumnavigation.

Frank
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Old 22-02-2014, 03:24   #5
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Re: Sail Inventory for circumnavigation

Hi Frank,

I've sailed quite a bit with FP cats, did an Atlantic twice and sailed extensively with Helia. If you don't intend to be in high lattitudes, all you need is standard main and jib + second jib to be rigged on the same forestay when running full down wind in strong winds and or when you don't want to hoist the spi for any reason + assymetrical spi (easier with sock) with a runner cut. Para sailor can be an alternative to the spi but is more expensive and the spi can be used up to 80-90 degrees AWA.In any case you will need a bow sprit.
Code 0 is nice to have but not necessary, no need for storm jib..If the wind exceed 40-45 kts, you will have to run with bare poles; that's also what FP is suggesting.
One of the problems that the jib sheets are running to the winch with quite streched angle. When running dead down wind or even when broad reaching I am rigging a pulley to the amidship cleat and take the sheets to the winch via these pulleys.

Cheers

Yeloya
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Old 22-02-2014, 10:43   #6
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Re: Sail Inventory for circumnavigation

Yeloya,
Thanks for the contribution. Your experience is very valuable.

You say that if the wind exceeds 40-45 kts then you will and FP suggests that you run with bare poles.
So that means that you are basically lying ahull or do you have a series drogue or sea anchor deployed?

I like the simplicity of having a second jib for the headstay; however, my concern is unrolling and removing the genoa in less than ideal conditions much less raising the smaller jib on the headstay in these conditions. Is this just my lack of experience in these matters? Do you raise the small jib and leave it there for extended periods?

Thanks for your help,
Frank
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Old 22-02-2014, 13:49   #7
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Re: Sail Inventory for circumnavigation

Frank,
When you run bare poles, you take the wind from the aft quarter , between 160-170 AWA, according to the waves whichever way the boat feel comfortable surfing down.. Lying ahull is not a good idea with the cat. Unless you are really good at don't ever try sea anchor.. Drogues are OK but frankly I don't think you will ever need it. I didn't carry any, I was planning to leave long ropes from both side to slow down the boat if needed. Orana behahved extremely well on spi alone 9-10 kts at 25-28 kts of true wind, occasionally surfing down at 18-20 kts (very scary at the beginning but yoıu get used to it..) on big waves.. I sailed with Helia again on spi alone (factory spi which is thicker and a bit smaller than mine) about the same speed but with smaller and shorter waves, thus no surfing.Both handled the conditions perfectly under autopilote.

If you didn't yet, you should definately streghten all of yr cleats with a SS plate underneath.
For the jib, you don't have to remove it at all. Assuming theye are identical and on the same forestay, when you furl both willl be furled. So you can play with the size of jib according to the wind strength, very easy. If occasiooanlly you have to reach or beat, you simply take one jibs sheet and overflap it on the other one sheeting on another winch. It won't be a perfect shape and trip but will do the job, after all you are not racing.. If you believe that these coonditions will persist, you have to lower the genoa hallyard and pull out one of the jibs., not a big task...
The second jib (it should be identical otherwise the above described process doen't work) will also serve as a spare. The jib is more likely to be damaged than the main.
I strongly suggest to change all critical lines (all hallyards, genoa furler and the outhall) to dynema, it costs a lot but worthed.

Cheers

Yeloya
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Old 22-02-2014, 20:20   #8
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Re: Sail Inventory for circumnavigation

Quote:
Originally Posted by yeloya View Post

For the jib, you don't have to remove it at all. Assuming theye are identical and on the same forestay, when you furl both willl be furled. So you can play with the size of jib according to the wind strength, very easy. If occasiooanlly you have to reach or beat, you simply take one jibs sheet and overflap it on the other one sheeting on another winch. It won't be a perfect shape and trip but will do the job, after all you are not racing.. If you believe that these coonditions will persist, you have to lower the genoa hallyard and pull out one of the jibs., not a big task...
The second jib (it should be identical otherwise the above described process doen't work) will also serve as a spare. The jib is more likely to be damaged than the main.


Yeloya
You lost me on that one. Two jibs on one forestay? That means when you unfurl you have two jibs out all the time, and four jib sheets. I'm missing something here.
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Old 23-02-2014, 06:33   #9
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Sail Inventory for circumnavigation

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You lost me on that one. Two jibs on one forestay? That means when you unfurl you have two jibs out all the time, and four jib sheets. I'm missing something here.

Downwind rig. Rather like the twistle rig ones poled out to weather ( or both ) personally I don't like the idea. I've crossed oceans on prevented mains and poled out jib. Never quite saw the point of twin headsails

Dave
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Old 24-02-2014, 03:28   #10
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Re: Sail Inventory for circumnavigation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Therapy View Post
You lost me on that one. Two jibs on one forestay? That means when you unfurl you have two jibs out all the time, and four jib sheets. I'm missing something here.
No.. You attach one sheet to each gib and you run them to two winches, one from port the other from starboard side. When you unfurl, you let go both winches and both are filled as you have the wind just form aft. If you want to reduce the sail area then you furl and both gibs are furled.
If you want to reach, you simply take one of the gib's sheet to the same side (to another winch at the same side) and you sheet them both until they adhere to each other without wrinkle. As I said earlier, the gibs should be identical and as the thickness of the gib will be doubled (superposed) , the trim will be far from ideal but works pretty well if the wind is not too light.
If you want sail again down wind, you take the sheet of the inside gib and run it again from the other side..
Simple..
This combination works for the AWA 180 +/- 15 degrees max. Beyond that, one of the gib start flapping and the system become less efficient and hoisting the spi becomes more feasable.
Cheers
Yeloya
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Old 24-02-2014, 15:18   #11
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Re: Sail Inventory for circumnavigation

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Originally Posted by yeloya View Post
No.. You attach one sheet to each gib and you run them to two winches, one from port the other from starboard side. When you unfurl, you let go both winches and both are filled as you have the wind just form aft. If you want to reduce the sail area then you furl and both gibs are furled.
If you want to reach, you simply take one of the gib's sheet to the same side (to another winch at the same side) and you sheet them both until they adhere to each other without wrinkle. As I said earlier, the gibs should be identical and as the thickness of the gib will be doubled (superposed) , the trim will be far from ideal but works pretty well if the wind is not too light.
If you want sail again down wind, you take the sheet of the inside gib and run it again from the other side..
Simple..
This combination works for the AWA 180 +/- 15 degrees max. Beyond that, one of the gib start flapping and the system become less efficient and hoisting the spi becomes more feasable.
Cheers
Yeloya
OK. I got it. But this is not kept rigged like this all the time right? If conditions/course change then one needs to take down one of the jibs, right?
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Old 25-02-2014, 14:22   #12
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Re: Sail Inventory for circumnavigation

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Downwind rig. Rather like the twistle rig ones poled out to weather ( or both ) personally I don't like the idea. I've crossed oceans on prevented mains and poled out jib. Never quite saw the point of twin headsails

Dave
For dead down wind sailing in the Ocean, you have couple of options;
-wings/wing,
-parasail,
-assymetrical spi,
-twin genoa

Every boat behaves differently in each of the options. For instance wings on wing doesn't work with self tacking small gibs. I personally don't like this option for many reason.

You may like or dislike but for me twin gibs is a valid option; cheap (you need to carry a spare gib in a long passage anyway), easy (doesn't need a trim) an more importantly very safe. You can just furl it as much as you like in a matter of minute. Gib is OK but reefing the main in a blow is not that easy.
My plan when down wind sailing is to fly the spi until 23-24 true, if it's steady 24 and tends to increase, spi is down , twin gibs is out. Unless the AWA is less than 130-140 degrees, main sleeps in the lazy bag..

Everyone has his plan according to his crew and capabilities, his boat's sail configuration and boat's caracteristics. There is no absolute wrongs or rights..

Cheers

yeloya
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Old 25-02-2014, 16:15   #13
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Re: Sail Inventory for circumnavigation

Do you mean a symmetrical spinnaker for DDW?

I would think for a circumnavigation a symmetrical spinnaker would be part of your inventory. Fly it without the main up on long legs.
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Old 25-02-2014, 17:45   #14
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Re: Sail Inventory for circumnavigation

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Do you mean a symmetrical spinnaker for DDW?

I would think for a circumnavigation a symmetrical spinnaker would be part of your inventory. Fly it without the main up on long legs.

In my opinion it's not a good cruising sail, especially at night, or where for example you have the potential of squalls. I don't like them at all.
Dave
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Old 25-02-2014, 17:46   #15
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Re: Sail Inventory for circumnavigation

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OK. I got it. But this is not kept rigged like this all the time right? If conditions/course change then one needs to take down one of the jibs, right?

Still need to poll them out

Dave
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