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Old 18-01-2015, 11:19   #1
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Gennaker Use

We are looking at purchasing a furling gennaker (asymmetric) for our intended cruising boat. (Jeanneau 42DS). We will be crushing the Carribean for about 2 years. Before we spend the $4k for one, I would like to hear from other similar cruisers if they have one, how much you use it and any suggestions you might have. We are not racers, but just looking for better performance downwind.
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Old 18-01-2015, 16:58   #2
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Re: Gennaker Use

Quote:
Originally Posted by bretster View Post
We will be crushing the Carribean for about 2 years.
Better put a big sacrificial strip on your keel then.
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Old 18-01-2015, 19:30   #3
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Re: Gennaker Use

We have an A0 on our Jeanneau 44DS. It works well in light air giving maybe a knot or two extra over our 105% jib. I have it on a selden gennaker furler and it is super easy to handle. I'm in a different area than you but I have found that there aren't enough light days for me to really get serious use out of it. I need around 12kts or less. Anything over 12kts and the boat is powered up well with the standard sail plan.


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Old 20-01-2015, 05:51   #4
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Re: Gennaker Use

Thanks for the reply Garrett. It sounds like a gennaker would be "nice to have" but based on the few responses to this post, I don't think many people use them for cruising. They look nice and I'm sure add performance and make sailing even more fun, but for practical use....I am probably not going to purchase one. If I raced I'd probably own one.
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Old 20-01-2015, 06:12   #5
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Re: Gennaker Use

I have a code 1 which I mainly bought to compensate for my heavy 135% genoa when going to windward in light winds. It's also a nice improvement for downwind as well, recently flying it solo DDW in 20-23 knots. I am planning to get a dedicated downwind genny to supplement it

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Old 20-01-2015, 09:52   #6
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Re: Gennaker Use

Hoppy has a good point; A-sails / gennakers can be cut for different wind speeds and angles. My sail is cut to be a reaching sail and isn't the best solution for dead downwind. It is possible, depending on how you sail the boat, to really get a lot of cruising use out of a spinnaker. For example, if you are sailing with the trades, a downwind spinnaker would be a fantastic sail to have, I would think. North Sails has a nice chart to show many options that are available and their respective, suggested speeds and angles. North Sails: Downwind Sail Performance Guide

Their pricing on their Easy Standard Gennakers is pretty sweet. You might give that a look and see if one fits your boat's measurements?
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Old 20-01-2015, 10:09   #7
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Re: Gennaker Use

I have used a gennaker for light-air close-reaching but i found that i could get almost as good an angle upwind using an asymmetric spinnaker and for downwind a symmetric spinnaker. The gennaker was only really useful over about a 20-degree wind angle (45 to 65 degrees) and then only up to about 10 knots of breeze. Because of it's lack of flexibility i don't use one now.
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Old 20-01-2015, 10:14   #8
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Re: Gennaker Use

We have had a big Code 0 / Gennaker aboard Mirador during all of long cruising trips including a sail from Seattle to Zihuatenejo, Mexico and another sail from Seattle to San Diego (2000 thru 2010). North Sails in Seattle custom built the sail for us in 2000. At that time the had built two other cruising gennakers that had been used on 40ish cruising boats that had sailed from Seattle to the South Pacific.

We use the sail much of the time and is the most common sail to be found on the bow in most of our downwind or off the wind sailing.

It is most useful from about 60 degrees to 140 degrees apparent in apparent winds of 5 to 13 knots.

I would not want to sail the US West Coast and Western Mexico without a Gennaker.


You can read all about our Gennaker and see a lot of pictures at :

Drifter

We also have an even bigger Asymmetrical Spinnaker that we use quite a bit in our cruising. It provides even more power in even less wind. Additionally, the AsymSpin can be carried at very deep angles in much more wind. We have carried the chute almost DDW in over 20 knots apparent on many occasions.

If I were going to purchase one sail it would be the Gennaker/Code 0. We use it about twice as often as we do the Spinnaker.

North Sails in Seattle spent a lot of time with us in 1999 designing a suite of sails to take us on our long distance cruise to commence in fall 2000. I was very concerned about safe and efficient upwind sailing in our Caliber 40 cutter which is not real good at pointing in higher winds. We also knew that most of our real cruising would be off the wind in lighter conditions. We decided on the following:

- 120% RF genoa built from 7 oz Spectra & can be usefully furled to 90%
- 110% overlapping staysail (175 sq feet)
- smaller staysail (125 sq feet)
- storm jib (80 sq feet)
- Code 0 2.5 oz nylon 550 sq feet
- Asymmetrical Spinnaker 2 oz nylon 1100 sq feet
- 13' - 25' spinnaker pole

- oversized 7.5oz Spectra fully battened mainsail (13" longer foot & 15" more roach)
- first reef point on main lowers head seven feet
- 2nd reef takes another 6' out of main
- trysail on dedicated track
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