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Old 27-03-2007, 13:46   #1
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Cutter/sloop sail question

I have a question about sail terminology. As I read thru the cutter/sloop past threads they all talk about headsail size in terms of a percentage, e.g., a 110% Yankee, 130% Genoa, etc. I have always assumed that these percentages refer to how far back the clew of the sail is located. For instance, the clew of a 100% jib would come back far enough to be even with the mast. So my first question is whether I am correct about how the percentage expression is used. If not then the second question may be moot.
If I am correct then I would pose the following question. Take 2 boats, one a cutter and the other a sloop, and assume they are both 36 ft long. Also assume the headsail stay is located in the same place on both. Let's say that the boats are equipped with a "100% jib". My question is whether that sail would actually have a longer foot on the cutter than the sloop since the mast on a cutter is located further aft than on a sloop. Silly question, I know, but part of the learning curve.
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Old 27-03-2007, 16:08   #2
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Aloha Wallm,
Yes on those questions.
Maybe there is a sailmaker on our forum that can add more?
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Old 27-03-2007, 16:14   #3
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simple answer is yes. A cutter has its mast further aft. When I looked it up on Wikipedia it said:


"Traditionally the sloop rig was a rig with a single mast located forward of 70% of the length of the sailplan. In this traditional definition a sloop could have multiple jibs on a fixed bowsprit. Cutters had a rig with a single mast more centrally located, which could vary from 50% to 70%of the length of the sailplan, with multiple headsails and a reeving bowsprit. Somewhere in the 1950's or 1960's there was a shift in these definitions such that a sloop only flew one headsail and a cutter had multiple headsails and mast position became irrelevant."

Bob Perry (designer of many cutter rigs) said that a cutter needed to have the mast att he 4th station. I don't know where the 4th station would be and would think that it varied with design of boat.

my boat has a J (length from forestay to mast) of 17'8" and an E (length of foot of mainsail) of 13'0". By this definition a sloop has a much smaller headsail than a cutter.

Of course there is the Slutter rig. This is a name heard from a friend of mine Brian O'neil SV Shibumi. It is a sloop with an inner forestay rigged but the mast in position of a sloop.

Don't know if I helped but I was researching this exact question this morning.
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Old 27-03-2007, 16:32   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallm
... I have always assumed that these percentages refer to how far back the clew of the sail is located. For instance, the clew of a 100% jib would come back far enough to be even with the mast. ...
That is close, but not quite right. Take a look at the picture here Sail Measurement Assistance at the LP measurement diagram. The 100% refers to the LP vs the J. This approximates a 100% jib having its clew at near the mast, but it is measured a little different.

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Old 27-03-2007, 17:27   #5
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Charlie and Paul are both correct. And, the use of a bowsprit can significantly alter the affect of mast placement:

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Old 27-03-2007, 17:54   #6
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slomotion,

It would appear both our boats are similar enough to be sisters.
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Old 27-03-2007, 18:21   #7
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The boat in the picture is a Bayfield 36 - not mine. And yes, it is a Gozard design:

http://www.wind-borne.com/AboutUs/Bayfield36Spec.PDF
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Old 27-03-2007, 18:32   #8
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Cutter v sloop headsail

Thank you to Paul for the reference diagram. I now understand the percentage calculation. The reason I brought up the original question is that while going thru old threads about the characteristics of cutters vs sloops I noticed a couple of cutter owners talking about their 130% Genoas. This just seemed like a lot of headsail for a cutter but I guess it depends on the boat in question and perhaps the presence of a bowsprit. I think that some of the cutter owners with a 130% Genoa are actually sailing their boat as a sloop, i.e., not routinely using the staysail. Is that why they might want such a large headsail?
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Old 27-03-2007, 18:54   #9
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Much of the advantage of a cutter is in sail selection, not in flying all sails at once. Except on a close reach, the staysail and the foresail are probably not going to fly together. You can search on the cs-bb board and probably find some good discussion from Bob Perry on his thoughts about optimum rigs for performance and when a staysail makes sense. Can't get it the info from anyone more qualified.

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Old 27-03-2007, 20:05   #10
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Just to add

Some sloops are set up as cutters at times. A tempoary second forestay is rigged with a turn buckle or adjustable pelican hook when the staysail needs to go up. On mine it is used for heavy weather sailing. I furl in the genoa and hoist the staysail and reef the main down 25%. That puts the COE back over the COR balancing out the rigging and reducing the heeling/weather helm.

Slutter rigs??? I've had the impression that they were with two forestays but with the smaller jib being forward, usually run from a bowsprit.
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Old 28-03-2007, 01:19   #11
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As above...but some cutters are set up as sloops at times. : ) Mine has a removable baby stay. It also has running backstays OR permenent intermediate lowers !! Its a fiddlers fun factory.
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Old 28-03-2007, 07:38   #12
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hey Paul L what is cs-bb sight & how do you get there?
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Old 28-03-2007, 10:48   #13
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Old 28-03-2007, 12:15   #14
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Originally Posted by mike d.
hey Paul L what is cs-bb sight & how do you get there?
http://www.cs-bb.com
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Old 28-03-2007, 12:56   #15
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Quote:
COE back over the COR
OK, so COE=centre of effort??
What's COR ?? centre of rig??

So how does position of mast affect boat as in handling, balance and sailing. Is a cutter better than sloop? and is a ketch better because it is balanced by the Mizzen?
I realise that's a big question.
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