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Old 08-06-2016, 20:10   #1
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Genoa that much better?

I sail a Catalina 27. I'm wondering about a Genoa for more speed and more miles gained? Is it going to be that much better than the Jib? And what size Genoa?
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Old 08-06-2016, 20:21   #2
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Re: Genoa that much better?

My understanding is that a genoa is just a larger, overlapping jib.

So if the winds are light then a bigger sail will of course give you more speed but as the winds get stronger, depending on the size of the genoa, it may be too much sail and you have to go back to something smaller.
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Old 08-06-2016, 20:27   #3
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Re: Genoa that much better?

skip's right. It's a management issue. Then, there's this:
A very illuminating and interesting discussion on co.com for those of you who might be in the market for a new jib.

Big Jib or Small Jib | SailboatOwners.com Forums

Please read all three pages. Enjoy.
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Old 09-06-2016, 00:41   #4
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Re: Genoa that much better?

fgraham: If you live in So. Calif., you will probably want a large genny for those really light air days. If in SF, maybe not so large. In summer you have good afternoon winds there, 20-25 most days.

If you put your general location with your avatar, it will help others help you. Many of our readers are in Europe and elsewhere. You could also, with a question like this, give us an indication of your sailing season, all year 'round, or ?????

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Old 09-06-2016, 02:09   #5
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Re: Genoa that much better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
skip's right. It's a management issue. Then, there's this:
A very illuminating and interesting discussion on co.com for those of you who might be in the market for a new jib.

Big Jib or Small Jib | SailboatOwners.com Forums

Please read all three pages. Enjoy.
Interesting article, & one likely to make a lot of beginning & intermediate level sailors, put their thinking caps on/take some notes.

There's some good info in it, albeit some which is flawed. So don't take it as gospel by any means. Especially as, in 96%+ of the conditions you'll encounter, the bigger the jib, the faster it'll be. Assuming similar sail age/condition, & trimming controls.
Code 0's are popular for a reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
fgraham: If you live in So. Calif., you will probably want a large genny for those really light air days. If in SF, maybe not so large. In summer you have good afternoon winds there, 20-25 most days.

If you put your general location with your avatar, it will help others help you. Many of our readers are in Europe and elsewhere. You could also, with a question like this, give us an indication of your sailing season, all year 'round, or ?????

Ann
Ann's nailed it. So if you tell us what the prevailing conditions you sail in are like, it'll help a lot. To include typical sea state, & wave shape/period. Like, for example, the Great Lakes are notorious for square, closely spaced waves, which mandates a different sailing style. And to some degree, sails... or at a minimum; trim & setup.
Also, are we to assume hanks? Or do you have RF?

Plus, what size & condition, is your current jib in? Ditto on the main, & any other sails that your boat has? That, & are you considering adding any other sails soon? If so, what, might I ask?
The reason for my queries being, so that we might help you to best fill out your sail inventory per $ spent. So that you can sail more efficiently on all points of sail, & wind strengths.

One tip regarding spending wisely, is to also consider pre-loved, lightly used sails, in good condition. As they can often be had for a much lower price. And class owner's associations can often be very helpful with this. In addition to fielding your original question. Amongst others.
Sometimes, connecting you with other local owners who have sails of the sort that interest you. Who'll take you out for a guest sail on a sistership to your boat, for example.
Plus, many chandleries specialize in re-selling used sails, Cheap. Some which have never been flown.

Also, BTW, jibs can be converted to be used with either hanks or foils. By either installing grommets & hanks, or by removing the hanks. And if you're adding hanks to a jib that's setup for a foil (RF), I'd suggest using sew-ons, as they're easy to both remove & reinstall.
Knock-on's are a touch more permanent, or rather, need more severe means to remove them than the other type.
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Old 09-06-2016, 09:00   #6
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Re: Genoa that much better?

I sail in the Pacific off the coast of Oregon and Washington. I have a furler on the head sail so adjusting the sail size is easy.
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Old 09-06-2016, 09:24   #7
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Re: Genoa that much better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fgraham View Post
I sail in the Pacific off the coast of Oregon and Washington. I have a furler on the head sail so adjusting the sail size is easy.
Or maybe not so easy. Trimming 10-20% off the sail area with a furler is relatively efficient but after that you get two problems. First, even with the best cut sail and foam luff the sail depth tends to increase when furled. What you want is the opposite, a flatter sail as the wind picks up to reduce drag and heel. Second you now have a significant roll of sail on the luff causig lots of turbulence in the air flow across the first 1/3 of the sail where much of the drive is generated. Result is a very poor head-sail that is mainly heeling the boat and burying the bow not driving you to windward.
So you need to consider weather a bigger sail giving better light airs drive will result in unacceptable performance when the wind picks up. What is commonly your strongest regular sailing wind and do you have a stay-sail or other sails for these conditions? Making one sail do everything is always a big compromise. An alternative is to look at a short, possibly retractable bowsprit, and fly a dedicated light airs sail from it.
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Old 09-06-2016, 10:12   #8
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Re: Genoa that much better?

Cat 27 being a masthead rig get larger amount of power from headsail. So best option change sails for condition. But other options abound depending on budget/wants.
On a tight budget play the averages on wind speed and pick a overlap , less if you have a "tall rig 27".
More cash add a staysail on wire or high tech line luff.
More yet add code zero type sail.
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Old 09-06-2016, 10:57   #9
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Re: Genoa that much better?

In my opinion, you need to consider what your goals are (cruising or racing? if cruising, long distance or short?) vs. cost and complexity. A true jib is a cinch to tack, but the longer your genoa gets, the harder it is, especially with increasing wind and sea state. As has been mentioned, you can't just infinitely reef (well, technically, you can), otherwise you lose speed and stability from a sail that is badly deformed, etc.

Think about what is really to be gained. If you're lucky, a knot? Is it really worth it (if you're not racing), in the context of the amount of time saved by that much additional speed? In all likelihood, unless you are better skilled than most, you'll get as much extra speed by properly trimming your jib (fairlead position, halyard tension, leech line tension, etc) as you will from a poorly trimmed genny.

I don't race anymore, so I'm in no great hurry (unless the sun is going down and I'm thirsty). If I had to have only one sail, I would probably choose a 110 genny. Anything bigger, and I would say you have to have a jib as well, otherwise you lose in high wind conditions what you might have gained in low wind conditions.

My 2 cents, for what it's worth (about 2 cents probably). Pete
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Old 09-06-2016, 11:40   #10
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Re: Genoa that much better?

As others have pointed out, it depends on the prevailing wind speeds where you sail, but it also depends on the size of your boat and whether you have roller furling. Also, there is more to it than whether you sail a knot faster or slower. It's more about whether the boat feels alive in lighter air or are you going to use the engine whenever boat speed drops below 3 or 4 knots. Sailing in light air can be a delight and gurgling along at 3 knots can feel great after drifting at 1 or 2, but a boat won't come alive in light air unless it can carry enough sail for the conditions. A Catalina 27 is small enough that you can change out head sails as conditions change, assuming you are young and fit enough to do so. On my 24 footer I carried 150 Genoa, a 110 lapper, a 90% jib that could reef to 55% storm jib, and a 135 drifter. When I was younger, I would think nothing of changing sails, even short handed, as conditions changed which may have been several times in a few hours sail to Catalina. On a forty footer with roller furling, it is not feasible to swap out jibs, so I have a 135 that can be rolled up as the wind increases and am in the process of installing a Solent stay for more versatility in lighter or strong winds.
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Old 09-06-2016, 12:43   #11
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Re: Genoa that much better?

There are some excellent deals on Cat 27 class sails. Look at National Sail Supply. I got a 110% last winter from them for the Bahamas and absolutely love it. Your boat is easily driven like mine, go with the 110%
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Old 09-06-2016, 14:05   #12
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Re: Genoa that much better?

If you sail a mixed track, you may want two sails. A light genoa sail and a heavier jib sail -one that furls down well (or else one that can be reefed down).

I have seen countless boats (eh ...) where the (one and only fore sail) genoa was built too big and too heavy. This way one ends up with no light winds sail and only a marginal heavier conditions ability. Common mistake of newbies who came from the charter fleet.

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Old 09-06-2016, 14:15   #13
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Re: Genoa that much better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fgraham View Post
I sail a Catalina 27. I'm wondering about a Genoa for more speed and more miles gained? Is it going to be that much better than the Jib? And what size Genoa?
I think the other answers may be a little more complicated than necessary. A genoa is a wonderful performance enhancer upwind in light air, and may be "wung out" with a whisker pole of sufficient length (generally equal to the length of the foot of the sail).

Most "gennys" are 150%, or roughly 1.5x the area of your foretriangle. Lighter cloth will work better in lighter air, and may not be quite as durable. What you may want to consider is a "blast reacher" which is an overlapping sail with a higher clew; say 130% of the foretriangle. This is a much better sail for reaching, and can be used in quite a bit of breeze. It's not as good for pointing, so you might want to consider if you have a frequent destination that is a reach or a beat.

There are so many Cat 27s in the world that this decision has no doubt been debated 100-fold on their forums. My guess is that there is a pretty established ranking of headsails. Something like: "If you have only one headsail, it should be a 105% blade. If you have two headsails, add a 150% genoa. The third headsail should be 125% reacher." And so forth.

Finally, the used sail idea is a really good one. Lots of Cat 27s generate lots of old sails. I would see if you can find a former racing genoa that is lighter and perhaps has better shape, even used, than a new woven sail.

Cheers,

Chuck
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Old 09-06-2016, 15:42   #14
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Re: Genoa that much better?

My favorite configuration is my 150 and one reef in the main then after that I'll switch to working jib.
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Old 09-06-2016, 17:27   #15
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Re: Genoa that much better?

As others have said, really depends on the conditions where you sail. The idea that a jib can only be reefed 10%-20% is for the racing anoraks. Yes sail shape will suffer but the boat will still sail with a deeper rolled in reef. Yes it would be better to put up a smaller sail but that's not something in many peoples vocabulary. Way easier to roller reef the headsail than fight a new sail forward, drop the current headsail and secure it, hank on and raise the new headsail then bag and stow the former headsail. Can be done easier on a 27' boat than a 40' boat. I'd just rather reef the sail down and live with it. That was especially true when a daysail on SF Bay where wind speeds varied from ghosting conditions, 30k small gale, back to ghosting, 30k again and finishing out with a short light wind sail to the marina. Changing out headsails would have been a major pain for a typical daysail.

In your case, assume you will often see winds in a variety of windspeed from all directions though predominantly from the NW force 4-6. A 135% genoa of heavier cloth with a foam/rope luff would probably cover you in most of the situations. Will drive the boat in light air, be at it's optimum in moderate conditions, and hold it's shape reasonably well reefed down to 100% in strong winds.

Personally have a moderately heavy 135% genoa that is my voyaging sail. Sailing between the islands or long passages, it's a sail that will hold up, set well furled, and, best of all, a sail I won't have to change. It's not particularly good in light air because of the cloth weight but still way better than a non overlapping jib. Have a 'Gale Sail' storm jib if the sh*t hits the fan but that hasn't been the case so it sits in its bag. For local sailing which is typically force 2-4, have a lighter weight 150% which works great in our lightish conditions. Also have a working jib but, like the 'Gale Sale', languishes in its bag.

I had the dubious pleasure of trying to deliver a ketch with out any overlapping jibs or other light air sails. 5 days to sail from Marina Del Rey to Santa Barbara because of a non functioning engine ended that delivery real quick. Personal feel that you really really have to have moderate to large genoa if sailing is your reason for buying the boat. Without it, you will either be turning on the engine way too often or bobbing around on the ocean going nowhere way more than you want.
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