As a general rule
, as sails
get older, they do stretch (particularly Dacron sails). As a sail stretches, it generally becomes harder to flatten, so of less use in wind
ranges at the top end of what it is designed to handle. So your sailmaker
is, as a generalisation, right - a new sail will be flatter, therefore will handle stronger breezes better.
If you were "pushing the envelope" in terms of performance, you would probably go for a bigger sail, but since you are cruising, not racing
, you probably don't need a huge headsail. Big overlapping genoa headsails come into their own in light breezes, but lests face it, if the breeze gets to light, won't you just fire up the engine
, or motor
Fully crewed, racing, we carry a #1 genoa (approx 145% overlap) to about 15 knots, #2 genoa (120% overlap) to about 20 and #3 jib (100%) from 20 to 30.
If you want decent performance to 25 knots, I'd be saying 115% is probably not too bad, and, in a blow, you'd be able to furl that down to 90-100% without compromising the shape too bad