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Old 17-05-2010, 18:12   #1
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Getting New Headsail - Need Advice on Sail Choice

Budgeted for a new headsail for my 30ft S2, I need some sage advice. Currently using an old 287 sq.ft 110% +- genoa (roller reefing). It may be blown out I can't tell. Sail is great from 8-15kts wind, then it becomes a little messy/tough to handle as I try to reef it. I'm just cruising around Puget Sound and Canada no offshore or racing.

I want a headsail that will be able to handle days when winds are up to 25kts. Originally I thought I needed a 95% or so working jib to use on these days. However, sailmakers around here are suggesting I consider a 115% or even 130% genoa with foam/rope luff. They say that a new sail will have flatter shape that can handle 25kt winds. And foam luff will allow reefing if I need less sail in those winds.

Something tells me the working jib is the best solution, but a 130% genoa that can ALSO do 25kt winds would be ideal, no sail changes and better in the light air we often have here. Advice?

Thanks ...
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Old 17-05-2010, 19:05   #2
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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 and motor, or motor sail?

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
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Old 17-05-2010, 19:21   #3
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I'm with Weyalan - You aren't racing, you don't intend to be out in 40kts on purpose and you want the boat to move in a variety of conditions. If you have the range of motion on the genny cars to adjust as you furl I would go 130 wth foam/rope luff.You will need to go cars forward as you furl the sail to maintain shape.One of our maxi's recently bought a 100% furling genny. In lighter winds we smoke him.We have light winds most of the year and went with a 150. Probably too big for your conditions. At 20kts we furl in to about 100% and are as happy as we need to be. We lose about 5 degrees pointing max with the sail furled but the boat is smoking along at 5 1/2 knots.
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Old 17-05-2010, 20:05   #4
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OK good tips. Headsail is sheeted to the toerail so no movable cars unfortunately.
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Old 18-05-2010, 12:58   #5
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Originally Posted by fishfinder View Post
Headsail is sheeted to the toerail so no movable cars unfortunately.
Can't you move the blocks?
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Old 18-05-2010, 13:54   #6
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Can definitely move the blocks, just have to tack, go up and move the block to another hole on the toerail, tack back.

I'm thinking now either a 115 or 130% is the way to go, mulling over the decision can't decide between the two. I'd say 75% of my sailing is in 0-10 kts wind. I just want to be sure I'm prepared for comfortable sailing in 20-25kts too.
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Old 18-05-2010, 19:36   #7
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If you go the 130 you will be happier in 10-15 knots. As the breeze builds and you furl the sheeting angle will change without moving the block and the top of the gennie will twist off further depowering the sail.
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Old 19-05-2010, 01:34   #8
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Go for a rope padded luff. The foam sort just crushes too much. Also, buy the best sailcloth in a tri-radial cut you can afford.
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