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Old 14-06-2013, 19:21   #1
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Headsails

Hello cruisers
This my first post and I am looking for information. My wife and I have recently bought a Catalina 36 in Long Beach Ca. We are planning to do the Baja Ha Ha this Oct. and will continue to cruise the Sea of Cortez and south. We are installing a new head sail and with the lighter wind down the coast I would like to some thoughts on a good size. 150 - 130? We have a gennaker for reaching and my wife tells me that I am no longer a racer. (last boat an Olson 30)
Thanks for any thoughts
Van Isle Sailor
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Old 14-06-2013, 23:52   #2
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I would get a medium weight 115% headsail if I could not change out the headsail easily ... because stuck with a furler. I cruised that area several years with hanked on sails. The 155% was nice most of the time, however often enough it was too much and the 115% lapper had to be flown. A tiny bit slower in the light stuff, but you are not supposed to care as you can always arrive "maņana".
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Old 15-06-2013, 09:53   #3
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Re: Headsails

Thanks Daddle
These new furlers and foam luffs are suppose to furl up to reef but I don't know if I can trust that. Maybe 120 would be the way to go.
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Old 15-06-2013, 10:56   #4
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Re: Headsails

G'Day Van Isl,

The concept of a large genoa on a furler sounds good when you say it fast, but reality suggests that there are problems with the approach. In order for the gennie to be a good light air sail it must be built from fairly light cloth. Then when the wind pipes up, you roll a few turns to reduce sail area. With a well designed foam luff pad the shape isn't compromised too much... until the too light cloth begins to stretch. Then the shape goes to hell pretty quickly and heel angles increase again, so you roll some more turns in and the process repeats. Not only does the sail perform poorly under these conditions, but pretty soon the un-reefed shape is all stretched out and performs poorly even in light conditions.

A chat with your sailmaker will help resolve the best compromise for your particular boat and cruising area. My guess is also in the area of 120% and medium weight premium Dacron cloth. A tri-radial design may help extend the range and lifetime of the sail albeit at a higher price... we've found that to be a useful expenditure for our useage.

Cheers,

Jim
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