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Old 27-07-2008, 21:02   #1
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Sail configuration

30' foot boat headed out to cruise- thinking just main and jib. Thoughts?
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Old 28-07-2008, 00:43   #2
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Your sail choices will be heavily dependent on where/when you are going. If you plan to be doing any more than fairly close to shore coastal cruising you would, in my opinion, be foolish to leave without a decent set of storm sails (i.e storm jib and trisail).

Your sail choice will also be, to an extent, determined by your budget, your rig, the ease with which you can change sails, how new your boat design is, how many crew you have, how competent they are and how competent you are.

On my boat, we carry anywhere between 3 sails (#1 reg, #3, main) and 12 sails (#1 light, #1 reg, #2, #3, heavy weather jib, storm jib, racing main, cruising main, 1/2oz kite, 3/4oz kite, 1.5oz reaching kite, storm jib, trisail) depending on the situation and crew on board.

If I were you, assuming that you were planning on reasonably long term cruising, I would be planning on having, as a minimum:
a) mainsail (with decent reefing points),
b) genoa - say 120%
c) jib - say 90%,
d) storm jib
e) trisail.

If you have spare money, an spinnaker of some sort is nice, but not vital.
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Old 28-07-2008, 06:27   #3
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Jack,

Are you planning to cruise single-handed, or with crew?

If solo, a roller furler on the headsail is a must, in my book, unless you have an autopilot to steer the boat while you're up on the foredeck. Even with an autopilot, it's nice not to have to go forward and get wet. Luff pads in the genoa are really great for maintaining sail shape when you roll in the genie a bit as the wind pipes up. Makes a big difference in how the boat handles.

And a mainsail reefing system that you can handle from the cockpit would be nice, too.
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Old 28-07-2008, 06:45   #4
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My advice (worth nothing) is that for offshore work and extending cruising you will need some back up sails, a main and or a head sail.

I agree with HUD ruller furling is almost a given.

You should also get some storm sails, a trysail on a separate mast track and a storm jib on a (removable) inner stay and have those sails hanked on and secured when you head offshore. Setting storm sails IN a storm is not the way to go.

I prefer full batten mains with a larhe roach, but others have different approaches.

You need to have the main set up for several reefs and deep ones too.
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Old 28-07-2008, 08:06   #5
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The minimum I've considered is a storm jib, working jib, 120-130% jib, main with two reefs. But this is in part because my sloop handles well enough with just the storm jib in 40+, and can heave-to under it.

I don't currently have roller-furling, but if I did I would put effort into figuring out how to set my storm sails when it's blowing like snot.

How you store your sails is extremely important in determining how many to bring with. On-deck storage for any jib excepting the storm canvas is really essential. For my "minimum" this means only two sails to stow below before we start into the light air sails.

If you can easily manage light air sails for your boat you'll find you use the motor less. If they are at all a pain to handle solo, don't waste the storage space bringing 'em 'cuz you won't end up using them often enough to justify it. Our thoroughly blown-out assym with snuffer is easy for me to handle, and gets used far more often than I'd like because even though it's a bag it still pulls like a mule on light air days.
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Old 28-07-2008, 08:15   #6
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Quote:
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thinking just main and jib...

I’m sorta with Weyalan… a main with triple reef points should serve without a trysail, unless you’re heading into the high latitudes or... and a heavier reefable working jib will help delay the stormsail use, but I’d probably crowd in a 1.5oz drifter or maybe an asymmetrical spinnaker for light-air use…
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Old 28-07-2008, 16:07   #7
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A removable inner stay for a staysail would be a nice thing on a 30 footer. That way with roller furling you can get rid of your big headsail, and set the storm sail on the innerstay. The triple reef on the main should get you where you wanna go. I would buy a set of used sails in fair condition as a back up to everything...........
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Old 29-07-2008, 06:50   #8
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To be clear(er) I meant in terms of "sail plan" not "what sails to have on board".

Thank you all for the replies though. At this point I feel pretty comfortable rounding up all the spinaker stuff and trying to find a way to sell it.

Danke,
J
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Old 29-07-2008, 09:14   #9
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Rig!

There's no way to determine what is the "best" rig for a cruise.

Some rigs are more efficient to windward, others excel at reaching, and others are acknowledged best downwind. Wind tunnel efficiency test have not been consistent, with a slight preference for the crab claw sail shape. Unicef's world-wide studies for low-tech commercial application tended toward the gaff and sprit rigs. Junk rigs have consistently been shown to involve the lowest forces. All these ways of measuring "best" use different criteria than you personally will use.

If you go to far away places and look at what rigs make it there, you'll find a much wider diversity of rigs than you will find in your home waters.

The net result is: select a rig you know how to use, which is not inefficient for the expected usual wind pattern on your route, and become proficient in using that rig. Carry spares and tools to maintain that rig. And go.
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Old 29-07-2008, 09:48   #10
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Webb Chiles went around the world in his 36 foot boat with just a main and furling headsail. Of course he also went around west about in an open 18 footer!
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Old 01-08-2008, 12:07   #11
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Don't get rid of the Spi yet. In light winds from behind, many days on a crossing you miss that sucker! have a main, a jib and staysail for more heavy work, and keep the spi!

Thought I would never use it too untill we dis some long passages!!

Good Luck, R
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Old 04-09-2008, 13:20   #12
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Ok, I have a question.
If we've furled up our 120% genoa and set our working jib on the inner stay in 25 knots, and then the winds increase to 35 knots, is it really sensible and safe to go forward and take the working jib down and put the storm jib up. Sounds impossible to me. How do people do it?
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Old 04-09-2008, 13:47   #13
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Ok... is it really sensible and safe to go forward and take the working jib down and put the storm jib up...

Having been caught with too much sail up more than once, I’ve adopted a reef/change early policy; which I still don’t follow as well as I should… However, I agree – especially short handed, it gets interesting once the wind pipes up… even though it sorta rubs me the wrong way, I was reading that the better tactic is to be one reef too low when the weather is interesting, always easier to change up, than down… and cheaper – says he who has popped a couple of sails, a shroud and a halyard, etc., etc… at various times over the years when combining clumsiness, numb-headed delay and a tad too much wind… bottom line, if I don’t take the sail down, eventually it’ll take care of the job itself…
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Old 04-09-2008, 14:52   #14
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We do it carefully, and with a harness. It makes perfect sense, because it has to be done

Unless you are beating why not just use the roller furler to reduce? If it has a foam strip on the luff it should still shape descently. Then already have the storm sail on the inner stay. As dc said, it's better to reduce early......BEST WISHES.....i2f
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Old 04-09-2008, 15:00   #15
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It is more difficult to reduce the main, so make sure that you reduce this as soon as you start to reduce the foresail.

When all else fails, you could reduce the fore triangle to just the staysail instead of a storm sail. moves the centre of effort to a better position. and is probably not much larger. Only problem might be cloth strength.
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