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Old 21-10-2015, 15:14   #16
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Re: Sail Options for 40' Cutter

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Why can't the staysail be reefed if it is on a roller furler? Am I missing something?
It can but it's a survival sail in my mind. Even though roller furling/reefing is pretty reliable they have had problems especially in nasty conditions. Want something simple and as Murphy proof as possible for the staysail stay. Also want to make banking on a real storm jib possible. Can't imagine the fun trying to load a storm jib luff into a furler slot and hoist it in force 7 winds. Trouble enough changing a RF headsail at the dock in a calm.
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Old 21-10-2015, 16:21   #17
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Re: Sail Options for 40' Cutter

I have a cutter rig and the stay sail and main are very sturdy sails, both reef able. The job is Yankee cut but if replaced I'd get a slightly larger one like one that shows in a US sails ad. It does not overlap the mast as has to be worked around the stay sail stay. That wears on the sunbrella UV cover on the jib. A new furling jib will let you point better and will fu
so much easier.


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Old 21-10-2015, 16:39   #18
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Re: Sail Options for 40' Cutter

We have an asymmetric spinnaker we fly after fueling the Yankee in light air. It has a "pearl bead necklace" that goes around the furled jib and a tack line that goes down to a snatch block clipped at the bow and cleated to a forward cleat. Adds a little more fun in light air but does take two people to set and retrieve on a 37' boat. Our boat moves nicely in anything over 5-7 knots.


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Old 21-10-2015, 18:09   #19
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Re: Sail Options for 40' Cutter

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Awesome, thanks ErBrown. Very similar boat so that's a great reference. Have you sailed the boat since the new sails? Noticeable difference?
We've paid half our dough but haven't gotten the new sails yet. Should have them in the December time frame and can't wait to get out and put them to use.

Just my $0.02 but our boat definitely benefits from dedicated light air sails. I also like the idea of a smaller headsail. Ours came with a 130 and we where tempted to step down to a 110 but we talked ourselves into a the 120 which should reef down pretty effectively to the 100% range and below that, we always have the staysail. Seems like a pretty good option for our plans of extended cruising.
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Old 22-10-2015, 12:05   #20
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Re: Sail Options for 40' Cutter

DDabs,
In addition to those with cutter rigs giving you some good input, how about a recommend to talk to a real sailmaker...not just a sail salesman, but a sailmaker...especially one familiar with cruising boats...
Quote:
Originally Posted by DDabs View Post
It's about time for me to replace the sails on my boat, and I want to know if any of you have some recommendations for a good solid layout of sails.
.....
I've never purchased sails and never rigged a cutter before, so just looking for some different routes and options to consider. Thanks so much for any feedback.
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The boat is by no means a racer, so I am looking for a solid, offshore, reliable setup.
Please give Travis at Mack Sails a call....tell him exactly what we told us here, and ask for his recommendations and a quote....
And, if you're unsure / confused about something, be sure to ask him to explain the reasons why he recommends what he is....you'll get not only a honest answer, but a wealth of sail, sailmaking, and sail cloth info....that will leave you better informed than 95% of the sailors/cruisers out there!!
772-283-2306
www.macksails.com
Sail Cloth
Mack Sails - Main, genoa, jib, spinnakers

I've been doing business with them for many years....and my older brother before me....and my parents did business with Travis and Colin's dad back in the 1970's, when he ran Mack-Shaw Sails in Ft. Lauderdale...

Travis (and his brother Colin Mack) have been running the show for a couple decades now....
They are honest-to-God sailmakers, they design, cut, and sew sails right there in their own loft in Stuart, FL...using the best of materials around (Challenge Marblehead Dacron, etc.)



Also, here are some relevant articles, threads, etc. that should help!!

Good Old Boat - I've got the new sail blues article

Sail Cloth

New Sails for Hylas 54 - a maze of chioces!

North Sails: Your Opinion, Please . . .

Re: Dacron Sailcloth

Mack or Doyle ?

Re: North's Nordac Radian sailcloth?

New Sails

New sails

New sail for the circumnavigating Bene 423




I hope this helps..

Fair winds..

John
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Old 22-10-2015, 12:42   #21
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Re: Sail Options for 40' Cutter

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Originally Posted by ErBrown View Post
We just made this same decision for our IP40 (also cutter rigged). After much back and forth with other IP owners and several sail makers, we went with a 120% Genoa, heavy build flat cut RF staysail, and an Asymetric. For us the deciding factor between an Asym and CCZ was the cost of the furler needed for the CCZ and making it fit our bowsprit. With the Asym we're planning to leverage the ATN tacker and dousing sock. Simple and more cost effective...at least in our case. Not at all saying that's the case for everyone.

Oh and while we where at it, we replaced our old worn out main...so it's been an expensive project, but one that we're excited about.

Good luck!

-EB

A similar setup to what we are running. Seems to work well for us. With the addition that our Genoa is high cut like our Yankee which makes it more pleasant for day sailing, being able to see underneath. We tend to use the Genoa without the staysail for short sails, and on longer stuff the staysail with yankee. The staysail and Yankee give a nicer drive without as much heel, but are more work to trim and tack. I absolutely love the asym with dousing sock. I mostly sail solo.

Matt


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Old 22-10-2015, 16:30   #22
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Re: Sail Options for 40' Cutter

Our Valiant 40' had previously been sailed as a sloop. The sails were old, the weather helm was horrendous. Valiant 40's were known to have weather helm anyway, but the blown-out sails and operating it as a sloop magnified the problem. Voila! would not point and there was a lot of lateral drift. Going upwind was difficult, to say the least.

Did a lot of research, (consulting with PT Rigging and PT Sails, and others), and, re-rigged the boat. New mast is same height, but put a bow sprit, double spreaders on it, and running backs, shorter boom, and fully battened main. We almost always sail her as a Cutter now. The sails were designed by Carol Hasse, with the Genoa being only a 105 both it and the Staysail being on Pro-Furl roller-reefing furlers.


The net result is amazing. Set the sails and let go of the helm. If a gust of wind hits, the boat barely falls off, then right back on course. We sail faster, reef earlier, (because we are already at hull speed), and point much higher. The center of effort was moved forward just the right amount. I have to give a lot of credit to Carol Hasse, as she keeps meticulous records of all of her sails and all of her customer's boats. She knows what works and what doesn't for many configurations. We backwind the staysail to tack, and never have to walk the genoa around. For light air we use an Asymmetrical with a sock. We can do everything except the asymmetrical from the cockpit.


So, I concur, talk with a really good cruising sail maker that knows your boat design and how you intend to use it. A new, well designed set of sails may make a huge difference in your boats performance. Get an asymmetrical or drifter for light air/down wind conditions.
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Old 22-10-2015, 16:41   #23
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Re: Sail Options for 40' Cutter

Quote:
Originally Posted by DDabs View Post
Why can't the staysail be reefed if it is on a roller furler? Am I missing something?
A roller furler is designed to furl the sail fully to make it easy to put away. A roller reefer allows the sail to be partly furled as the wind increases but requires adapting the sail to stop it 'bagging'. I would never put a roller reefing system on a staysail as this is what you use for heavy weather. To get any windward performance in strong winds you need a flat cut sail with a clean entry to the wind - the opposite of what you get with a roller reefer.

Cutters are just brilliant especially for short handed crew but the only thing that will get you going in less than 10kn is going to be a large goaster cut full from light canvas, with lightweight sheets and if possible flow from a short bowsprit.

150% overlap was a way of cheating the racing rules when any sail area abaft the mast did not count for rating. Horrible to handle and very inefficient. anything over 125% has little benefit.

When I set up my new rig I bought cheap second hand head-sails (hanked) and tried them for a season to check it all worked. I then cut them up for covers/sail bags well worth the cost.
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Old 22-10-2015, 23:57   #24
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Re: Sail Options for 40' Cutter

There's some good advice here. We have a Peterson 46. Cutter and it's used exclusively offshore. We went with Lees Sails Performance Cruising sails. 125 Gen cut 1' above the safety rail works beautifully. Plenty of drive in light air. Our Staysail is 250 sq ft and is a Hank on. I'm picky about this set up for several reasons. For local cruising I don't use the Staysail so I have the stay removable where I disconnect it and move it back to Starboard. This allows for easy multiple tacks. A Roller would make multiple tacks a royal pain. The Hanks also allow for fast easy removal of the Staysail and the addition of the Storm Sail. The Main is a 5 batten with 3 Reef points. Main and Gen meas 1044 sq ft
This boat easily does 8 knots with 9.75 being max for the most part. 200 plus mile days are common. Weather helm is negligible.
Very happy with the performance , quality and price of the Lee Sails. Service from Kevin in Cowichan Bay BC was beyond expectation and he's good with Cutters . Carol H by the way is excellent as well






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Old 23-10-2015, 10:34   #25
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Re: Sail Options for 40' Cutter

Bongo, your situation sounds a lot like mine. The underside of the Valiant is very similar to the Caliber.
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Old 23-10-2015, 12:17   #26
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Re: Sail Options for 40' Cutter

We’ve sailed Caliber 40 Hull 72 since we purchased her new in early 1995. She is a sistership to your boat. I sailed her for five years with the original sails in no wind, light wind, medium wind, and several times in 50 knots plus. We did about 4,000 NM during that time. The boat came from the factory with the following:

- Doyle Offshore Main - it was a POS and Caliber paid, twice, to have it re-cut and restitched
- Doyle Offshore RF genoa 135% - great sail and held a good shape down to 110%
- Doyle staysail 130 square feet – nice sail and useful above 30 knots apparent

We had a 1,200 square foot Pride asymmetrical spinnaker made prior to taking delivery of Mirador and used it a lot.

The boat did not sail well below 6 knots apparent. The main turned into a bag at 15 knots apparent, the genoa was ineffective from 23 knots to 30 knots apparent, and the staysail was not really useful until at least 27 – 28 knots apparent.

The spinnaker worked great from almost nothing up to 23 knots apparent but the boat really wanted to round up in quartering seas with gusts over 18 or so knots. A gyro turn rate transducer resolved that problem. We have done quite a bit of deep running with the spinnaker up in gusts over 30-knots.

After four years of way too much weather helm in any winds gusting over 16 knots we had North Sails of Seattle build us a new bigger and stiffer main. The loose foot is 13” longer and the roach in the upper third is much greater with the leach 15” further aft. The leech rubs on the backstay on a tack or jibe. The material is 7.5 oz Spectra. The sail had the first reef 5’ above the boom and the 2nd another 5’ up the luff. The sail has four full battens and holds it's shape in any conditions.

The new North main made a huge difference and brought out the great heavy weather sailing characteristics of the Caliber 40. No more weather helm and far better pointing ability. We put the first reef in at 16-knots apparent and the 2nd at 24-knots apparent.

In spring 2000 we had North Sails in Seattle build us a new suite of sails. Brad Baker, who now owns Swiftsure Yacht Sails in Seattle, sailed with us many times before designing the sails and during test sessions with the sails. Brad was a very experienced ocean sailor with dozens of trips from the US West Coast to Hawaii. He customized the design for our planned long distance offshore voyages.

We then had North build the following:

- 120% Spectra 130 TX RF genoa
- 150% 2.5 oz Nylon Code 0
- 105% full hoist 170 sq foot staysail (overlaps the mast and required new inboard sheet car tracks)
- 85 square foot storm staysail
- trysail that is hoisted on a dedicated track bolted to the mast
- recut and re-stitch the original 130 square foot staysail

We also installed a 13’ – 24’ UTS/UTR Forespar spinnaker pole on a 12’ track.

The staysails are all hankon. The Code 0 flys on it's own internal halyard and has a RF drum.

All following wind speeds are apparent!

The full genoa is good upwind from 8 to 16 knots. We then start furling it and it works well furled to 90% (that was a specific design target) and 24 knots. Above 22 or so knots the big staysail is a treat to sail and, with an appropriately reefed main, points several degrees higher than the genoa.

We completely furl the genoa at 25 or so knots with the big staysail in it's place. We go to the 130 square foot staysail at 32 knots. We’ve not tried to sail upwind in more than 35-knots but have tested the storm jib in 45-knots on a tight reach and it worked great.

We’ve tested the trysail and storm jib in 50-knots and they allowed us to close reach comfortably. The boat is easy to heave-to in 30 - 60 knots with either the double reefed main or the trysail (we've done it quite a bit and it is very calming and relaxing).

The Code 0 is our dream sail. It points as high as 55 degrees apparent and allows us to close reach to broad reach at 50% to 75% of wind speed from 4 knots to 15 knots. The big Code 0 is too much sail above 18 knots apparent and generates more leeway than forward drive.

We use the Code 0 as a deep downwind sail with the spinnaker pole when we think the wind will only last a few hours.

The asymmetrical spinnaker is used from 60 degrees apparent to 160 apparent in any winds from 6-knots to 25-knots. It is a bit more hassle to rig but fun to fly.

Following is descending order of importance, degree of improvement on sailing, offered by each sail.

- Main – it made the boat a new creature and eliminated all the annoying rounding up and weather helm
- Code 0 – made the boat easily sailable in winds from 4 knots to 8 knots which was not previously possible
- Big Staysail – greatly improves upwind VMG in 22 – 32 knots apparent
- Genoa – much better shape in 15 to 20 knots than original Doyle 135%

The only thing I might do differently is have a larger genoa. The big staysail is so effective in the 22 – 32 knot range that I would not worry about furling the genoa to 90% because I can put up the staysail. I might go with a lighter and larger genoa, e.g. 135%.

Everything I describe is based on sailing the North American West Coast from the north end of Vancouver Island at 55 north to Zihuatenejo at 17 North. The typical cruising conditions are off the wind in 12 to 20 knots. We work very hard at not sailing upwind.

We sail with the staysail stay removed and secured to a U-bolt near the mast. We only rig the staysail stay when we are sure the wind will exceed 20-knots from less than 50 degrees apparent.

We sailed in 40 - 50 knots apparent at wind angles greater than 60 degrees on many occasions with the following combinations:

- double reefed main only
- genoa only furled to 90% (usually the best and most comfortable)
- double reefed main and big staysail

depending on expected duration of the wind and the wave conditions.

You can read a lot more details at THE VOYGAGES OF MIRADOR where I go on forever about the various sails.
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Old 23-10-2015, 13:05   #27
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Re: Sail Options for 40' Cutter

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Can you run a Code zero sail at points of sail other than running? Or is it used like a spinnaker?
A well designed Code 0 (drifter) is a very versatile sail if properly designed and built.

Our cutter rigged Caliber 40 has a Code 0 which is a 150% overlap and 2.5 oz nylon so it is a heavier than normal light air sail. I wanted a slightly lighter sail but North convinced me otherwise. North Sails Seattle had build two prior cruising Code 0s for 40' boats that had both done TransPacific cruises and provided a lot of feedback so North really hit the mark on our sail.

It was designed to reach and run from 60 degrees apparent to 160 degrees apparent. We have used it that way for 15-years and 5,000 miles.

I've sailed the Code 0 as high as 50 degrees apparent in 7-knots apparent with good results but there is a fair amount of leeway. The Caliber 40 keel is not very effective as low speeds. In 7-knots apparent the Code 0 will be moving us at 4 to 5 knots.

The Code 0 is a dream in 7 to 10-knots/90 degrees apparent and really brings the boat alive. It is a huge improvement over a heavier genoa.

Once we get beyond 120 degrees apparent we use the Forespar 13' - 24' pole to support the clew of the Code 0 and it is good to 150 apparent at which point the main is blanketing the Code 0. We then drop the main or put up the spinnaker.

We also fly the Code 0 on the pole and boom the main out on the other side of the boat for sailing DDW in any wind from 6 knots to 16 knots.

North have the plans and dimensions and would be glad to build one for you.

I highly recommend it.
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Old 23-10-2015, 13:14   #28
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Re: Sail Options for 40' Cutter

Hank On Staysail is the only way to go!

You will not be using the staysail until at least 25-knots apparent. Above that wind speed you do not want a roller furler drum and lines in the system.

It is very easy and quick to rig the staysail stay and hank on the sail.

I have an RF system on my Code 0 and it is a bigger hassle to deal with the weight and complexity of the roller furling when I mount the Code 0 than when I rig the staysail.

The staysail is not rigged to the foredeck except when we anticipate a serious need for it. I practise a lot and can rig the whole thing in just a couple minutes.

If we know that conditions are going to deteriorate and require a staysail while sailing we rig it and leave the sail hanked on and with the sheets run to the cockpit. The sail is wrapped tightly with a single line and secured to the stay in a bundle.

When we need the sail we only have to remove the one wrapping line and hoist it - easy-peasy!

When you have staysail conditions - you want simple!
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Old 23-10-2015, 14:28   #29
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Re: Sail Options for 40' Cutter

Do you really never use a staysail until 25+ knot winds? Why can't you use the sail in lighter air?
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Old 23-10-2015, 15:10   #30
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Re: Sail Options for 40' Cutter

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Do you really never use a staysail until 25+ knot winds? Why can't you use the sail in lighter air?

Staysail is used only for upwind sailing. We never use the staysail in an apparent wind greater than 60 degrees.

You can use the staysail in lighter wind but the 130 square foot factory staysail does not give much drive in less than 18 or so knots. The RF genoa is out there taking up room, is easy to use, so I use it almost all the time. The Caliber 40 was well designed for cruising but needs some sail area to get moving until 13 - 15 knots apparent. It takes a 12 - 15 degree heel hard on the wind over 14-knots apparent and feels better and better with a big genoa up to 20-knots; IF the mainsail is well made and correctly trimmed.

I can think of no reason to use anything but the genoa up to the low 20-knot apparent range.

The 120% Spectra genoa was carefully designed to work well and efficiently up to 22 knots apparent hard on the wind. It is easy to furl and unfurl.

If I know the wind is going to stay above 22 or so knots and we are going to be headed upwind for more than a couple hours - I'll rig and use the staysail.

But, if the wind comes up while sailing with the genoa or the course changes and takes us upwind I'll reef the main, and beat with the genoa at 90%. Or, if I am ambitious I will put on the staysail.

We are cruisers and seldom have a fixed or necessary destination so a hard upwind beat is easily avoided. We either postpone the trip till the wind is aft of abeam or sail to a off the wind destination.

There are many ways to accomplish the same sailing event - sometimes we take the fun way, sometimes the easy way, and sometimes we just avoid the trip if the deck is going to get wet.
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