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Old 18-01-2007, 23:08   #16
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Gale Sail

Hi to all from Melbourne, Australia - my first post.

I have a Gale Sail from ATN on my 10 m Seawind 1000 catamaran. Other than test hoists in port, I have used it once in Bass Strait in winds of 30-35 knots, gusting to 40, for about 6 hours, with a triple reefed main. This is obviously not a full storm but I was very happy with its performance. I did not find it difficult to hoist but there is more friction than for a hanked-on jib. It is important to furl the headsail tightly and smoothly, so that the Gale Sail hoists as easily as possible. I tie the headsail tightly with tape sail ties.

In the attached picture (where you can see how happy I was with the sail!), taken just before we dropped the Gale Sail as the wind was easing, you can see that we removed the sheets from the headsail and attached them to the Gale Sail. This was a pain and from now on I will have sheets permanently attached to the Gale Sail (which is a requirement here if racing), and bring the headsail sheets down and tie them off at the base of the forestay. I would not wrap them around, as I suspect this would make hoisting the Gale Sail harder.

Later in the same trip, we had a gale of similar strength but gusting to 50 knots. We chose not to hoist the Gale Sail but to drop the main and have a small amount of the normal headsail unfurled. I would not do this again. The partly furled headsail set like a dog and did not give us the drive and control that the storm jib had.
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Old 19-01-2007, 02:59   #17
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Looks a good idea - especially as it should make it hard (fairly impossible?) for the headsail to unfurl.

I guess it's another one of those things to try out in advance of need.

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Old 19-01-2007, 07:33   #18
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Yes, I would think (speaking from a dry desk) that sail ties around the furler would be best (or least worst) option - if you can reach high enough. Although catamount is correct, that the furling line stops the gennoa from unfurling, I think we all know that unless the sheets are tight, in a blow, the wind is going to get in there and cause problems. And wrapping the sheets around a few times would hinder the storm jib sliding up, as serrano says.

Nice to have real world feedback
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Old 20-01-2007, 09:44   #19
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Sounding a bit picky I know but once you've got to the need for a normally high cut storm headsail you really don't want to encourage anyone to stumble around on your foredeck to do anything thats unnecessary - like tidying up genoa sheets!!
You are not going to want to try and point high with a storm headsaail.
You are also probalby on the one board you want - so tacking is also unlikely.
So sheeting that sail with its own sheets outside the genoa sheets will usually work fine. IMHO leave the genny sheets just as they are once the sails furled.
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Old 22-01-2007, 12:31   #20
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having read report from another user of Gale sale all above are right, sheets from rolled gen simply tied with over hand knot at base of stay, he found they could point higher than with partially rolled gen, and rolled gen could not unfurl with gale sail sheeted tight. Ilook forward to trying it, Carl.
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Old 22-01-2007, 12:53   #21
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How is the Gale Sail better? (Serious question.) One reason that a furled headsail is supposed to be bad is the bulk of the sail being rolled up on the forestay creates bad airflow to the luff. The Gale Sail doesn't really do away with this, does it? In fact the amount of sail rolled up is slightly more for a Gale Sail than it is with a partially unrolled jib.

Another supposed issue with a partially rolled jib is headstay sag. The Gale Sail doesn't address this either, does it?

My old 34' C&C goes upwind very well in 45 knots with three reefs in the main, a sliver of the jib unrolled, and the backstay adjuster cranked. I've done it several times. I estimate that setup would get me off a lee shore in over 50 knots if necessary. That scenario would require tacking and pointing, however.

Nothing is going to go upwind in bad weather unless it a) goes upwind well in good weather, and b) has adequate sail-trim adjustment mechanisms.
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Old 23-01-2007, 13:08   #22
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I don't know first hand, but I suspect that the Gale Sail is better than a scrap of rolled up jib because you can tension the luff of the sail and thus control the shape of the sail, which you can't do with the partially rolled-up jib.

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Old 23-01-2007, 22:14   #23
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Originally Posted by JohnWms
How is the Gale Sail better? (Serious question.)
Wrapping of GS luff around the furled jib creates a smooth aerofoil that seems to work better than the "tube" effect created by furler.

Other than that, I guess it comes down to what works on your boat. On my cat (sorry mono guys, I'll get out of yr thread soon!) I can't adjust the jibsheet block fore-and-aft, only from side-to-side, so sheet angle gets progressively worse with more furling. By a lucky fluke, the GS's sheeting angle works just fine. And I don't have backstays to adjust, so that's an issue with either option for me.

If I was doing a lot of serious offshore, I'd probably have a cutter rig and a hanked on storm jib. But that's not how my cruising cat is set up, so I find the GS works well for my set up.

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storm jib

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