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Old 02-03-2018, 14:56   #1
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Would you keep an extra main, or an extra jib?

I've been carrying around my old sails for a while now -- both are worn but functional. The new sails are basically brand new. Both were made last year, the genny has 1,000-something miles on it, and the main only has 400-something.

I kept the old ones because I could, but honestly they take up a lot of space on my small boat. I've been thinking about compromising and dumping one of the old sails. There's a couple here in Bonaire that turn old sails into shoulder bags, and I am thinking about donating a sail to them (in return for a bag and a few other favors). I'm not interested in trying to sell the sail.

The question is which sail do I keep. I'm leaning towards keeping the old genny, as I feel like my boat sails better under jib alone (and the helm even feels balanced!), as compared to main alone. In addition, the new main isn't fully-battened, and the old one was, which means I've been having to store the old battens awkwardly along the floor of my cabin, as it's the only space long enough off-deck for them. Finally, I have two tracks on my furler, and in theory, could do a double-headsail situation with my spinnaker halyard. Most my future sailing will be downwind in the trades.
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Old 02-03-2018, 15:32   #2
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pirate Re: Would you keep an extra main, or an extra jib?

Use the old genny till it dies.. bag the new one up air and watertight after a wash down with fresh water and its dry.
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Old 02-03-2018, 17:02   #3
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Re: Would you keep an extra main, or an extra jib?

It does depend on the boat, but mine sailed much better on the genoa alone than on the main alone. Plus if the main rips, many times you can still set it reefed.

My solution was to get rid of both the extra main and genoa, and carry a sewing machine and some sail repair cloth.
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Old 02-03-2018, 17:19   #4
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Re: Would you keep an extra main, or an extra jib?

Ryban, if you have a boom bag, you can have a pocket sewn into one side of it to keep the spare battens, it's where we keep our spare. Or, you might be able to store them up next to the overhead, in slings, outboard.

I think Boatie's right: the old genoa can have many fine downwind miles in it, where it may not be good on the wind any more. If you wash, dry and store the good one, really make a "brick" of it (UNCIVILIZED wrote a description of how to do it, and you could find it with a CF Custom Google Search), it won't take up too much room. When the old one fails, then break out the new one.

Keep your old battens. You may want them again, plus they're useful stock for using to make new things. The forward ends are more springy than the aft ends. You may end up needing them for anything from awning spreaders, to water catcher spreaders.

We have never carried spare main nor genoa (your original question). But we have replaced sails as needed.

Have you solved the drinking water problem?

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Old 02-03-2018, 17:51   #5
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Re: Would you keep an extra main, or an extra jib?

Given your plans and the size of the boat and that the old main is fully battened, I'd let the old main go and keep the genoa. When you say old, how bad is it? I agree with Ann that the genoa is still good off the wind and may make a good body pillow when not used for propulsion upwind. Sailing with the genoa only on the Vega may get you some lee helm!
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Old 02-03-2018, 18:22   #6
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Re: Would you keep an extra main, or an extra jib?

Hi Bryan!

Don't dump the old main, but use it to make useful stuff out of it. Like a foredeck awning, dinghy chaps, jerrycan covers and so on. So many uses for old but strong canvas.
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Old 03-03-2018, 04:23   #7
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Re: Would you keep an extra main, or an extra jib?

Just a reply on the battern stowage, is the clew end of the boom open/do you run internal out haul/reeling? If not can you store them inside the boom?
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Old 03-03-2018, 05:32   #8
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Re: Would you keep an extra main, or an extra jib?

I had the same conundrum as well. Purchased new sails and convinced myself that I needed to keep the old ones as spares. Compromised by keeping one of the old jibs and using it until it finally dies before installing the new one, tossed the other one in the bin because it was paper thin. Then I cut up the main and kept some of the cloth for patching the worn genny should it need it. Other parts of the main I dyed and made curtains for various portlights. Kept the old battens which I store beneath the outboard edges of my V-berth cushions.

I now have a lot more storage which means I'll probably ended up buying more "stuff" just to fill up the space!

Fair winds...
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Old 03-03-2018, 09:23   #9
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Re: Would you keep an extra main, or an extra jib?

I was a two boat owner years ago, and now again it seems, and I sold my Santana 525. The guy who bought it never climbed up into it, but wanted that model. He, due to my stupidity, knew I was eager to be a one boat owner and consequently beat me down on the price. So I kept all the extra sails that he did not see, and the second anchor and rode. Now, a little over 20 years later, I have a Cape Dory 25, with almost exactly the same rig dimensions, and so have a couple jibs and gennies, an extra main, and two spinnakers, all in better condition than the sails the boat came with. I know that was a million to one chance, but I just thought I would put it out there.
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Old 03-03-2018, 09:32   #10
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Re: Would you keep an extra main, or an extra jib?

Another option if you want to keep the old main is too cut it down at the first or second reef. Easier to stow but still usable in an emergency.
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Old 03-03-2018, 09:35   #11
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Re: Would you keep an extra main, or an extra jib?

keep your old sails they can be recut and made into what you do need instead of being extra stuff.
i have 2 mizzens and one i can use as such, i have one main i donot use, and an extra headsail was acquired from a fuji ketch ..can be redone into a working headsail.
beats paying 10k usd later for new.
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Old 03-03-2018, 09:45   #12
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Re: Would you keep an extra main, or an extra jib?

If you absolutely want to keep one of the sails, keep the headsail. That said having stuff like spare sails aboard a small 27 foot boat which eat up a lot of room would be way down on my list of wannado's..
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Old 03-03-2018, 09:49   #13
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Re: Would you keep an extra main, or an extra jib?

I would use the old sails till they are totally used up. If I had to choose, I would use the main for other projects. I used my old main for an anchor sail. Lasted several years before the uv destroyed it. Battens can hold up a deck/boat cover, amazing how much the temp drops below decks.
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Old 03-03-2018, 11:57   #14
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Re: Would you keep an extra main, or an extra jib?

Generally the luff and leach are the worst part of old sails. Much of the cloth in the center is still good. I would cut the genoa down to a standard jib or no 2. If possible reducing the draft as well to make a flatter sail. you can then use it a a double head sail or a heavy weather/winters sail. That will take quite a bit of wear of you new sail and will also perform better than a heavily furled genoa.
I would re cut the old main into a try-sail. Again great for heavy weather. Will set if you break the boom or loose the top of the mast and will give some drive if you blow the main.
Worth remembering that in the trade you are going downwind but it can frequently be in the upper 20s or even low thirties for extended periods.
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Old 03-03-2018, 15:59   #15
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Re: Would you keep an extra main, or an extra jib?

My contrarian view: Keep both, repair and clean them or the new ones, and bag 'em tight. Properly stowed they do not take up much space and are invaluable assets at times.
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