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Old 21-08-2014, 19:56   #31
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Re: Self Tacking Jib

So funny, like an anchor thread. I've got both types, so I see both sides.

a. Comparing cruising boats with Gunboats is like comparing the family van with F1. Plain silly with no logical connection. I've sailed/owned a performance Kevlar cat; the rules are quite different, with a lot less mass to push and much greater apparent wind. Face it, most cruising cats sail a lot like cruising monos. To pretend a small jib is going to be as fast as a genoa all around the course is silly. Up wind, yes, if the boat is designed for that. My self tacker is fine upwind and a dog off the wind.

b. The idea that trimming a sail that can save hours or days on a passage is too much work should be an embarrassment. Do we also ignore spinnakers? Are we sailors?

c. If there is short tacking to be done, roll up ~ 40% of the genoa. If it has a nice foam luff, that should work well and will reduce labor. When you need more horsepower, you can add it in seconds.
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Old 21-08-2014, 20:01   #32
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Re: Self Tacking Jib

On a boom twist can easily be controlled by a vang. A club foot is of course not attached to the deck. Another boom option is to have the pivot not allow rise but that is less shape changing friendly. Booms can also be set up with the clew on a track to allow the use of a furler.
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Old 21-08-2014, 21:19   #33
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Re: Self Tacking Jib

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Originally Posted by thinwater View Post

b. The idea that trimming a sail that can save hours or days on a passage is too much work should be an embarrassment. Do we also ignore spinnakers? Are we sailors?
You've said what I am thinking. Face it. 90%+ of the boaties are probably coastal cruisers and day sailors. Probably most are short crewed for the boat size - solo or couple. Push button ease makes sense.

I have a buddy with a 53+ foot cutter rigged ketch. He leaves on the tide under motor. He would never tack that thing in the channel. He motors out to the sea way and then sets the sails for about 3-5 days on one tack...
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Old 22-08-2014, 04:43   #34
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Re: Self Tacking Jib

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
You've said what I am thinking. Face it. 90%+ of the boaties are probably coastal cruisers and day sailors. Probably most are short crewed for the boat size - solo or couple. Push button ease makes sense.

I have a buddy with a 53+ foot cutter rigged ketch. He leaves on the tide under motor. He would never tack that thing in the channel. He motors out to the sea way and then sets the sails for about 3-5 days on one tack...

Indeed. It is a mistake to turn this question into another rancorous anchor thread. Everyone is entitled to his own way of sailing, and to his own preferred rig.

I do it both ways, myself, depending on the circumstances, crew, mood, etc. Setting off on a long passage I might well motor all the way out of the Solent (10 miles or so) before putting sail up, even when there is a perfectly good sailing wind. I do this from time to time in order to get the batteries charged up before a long Channel crossing (I have no shore power on my mooring) and to enable crew to wake up, shower, and have breakfast on an even keel before we get down to sailing. I'm sure plenty of the day sailors in the Solent look at us going out and think what a bunch of lazy non-sailors we are, motoring in a perfectly good sailing wind, and snootily congratulate themselves on being real sailing purists. What they don't realize is that while they will be home on land that evening, we will be in mid-Channel under sail en route to, say, L'Aber Wrac'h, or someplace, a couple hundred miles away.

Or on the other hand, I might short tack all the way up Southampton Water, and up the Hamble right to my mooring, terrifying the dinghy sailors. It just depends.


Likewise, with self-tacking jibs -- I don't think anyone who states the simple fact that such a rig does not give you any control over the shape of that sail, is making a moral judgement. If you like your self-tacker -- more power to you. I have a self-tacker on my staysail, and despite its disadvantages, I wouldn't change it, because it's just not practical to tack the staysail separately.

On catamarans or certain monos with large roachy mainsails, fractional rigs, and small headsails, a self-tacking jib may be perfectly good enough, and the ease of handling might very well outweigh the performance advantage you would get from a normal rig. Another approach mentioned by someone above is to optimize the self-tacker for work upwind, and just use a different sail off the wind.

My own perspective is somewhat skewed against them, because my self-tacking staysail is not optimized for sailing upwind -- it is set up with too much foot tension versus leech tension for that. So it looks ugly and it's frustrating trying to sail upwind with it. The designers did it that way because, no doubt, they assumed that this sail would be mostly used on a beamish reach, and on that point of sail it is fine. I am solving this problem pretty well with barber haulers, but maybe when I have new sails made, I'll have a clew board made with multiple sheet attachment points and try to solve it that way.

Those of you who have self tackers on your principle headsails probably have them optimized for going upwind. That would be logical as that is where you will need the small jib on a big-mained fractional rig. Once you get off the wind, the main takes over, or you need to put up a different headsail, or use a barber hauler. Every rig is a compromise, and this is a perfectly good one, and I don't think anyone intended to suggest otherwise. I might make a different choice, but that doesn't mean that I think that yours is wrong
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Old 22-08-2014, 04:45   #35
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Re: Self Tacking Jib

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Originally Posted by boneboy View Post
Just got back from 10 days in the VI where I chartered a catana 55. First time on a cat with a self tacking jib. In an area where there are fairly small sea lanes, I ask why would anyone not go with this design? The boat sailed very well (I have chartered from both Voyage and Moorings in the past,- and the Catana outsailed them by a bunch) and was so easy to sail. Really put the fun back into sailing everywhere instead of giving up and using the iron staysail just to not have to tack a few more times. I really didn't see any downside?
Obviously the downside is that you lose headsail area, and so give up some performance, compared to the same boat with a bigger headsail.

Especially on points of sail other than upwind. Even upwind you lose the slot effect. And you do have somewhat less control over sail shape, again especially on points of sail other than upwind.
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Old 22-08-2014, 06:14   #36
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Re: Self Tacking Jib

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
So funny, like an anchor thread. I've got both types, so I see both sides.

a. Comparing cruising boats with Gunboats is like comparing the family van with F1. Plain silly with no logical connection. I've sailed/owned a performance Kevlar cat; the rules are quite different, with a lot less mass to push and much greater apparent wind. Face it, most cruising cats sail a lot like cruising monos. To pretend a small jib is going to be as fast as a genoa all around the course is silly. Up wind, yes, if the boat is designed for that. My self tacker is fine upwind and a dog off the wind.

b. The idea that trimming a sail that can save hours or days on a passage is too much work should be an embarrassment. Do we also ignore spinnakers? Are we sailors?

c. If there is short tacking to be done, roll up ~ 40% of the genoa. If it has a nice foam luff, that should work well and will reduce labor. When you need more horsepower, you can add it in seconds.
It depends on the intended purpose. If the purpose is one couple cruising offshore, I think the rig/boat design should be set up for acceptable performance with mainsail and non overlapping jib, preferably self-tacking. Generally speaking this is easier to attain with multihulls than monohulls because of their lighter displacement and full roach mainsails. This sail plan could then be augmented with a lighter weight UPS or Code Zero sail. A self-tacker like the Camber Spar or Hoyt boom that allows downwind sailing without a pole, to my mind is an added plus for short handed cruising.
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Old 22-08-2014, 06:15   #37
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Re: Self Tacking Jib

I have been considering changing to a hy-brid system for my headsail. My headsail is already cut with a raised clew and by utilizing a curved track and a multi-slotted clew board I should be able to maintain better sail shape upwind than with my current sheeting arrangement (the sheets run outside of the shrouds). I will also leave the existing sheets on as 'lazy sheets' when sailing to windward; if I bear-off past the point of efficiency for the self-tacking sheet, I can release that, leave it as a lazy-sheet and use the original sheets for trim. At that point I can also unfurl the rest of the headsail.

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