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Old 29-09-2008, 05:00   #1
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Sizing, design for riding sail

I'd like to put together a anchor riding sail for my Tayana 37, but not sure what the dimensions should be. I plan to just find some old Dacron and sew it up myself -- nothing fancy.

Does anyone have a formula for the dimensions on such a sail?

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Old 29-09-2008, 05:41   #2
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I don't think there really is a formula. It seems to me it has a lot to do with the shape of the hull and the sail area of the hull. How and where you mount it may also effect how big it needs to be. How you attach your rode may also effect the sailing at anchor ability as well.

This would be a good topic for a bunch of 37 Tayana owners. Some boats that sail quite well also love to sail around the anchor others don't seem to require a riding sail. It varies my model as much as by make. Our prior CSY 33 never sailed at anchor.

If you have some scrap sail cloth you could try a few shapes base on how you can attach it. I've seen them between the topping lift and the aft end of the boom as well as various ways of flying them farther aft using the main halyard and guy lines holding the sail along the centerline. I'm not sure it has to be all that precise. I assume the smallest size that works would be easiest to handle and not be in the way at anchor.

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37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
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Old 29-09-2008, 07:26   #3
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I am sure others here have used them already and can give you the dimensions for the ones they use.
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Old 29-09-2008, 10:28   #4
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I would recommend you find an old dinghy sail, take the belly out of it (sew it flat) and use it to see if it meets your needs. At least it would be a cheap experiment. An old Sunfish sail would be good. If you were here I'd give you one. Anyway, from 64 to 75 sq.ft. would be about right.
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Old 30-09-2008, 04:06   #5
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Steve Christensen says:
“... A riding sail should be constructed board-flat, of heavy (4- to 8-ounce) cloth, with a hollow foot and leech to reduce flutter, and a straight luff with hanks for attaching to the backstay. Adding full-length battens to the sail is also a good idea to reduce slatting in high winds. As for size, a good rule of thumb is to have the sail made about the same size as a storm jib, or from 5 percent to 10 percent of the total sail area. In fact, you can use a storm jib on the backstay as your riding sail. And for that matter, ketches and yawls can achieve the same effect by just leaving their mizzen up (perhaps with a reef or two). But since whatever you use will be left up constantly while at anchor and exposed to a lot of ultraviolet radiation, it's a good idea to have a dedicated riding sail, and not subject your storm jib or mizzen sail to all that abuse ...”

Read the complete “Good Old Boat” magazine article:

Quit Horsing Around ~ by Steve Christensen
Good Old Boat: Quit Horsing Around by Steve Christensen

Anchor Riding Sail Instructions (Sailrite):
Part 1:
Part 2:
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"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 30-09-2008, 05:34   #6
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I used a flat riding sail most of the time on a previous boat, I think it was a little smaller than a storm jib would be, and it made a big difference. After using it for awhile I figured a wedge riding sail should work even better, and planned to make one for my new boat (sistership to the old boat which was quite frisky at anchor without the riding sail).

I just bought a Fin Delta riding sail from Banner Bay as this is about what I was thinking. I haven't tried it yet so can't tell you if it is better than the flat one.

I do think that the riding sail should be smaller for higher winds, just like your regular sails. It might save your boat in really high winds as the peak load on the anchor is significantly lower when the boat sits quietly.

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