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Old 23-01-2010, 23:36   #16
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I've done a time or two but I don't like the weatherhelm it puts on the rudder on a closehaul. But before the wind or broad reach it's no different then a spinnaker.
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Old 24-01-2010, 02:19   #17
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I really appreciate all the responses here, that's why I like this site, so many places where you get negatives, and everytime I have a question I always get good useful answers...but I appreciate all of them regardless.
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Old 24-01-2010, 02:53   #18
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Why do we need a mainsail ?

Here's a question. How necessary is a mainsail on a modern cruising boat ?
No respectable cruiser would deliberately sail to windward. On an ocean passage I wouldn't be slogging to windward for days and days on end. I just heave to and wait for a change of weather. If there is not enough sea room turn the engine on. If the engine doesn't work put out a sea anchor. Most cruising boats won't sail to windward, heavily reefed anyway.
A mate of mine is getting a catamaran built in the Philippines, no mainsail, no boom. Just a huge genoa that overlaps the cockpit with altered rigging to I support it. I know this has been done before. Why doesn't this catch on ? Have a look at the New Broadblue 385 catamaran -masthead rig, two huge headsails and a mainsail that looks like a toy.
So I ask again. How necessary is a mainsail on a modern cruising boat ?

Jim
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Old 24-01-2010, 03:30   #19
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Not very - Look at John Hitch's last design
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Old 24-01-2010, 04:23   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpemb7 View Post
Here's a question. How necessary is a mainsail on a modern cruising boat ?
No respectable cruiser would deliberately sail to windward. On an ocean passage I wouldn't be slogging to windward for days and days on end. I just heave to and wait for a change of weather. If there is not enough sea room turn the engine on. If the engine doesn't work put out a sea anchor. Most cruising boats won't sail to windward, heavily reefed anyway.
A mate of mine is getting a catamaran built in the Philippines, no mainsail, no boom. Just a huge genoa that overlaps the cockpit with altered rigging to I support it. I know this has been done before. Why doesn't this catch on ? Have a look at the New Broadblue 385 catamaran -masthead rig, two huge headsails and a mainsail that looks like a toy.
So I ask again. How necessary is a mainsail on a modern cruising boat ?

Jim
By "modern cruising boat" you appear to mean multihull...

In which case you're right, a multihull will sail with most anything up top(including an upright aircraft wing by the looks of things)- having a traditional mainsail is probably just a hangover from the monohull set-up.

On a mono, I would think a well-balanced rig is more critical, even (or especially) with a modern fin keel setup. Whether you could achieve that balance in some other way than with a main is an interesing question.

Whatever the case, any inherent inability to make way to windward without motoring would certainly be a big deal breaker for any cruising boat I was thinking about buying. I would always want to be able to get home under sail if the motor failed.
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Old 24-01-2010, 04:35   #21
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Our boat (fractional sloop with fin keel) sails quite well upwind with just the jib. You need about +20kts (true) to be able to point and have decent boat speed and it is good to about 35kts (when you start to get overpowered in the gusts).
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Old 24-01-2010, 05:45   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
Our boat (fractional sloop with fin keel) sails quite well upwind with just the jib. You need about +20kts (true) to be able to point and have decent boat speed and it is good to about 35kts (when you start to get overpowered in the gusts).
Do you normaly go on a beat with ur headsail alone....because to my knowledge is that the fractional rig is mainly powered by the mainsail...or was ur point jus to say that u still had good balance headsail alone?
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Old 24-01-2010, 05:54   #23
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My boat sails upwind with the headsail only pretty well. Wouldn't point quite as high, but then if I'm doing it its' because of someother reason. I have found than if the wind is in the high 20s a rolled headsail only seems best for my boat as to control and comfort.
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Old 24-01-2010, 06:23   #24
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When sailing my Stevens 47 from St Thomas to Jacksonville Fl last June, offshore nonstop, we did 6 days in a row on a broad reach with just the 135 genoa out and saw 160 - 180 mile days. The trades were blowing 20+ and it was a fantastic run, we didn't touch a sheet and Otto did the helm.

If conditions are right the main is just a pain.


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Old 24-01-2010, 06:38   #25
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I might have to rename my boat Lazybutt..
You want to steer, or open the beer? Bring Charliecobra along.
Bluestocking sails a lot under jib alone-perfectly balanced.
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Old 24-01-2010, 07:12   #26
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I prefer to balance my rig for any upwind work. The outisland has compromises, one of which being upwind ability. I carry a variety of upwind fore sails to match the different reef points and mainsail changes. I won't often head out tacking into the wind, but often head upwind on one tack if the winds are forecast to change in a favorable manner. Downwind I have gullwing capabilities and on occasion fly 2 jibs and no main.
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Old 24-01-2010, 08:15   #27
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Do you normaly go on a beat with ur headsail alone....because to my knowledge is that the fractional rig is mainly powered by the mainsail...or was ur point jus to say that u still had good balance headsail alone?
"Normally" we would have the mainsail up. But if we are doing a short (say less than 20 miles) day sail and the wind is +20 we might well do it with just the jib, to avoid of the work of flaking the mainsail at the end of the day.

The boat sails fine in +20kts with just the jib - both balance and power. In lighter air we need the extra main sail area.

If we were sailing upwind into real waves with just the jib I would set the check stays to help stabilize the mast and prevent any pumping (which a mainsail would also have done)

I consider sailing with jib alone a lazy practice, but some days are just lazy days.
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Old 24-01-2010, 09:35   #28
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Sialing upwind the main leech controls upwash angle. Want to point? You'll want a main. Want to reach? Free flying sails are the ticket.

Funny though, the masthead fly always seems to point where I want to go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpemb7 View Post
Here's a question. How necessary is a mainsail on a modern cruising boat ?
No respectable cruiser would deliberately sail to windward. On an ocean passage I wouldn't be slogging to windward for days and days on end. I just heave to and wait for a change of weather. If there is not enough sea room turn the engine on. If the engine doesn't work put out a sea anchor. Most cruising boats won't sail to windward, heavily reefed anyway.
A mate of mine is getting a catamaran built in the Philippines, no mainsail, no boom. Just a huge genoa that overlaps the cockpit with altered rigging to I support it. I know this has been done before. Why doesn't this catch on ? Have a look at the New Broadblue 385 catamaran -masthead rig, two huge headsails and a mainsail that looks like a toy.
So I ask again. How necessary is a mainsail on a modern cruising boat ?

Jim
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Old 24-01-2010, 10:01   #29
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I would raise my hand here, but I think I'm too lazy to.

From time to time when we go out on a short run for the wife to catch Bonito, we will only raise the jib to take her back in. It saves diesel and the winds are calm, so we're not too concerned about sailing into the marina on a run. And yes, it beats putting up the main when we're not planning on a long sail.
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Old 24-01-2010, 10:48   #30
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It's a lovely way to sail and as noted a lot less work than getting the main up. As far as stress o n the rig goes, I imagine it does stress the rig a little if it's blowing hard. The foresail is pulling on the top of the mast and there is no main to drive the aft curve at the center of the mast forward. Depending on the adjustment of your rig... the forward bend at the top of the mast could be pretty significant... go forward and look up the mast when you are sailing in decent winds with just the foresail.
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