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Old 12-01-2009, 11:53   #1
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Selecting Sails for their recommended Wind Range

Although the size and weight of the boat is an important factor, the following is a rough apparent wind range guide for a () 30' boat:

Mainsail:
Full main is good to 15 knots Upwind, and to 18 knots reaching
First reef at 15-22 knots Upwind, and at 18-26 knots Reaching
Second reef at 22 knots and up, and at 26 knots and up Reaching

Headsails:
Gennaker Reaching to 20 knots
#1 Genoa (150%) to 15 knots Upwind, and to16 knots Reaching
#2 Genoa 14-20 knots Upwind, and 16-22 knots Reaching
#3 Genoa 15-25 knots Upwind, and 22 knots and up Reaching
Working jib 20 knots and up Upwind, and 25 knots and up Reaching
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Old 12-01-2009, 13:09   #2
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A good guide for white sails.

I would also add experience to the list of factors.

I would question the gennaker recommendations.

The cut of the gennaker matters; a flat cut gennaker can carry more wind that a more rounded one.

Gennakers can start to get tempermental at around 15 knots on a broad reach. Some can be carried up to a close reach up to 12, but at 20 knots would be way overpowered.

An experienced helmsman and trimmer can carry a gennaker to high wind speeds and winf angles than a less experienced crew.

Jack
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Old 12-01-2009, 15:33   #3
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I agree with Jack regarding carrying a gennaker to 20 knots. Our philosophy on cruising boats is to use light air sails to keep our speed up in light air. Most boats can hit something close to hull speed with working sails (main and genoa) in far less than 20 knots of wind. If you can attain hull speed with working sails (main and genoa) we don't recommend using light air sails. The other problem with carrying a gennaker in high winds is if it was built for light air then you may be placing some undue stress on the sail. It is possible to build any sail to handle higher wind speeds at the expense of light air performance. But if your goal is to keep the boat moving in the light stuff why build the sail to handle the heavy stuff?

In regards to the recommended speeds it's critical to take note of how the boat is behaving in any given condition. If the boat is overpowered either heeling excessively or loading up the helm then trim or reduce sail area as needed.
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Old 12-01-2009, 15:44   #4
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GordMay,
Thanks for the info--Hopefully, I will be able to find this thread again.
John
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Old 12-01-2009, 16:52   #5
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Gennaker and mainsail

A comment about mains and gennakers.

In the Gulf Islands (and elsewhere) I often see boats sailing with a gennaker only. I (personally and, I guess, professionally) see that as a bad practice. If the wind ever picks up quickly, you want to be able to blanket the gennaker with the main by bearing away and, if need be, collapsing it for dousing.

Jack
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