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Old 03-05-2014, 12:58   #16
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Re: Wind in the South Pacific?

Yours is a pretty big boat -- and I assume big main. I find full battens with cars and lazy jacks makes the main easier to handle. It flogs less with the full battens as they give the sail shape and tension toward the leach. If the roll is ugly and its light, then we may put in a single reef to calm the sail down. Raising and lowering with the bat cars on the battens should reduce the drag and make it easier. If it doesn't, then something isn't setup right. The lazy jacks do a good job of collecting the battens on the way down and while reefing, making short handed sailing easier.
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Old 03-05-2014, 13:25   #17
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Re: Wind in the South Pacific?

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Originally Posted by msponer View Post
Thank you, Ann, Mark, Andrew, everyone, for your thoughts. It feels a bit odd to head that way without a big light air sail, but maybe that's what we will do.



Both sail makers I mentioned this to are dismissive of how well this works. I don't know if they just have much higher expectations for sail shape and disike compromises, or if using a double luffed headsail on a reach is truly awful.

I am having the same dilemma with wanting a new battenless main. Sail makers are so negative about having no battens, but every boat with in mast furling has no battens. It's hard to to know if a main without battens is a completely foolish performance compromise or one that may be worth it, to us, to have easier handling.
I think, personally, that putting such decisions in the hands of sailmakers is a bit like getting panelbeaters to design intersections.

It's also rare in my experience to find a sailmaker whose sailing mileage is not heavily biased towards racing, and even rarer to find one who has crossed multiple oceans.
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Old 03-05-2014, 15:51   #18
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Re: Wind in the South Pacific?

Here is a link to the US Pilot Charts for the South Pacific (Jan thru Dec) which may provide you some additional info on historic wind speed and direction by month.
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Old 03-05-2014, 17:18   #19
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Re: Wind in the South Pacific?

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Originally Posted by msponer View Post
Thanks, Mark. The sail makers say we will lose ten percent of our sail area without battens, but really we lose 100% of it when we drop the sail because the battens are popping or don't even raise it because it weighs so much and binds.

How long are your short battens? Never any problems with them poking through? The maintenance on short battens is what made me want none at all.

I had my new main made in Thailand when I was there so I was on the floor with the designer and the boss. I got a full roach, in fact is scrapes the dual backstays without wind in it. The battens are the normal short batten size, about 3 feet long. They hold up in light air. They sag, obviously in no wind at all. But that sag doesnt affect the performance because by 3 or 4 knots they hold up.

On the old main I had problems with the full battens and finally lost one, and the sail didnt have a large roach.

I got the impression that sailmakers like full battens as they make more money with car which are expensive, but also it means they have to design and cut a better sail. Full battens make them lazy... But thats just my thought and I could be wrong.
But its a great sail, just the way I wanted it... Oh, and I got a very deep second reef as I dont like third reefs.

Obviously Paul Ls experience is different...

So if you dont want full ones dont get them, and if the sail maker wont give you a good roach go to another sailmaker.

My new main with short battens and big roach, deep second reef, is great!
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Old 03-05-2014, 17:19   #20
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Re: Wind in the South Pacific?

After promising my crew a down wind sleigh ride from Galapagos we encountered 4 days of SW winds up to 15 knots! This was 2012 and generally considered by passagemakers a "light wind" year. Took me 27 days to Marquesas. In 1994 I did the same trip in my Westsail 33 in 23 days!

As for sail wardrobe, I find genoa, main and asametric spinnaker + pole ideal.
Downwind, pole genoa to windward and asametric on the otherside sheeted through a block on the end of main boom vanged right out, no main set.
Alternatively in higher winds,poled out genoa to windward and main full or reefed, vanged well out on the other side.
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Old 04-05-2014, 15:59   #21
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Re: Wind in the South Pacific?

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Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
Yours is a pretty big boat -- and I assume big main. I find full battens with cars and lazy jacks makes the main easier to handle. It flogs less with the full battens as they give the sail shape and tension toward the leach. If the roll is ugly and its light, then we may put in a single reef to calm the sail down. Raising and lowering with the bat cars on the battens should reduce the drag and make it easier. If it doesn't, then something isn't setup right. The lazy jacks do a good job of collecting the battens on the way down and while reefing, making short handed sailing easier.
Yes. I am very happy with my set-up (on a 38 footer), which is identical to what you descrive.

Skip Novak, who can teach most a thing or two about the South Pacific, said in the series of articles on Storm Tactics in Yachting World magazine, that fully battened main with lazy jacks is the only set-up he will tolerate onboard his ships.


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Old 04-05-2014, 16:45   #22
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Re: Wind in the South Pacific?

Our old boat Diva was a 40 ft IOR sloop with a high roach main with 4 full length battens.
In 4 years sailing in the pacific we broke only one batten and had a little trouble with the luff attachments, which was solved by putting long shackles over the batten pocket luff tapes and using metal slides in the luff track.
I would always have battens, they allow you to have roach, increasing sail area, and actually stabilising the boat, they allow a better sail shape and when luffing to lower the sail, the sail doesn't flog.
Our current boat has in mast furling with short vertical battens which hold out the leech on our positive roach main and mizzen....and we have the Amel double headsail system which is just magic for broad reaching and running in the trades....as the OP said....the throttle control is to just furl them both.....doesn't matter what the wind strength is
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Old 04-05-2014, 16:48   #23
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Re: Wind in the South Pacific?

Also.....Jimmy Cornell has recently published an updated volume of Pilot Charts...."Cornell's Ocean Atlas" which collates recent satellite data regarding wind strengths and directions for all the oceans and provides advice for sailing seasons, common routes etc....worth a look !
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Old 05-05-2014, 16:49   #24
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Re: Wind in the South Pacific?

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Also.....Jimmy Cornell has recently published an updated volume of Pilot Charts...."Cornell's Ocean Atlas" which collates recent satellite data regarding wind strengths and directions for all the oceans and provides advice for sailing seasons, common routes etc....worth a look !
No need to waste money on Mr. Cornell's book. It's all available online Climatology of Global Ocean Winds - COGOW of course the book can be useful if you want to take the data with you but as most voyage planning is done at home most people have internet at that stage.
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Old 05-05-2014, 16:53   #25
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Re: Wind in the South Pacific?

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Originally Posted by JazzyO View Post
Skip Novak, who can teach most a thing or two about the South Pacific, said in the series of articles on Storm Tactics in Yachting World magazine, that fully battened main with lazy jacks is the only set-up he will tolerate onboard his ships.
Coming from the "Pelagic" school of sailing myself I have a fully battened main with lazyjacks and four reefs. But that is more because I want a bullet proof system for all latitudes.

If I was looking at trade wind sailing only I might do things differently.

Leaving for the South Pacific myself next December.
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Old 05-05-2014, 18:05   #26
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Re: Wind in the South Pacific?

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
I had my new main made in Thailand when I was there so I was on the floor with the designer and the boss. I got a full roach, in fact is scrapes the dual backstays without wind in it. The battens are the normal short batten size, about 3 feet long. They hold up in light air. They sag, obviously in no wind at all. But that sag doesnt affect the performance because by 3 or 4 knots they hold up.

On the old main I had problems with the full battens and finally lost one, and the sail didnt have a large roach.

I got the impression that sailmakers like full battens as they make more money with car which are expensive, but also it means they have to design and cut a better sail. Full battens make them lazy... But thats just my thought and I could be wrong.
But its a great sail, just the way I wanted it... Oh, and I got a very deep second reef as I dont like third reefs.

Obviously Paul Ls experience is different...

So if you dont want full ones dont get them, and if the sail maker wont give you a good roach go to another sailmaker.

My new main with short battens and big roach, deep second reef, is great!
Rolly Tasker?
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Old 05-05-2014, 19:07   #27
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Re: Wind in the South Pacific?

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Rolly Tasker?
Yes. Very good loft.
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Old 05-05-2014, 20:09   #28
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Re: Wind in the South Pacific?

My cousins did this trip about 10 years ago in their 58 foot Camper & Nicholson sloop. He said thy made 15 knots for 9 days straight. We easily reach on our Camper 58 Ketch over 10 knots in about 15 true. These are heavy old school boats. Ours has a heavy 135 genoa, in-mast main & mizzen, staysail and mizzen staysail. We also carry an AS kite & new this year, a code zero for light wind.

Cornell's cruising routs and his new atlas are good tools for this.
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Old 05-05-2014, 20:40   #29
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Re: Wind in the South Pacific?

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My cousins did this trip about 10 years ago in their 58 foot Camper & Nicholson sloop. He said thy made 15 knots for 9 days straight. We easily reach on our Camper 58 Ketch over 10 knots in about 15 true. These are heavy old school boats. Ours has a heavy 135 genoa, in-mast main & mizzen, staysail and mizzen staysail. We also carry an AS kite & new this year, a code zero for light wind.

Cornell's cruising routs and his new atlas are good tools for this.
That's awesome :thumbup:

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Old 05-05-2014, 20:48   #30
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Re: Wind in the South Pacific?

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Originally Posted by Littlechay View Post
No need to waste money on Mr. Cornell's book. It's all available online Climatology of Global Ocean Winds - COGOW of course the book can be useful if you want to take the data with you but as most voyage planning is done at home most people have internet at that stage.
I have Cornell's book with me. It provides a lot more info than the website quoted above. I don't consider it a waste of money, rather the reverse.

Most of my voyage planning is done on the boat !
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