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agennai 24-10-2010 08:06

Sail for Ocean Passage
 
my family (my wife lucetta and my little baby blu) and me are planning to cross atlantic ocean with our boat ISOLA BIANCA II (steel long keel cutter 46 feet) december 2011. Then we need some suggestions by experienced sailors about the set of sails for downwind passage.
we're a short hand crew and so we think to use only white sails: mainsail (it has furler outside the mast) and yankee with pole. My questions are:
Could be a good set ? Easy to manage, easy to reduce but not great power
could be better to cut the base of main sail as half reef to move up the boom?
The lenght of the pole must be the same could be for a spi , more or less the lenght of J?
Have you any experience with parasail?
:confused:
Thanks and fair winds

osirissail 24-10-2010 10:19

For the westward crossing, the months of Oct/Nov seem to be the most popular. You will find the eastward migration of sailboats to occur mostly in April/May each year.
See: http://www.worldcruising.com/arc/event_info.aspx

barnakiel 24-10-2010 12:04

Few cruising boats today have sails for downwind. Most boats will try to make do with more or less, and often less, success.

I have tried out the following set-ups, with the following results:

boat: top sloop

1. genoa, poled out - very bad,
2. mainsail only - OK, but slow,
3. mainsail + genoa poled out - slow uncomfortable,
4. mainsail + cruising asymmetric - fine but must be broad reaching,
5. spinnaker - horrible,

This time across I hope to be able to try out two jibs set along the mast 'in reverse' and poled out. Tried out on a dinghy and works amazingly well, but one needs two jibs with luffs just slightly shorter than the height of the mast and, off course two spinnaker poles or other to pole the jibs out and forward.

Seen the para sail at ARC start 3 times - does not look any more stable than a properly set regular kite. I would definitely stick to a cruising chute - you need only 1 line to controll it - just like the genoa it replaces.

Seen a Canadian boat with a square sail and the owners swore it worked amazingly well for them.

b.

Adelie 24-10-2010 12:52

Quote:

Originally Posted by agennai (Post 546728)
my family (my wife lucetta and my little baby blu) and me are planning to cross atlantic ocean with our boat ISOLA BIANCA II (steel long keel cutter 46 feet) december 2011. Then we need some suggestions by experienced sailors about the set of sails for downwind passage.
we're a short hand crew and so we think to use only white sails: mainsail (it has furler outside the mast) and yankee with pole. My questions are:
Could be a good set ? Easy to manage, easy to reduce but not great power

Depends on how big the Yankee is. If it is only 100 or 110% then you may want something a bit bigger like 130% in order to have decent moderate wind performance (8-12kt). I assume the yankee is on a roller. Can the roller reef the sail as well as furl? If the roller can reef then get 130-140%. If the roller can only furl then 120-130%.

Here's what I would do if I had a roller.
I would have a 130% yankee on the roller.
I would add an inner removable forestay, running backs, and intermediate shrouds for a staysail.
I would get a drifter (light weight colored nylon genoa, 150-180% set flying, no hanks).

Downwind
In very light winds I would fly the drifter sheeted to the main boom end. Probably no main depending on swell.
In light winds I add the yankee and pole it out to weather. No main at all.
In moderate winds I use main and poled out yankee.

On a reach:
In really light air I would fly the drifter.
At about 10kt wind speed switch to Yankee and staysail
At about 15kt drop the staysail.
At about 20 roll a little bit of yankee in.
At 25kt roll yankee completely and raise staysail

The stay sail means you don't have to have several jibs for the roller headstay and you don't have to try roller furling a big sail down to a very small one. All the extra rigging for the staysail also supports the mast much better.

For light air a light nylon sail is the way to go. Spinnakers are not the only light air sail. Asymetrical spinnakers are almost as fast directly downwind and faster on a reach and a bit easier to use. A CodeZero is essentially an asymetrical on a roller furler. The easiest to use is a drifter which is basically a genoa made out nylon that has 1 to 4 hanks total which may or may not be used as desired.

This is kind of a generic answer as I haven't even seen your boat let alone sailed it. Wind strengths for changing the jibs would depend on reefing the main and other variables I can't think of without seeing and/or sailing the boat.

Quote:

Originally Posted by agennai (Post 546728)
could be better to cut the base of main sail as half reef to move up the boom?

I would leave the main alone unless the boom is so low that it can hit or graze people's heads when standing in the cockpit. You have to be able to reef to a smaller size as the wind increases but don't remove area permanently unless people are going to be hit while standing. You will encounter a lot more light air than storms and you will need to keep sailing, you can't carry enough fuel to motor the whole way or even half way.

Quote:

Originally Posted by agennai (Post 546728)
The lenght of the pole must be the same could be for a spi , more or less the lenght of J?

For a spinnake yes. Spinnaker Pole
As a whisker pole you may want it longer for larger jibs, Forespar indicates a whisker pole should be the same length as the foot of the jib being flown. (http://www.forespar.com/pdf/F6-Whisk...ing-Jibing.pdf). For jibs smaller than 100% I wouldn't go much less than 'J' for the pole length. You can buy ajustable poles but they are kind of expensive and are not as strong or durable as fixed poles.
If you already have a spinnaker pole I would be content with that.
If you are going to buy one they it becomes an issue of money and durability vs slightly better performance.

Quote:

Originally Posted by agennai (Post 546728)
Have you any experience with parasail?
:confused:
Thanks and fair winds

I do not have any direct experience with a parasail but they look like more work than a spinnaker, which you have indicated you don't want.

My opinions for what they are worth.
Adelie

svrodeorm 24-10-2010 13:37

Quote:

Originally Posted by barnakiel (Post 546835)

Seen a Canadian boat with a square sail and the owners swore it worked amazingly well for them.

b.

Never tried it, but trustworthy people have 'guaranteed' that nothing much beats a square sail downwind....

but what about that spar? :rolleyes::popcorn:

highseas 24-10-2010 14:16

An improvement on the square sail is the junk sail.Two masted junk rigged boats are quick off the wind and also sail to windward fairly well.

Paul Elliott 24-10-2010 14:36

I agree, you want more headsail than just a yankee. You want to be able to make good time in light air, and being undercanvassed can be extremely frustrating.

I use a 120% genoa on a furler, and often sail wing and wing downwind, using a j-length spin pole to hold out the genoa. If I'm carrying it, I use a telescoping "line-control" whisker pole, which, being longer, does much better than the spin pole. The whisker pole is definitely more fragile than the spin pole. With the spin pole, I often partially roll up the genoa unless we are truly running directly downwind, since with the short spin pole the full genoa is pretty baggy. (VALIS wing-and-wing)

Look at the possibility of flying a second genoa in the "twins" or "butterfly" configuration. I've done this using a pole on one genoa, and end-boom sheeting on the other, and also using two poles. This is a very comfortable and stable downwind configuration. (VALIS flying twin genoas)

The cruising/asym spinnaker is also very useful. You may find that it helps to reef the main when running deep with the asym. While more controllable than a regular symmetrical spinnaker, the asymmetrical can still be a handfull. The twin-jib configuration is more stable.

On VALIS, we fly regular spinnakers, asymmetricals, and twin jibs (occasionally). More often than not though, sailing downwind in medium wind I opt for simplicity and convenience, and just go wing and wing, with the genoa poled out. It's only when the wind gets really light (or when we're racing) that I break out the spinnakers

You have many good options, and whatever you choose be sure that you practice with it before you set out. There are many rigging variations, and finding the best for your particular boat (and crew) may take a few iterations.

roverhi 24-10-2010 15:13

Sailed from SF to Hilo, HI this summer. Poled out the 130 genoa and ran wing and wing with the mainsail. Worked fine for more than 10 days and 1400 miles averaging over 6 knots, 24/7. Wind was almost directly astern. Did have to jibe once.

Only problem was the extendable whisker pole pretzeled. Had it extended out most of the way and it just wasn't up to the load. Switched to the spinnaker pole for the last 6 days. The genoa didn't spread out as well with the couple feet shorter spinnaker pole but didn't seem to slow the boat much at all. Had my best days run with the spinnaker pole at 155nm. Not bad for a 25' water line boat.

barnakiel 24-10-2010 16:48

Quote:

Originally Posted by svrodeorm (Post 546870)
Never tried it, but trustworthy people have 'guaranteed' that nothing much beats a square sail downwind....

but what about that spar? :rolleyes::popcorn:

As far as I remember the boat was a ketch (or a schooner) and the main mast was used to hoist the square sail. The spar was used for downwind but probably lowered and secured for other passages. I think it could be sort of alloy fabrication. Looked simple and viable.

b.

barnakiel 24-10-2010 16:53

Yes. Supporting all the above and stressing the importance of carrying an extra long pole if the rolling genoa is to be used.

When there is only one pole available, some will fly the genoa sheeted via the main boom's end (a block there, mainsail down, boom pushed fore - athwartships and secured) and the pole then used to winward on the (smaller) jib.

But I have never sailed like this so cannot say how good or bad it is.

b

agennai 26-10-2010 16:27

Quote:

Originally Posted by Adelie (Post 546856)
You can buy ajustable poles but they are kind of expensive and are not as strong or durable as fixed poles.
If you already have a spinnaker pole I would be content with that.
If you are going to buy one they it becomes an issue of money and durability vs slightly better performance.
Adelie

my question is: if i have a fixed pole how can i manage it when i reef (rolling) the jib?

rebel heart 26-10-2010 16:36

On our cutter we use our main, yankee, and staysail for 90% of everything. In light winds we'll drop or deep reef the main and switch out to a drifter, dousing the staysail and yankee.

A drifter stores pretty well; almost fits into a very large backpack.

agennai 26-10-2010 16:55

do you use a pole as a whisher when you sail wing to wing ?when you use drifter how can you hoist it, have you a bow sprit and a roller?
thks

Paul Elliott 26-10-2010 16:58

Quote:

Originally Posted by agennai (Post 548528)
my question is: if i have a fixed pole how can i manage it when i reef (rolling) the jib?

Just let the pole move forward with the clew of the headsail (the pole is clipped to the sheet, not the clew). When the sail is furled, or mostly furled, the pole will be resting against the rolled headsail. If you use a foreguy, tension it up so the pole doesn't swing around. You can then unclip the pole -- slack the sheet if necessary -- and stow it. Finish furling the headsail.

It's really pretty easy.

agennai 26-10-2010 17:18

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul Elliott (Post 548553)
Just let the pole move forward with the clew of the headsail (the pole is clipped to the sheet, not the clew). When the sail is furled, or mostly furled, the pole will be resting against the rolled headsail. If you use a foreguy, tension it up so the pole doesn't swing around. You can then unclip the pole -- slack the sheet if necessary -- and stow it. Finish furling the headsail.

It's really pretty easy.

thanks...sound good but if i got right when i roll (reef) the jib the pole doesn't go forward because is clipped to the sheet (not the clew!!!); i have to move forward the pole loosing the backguy and tensioning the foreguy!
correct?????


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