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Old 28-09-2011, 22:20   #1
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Jib Topper ?

I have been offered a "jib topper" sail for my 66' cruiser. I am not familiar with this sail. Google fails to find anything other than a comment that "useful over 15 knts".
Can anyone enlighten me on it's design and function? Useful for a cruising boat?
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Old 29-09-2011, 07:42   #2
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Re: Jib topper?

As I recall, jib tops were used in double headsail rigs, set on the headstay over a staysail, used as a close to beam reaching sailplan. They were usually on the order of 130 to 150 % in size. This was in the days before really good close reaching kites were common.

So, in a cruising situation, if you have hank on sails, don't want to deal with an asymmetrical kite, and don't mind doing sail changes it will provide good performance in the ~60 to ~110 degree apparent range. Could be used deeper, especially with a pole.

Incidentally, the above memories were from the IOR era, with masthead rigs biased towards headsail area.


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Old 29-09-2011, 09:23   #3
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Re: Jib topper?

A Jib Top (Topper) is a reaching headsail with the foot cut very high, used when the boat is heeled over a little, but not pointing as high as it can into the wind, and powering through waves.
They have the same LP measurement as the No. 1 genoas, but is high-clewed and fuller in shape, so the power in the sail is carried higher and further aft.
Jib Tops are great sails to use in the range of about 55 to 75 degrees of apparent wind, but are actually less effective than the genoa in breeze less than about 10 to 12 knots.
At higher wind speeds, they can be carried effectively at broader angles until the spinnaker becomes the faster sail.
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Old 29-09-2011, 18:58   #4
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Re: Jib Topper ?

Good sail to have if you have the storage space. As said above its a reaching sail,high cut and usually uses the spinaker sheets, Use it once either your code zero or reaching Spiniker reaches its max wind speed rating.

It would be my sail of choice when reaching in 20+kts.......but I dont have the space.

Some may know this sail as a 'blast reacher'
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Old 29-09-2011, 19:17   #5
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Re: Jib Topper ?

As Jim hinted, these "jib toppers" are a reaching headsail, also and more commonly known as a "jib-top reacher". They don't need to be carried with a staysail at all and are quite common on (racing) sloop rigged boats (i.e. no solent or cutter stay), they are faster than a genoa when reaching, up to the point where you can comfortably carry an asymmetrical spinnaker.
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