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Old 27-07-2020, 08:43   #1
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Lost newbie needs help

Hello all.
I recently purchased a 1968 Columbia 36 that came with absolutely no sails at all. I'm pretty much a novice, and I would like to start with an (relatively) inexpensive set of used sails until I get a bit more experience, before springing for custom made new. I searched this site and google but am not having much luck, especially with the mainsail. It doesn't help that I don't really know what I should be looking for in a head sail when it comes to type and size. (Jib, genoa, spinnaker, 120%, 140%???)
I have been reading as many articles and watching as many youtube videos as I can, but I'm still pretty lost.
Sailboat Data has P:34.7', E:14', I: 41.8', J:15'
From what I've read/heard, I could use a sail that is a bit smaller than these dimensions, but not bigger. Is that correct? If so, how much smaller before it is too small? If the head sail luff is about right, can the foot be longer than 15'?
What are some good resources (books, websites, videos, etc.) that I can look for to help me learn these things for myself?
Where are the best places to look for used sails?
I apologize to those of you that have been asked these questions so many times before. I'm just trying to not get frustrated and am reaching out for any help and information that more experienced sailors could share.
Thanks in advance!
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Old 27-07-2020, 09:45   #2
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Re: Lost newbie needs help

I would find a good sail loft and ask if they have used sails. They know the measurents and could help you find fairly good sails. Since you are completely k
New to sailing, getting to understand sail shapes is pretty hard.
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Old 27-07-2020, 09:47   #3
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Re: Lost newbie needs help

Atlantic Sail Traders - Used sails, New sails, Sail Broker
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Old 27-07-2020, 09:47   #4
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Re: Lost newbie needs help

https://baconsails.com/bacon/select_sailboat_API.php
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Old 27-07-2020, 09:48   #5
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Re: Lost newbie needs help

Phone Bacon Sails in Annapolis and explain your situation. They are very helpful folks and typically have something like 10K used sails in stock. Their warehouse is very impressive. You can trust their description of sail quality - Good is quite good and excellent is almost like new.
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Old 27-07-2020, 10:06   #6
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Re: Lost newbie needs help

Sailrite could be a good resource:
https://www.sailrite.com/search?keywords=Columbia%2036

Yes, you can go shorter, but not longer, in the luff measurement, that is the part of the sail that is actually being lifted up by the halyard (either mainsail or jib.) I'd say start with a god used main that will fit. Check with Bacon Sails in MD when you know the length of your luff (the "P") and the foot ("E".) You can go a little shorter in the foot, but not much because the shape of the main does determine the balance of the sails. For example my main has a pretty long foot, and if I switched to a shorter one it MIGHT give me lee helm.. haven't tried it yet though...
Then I'd look for a good used 100% jib, what we used to call a working jib. For lighter air days you can move on to adding a genoa, but for now that will get you started. So the luff of the jib will be at least foot or so short of the length of the distance from the bow to the mast head (where the sail is pulled up to.) You can run a tape measure up the headstay with the halyard to get the measurement. Then just browse the used sail market to find a suitable one. The leech should not be as long as the luff, and won't be on a jib, but shouldn't be too short. If it is that is likely a sail called a "yankee" intended for a cutter rig. The luff will be about 2 or 3' shorter than the luff. Here are the jibs and genoas that turned up for your boat at Bacon:
https://baconsails.com/bacon/select_sailboat_API.php
They don't have any mains that match your measurements, but there may be others that would fit fine for beginning.
There is another good place called "Minney's" in Costa Mesa that has a lot of used sails and everything else, but they are closed right now for remodeling I think.

I got my main from Bacon. Great sail and great folks to work with.

Oh, BTW, you are looking for a hank-on sail right? Or do you have a furler on the headstay for the jib?
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Old 27-07-2020, 10:15   #7
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Re: Lost newbie needs help

Bacon only has one jib that I can see and it is in "fair" condition. The piston hanks that are frozen can be freed up with some Aerokroil and elbow grease. Stains are unsightly but for $195 it might be a good practice sail. I got a "fair" light genoa for my boat that has turned out to be great for me. It was a $100 sail, and it may not last long, but she sure gets up and goes with it for now!

Now you've done it! Now I am browsing sails too!
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Old 27-07-2020, 10:35   #8
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Re: Lost newbie needs help

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that they are hank on, no furling system on the boat.
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Old 27-07-2020, 10:38   #9
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Re: Lost newbie needs help

Looks like Minney's MAY be back in action in August.
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Old 27-07-2020, 10:41   #10
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Re: Lost newbie needs help

I agree with the suggestion to talk to a sail loft in your area. If they don’t have a used sail for you they probably could help you decide what is close enough to be modified. I doubt it would be worthwhile to recut many used sails but some might work out to be worth the cost.
Good luck!
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Old 27-07-2020, 10:52   #11
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Re: Lost newbie needs help

Home

The don't have anything appropriate for a main but they do have a number of headsails that would work:
$245 3oz dacron drifter in fair condition H 15-290
$495 7oz blade as a lapper, no notation of condition H 17-166
$495 6oz genoa VGood condition, H 20-05

I am assuming hanks.
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Old 27-07-2020, 13:34   #12
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Re: Lost newbie needs help

http://www.minneysyachtsurplus.com/sails.html

+1 on bacon sails as well. I've purchased from both bacon and minneys ( the above link )

For a newbie on a budget?, I definitely recommend picking up used sails. For $500-$800 you can get something that still has another 5-10yrs life left in it. Get you on the water and the wind in your hair.

IMHO..If you have a roller furler get like a 140 so you have something big for light air and then when it gets windy you just roll it up and leave a little triangle. If it's a hank -on head sail, better stick with something smaller. Maybe a 85 to a 110. Of course all the hardcore guys will have six different sails for every occasion. I guess it depends on how serious you want to get.
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Old 27-07-2020, 16:00   #13
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Re: Lost newbie needs help

JM first thing is you need to measure the forestay length. Your talking a 52 year old yacht so who knows if the mast is original or what modifications have been made? While you have the tape out measure the maximum foot length then start hunting. Gumtree (Aussie version of Craigslist) has been a good source of used hanked on sails for me. I had to get my last sail modified by a sailmaker, but I still ended up with a brand new Genoa for $500.
Cheers
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Old 28-07-2020, 09:11   #14
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Re: Lost newbie needs help

Quote:
Originally Posted by AiniA View Post
Phone Bacon Sails in Annapolis and explain your situation. They are very helpful folks and typically have something like 10K used sails in stock. Their warehouse is very impressive. You can trust their description of sail quality - Good is quite good and excellent is almost like new.

This.
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Old 28-07-2020, 09:55   #15
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Re: Lost newbie needs help

You maywant to consider a100% jib, a little easier to handle, better pointing add a 150% when you gain skill.
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