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Old 31-03-2020, 11:16   #16
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Re: progressive sail upgrades for a westsail 42 on a budget

Originally Posted by theller View Post
I recently became a proud owner of a westsail 42 cutter rig. She's a chonker and the sails are past their life. Its got the big 140 Genny that was kept without a sun cover and is currently throwing UV damaged threads. I also carelessly put a little spreader hole in it.

The main is in better shape having spend most of its time under the main cover. Still old though.

I've also got a Yankee thats in good shape with relatively little use on it.

I want to get under sail and cruising Puget Sound this summer. I've got about an extra $1000 at the moment that I'm contemplating spending on a used sail.

What do you all think would be the best path forward. Start with the main and then the genoa? I'll be able to order new sails for the next season, so what ever I end up with will end up being backup sails.

Maybe a used main and a used reacher or asym spin would get me under power?

Can I get decent power under a yankee and the Main?

Anyone with feedback from the PNW would be appreciated. Im Moored in Bremerton.
Congratulations on your new-to-you sailing yacht.

I wouldn't be in too much of a hurry to replace the sails you have. Summer in Puget Sound is not historically very windy and you would be spending money now that would be better spent later toward new the way, fall is usually the best time to order sails. Additionally, with your boat's ratio's it will make a comfortable and safe offshore passagemaker but you'll need a good 10+ knots to get up to any kind of speed.

Forget the pencil test. Take the boat out at least a few times to get a feel for her and see what the sails do for you...if they rip, so be it. You'll gain some insight as to how she handles and what you might want in your new sails...would you really need a 140% genoa? (I bought a previous boat with the original 17 year old sails and often considered replacing them. Eventually, I sold the boat with the same 28 year old sails and never regretted it...but that wasn't sailing offshore where you will need good quality "cruising" sails.

With your experience on the water behind you, get at least three bids on a new set of sails (jib, staysail (you didn't mention it), and main) with loft personnel coming out to the boat to get the exact measurements you need...don't go with production measurements because with a boat that old you don't know what modifications have taken place. Tell them what your long range cruising plans are and ask their recommendations on the best sail configuration sizes for your boat. With those written bids in hand and your opinion of the companies, you are prepared to order sails in the fall when discounts should be available.

In the meantime, draft an inventory of all equipment (make/model/serial numbers) on the boat as well as a list of projects that need to be accomplished. Start a ship's log.

Good Luck.

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH
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Old 31-03-2020, 11:57   #17
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Re: progressive sail upgrades for a westsail 42 on a budget

You don’t mention the staysail at all.

I find that I use the staysail a lot.

IMHO if it is not in good shape that is the first sail I would replace.
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Old 31-03-2020, 13:24   #18
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Re: progressive sail upgrades for a westsail 42 on a budget

Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
I thought Norlam from North Sails was a laminate sail and a fairly basic one at that. If so you need to know how old it is because they don't last like a dacron sail cloth. Possibly the reason its for sale, there isn't much life left in it.

yep - thought it was Soft Norlam, dacron sandwiching mylar. guessing its just Norlam.
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Old 31-03-2020, 16:51   #19
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Re: progressive sail upgrades for a westsail 42 on a budget

Hi, theller:

I'm with Pete, laminate sails go very fast at the end of their lives.

If the dacron in your present sails is worth it, it should be least expensive of all to have the genoa (which you will need in summer where you are) and the main restitched. Also, did the genoa tear in the fabric or on the seam? If just the thread is rotten, maybe you could get one season out of it. I still suggest the pencil test.

I noticed the triradial main is not an exact match, and that it has a luff rope. So, will you be in trouble for the foot of the main, after adding the extra webbing and cars , if you need them for the mast track? or can you use a luff rope with your mast?

Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
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Old 07-04-2020, 19:30   #20
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Re: progressive sail upgrades for a westsail 42 on a budget


I took my sails down. Condition Report

Main: Mildewed throughout, baggy as is. Material is decent... though not stiff at all.

Genoa: Sun cover is rotten and so are the first 1'-2' of the sail on the leech. Beyond that, the dacron is actually still pretty stiff and not in bad shape.

Other sails - There is a hank on working jib (or perhaps its the yankee) that seems excellent. Guessing it didn't see a day of use after the roller furler went ont. Staysail is there - softer than the Jib, but im guessing plenty serivable. I haven't taken them off the boat yet. Got plenty on my hands with the main and genny.

Gear Update!
I bought a Pfaff 130 - should be here this week. First project: Covid Masks!

1. Getting a line in on Mains. A kind soul from the forum has a main in Annapolis that they offered to me so it could find a good home. Only problem is the owners not out there - so that's some details to work out.

Anyone in Annapolis?

2. Head Sail. I'm going to take Genoa in for a look by a sail maker. I think its a candidate for a reduction to a 130 and still be viable.

That aside - questions
Could it make sense to add a new head-stay to run the hanked on working jib? Seems like a good combo

I think I'm also gonna get looking for a Reacher. Seems to be ideal for the light winds around here.

End config in order of execution: Serviceable Main, Standard staysail, Working Jib Hank on,130 Roller, Used Reacher.
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budget, sail

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