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blinkerfluid 17-09-2014 12:07

Sail Selection Musings
 
So my wife and I put an offer in on an Aloha 32 (which was accepted) a couple days ago. So, with the prospects of owning a new-to-us boat, I've been day dreaming of all the wonderful ways I'll be able to dump money into the water.

Anyway, I was thinking about sails, and what the best setup for the most broad range of conditions would be. Like most boats of the same vintage, standard sails are a somewhat smallish main with a 150% genoa. I know this should work well in relatively light winds, but I've read that as the wind increases, pointing ability with a genoa degrades and rolling them up to "reef" them doesn't work very well as the sail loses it's shape.

I've read of a lot of people who add a removable inner forstay for a working/storm jib, which should work well. My question though, is instead of going this route, what about taking the Genoa off the furler and replacing it with a ~100% jib, then carrying a code 0 or assymetric spinnaker for light wind/off wind work (using a sock or dedicated furler to make handling easier). I've read the code 0 sails will still point fairly well (and the assymetric to a lesser extent), so I think it could be used for upwind work on light days, if the wind fills in then the 100% jib would be used. beam to broad reaching would be handled by the code 0 (or assymetric) until it becomes too exciting.

Does this sound like a reasonable setup? One of my concerns would be sail balance. On a boat designed to use a genoa most of the time, would I end up with excessive weather helm while beating?

Drumroll30 17-09-2014 13:19

Re: Sail selection musings
 
I have a 140% on my boat, it has a foam luff and with 4 turns around the furler the shape is still decent.

cwyckham 17-09-2014 13:22

Re: Sail selection musings
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by blinkerfluid (Post 1630259)
So my wife and I put an offer in on an Aloha 32 (which was accepted) a couple days ago. So, with the prospects of owning a new-to-us boat, I've been day dreaming of all the wonderful ways I'll be able to dump money into the water.

Anyway, I was thinking about sails, and what the best setup for the most broad range of conditions would be. Like most boats of the same vintage, standard sails are a somewhat smallish main with a 150% genoa. I know this should work well in relatively light winds, but I've read that as the wind increases, pointing ability with a genoa degrades and rolling them up to "reef" them doesn't work very well as the sail loses it's shape.

I've read of a lot of people who add a removable inner forstay for a working/storm jib, which should work well. My question though, is instead of going this route, what about taking the Genoa off the furler and replacing it with a ~100% jib, then carrying a code 0 or assymetric spinnaker for light wind/off wind work (using a sock or dedicated furler to make handling easier). I've read the code 0 sails will still point fairly well (and the assymetric to a lesser extent), so I think it could be used for upwind work on light days, if the wind fills in then the 100% jib would be used. beam to broad reaching would be handled by the code 0 (or assymetric) until it becomes too exciting.

Does this sound like a reasonable setup? One of my concerns would be sail balance. On a boat designed to use a genoa most of the time, would I end up with excessive weather helm while beating?

Welcome to CF, Blinker.

I like the way you are thinking. You might want to make the jib a 110 lapper and still put on an inner forestay (or preferably a solent stay) for a storm jib if you plan to go offshore. You can do without if you don't have offshore plans.

You are basically describing my dream set-up though. I don't know if you've priced this out yet, though...

Due to price, we have an oversized genoa for lightish wind, a lapper for heavy stuff (that we have to change out on the one furler, which is a huge pain) and an assym in a sock. You can probably find a used assym in very good condition for cheap since nobody ever seems to use their spinnaker.

This is a pretty cheap set-up and is flexible. I'd do something like that for a year or two while you get to know the boat and spend more money than you thought possible on high priority items. Once you know the boat better, you can shell out for the big ticket items like a code0 on a furler.

I've assumed a lot about how you might use your boat, etc. so please post more details on your plans and also on your sailing experience.

Stu Jackson 17-09-2014 13:23

Re: Sail selection musings
 
Many have recommended smaller jibs that still work quite well and use an AS for off the wind work. Depends on where you want to go and how you plan to sail.

Here are some observations on jib sizes that match your very good conclusion (my BIG sail is our 110%!!!:)):

Jib Size Selection

sapient sue 17-09-2014 13:49

Re: Sail selection musings
 
I agree with Drumroll. Cost of sails can be kept lower with one large sail and a foam luff. Ours keeps its shape when furled and sails beautifully in all conditions.

Sue

JPA Cate 17-09-2014 14:13

Re: Sail Selection Musings
 
Blinkerfluid,

With the setup you have, keep the 110% on the furler. When it's really light, shift to the genoa.

My guess is that even with a padded luff, your genoa will not work as well as your 110 if it is rolled up to 110 size, but try it sometime and get your own data.

Your first season is likely to be daysails followed by nights at anchor, and I think the more conservative thing for you is to plan to use the 110, which you can roll up if the wind is stronger than forecast, and won't leave you overpowered. If the H is overhead, and you're going to have a whole light air day, then play with the genoa.

Just my two cents.

Ann

PS. Yes, your plan sounds good. But new sails are dear, and I do think experimenting with what you have will firm up your ideas.

cwyckham 17-09-2014 14:18

Re: Sail selection musings
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Drumroll30 (Post 1630311)
I have a 140% on my boat, it has a foam luff and with 4 turns around the furler the shape is still decent.

I want to retrofit my sails with this. Glad to hear it helps.

blinkerfluid 17-09-2014 14:52

Re: Sail Selection Musings
 
Thanks for the replies everyone.

As far as how we'll be using the boat; For the time being it'll be lots of sails after work, with weekend and week long trips thrown in as time allows. Niether my wife or I are big on crowds, so we're hoping to do a fair bit of sailing/traveling during the off season, which is really what got me thinking about sail selection.

For experience, I did some sailing on FJ's in college, and I've sailed a little on my Aunt and Uncles beneteau 381. We also chartered an Island Packet 380 this past June and I did my ASA 101, 103, and 104 courses on a Bavaria 36 (which included some sailing in 25knots gusting to 30 knots).

From what I can tell, in our area the summer usually does not provide for many days of strong wind, figure 5-10 knots (or less). In the off season we'll have winter storms with much stronger winds that I don't want to miss out on bc I don't have the proper sails. Fairweather sailing is nice and relaxing, but foul weather sailing is exciting, plus I think it's important to be able to handle any weather condition one might encounter during travels. Don't get me wrong, I'm not planning on sailing out into a gail 1st thing, but with only a genoa and main I don't feel like I even have the option of working up to sailing in gail conditions.

I don't have a 110% yet (heck, I don't even have the boat yet :whistling:), but it seems like adding one to the sail inventory would be a good idea, then adding an assymetric or code 0 on a dedicated furler as funding allows (Which I'm guessing might be a while haha).

cwyckham 17-09-2014 15:17

Re: Sail Selection Musings
 
Thanks for the further detail. I didn't notice that you're in my stomping grounds, so that helps too. I would recommend my set-up as the cheapest way to go get some sailing done and learn more. 110 jib for winter, existing 150 for summer when there's no wind anyways, and an assym in a sock for downwind because it's going to be too light for white sails.

Ann is right too, but basically it's always light in the summer, so you can almost (but not quite) change the sail twice a year.

Start with what you have. Don't bother putting the assym on a roller because it's too expensive, but a sock really helps. Since you're starting out in the winter, consider getting a used 110 soon and make sure that your reefing system is well rigged (it often isn't rigged around here at all because people only sail in the summer when there's no wind).

blinkerfluid 17-09-2014 15:55

Re: Sail Selection Musings
 
Yep, just a little south of you. I was actually hoping to get up your way to check out a Niagra 35 I saw on Yachtworld, but we looked at this Aloha 32 and really liked it. It should serve our purposes pretty well I think for several years, if we ever decide to do any more extensive cruising (i.e. ocean crossings) we'll probably get something a little bigger, but that's a long ways off I think.

I'll keep an eye out for a used Jib, any suggestions on where to look besides Craigslist? I found one place on line that I can get a new one from for $1400. Next summer maybe I'll be able to pick up an assymetric with a sock somehwere, or maybe over the winter and just hold it for next summer.

Thanks for the tip, I'll be sure to thoroughly check the reefing system to make sure it's good to go.

Cheechako 17-09-2014 16:08

Re: Sail Selection Musings
 
In Puget sound that 140-150 will be pretty good in the summer. But for much of the year I would have maybe a 110-120. A little high cut wont hurt. Look on line for used sails. Maybe Bacon's in Annapolis etc. Also, sail lofts have them possibly too. Sail your boat a bit and then decide.
Also, north of Port Townsend the summer winds are REAL strong at times.

cwyckham 17-09-2014 16:24

Re: Sail Selection Musings
 
You can ask a local sail maker about used sails, or there should be consignment stores around.

cortezsailor 18-09-2014 07:18

Re: Sail Selection Musings
 
I am also on the west coast and I agree with you re thinking. I went down from the 150% jib to a 110% on my furler! I am complimenting that with a 2.5oz drifter on a self furler that I can use up to 15 knots comfortably .The price of the drifter is not bad but the add on price of the self furler hurts . I also picked up a lighter drifter on a wire luff I use for even less winds, under 6 knots. On the coast here it seems we either get very little wind or winds in the 20 knot range. I never found the 150% genoa a very useful sail at all personally.



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JazzyO 18-09-2014 20:02

Quote:

Originally Posted by sapient sue (Post 1630348)
Ours keeps its shape when furled and sails beautifully in all conditions. Sue

I mean no offence, but this is just showing that you're not overly critical. No sail can perform well when furled as the best shape for the sail is by definition lost. Performance will be better over starboard or port tack, depending on which way the genoa rolls onto the furler; one side will have the roll of the furler blocking the air flow across the first foot or so of the sail, causing turbulence. The further you furl, the more the shape of the sail is lost, becoming more of a plank and less of an aerofoil shape.

When cruising, this is not a major obstacle if you're not that bothered about pointing high. But you can't say she sails well under those circumstances.

You have to take care of your sails. Rolling a genoa more than 3 feet (on a 40 ft boat) is bad for the sail. The cloth is not designed to take the load distribution you are asking of it, and you will wear out your sail much quicker than if you don't furl too much. My North Sails genoa has, for this reason, two markers on the foot, indicating the maximum reef I should put in. Cruisers tha just use 1 genoa in all conditions are abusing their sail.

At the OP:

Your thinking works but you have to think about what you want to do and what kind of weather you're expecting. For me, your set up means that you have to take out your code 0 too often, OR that you'll ge sailing too slow too often. I don't like the gap between the Code 0 and the 100%, it will be a massive amount of m2. You have to realise that the Bf2 - BF4 range will happen most often, and therefore you will be juggling with those sails all the time, with neither quite right for the job.


My set-up, which is expensive I have to say, is:

A2 asymm of 117m2 (runner/reacher)
C1 of 88m2 (smaller code 0, points to 45 deg)
135% genoa furler, 55m2 down to 30m2 when furled to the max
Staysail on inner forestay, hanked-on with soft hanks, 18m2 down to 10m2 when slab reefed.
Main of 35m2, fully battened with 3 reefs.

I feel this covers us very well from 0 to 50 kts of wind. I also have a good condition 105% genoa, but I never put it on because it doesn't match the rest of our sails very well.

If I wanted to save money, I would now - in hindsight - go with the main, 135% genoa and the stay sail. The A2 and C1 I could do without if I had to, but I do have to say that I haven't done any tradewind passages. So think about the kind of sailing you will be doing. This should also influence decisions on number of reefs in main, fully battened or not, and so on. I made my choices without any real world experience but with lots of dicussions with North Sails, and I am very, very happy with the choices we made after the first couple of thousand miles.


Onno

cwyckham 19-09-2014 08:46

Re: Sail Selection Musings
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JazzyO (Post 1631588)
...
At the OP:

Your thinking works but you have to think about what you want to do and what kind of weather you're expecting. For me, your set up means that you have to take out your code 0 too often, OR that you'll ge sailing too slow too often. I don't like the gap between the Code 0 and the 100%, it will be a massive amount of m2. You have to realise that the Bf2 - BF4 range will happen most often, and therefore you will be juggling with those sails all the time, with neither quite right for the job.


My set-up, which is expensive I have to say, is:

A2 asymm of 117m2 (runner/reacher)
C1 of 88m2 (smaller code 0, points to 45 deg)
135% genoa furler, 55m2 down to 30m2 when furled to the max
Staysail on inner forestay, hanked-on with soft hanks, 18m2 down to 10m2 when slab reefed.
Main of 35m2, fully battened with 3 reefs.

I feel this covers us very well from 0 to 50 kts of wind. I also have a good condition 105% genoa, but I never put it on because it doesn't match the rest of our sails very well.

If I wanted to save money, I would now - in hindsight - go with the main, 135% genoa and the stay sail. The A2 and C1 I could do without if I had to, but I do have to say that I haven't done any tradewind passages. So think about the kind of sailing you will be doing. This should also influence decisions on number of reefs in main, fully battened or not, and so on. I made my choices without any real world experience but with lots of dicussions with North Sails, and I am very, very happy with the choices we made after the first couple of thousand miles.


Onno

Hi Onno,

I mostly agree with you and I think that you have a great set-up. In fact, you have my dream set-up.

Having said that, however, I think you need to add in some local knowledge and the fact that the OP will be sailing on weekends in mostly protected waters. In the summer, the winds will rarely go over 12 knots, so really he'll need Bf2-3, not 4. So the existing big genoa with an assym will do him well. If he goes far enough north that he might be in the straight in a big blow, then he'd need a smaller sail (110 would be ok), but the weather systems are very well forecast, so he could drag it out of the sail locker.

In the winter is when he's going to get into the annoying situation that you describe where it is pretty gentle between systems (which blow in about every 24 hours) and honking during them. I've found a 110 to be an ok compromise in the winter, but I do end up in the situation you describe where I keep wishing I had more like 130 in a heavier fabric.

I think after a full season, he'll be in a better situation to start adding the sails that work for his style of sailing and long term goals (and budget).

One day I hope to start adding more sails and setting my boat up like yours, though!


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