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I agree wholeheartedly about the jib.

We sail on Windermere where the wind tends to be very unpredictable, and a Wayfarer with full sail can be extremely difficult to handle in anything over a (mean) wind strength of F3, as a Windermere F3 means frequent gusts of F5/6 with windshifts of 50 degrees or more!

When sailing with the family, I found that using a small jib transformed the boat. We had a tiny one with a high clew so it still set reasonably well using the normal fairleads, and I found that even in quite ferocious conditions I could still go out with a full size main, safe in the knowledge that as long as I dumped the main in the gusts the jib wouldn’t have enough power to knock us over.

This change transformed the boat, as previously I often had to grab the genoa sheet off the inexperienced crew and let it fly to prevent a capsize. Not good for their confidence, and dreadful for boat handling, as it then stops dead and leaves you awfully exposed as you try to get it moving again. Then you have all the drama of both sails flogging wildly in the gusts, the jib sheets getting twisted and tangled up, and the trauma of getting them sheeted back in again each time.

With a small jib we just kept it cleated in all the way and steered to it like a cruiser. It then keeps moving through the gusts after which you just sheet the main back in and accelerate away with little drama.

It is also surprising how quickly the boat goes too. Obviously a well handled boat with a genoa would go faster, but when you aren’t fighting with it in the gusts its surprising how much more headway you make.