Latest News: Forums Technical Weather helm / rig tuning Re: Mainsail and jib


I cannot comment on the original rig – wooden mast and cotton sails. My experience is only with the modern metal mast/spreaders.

Personally the only time I have found full main and a jib to be a viable combination is short tacking on the Norfolk Broads. The jib is enough to help the boat tack but not too much that the boat pays off to leeward before the main fills on the new tack.
On open water if the wind is light you can sail okay to windward under main/jib but boat speed will be significantly lost. As soon as the wind moves up to top of F3 you will find weather helm picking up, then it becomes hard work steering.
For a long passage it’s important to have a balanced helm. So if you setting a jib then balance that with a reef in the main.