Latest News: Forums Cruising Cruising sail size

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • AUTHOR
    POSTS
  • #3982
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi, I need a suit of smaller sails to suit windy days. Can anyone tell me please what sail areas they reef down to in such weather (force 5/6), so I can look for suitable sails from eg an enterprise?
    Thanks,
    Tim

    #8412
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi Tim
    When its “windy” I use an old Enterprise jib but I have no idea of its size. To estimate the reefed area of a mainsail you could estimate by unrolling your mainsail and drawing a hypothetical line approx 90 – 100cm above the boom where the first reefing points normally go. Personally I would advocate fitting a reefing system as I find it not unusual to change sail area during a day, and the idea of carrying a second mainsail and changing over would be a pain. Its not difficult or expensive to do. But you may be a dedicated racer seting this lot up for your kids……….
    Dave

    #8419
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Thanks very much for your reply Dave. By my back of the fag packet sums, I ‘ve just worked out that against the Wayfarer mainsail area of 8.83 sq ms and the Enterprise of 7.12, that for the old sail I dug out today with a 1.1m reef is 6.63 sq ms. This implies that it still might be too lively with an Enterprise sail in strong conditions and an unconfidant crew.

    No, not setting it up for the kids, but for my wife who needs a bit of confidence building, or me when single handed, or a boatful of non sailors. I’m loathe to put reefing ties on the racing main, so I might use the old sail with a permanent reef when needed.

    The need became apparent after being totally becalmed for 15 mins in Provence, we were hit by a F5/6 mistral for the rest of the day. As we had the genoa up it took it’s toll on the crew!

    Cheers,
    Tim

    #8453
    BluTak
    Participant

    I have sailed with children, wives and single handed. You may think me a Woos but I nearly always use a jib. Its so much easier to pull in than a genoa. Its nearly always the genoa that causes a capsize. The boat still sails really well as you’ve still got the “slot” effect and the speed isn’t dramatically reduced. The genoa is very heavy to pull in and cleat for weaker bretheren but the jib is easy. If it gets caught aback it is unlikely to capsize you and increases the crews confidence a lot. I even use it with an experienced crew and only use the genoa downwind on a long cruising leg when I’ve time to set it. I read somewhere that it is nearly always the genoa that causes capsizes and I think thats right as I’ve been in all sorts of messes in all sorts of winds and have never capsized BluTak. I have a furler on it and its dead easy to furl when reefed (two reefs it can stay up for one reef) or coming ashore. If you have a decent slab reefing arrangement you can heave to very safely with the jib (the genoa is not so easy) and it only takes a couple of minutes to reef. I can do it on my own with absolutly no drama!
    Hope this helps – Robert

    #8455
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Thanks very much for your contribution Robert.
    As a result of the various deliberations I found a local seamstress who lopped a metre off the base of my old sail, which makes the mainsail area less than that of an Enterprise, and together with the standard jib, will hopefully do the trick. Also it cost much less!
    I’m looking forward to trying it out back in Provence next month where the boat’s kept.
    I did wonder about having a friction device for the genoa sheet, I’m reluctant to cleat it.

    #8457
    BluTak
    Participant

    Hi – you really need the cleats or your crew will let it slack especially when beating and they are moving around the boat (or getting bored or want a sandwich!) – but you can cleat jib as its not too powerful if it gets caught aback. If you lead the end sheet to the weather side you can flick it out pretty quickly. Do try it and deliberately back it to see the effect. I would recommend a decent slab reefing arrangement with topping lift. The topping lift also makes life much easier when raising or lowering sail. A reefing arrangement isnt expensive and with minimal practice gives you so much more flexibility in sail area. To heave to when reefing, tack and leave the jib to go aback. Have it in tight and cleated. Go round and let the main right out so you are on a reach with the jib tight aback. Keep the tiller on the same side as the boom and all is serene and quiet and you can reef, eat lunch or or whatever. Full main+jib, one reef+jib, two
    reefs no jib. Good luck and enjoy yourself.

    #8463
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    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.

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.