Catalina 34

General Activities => Main Message Board => Topic started by: Stu Jackson on August 14, 2013, 07:22:02 AM

Title: Jib Size Selection
Post by: Stu Jackson on August 14, 2013, 07:22:02 AM
A very illuminating and interesting discussion on co.com for those of you who might be in the market for a new jib.

http://forums.catalina.sailboatowners.com/showthread.php?t=155362 (http://forums.catalina.sailboatowners.com/showthread.php?t=155362)

Please read all three pages.  Enjoy.
Title: Re: Jib Size Selection
Post by: Ron Hill on August 14, 2013, 06:23:27 PM
Guys : Just bought a new carbon fiber 150% genoa. 
Standard rig and feel like Dave Davis racing again!!   Keeps you young!!   
Title: Re: Jib Size Selection
Post by: John Langford on November 07, 2013, 09:47:23 AM
Thanks for reposting that thread Stu. It made for fascinating reading.

I have a UK 140% foresail on a tall rig and am thinking about cutting it down or buying a smaller (i.e. 130%) genoa. The sail is wonderful off the wind and close hauled in lighter air. However, I sail mostly alone and in our narrow channels in the Pacific NW, do a lot of beating and I am beginning to find tacking the 140 a real grind after a couple of hours. Could that have to do with a looming 70th birthday? But I was concerned that reducing the sail size would reduce performance. This thread did a lot to dispel that concern. The main takeaway for me was that a smaller sail might actually improve close hauled performance in light air! Since I already find that as a single-hander it is best to tack downwind especially in lighter air I might not even miss the 140 that much sailing off the wind.

Much more fun than fussing about macerators and  batteries!
Title: Re: Jib Size Selection
Post by: Roc on December 31, 2013, 11:14:01 AM
Hi John,
Our boats are only a few hull numbers apart, so my opinion with my head sail might help....  I have a 135 genoa on my boat (tall rig also).  Granted, my sails are original (now 14 seasons of use), so the performance is greatly compromised....  But I've always found close hauled in at least 8 knots of wind isn't bad.  You need to be at least in that 8-10 range to get the boat moving.  In lighter air, being close hauled is more frustrating than fun.  I've always felt a larger genoa would help in lighter air.  However, it's not so much the size, but the weight of the cloth, that's why I've always thought a light upwind sail would someday be what is needed (i.e. Code-0, genniker, drifter, etc....).  For off the wind (broad reach), my 135 is not that good.  That's why I bit the bullet and bought an Asym Spinnaker.  It's basically a compromise you need to decide with the size of your genoa sail, in the points of sail you are willing to help or hurt.  Also, cutting yours from a 140 to a 135/130 may not give you the ease your looking for.  A 140/135 size really isn't that big.
Title: Re: Jib Size Selection
Post by: Hugh17 on March 22, 2015, 10:42:00 AM
I've owned my C34 hull #299 for 1-1/2 years and got her off the dock for the first time this past Labor Day weekend. To my surprise, she had a 122% Genoa, which I learned early on was a fine cruising or heavy air sail, but a pitiful light wind and racing sail.

I've since switched to a 150% Genoa and there is significantly more speed especially in light air, and I'm competitive in races now.

If I were sailing alone or short handed and not racing I think the 122% would be all the sail I'd need or want. I'm not sure you're going to see much difference by reducing to a 135%.
Title: Re: Jib Size Selection
Post by: Breakin Away on October 24, 2016, 05:59:30 PM
Time to wake up this old thread again.

My C34 came with a 150 furling genoa. It was nice during the dead summer months, but now that winds have gotten livelier on the Chesapeake I find myself keeping it partially furled. This leads to sub-optimal shape, even when I adjust the cars.

Does a luff pad (foam or rope) work well with this boat? Or should I be looking at a new smaller headsail for early spring/late fall sailing? If so, what size?

I am not sure whether this is the original headsail or not. It's in pretty good shape. Based on the tag on the bag, it looks like it has been refurbished or replaced by Quantum. FWIW, I believe that the mainsail is original, though it also appears to have been worked over by Quantum.
Title: Re: Jib Size Selection
Post by: Stu Jackson on October 24, 2016, 09:00:30 PM


1.  Does a luff pad (foam or rope) work well with this boat?

2.  Or should I be looking at a new smaller headsail for early spring/late fall sailing? If so, what size?

1.  Has nothing to do with the boat and everything to do with the sail.  In many cases, if the sail isn't made for it, a luff pad won't help, and if the sail is so big that you need a deep reef, a pad won't help anyway.

2.  The whole purpose of this entire thread was...???   :D :D :D
Title: Re: Jib Size Selection
Post by: George Bean on October 25, 2016, 10:50:34 AM
Breaking Away, I echo Stu’s sentiment.  On a fully unfurled headsail, halyard tension is equally distributed along the entire luff.  When the sail is partially furled, this tension is only on the top and bottom, causing the senter section to “sag” out.  Luff foam pads are used to add “bulk” to give more tension to the center section (keeping the center section from “sagging” out).  Partial furling only really works for bringing the genoa down a size or two (in your case down to a 130).  But at the same time you are also winding in the built in camber at the top of the sail so it is not as efficient and harder to shape.  You can also experience a harmonic vibration as the wind does not flow smoothly over that thicker headstay.  In a pinch, furling works (heck, I’ve even been down to “hanky” size on especially windy days) but I don’t think it is a solution for an entire year if the seasons are different.  Like Stu, I have a different size jib/genoa depending upon the season.  What is the difference in your seasonal wind conditions?
Title: Re: Jib Size Selection
Post by: Breakin Away on October 25, 2016, 06:54:51 PM
This is my first season (actually only a half-season) on the Chesapeake Bay, so I really do not have enough experience to know exactly how much the seasons differ. From what little I've seen so far (and heard from others), we get 0-10 kts in the dog days of summer (150 works really well) and often 15-20 kts in fall with frequent gusts to 25 or higher.

So my guess is that a 120 would be very comfortable in the fall...unless someone has a better idea.

I think that this question is consistent with the purpose of this entire thread. Let me know if you think I should post it somewhere else.
Title: Re: Jib Size Selection
Post by: Stu Jackson on October 25, 2016, 08:08:54 PM


1.  ........and often 15-20 kts in fall with frequent gusts to 25 or higher.  So my guess is that a 120 would be very comfortable in the fall...unless someone has a better idea.

2.   I think that this question is consistent with the purpose of this entire thread. Let me know if you think I should post it somewhere else.

1.  Those conditions were what we normally got on SF Bay.  While racing, the skippers used the max allowable 130s, I ran my "big" (for me, my other one is an 85%) 110 during ther summer and sometimes that was a handful.  A stock 110 working jib for those conditions would suit just fine, IMHO.  The 10% difference would be negligible.  But I'm sure there are many Chesapeake sailors who will add to this based on their personal experiences right where you sail.

2.  I was being facetious  8), of course this is just the right place for your question. 
Title: Re: Jib Size Selection
Post by: Breakin Away on October 26, 2016, 07:50:13 PM

1.  Those conditions were what we normally got on SF Bay.  While racing, the skippers used the max allowable 130s, I ran my "big" (for me, my other one is an 85%) 110 during the summer and sometimes that was a handful.  A stock 110 working jib for those conditions would suit just fine, IMHO.  The 10% difference would be negligible.  But I'm sure there are many Chesapeake sailors who will add to this based on their personal experiences right where you sail.
Unless someone convinces me otherwise, I'll plan on a 110 for early spring/late fall.

My C250 came with an original 110 and I was very happy with it. It got shredded a bit when a 35 kt cloudless front came through, so when I went to replace it I got another 110 rather than go larger. I was sailing in a narrow river and tacking every 10-15 minutes, so the smaller jib came across very nicely. Even though I'm now sailing where I can go 2 hours or more without tacking, I think a 110 will perform nicely for me without the need to partially furl except in the most severe conditions where all I want is a postage stamp to balance the helm.

On a partially related note, my TR mainsail (fixed food) only has one reef point. I'm thinking of adding a second reef point. Any suggestions on how/where it should be done?
Title: Re: Jib Size Selection
Post by: Breakin Away on December 03, 2016, 09:14:57 AM
I spoke to Chuck O'Malley at Chesapeake Sailmakers today. I used him to make the new headsail on my prior C250. For the Chesapeake early spring and fall, he recommends a 130 as better than 110. His justification is that even in the shoulder seasons, there are many days that are low wind, and a 130 allows you to stick with one sail instead of switching sails frequently. So I'd use the 150 for summer, and the 130 for spring/fall. In really heavy wind I could do a few wraps on the 130.

Comments from other Chesapeake sailors?
Title: Re: Jib Size Selection
Post by: Ron Hill on December 04, 2016, 01:12:26 PM
Breaking : I believe that you'll find that you'll be keeping the 150% on for the entire season!! 
If the wind pipes up you'll just roller out 130%.
 
I have a bi-lateral cut with a foam luff and found the sail shape to be just fine when "reefed".

A thought
Title: Re: Jib Size Selection
Post by: Breakin Away on December 04, 2016, 02:02:59 PM
Breaking : I believe that you'll find that you'll be keeping the 150% on for the entire season!! 
If the wind pipes up you'll just roller out 130%.
 
I have a bi-lateral cut with a foam luff and found the sail shape to be just fine when "reefed".

A thought
There were a few days this fall when I had to furl in enough of the 150 that shape was horrible. I had less than 130 out at the time, in fact, I'd have gone on main alone but needed the headsail for good helm balance. My 150 does not have a foam or rope luff. I originally inquired on this thread about adding one to my existing sail, and received this response which had me looking for a totally new sail:


1.  Does a luff pad (foam or rope) work well with this boat?

2.  Or should I be looking at a new smaller headsail for early spring/late fall sailing? If so, what size?

1.  Has nothing to do with the boat and everything to do with the sail.  In many cases, if the sail isn't made for it, a luff pad won't help, and if the sail is so big that you need a deep reef, a pad won't help anyway.

2.  The whole purpose of this entire thread was...???   :D :D :D

So at the risk of making this thread go around in circles, if you have a different opinion of what I should do please make a specific recommendation.
Title: Re: Jib Size Selection
Post by: Mark Sutherland on December 04, 2016, 08:37:47 PM
Next time the wind pipes up and you feel over powered, try dropping the main.  We sail quite comfortably in 20 knots with jib only.  No weather helm, 7+ knots thru the water.  I believe Stu did the same when he was in the Bay Area.
Title: Re: Jib Size Selection
Post by: Stu Jackson on December 05, 2016, 07:55:12 AM
<snip>......................I originally inquired on this thread about adding one to my existing sail, and received this response which had me looking for a totally new sail:
1.  Does a luff pad (foam or rope) work well with this boat?
2.  Or should I be looking at a new smaller headsail for early spring/late fall sailing? If so, what size?
1.  Has nothing to do with the boat and everything to do with the sail.  In many cases, if the sail isn't made for it, a luff pad won't help, and if the sail is so big that you need a deep reef, a pad won't help anyway.
2.  The whole purpose of this entire thread was...???   :D :D :D
So at the risk of making this thread go around in circles, if you have a different opinion of what I should do please make a specific recommendation.

In joining you to negate the risk of a circular firing squad  :shock:  it seems to me that we could examine your selected quotes a tad more.

You asked if the jib had anything to do with the boat or vice versa.  Answer remains no.  At least based on how you asked originally.

You asked about foam luffs and whether they could be added.  Unless you can get a qualified sailmaker to tell you otherwise, the answer remains no because adding the foam or rope at the luff affects the sail material at said luff and should be built into the sail in the first place.

You asked about this thread going around in circles.  I submit that running a 150% could well get you running around in circles.   :D :D :D

As I said in my first reply way back when, the entire purpose of this topic was to explain the advantages of smaller headsails over the huge gigundous genoas many skippers have been running over the years. 

I did NOT write a lot of that content in that link, but merely provided it for thought since this issue comes up so often, so very, very often.  I also, IIRC, explained my pleasure and reasons for the small(er) headsails I have successfully been using for the past 18 years.  There is competing evidence that smaller headsails are not always slower and that bigger headsails are not always faster, in addition to the issue of the variety of wind speeds in which the smaller headsails can be flown safely.

And, like anything else in life, if you ask ten folks down your street what the right lawnmower is for you, you'll get ten or maybe even twelve different answers.  Gee, kinda like boating... :D

Your question was, and remains, "What size new genoa should I get for my boat?"

We have provided you with different points of view from the advantages and disadvantages (some perceived and some real) of both points of view.

You know where you are going to sail  So do we.  But only YOU know how you intend to sail.

This, then, truly reflects the concept of

Your boat, your choice.  :D

Again, good luck on your final choice.
Title: Re: Jib Size Selection
Post by: Breakin Away on December 05, 2016, 08:33:10 AM
I am not criticizing anything that anyone has posted. And my selection of quotes was not meant to take anything out of context - just to remind others (and myself) where I am coming from with my additional questions.

I do invite even more opinions from anyone who has not spoken up yet, especially those sailing in the Chesapeake. I learn from everything that is posted (and the prior threads that I have seen), so it's all good.

At this point I am unsure what to do, and that uncertainty may likely end up leading me to do nothing and spend another year with what I have.
Title: Re: Jib Size Selection
Post by: KWKloeber on December 05, 2016, 09:09:44 AM

Does a luff pad (foam or rope) work well with this boat? Or should I be looking at a new smaller headsail for early spring/late fall sailing? If so, what size?


breakin',

Let me put my $.02 this way, for any boat -- not specifically a C-34, and as in most tings in life, it all "depends". 
It depends on what performance you are expecting for the money you want to spend.

Put it this way -- a huge reefed headsail is the worst of both worlds.  You will never see a racer (except in an emergency) reef the headsail - they will switch it out.  Foam luffs were not invented for performance reasons -- they are for less cost and hassle.  But likewise, how much performance do you expect?  And how much loss in performance can you tolerate if you're leisurely cruising and hitting that last 1/2 knot isn't critical?  Only you can answer that questions!  Surrender your Visa and we can get you the best performing suit of sails!

k
Title: Re: Jib Size Selection
Post by: Ron Hill on December 05, 2016, 03:00:07 PM
Breaking : As Stu mentioned Talk to Sailmakers.  That's what I did and had the sail was made to my specs. and as I said the shape is fine when rolled in.  I don't believe that you can economically install a foam luff in an existing sail - best to just have a new one made.
I believe that the whole idea of a foam luff is to maintain sail shape when rolled in. 

There was mention about sailing on the genoa alone.  Have done that many a time and it works just fine.

A few thoughts
Title: Re: Jib Size Selection
Post by: DaveBMusik on December 05, 2016, 03:57:49 PM
I would err on the smaller side. A large headsail furled just causes turbulence and you lose flow across the main. A smaller sail may not have the pull but the flow remains efficient.
As the wind comes up, you want a flatter sail (like an airplane wing with the flaps closed). Furling a large headsail causes more of a belly at a time when you want less.
Title: Re: Jib Size Selection
Post by: Hugh17 on October 18, 2017, 01:55:28 PM
I've read the posts and don't think anyone has mentioned the weight of the sail cloth pertaining to the size genoa referenced. My Hull #299 came to me with a 122% genoa that I'd guess is 6-8 ounces. I think the weight of the cloth is good for that size sail.

I was given a 135% genoa from a Catalina 350 and I had it cut down to maximum luff size to fit my rig and it calculates to around a 150%. I think the cloth is 6-8 ounces also. I've campaigned in club races and cruised with both the 122% and the 150% and have concluded that the 150% is too heavy for light air conditions and too big for moderate to heavy air. The strongest conditions I've raced in were 30-35mph and I attempted to furl the 150%. It basically sailed like crap for all points other than downwind. Frankly, I was just happy to get back to the dock without breaking anything.

My thinking is that a 150% genoa needs to be  made of 3-4 ounce material and only used for light air conditions. Thoughts?

As far as those who mentioned sailing with genoa alone in heavy air I agree. My C34 has the stock rudder and the boat develops a significant weather helm in heavy air. I've have only used a single reef when racing in heavy air but I'm convinced that a double reef would be better in most heavy wind conditions. Thoughts?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Jib Size Selection
Post by: mark_53 on October 18, 2017, 02:16:26 PM
I've read the posts and don't think anyone has mentioned the weight of the sail cloth pertaining to the size genoa referenced. My Hull #299 came to me with a 122% genoa that I'd guess is 6-8 ounces. I think the weight of the cloth is good for that size sail.

I was given a 135% genoa from a Catalina 350 and I had it cut down to maximum luff size to fit my rig and it calculates to around a 150%. I think the cloth is 6-8 ounces also. I've campaigned in club races and cruised with both the 122% and the 150% and have concluded that the 150% is too heavy for light air conditions and too big for moderate to heavy air. The strongest conditions I've raced in were 30-35mph and I attempted to furl the 150%. It basically sailed like crap for all points other than downwind. Frankly, I was just happy to get back to the dock without breaking anything.

My thinking is that a 150% genoa needs to be  made of 3-4 ounce material and only used for light air conditions. Thoughts?

As far as those who mentioned sailing with genoa alone in heavy air I agree. My C34 has the stock rudder and the boat develops a significant weather helm in heavy air. I've have only used a single reef when racing in heavy air but I'm convinced that a double reef would be better in most heavy wind conditions. Thoughts?

Thanks!

I never measured my genoa but the PO tells me it's a 150%.  The material is quite thick and a waffle pattern.  I'd have to agree the 150% 's performance decreases with each wrap.  That's true of any furled head sail and material thickness plays a big part. The thing I do like is when single handed, it is much easier to sail with genoa only since I don't have to mess the the main.  In fact, the main doesn't add much performance when the genoa is out.  I'll do 6-7 knots in 12-15mph winds with jib only.
Title: Re: Jib Size Selection
Post by: Paulus on October 19, 2017, 05:03:30 AM
Breaking:  I had a new 150 made by a local sailmaker here in Muskegon.  Talked to him and told him what I needed.  Made a 150 with a foam pad for reefing.  Very pleased.  Stu and Ron are right on.  I would add that it is helpful if the sailmaker sails and knows the weather conditions in your region.
Paul
Title: Re: Jib Size Selection
Post by: Breakin Away on October 19, 2017, 06:34:46 AM
My inquiry was from last year. My ultimate decision was to go with a 135 with foam luff. It has served me well this season. I purchased from Bacon Sails in Annapolis (who uses the same overseas loft as Quantum), and they did a good job at a fair price.

In comparison, the 150 that came with my boat was not a particularly good design choice. Just as Hugh17 observed, it was too heavy cloth for light air, and too big and unmanageable for moderate air. I might consider an asym someday, but in the meantime if the air is dead I just motor. I'm not a racer, so I'm not going to be DQed for running the motor.
Title: Re: Jib Size Selection
Post by: scgunner on October 19, 2017, 07:56:58 AM
      Sails are like surfboards, sit down with your sail maker/ shaper and tell him how you sail/ surf and what you want and he will deliver a product you will be happy with. When I was racing my sail maker built me a 155% deck sweeper, in the generally light air around Long Beach, CA it was awesome! Later when I was done racing I went with a slightly smaller(150%)jib that was cut higher for better visibility and a little more manageable while out for a day sail.