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Author Topic: Jib Size Selection  (Read 10825 times)

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Stu Jackson

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Jib Size Selection
« 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

Please read all three pages.  Enjoy.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2014, 05:23:36 PM by Stu Jackson »
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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Ron Hill

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Re: Jib Size Selection
« Reply #1 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!!   
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John Langford

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Re: Jib Size Selection
« Reply #2 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!
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Re: Jib Size Selection
« Reply #3 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.
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Hugh17

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Re: Jib Size Selection
« Reply #4 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%.
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James H. Newsome
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Breakin Away

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Re: Jib Size Selection
« Reply #5 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.
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Stu Jackson

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Re: Jib Size Selection
« Reply #6 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
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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George Bean

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Re: Jib Size Selection
« Reply #7 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?
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George Bean
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Breakin Away

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Re: Jib Size Selection
« Reply #8 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.
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Stu Jackson

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Re: Jib Size Selection
« Reply #9 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. 
« Last Edit: October 25, 2016, 08:10:06 PM by Stu Jackson »
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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Breakin Away

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Re: Jib Size Selection
« Reply #10 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?
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2001 MkII Breakin' Away, #1535, TR/WK, M35BC, Mantus 35# (at Rock Hall Landing Marina)

Breakin Away

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Re: Jib Size Selection
« Reply #11 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?
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2001 MkII Breakin' Away, #1535, TR/WK, M35BC, Mantus 35# (at Rock Hall Landing Marina)

Ron Hill

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Re: Jib Size Selection
« Reply #12 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
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Breakin Away

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Re: Jib Size Selection
« Reply #13 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.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2016, 02:04:18 PM by Breakin Away »
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Mark Sutherland

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Re: Jib Size Selection
« Reply #14 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.
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