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Head sail size

Ernest Ashley

New Member
Blown Away here with a question about what headsail might be a good option. Our gynormous genoa looks to be ~130+(?) and not the newest bolt of cloth. We are considering what sail to add to the inventory that might be a little easier to handle, point better, provide better visibility and be easier to tack. We are not looking for a storm jib but something in between. New or used, what options and/or dimensions would you suggest?
 
We are on San Francisco Bay and have a 130% on a furler. 15 to 20 knot winds are normal here. Sometime the jib is rolled a little but it is cut pretty flat for here. Also have a heavy weather jib that I believe is a 90%. Just FYI.
Mitchell
 
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130% is a good size. I have a 130, and when new I could point to 28-29 degrees apparent. Best VMG was 30. If you get a foam luff, it will keep shape a bit better when partially furled to a point.
 

Tim Eichel

Member
Blown Away here with a question about what headsail might be a good option. Our gynormous genoa looks to be ~130+(?) and not the newest bolt of cloth. We are considering what sail to add to the inventory that might be a little easier to handle, point better, provide better visibility and be easier to tack. We are not looking for a storm jib but something in between. New or used, what options and/or dimensions would you suggest?
I know what you mean when you say "gynormous genoa", I have a similar situation. I am close to needing new sails and my genoa is almost too big for me to single handle at times. It's a pain to tack and hard to furl even though I have a Profurl furler in excellent condition. When it is furled/reefed it will not point worth crap so there is that.....

I was thinking on going with a 115% headsail so I asked Precision Sails to quote it along with a mainsail. I have attached the quote.
 

Attachments

Overlapping headsails suck. In SF there was an advantage in ratings at 125%; well that went away. My takeaway is that over the years the 125 has been optimum on our 382. I tried one with roller furling and leech a cover. Dumb idea. Throwing the cover around the shrouds was time consuming and just painful. New sail, no cover, bend it, hoist it, drop it, bag it. (It was a tri radial from Precision with a T-clew ring)
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
The Morgan, unfortunately, is a jib driven boat. Go 125% to 135% and accept reality. We have a 135% and a Solent jib, which s about a 95% and the Solent is used in higher winds when beating.
 
I wonder if there is something else going on if you are struggling so much with a 125-130% Precision might make a good sail and have a good price, but it might be worth the expense to order sails from a local loft, and have the sailmaker go for for a sail with you first to discuss the issues. I can furl and unfurl may 130% quite easily without a hint of trouble. And I have singlehandedly changed headsails while underway. Of course a reefed sail will not point as well as a full sail, but it shouldn't be that dramatic. With a foam luff it should be pretty decent pointing while reefed. The foam is cut to give the luff some shape and prevent wrinkles when reefed. An incorrect cut or an old sail might be exaggerating the slight loss of pointing it making it much worse than it should be.

John, what do you mean by "Throwing the cover around the shrouds"?
 
The cover material that was sewn onto the leech of the sail for uv protection on my tri-raidial 125. The extra weight of that material In light winds would cause it would constantly hang up at the forward lowers. That sail has been retired.
 
Terry, I am curious about your Solent rig. Can you explain or show, how you rig it up and what you use for the stay, etc.?
Ihave often thought that a Solent would add to our boats.
Thanks,
Mitchell
 

pmf44

Member
I agree with much if not all of the above. In lights winds I often have to go forward to get the sunbrella cloth on the 130 over the spreaders. Sometimes the sheets get caught on the unusual midship cleats with the opening through the gunwhale. I am thinking of eventual replacement with a somewhat higher cut 115 or so that won't go beyond the spreaders. A foam luff presents an interesting idea. I often sail with the genoa reefed but never seem to get a good trim, despite adjusting the sheet car, but it could be due to the sail's age. I have both caprail tracks and an inner track much closer to the coachroof and spreaders and am curious about others in terms of using an inner track.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
When the boat had a 150% genoa it had to be sheeted to the cap rail, outer, track, then to the winch. When I went to a 130% (so much better) it was able to be sheeted to the inner track then lead to a car on the outer track then to the winch. The inner track allows for better sail shape when going to weather.

Jim
 

pmf44

Member
That's an idea--I'll take a look at that, but it might require a snatch block on an eye rather than the normal car. Thanks
 

Ernest Ashley

New Member
Question for Terry: Do you really have a Solent, two forestay set up? I read John Harries' pitch for cutter rigs on his Attainable Adventure Cruising blog and I understand that Ted Brewer noted the 382/3/4 could be set up as a cutter with reinforcement of the bulkhead at the rear of the anchor locker. But I also understand you should have running backstays with a cutter rig. That seems to be more involved than I would want to deal with.
 
Terry,
Your 130 must have a much higher clue than mine. I wish mine were higher, and will discuss that with the sailmaker next time I replace it. Mine sheets to the outside track, further aft than the midship cleat, and about a foot off the toerail. I can't sheet my 130 to the inner track, as the lifelines are in the way. It also makes the position of the block very critical, and it needs moved with even small adjustments.
 
That's an idea--I'll take a look at that, but it might require a snatch block on an eye rather than the normal car. Thanks
You don't need a snatch block. Ease the lazy sheet, and cleat it to the midship cleat on the working side. Then you are free to take the working sheet off the winch and run it to the other track. Then trim in on the new track and release the lazy sheet from the cleat.
 

dickkilroy

Richard Kilroy
Our current cruising headsail is a Rolly Tasker 120 (worlds largest sailmaker located in the Philippines, Tasker was A Australian who died a couple of years ago). It is a panel construction head sail and not a mid seam sail construction. less expensive. I am very happy with it, it works wonderfully in the normal conditions we have here in buzzards Bay which is winds usually 15 to 25 late in the afternoon after thermal heat kicks in. Reaching in higher winds is an animal. That’s the boat not the sail. however as Terry says the Morgan 38 hull is a headsail driven machine. This makes your compromise very difficult and in my opinion depends on your type of sailing conditions. In the last Marion to Bermuda race we did we finished with a full on 147 mid seam head sail and a double reefed main. daughter Kathleen said that there’s something wrong, this thing (Turks head) is right here at the top of the wheel. I said Kathleen you’re wrong that’s beautiful. So I would base my decision on your sailing conditions and what other locals have to tell you, or conditions at your destinations if you have those kind of plans.
 

dickkilroy

Richard Kilroy
I forgot to mention another point in my comments about headsail rigging. I don’t believe in using the Morgan installed inboard track. I have it and did use it originally. This track was not properly constructed and is simply through bolted through the fiberglass and plywood to the underside. It is not solid fiberglass construction in this area. This can lead to leaks further in the deck area. Sorry Jim.
 

yurek

Jerzy Borzym
Dick did get better pointing with inner track ?
I mounted inner track, bud can not use with existing jib.
I'm planning new head sail and question is: does make sense to reinforce this track with backing plate or just not to use it.
I think my track is not enough to the back of the boat, the track end is at the back corner of the cabin window.
I'm planning to order new Tasker, here is the quote:
""
Thank you for your enquiry regarding a new headsail for your Morgan 384 (I = 50, J = 16.25).

Custom built in Challenge 8.88oz dacron (with high-mass fibers for exceptional durability), with foam on luff, Sunbrella UV protection in your choice of color, and luff tape to suit your existing furling system, a new 130% roller furling genoa would be priced at $2,649

Sail comes standard with leech line with clam cleat, tell tales, draft stripes and sail bag. Construction is to full offshore specifications and includes triple-stitched seams, large radial corner reinforcements, with handsewn leather chafe protection.

""
Guys: If you know source for better price, please let me know.
Yurek.
 

dickkilroy

Richard Kilroy
Jerzy : First of all if you add under support to the track under the deck , all you are going to do is further crush the plywood core. I definitely would not recommend that. I would however strongly recommend the Rolly Tasker sail. I have both a Tasker Main and a 120 Jib. With a 130 size sail, I don’t feel there is anyway you could use the Morgan installed inside track any why. It will faul on the forward inside shroud.
 

dickkilroy

Richard Kilroy
Jerzy: Again as to the sails Tasker facility in the Philippines is over 100,000 ft.² and they manufactures their own ropes. This information today from my sailmaker, sail repair facility, Thurston/Quantom in Bristol Rhode Island.
 

dickkilroy

Richard Kilroy
Hopefully last, jerzy, I own number 74 and a friend of mine on hull number 64 of the 382 series, I believe were the first people to order the inboard track, we had 100 % jibs Which worked great on his tracks but I found a hull deck cracks. Therefore I stopped using them.
 
I have used the inner tracks quite a bit while I was racing in SF. No issues with the jib fouling or the strength of the track. Because of the length of the track, the load is spread out over a large area even without large backing plates. I don't see how additional plates would hurt though. When not racing, the small improvement in pointing isn't worth it.

And honestly, you likely need to improve your sail trim skills before using the inner track, as if you don't trim it correctly, you will lose pointing ability with it. Just something that I learned, both with trial and error, and some advanced sail trim study. With new sails I can point to 29 apparent on the outside track-with the correct trim. On the inner track, I found that I was losing more to leeway than I was gaining. I would "point" to 25-29, but the boat was moving close to 50 or 60.

It might be hard to visualize, but the jib needs both shape and some angle. If you ease the jib, the increased angle will provide a bit more forward lift, and a bit less sideways lift. So if you over trim, you have too much sideways and not enough forward, and get more leeway. And you should never trim the jib flat, that would produce no lift, only drag. So even on the inside track, you should never trim so tight that the jib touches the shrouds. This is where the adage "When in doubt, let it out" comes from. Also, the best trim is usually to easy the sail until it just barely luffs, then trim until it barely doesn't.

What the inside track does, is allow you to ease the sail more, so that the clew is in the same general position as if on the outside track, but with a lot more shape. You would really need to be paying attention to utilize it, and would probably be switching back and forth between tracks often.

If you are interested in maximizing your sailing, I highly recommend this book:
North U Performance Trim (landfallnavigation.com)
 

yurek

Jerzy Borzym
Dick, Quote I have for the jib is for Tasker sail. I have removable inner forstay attached at spreaders level. Last year I used Thurston to modify my small jib, They did v. good job. I will stay in RI this summer so I will ask them to quote new Tasker jib.
I totally agree with Warren, about the shape of the Jib. In my case my inner track is to much forward and this will limit my jib to to probably 120 %. and the turning block will be at the end of the track. What I see from Warren's writing, with new Jib it is not to much gain using inner track.
Dick, Warren Thanks for comments:
Yurek.
 

royaltern

Bert Willett
I had a 140 jib on Royal Tern. I always used the inner track when beating. the wind speeds on the Chesapeake tend to be light under 18 apparent and usually 12 or under when beating. I trimmed the the jib 3 to 6 inches off the spreaders. Although I had a new North jib. I was never fond of it. I think I should have used my old 110 more, but to change it was a pain, and a as I said winds on the Chesapeake were light often 5 to 10.
My reason for commenting is I never developed any stress along the track. Most of the force is pulling forward rather than upward. I think my track was farther from the cabin than what appears in Jim Cleary's picture. It is also possible that Morgan did more reinforcing of the track on models after Dicks. It is very common to have inner tracks on boats.
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
I posted photos of my solent attachment point in 2019. Poor photos, but they reveal the arrangement. Chainplate is on foredeck, just aft of head stay, bolted to bow below main chainplate for forestay.
Stay is quick release and is stowed by main shrouds when not in use. Stay runs parallel to head stay and is attached to a plate on upper mast. he hailard hangs on a block below the stay. The plate curves to the shape of the mast and is attached with eight 1/4" bolts. My boatyard talked to Carl Schumacher about that; I thought the attachment should be on a bolt that went all the way thru the mast After 23 years, the current design still works. We can't tack the genoa when the stay is up. But offshore, ,when we are not short-tacking, we leave the solent stay up and just furl the genoa before a tack. Solent sheet goes to inner track, way forward, by shrouds. I installed the inner track properly. Each of dozens of holes are drilled out, filled with epoxy, then redrilled for 5/16" fasteners, then each is backed with very large fender washers. (Yes, continuous backing plate is better.) But after reading Warren's thoughtful critique, I may rethink using the inner track except in light conditions. Even with a 6' draft, I suffer more leeway than I would have expected. And I use the outer track for reaching and running, obviously.
 
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dave_a

Dave Ahlers
I thought a solent stay would be my solution to being over powered. My 130 didn't roll up well to 100 or 90%. Snap the lever, hank on something strong and small, 2 reefs in the main, and let it blow. Move it out of the way when its done howling. Changing out a headsail on the furler's foil wouldn't be my 1st or 2'nd choice of fun things to do on a windy deck. Hard enough to do at the dock!
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
That is how it works for us, at least when beating. But it take a while to set up the stay, hank on the jib, run the sheets, and get it flying. Much better than changing out a headsail on a foil, but not a "no-work" solution.
 

dickkilroy

Richard Kilroy
Under extreme heavy wind sailing I would never think about attempting to change a furling head sail. This kind of decision has to be made well before you see the 30 to 50 knot winds. At that point you just can’t do it. Too much danger to everyone. She’s flailing sail all over the place. When sail is down it may go overboard, much water, more danger to everyone. If you have made this mistake and not changed sail and are now reefing, hopefully you have snatch blocks located in the proper place for a reefed sail on the toe rail and have secondary winches to assure you can hold the reef. You can then change the lead to the head sail by going on the opposite tacks but the danger of the jib sheets beating on someone is still there. More so with the lea sheets. I certainly don’t know everything. Have sailed in what were described as hurricane conditions in the 1991 Marion/ Bermuda, and then in tropical storm Annie on the return that year. I have also was in tropical storm Leslie in 2000 to Bermuda with my Catalina 38. Was towed in from 3 miles out in that situation. Love being off shore but you have to be aware of the dangers that can occur. I think I have been unlucky having seen the situation’s above.
 
I don't think anyone would suggest changing a headsail in tough conditions. I don't want to be hanking on a staysail in those conditions either. The advantage of roller reefing is that you don't need to leave the cockpit.

I have changed roller headsails twice while underway. One time was the day before an expected blow, when conditions were light. The other was in very light conditions, when I dropped my 130, to add my smaller jib and fly them both wing on wing. I did that single handed without much trouble.

As for reefing performance, if I am in 45+ knots, I don't care about jib shape, or how aerodynamically well it works. If I have to furl way down, then I'll need to bear off a bit to keep the tiny bit of jib full. Or, most likely I'll turn completely around and sail downwind, where shape doesn't matter at all.

At some point I hope to add a staysail, in Ted Brewers location, so i can still tack, and have a small jib on a furler.
 

yurek

Jerzy Borzym
I add third reef on main and small jib on removable spectra stay. Stay is attached at the mast at spreaders high. On may mast there is sturdy welded plate for spinnaker boom halyard and I'm using this attachment. Front of the stay is on the chain locker bulkhed. Because stay i attached at spreaders level I don't need back stays. After- lowers will do the job. On cabin top I mounted tracks for sheet blocks. Lucky, never had chance to test this setup.
 

dickkilroy

Richard Kilroy
I have the Brewer design temporary cutter rig on Vixen. It is a hank on sail probably measuring about 50% of a small 100% jib. In the races I have done all they want is a maximum head sail size and mainsail information. For that reason I have never had this sail measured. It is only been used two or three times in adverse conditions. I do have the Brewer recommended running backs stays which are quite frankly seriously oversize. CYA time I guess. The blocks I believe are the largest thing Lewmar made at the time I set up the rig. Another major problem in this conversation about heavy weather sailing is that you can’t go with the too much of a smaller rig. When you hit 25 to 40 foot seas, One of the major concerns if you are going to weather loosely reaching etc. is the ability to climb the next wave. if you can this will undoubtedly end up in serious rudder damage. In these conditions I have never considered running so I don’t know what the options are when doing that.
 

dickkilroy

Richard Kilroy
To finish the above, I would say my preference would always be to have the pointy end of the boat pointing into your conditions. Also remember when you are in the trough your winds are much lighter and variable and when you hit the peak it’s wild.
 
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