Westsail Owners Alliance - Post: "Headsails"
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Post: "Headsails"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012

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- Archived Message from Inactive Forum -

Michael Dougan

Since my boat is gaff-rigged, I doubt my sail plan is very normal for a westsail. My jib I'd call a Yankee, but it's a hank on, and is very high cut. The cringle for the sheets usually floats about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way up the staysail. I also usually fly my staysail, but even so, I don't feel like I have enough headsail, and experience a fair amount of weather helm in any significant breeze.

I've seen some Westsails with a pretty big jib (maybe 130) and they move along fine, though I'm sure others here can tell you more.

As far as the traveler, my understanding is that if the wind is high, then you might want to move the traveler down to the Lee side. Then, when you sheet in, it will pull the boom more straight down which will flatten the sail and "depower" it slightly. When the wind is light, do the opposite, move the traveler to the weather side, this will pull the boom more towards the weather side and induce "twist" which, I think, gives it a little more power. But, with all things, go out in both conditions and try it out and see what your results are!

As far as being over-canvassed... well, I've been caught a couple of times with more sail up that I wanted for the sudden wind I was experiencing, but, the boat always handled it just fine... maybe a little water over the rail, but I got the feeling she was having a good time... like, that's what she's made for!

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