Westsail Owners Alliance - Post: "Sail Combinstion And Balance"
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Post: "Sail Combinstion And Balance"

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


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Norm Rhines

Meaghan Bruce wrote:

We have found that reefing the main balances the boat much better under a wide variety of condition. We have a 335 SqFt Jib and 140 Staysail (we removed the boom) and a 300 full batten main. We also have a 470 drifter. We often find we have a hard time balancing the boat to windward with the whole main up even in fairly light conditions (15knots). Has anyone else had this problem? We'll have to try the drifter with the staysail... new idea! Without the boom on the staysail we get much better shape, and have space on our foredeck! If it makes any difference, we are sailing in B.C. (Canada).

Meaghan & Fagin

Meaghan & Fagin:

One direction you may want to look is, the balance of the boat. This alone changes the handling allot, are you bow down? (is the tang under water or completely out of the water).
Should be completely out.

A second, if the angle of the mast fore / aft is not correct you will have problems (is the mast head pulled aft?) it should be vert at the slip.

a third, is the main a baggy sail (lot of belly = lot of load at the center of the sail) ?

Lastly if neither of these are the issue (in my case they were not) you may want to think about reduceing the foot of the main (Mine has been cut down form 15'-3" to 14'-0" ) with good success with regard to the balance. But as Dave King says, you are reducing your total max sail area.

A note: my biggest jib is only about 300ft. Although the drifter balances fine it also comes back 6 feet + past the mast (rigged to the boom gallows) so I don't really count it on balance.

My suggestion is to check and fix the first three items before jumping to recut the sail.

335 jib (that can't fly past 18kts can it?)

ops I did not ask, do you have a 42/43. All my comments on sail size is for the 32. the rest is the same for all boats+/-.

Last modified: 27 Apr 2011 6:21 PM | Norm Rhines

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