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

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

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Sail Combinstion And Balance


Peter Scheller
(Member)

I have discarded the boomkin, and now have a split back stay, fastened to the hull. I lost 11.3% of mains'l area. My new mains'l now has only 266 sq. ft. The new stays'l with 140 sq. ft. is almost identical to the WS-32 sail plan. The issue now is building a new Yankee. Choices are from the 170 sq.ft. Yankee as original sail plan. to a 250 super Yankee. As I will sail Pegasus as a cutter, I am not sure what size jib to order. I would feel comfortable with a 170 sq. ft sail. 200 sq.ft. is a lot of sail to strike, if conditions warrant it, assuming the stais'l is up, and the first reef is in the main. Another option would be a 220 or even a 250 sq,ft. super Yankee, and striking the stays'l, sailing Pegasus as a sloop. Further reduction in sail area would be striking the super Yankee, and re-hoisting the stays'l.
Further reduction in sail area would be the second reef in the main, and or striking the mains'l completely, sailing under stays'l alone. Any recommendation for the new Yankee?


Jay Bietz
(Administrator)

Peter: Wish I had my sail sizes handy but I don't. I do use a Lee Sail stay'l that is 131 SF that seems right for the SF bay.

I'll have to remeasure the Kern Main with full battens (very nice) and Furling jib - all new in 2007. Love the furling jib also - wish I had a furling stay'l.

Do let me know if you need a shout out for an Hawaii Rendezvous -- I have added all the names from Norms list as Forum only members and can send to members of the Hawaii fleet from our web site.

Just give me some content and information and I'll have them reply to your email address etc.

Jay



Norm Rhines
(Member)

Peter: In Hawaii There is normally more than 12Kts of wind soooooo 205 SQ/Ft and below would be great. If you do Mexico you might want a Higher #. If you stay in Hawaii then 180 - 210 or some where in between 170 is a bit small but?.
You might look at aarons' notes on runing the staysail with an over sized jib (Spinaker), Interesting in that I have not done this, but you will have more wind in the islands so large may not fit your needs?
Just one Opinion. And Yes I do the Staysail up and down thing.
Best of all You could assemble a rendezvous in Hawaii and get some better suggestions +/-. Jay has a listing of most of the Westsails over there, and you would have some fun and pretty good inputs on the sail size.

I would try to help but My boat is now between the cows and the grapes (a bit far from Hawaii)
Last modified: 27 Mar 2011 12:40 AM | Norm Rhines


David King
(Member)

Ahoy Peter,

The following is only one man's opinion. There are many variables to your inquiry. Most importantly; Are you using roller furling or not? Are you thinking "locally" or globally"?

First, I would like to redefine some sail terms. Lets call the "original' W-32 headsail of about 177 sq ft, the Working Jib. It is not a full hoist sail. The original Yankee was about 254 sq ft. Yankee's are full hoist sails. My Yankee is 305 sq ft. The "Super" Yankee, as popularized by Kern was about 350 sq ft. A Genoa for the W-32 would be about 440 sq ft (+or-). A Drifter, of about 1 1/2 ounce material, would be about 450 sq ft and above.

You should have at least 2 headsails - not counting the Staysail or Storm sails. I have roller furling and 4 headsails plus Spinnakers. I use my Working Jib, and Drifter, by far, the most. That said, if I only had one headsail it would be the regular Yankee. Furling up a big sail to make it smaller is common and can be done but is not usually the best way to go. I play the percentages with my headsail choices. As an example: I headed to the Marquesas with the Genoa on as there would be a high percentage of down wind work. I came home with the Working jib on as it would be a passage to weather. On one 4000 mile delivery of a W-32, I alternated between no headsail, a yankee, and a Drifter.

I just talked to Bill Andrews in Hawaii. He is a very good sailor and a singlehanded circumnavigator, which represents only part of his sailing on his W-32, Quest. He went around the world with only a Super Yankee and Drifter. In many instances the Super Yankee was too big.

Concerning your Mainsail. The loss of area should not be a detriment. Your area of 266 sq ft is about the same as a battenless Mainsail for the W-32, although the distribution of that area is different. In the old days, these sails were much more popular than they are today. I cruised over 30,000 miles with one. There is very little difference in performance and both have performance benefits.

I hope this has been of some help.

Dave



Peter Scheller
(Member)

Thanks, Dave, for your comments. Global and hanked on sails is my preference. My dilemma is never have sailed a WS-32 thus unsure of the balance capability. I sailed a Tom Colvin design "Saughten Witch" for many years in the South Pacific. Junked the junk rig in NZ went to cutter rig, and sailed boom less for several years, with no regret. As you
see in my original post, mains'l and stay'sl are present, and the question is: how big a Yankee? My sail maker, wich I trust (Carol Hasse), originally proposed a 270 sq. ft. Yankee. I countered with 220 or 200 sq. ft. considering a few earlier remarks made on this forum. What I want to know is how a WS-32 will balance with the sails provided. Now, lets assume Carol's recommendation of 270 sq.ft. Yankee. 1). 1st reef in mains'l, stays'l and Yankee hoisted. 2). Stays'l doused, Yankee and mains'l hoisted. 3). Yankee doused, stays'l and mains'l 1st or second reef up, depending on conditions. Will the boat balance in the conditions stated? 270 sq. ft. to douse, is a lot of sail area. Any thoughts on this? And yes, there is a drifter if the winds get very light. Thus a second heads'l. Peter


Norm Rhines
(Member)

Peter one suggestion and a data point

Do the rendezvous and ask for a ride to see the balance on a W32 for your self.

My sails i.e. One data point:
I have and Love a 205 working jib from Kern
I have and love a 300+/- jib (kind of like a super yankee) I added two small patches and saved it from the trash can
I have and love my 420 or 440+ft (memory fault) drifter By Neil Pride

Used all 3 but....
only the 205 in Hawaii, --on all my days there. If I did not have it, there would have been many times I would have been over powered (over Heeled alot)

As for balance the 205 is pretty close to right on the money, But the bigger sails balance without the stay up in Lighter air or down wind(Although Aaron had a thought on leaving the stay up, which I will try when I do get a chance.)

As Dave said, Bill is still over there and a really great guy! don't over talk him, and you will get some excellent information and stories. The other item not mentioned is minnies SP? sail supply, for used sails Or hunt the racers trash for the (Extra) sails you would like. No blow outs but patched old stuff. In my opinion one should have one new and if funds are tight one used Jib in the size range (177 - 300) i.e splitting somewhere around 240+/- both will work but like Dave said there are conditions where big works best and others where the smaller works better, and worst case, the used sail blows out, and you have a new jib that will work maybe not perfict but will get you there.
Last modified: 28 Mar 2011 1:12 AM | Norm Rhines


David King
(Member)

Ahoy Peter,

As Norm showed, it's hard to beat More sails. But if there is only one then lets try this: I will vary what you considered, a bit, and generalize a lot, as there are many variables - namely - direction. 1) full sail with Yankee. 2) 1st reef in Main. 3) drop the Yankee. But maybe leave it up and add 2nd reef to Main. 4) Staysail and double reefed Main. 5) Drop Main or 3rd reef it, or raise Trysail. 6) Staysail is up alone. It has remained up the whole time.

I have a reefable Staysail. It is actually reefed 35% to 50% of the time although it is not a deep reef. That is one more option that is low cost. I keep the Staysail on the boom. I know that Carol Hassey recommends no boom.

Once again, there are many exceptions. It is almost always advantageous to have "something" up forward. Even a small storm jib can do wonders directing the air flow over the staysail even though it's area seems insignificant. Compared to other W-32's, Saraband will seldom be seen without a Staysail up. Sailing deep, ie, well off the wind, is an exception.

In summary: I recommend a small working jib of about 177 sq ft and a 300 sq ft Yankee. But, if only one, then a 254 sq ft Yankee. I think Carol Hassey was pretty close on this quess. This sail should balance very well with your Main and Staysail in many different configurations.

Carol Hassey will build a very good sail. Kern Ferguson will build a very good sail for about 40% less. He knows Westsails like no other sail maker.



Meaghan Bruce
(Member)

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



Norm Rhines
(Member)

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+/-.

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


Meaghan Bruce
(Member)

Norm Rhines wrote:
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+/-.

Norm

Norm,

Our boat is a 32'. We have just recently lowered the front berth and re-configured the cabinets which seems to have taken some weight out of the bow (despite adding more chain to the anchor locker). The tang is definitely out of the water now, and the mast seems to be vertical (just looking at it by eye). Our mainsail is only a year old, full-battened, and loose footed. We haven't tested the balance much since we lowered the berth (downwind only, which was never a problem). We've used the jib up to at least 30knots, we tend to just reef, then double reef the main... the boat seems to balance quite well then.
I have heard of some Westsails shortening their booms, but that sounded a bit drastic. We used to have a much bigger genoa but the mainsail was bagged, and both had many 'at anchor' repairs... at the time we often sailed under genoa alone. The new jib seems to small for that, but seems to balance best with at least one reef (depending on wind conditions). Often that ends up cutting out a fair amount of sail area to balance though. I guess that's probably why you shortened the foot.

Meaghan & Fagin


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