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Thread: Furling Genoa Size - thoughts on LP

  1. #1
    Contributing Member II TimTimmeh's Avatar
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    Furling Genoa Size - thoughts on LP

    My boat (e34-2) came with a fairly new suit of sails from a reputable local loft - they're still in great condition - but I find my Genoa a little lacking in power in the light conditions I experience most days. It is a heavy material and smaller LP probably about 110-120, it needs about 5kts apparent to get any shape and feels pretty sluggish until about 15kts; That range could describe almost every summer day in the southern gulf islands to nanaimo. Currently I am bridging the gap with an Asymmetric so I can continue sailing at a reasonable speed in the light stuff, but I am wondering if I would be happier with a big deck-sweeping 150 that could be used on all points without all the hassle of single handed kite-flying.
    Any thoughts or opinions? What do you have on your furler? Is the E-34 much faster with a large over-lapping headsail?

  2. #2
    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    Always food for thought.

    One thing true: the new headsails are much lighter and stronger than before and hold shape better. Probably a new 120 is the equivalent of a 20-year-old 150, just by being new.

    Downside of a very large genoa is that the cloth must be light--it's a light air sail. Not really designed for reefing way down when it blows.

    Also, bearing in mind that we never change headsails these days--if you want to sail in 30 knots it will be with the sail on the forestay.

    I think most of us are happy nowadays with 120-130 genoas. Or--less.

    An asym has light air covered. Me, I turn on the engine.

    (FYIW, I have a 120 genoa. Our conditions are fairly light in Santa Monica Bay (10-15 knots on a summer afternoon) , and I have never felt need for more sail)
    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal 5432
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  3. #3
    I have a 135 and find it about perfect. It is Dacron and getting a little tired. Has a uv dac furling cover to reduce weight. It is quantum. My friend bought a very nice composite sail from sobstad. No uv cover but has a atn sleeve. Almost the same price as a uv cover. Little more hassle lot more versatile

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    We have a 34-2 as well. When we bought the boat 3 years ago I ordered new sails and planned on going with a 150 but decided against it and went with a 135 instead. The 135 seems to handle everything pretty well and I find that we rarely furl the genoa but instead put a reef in the main when things start getting a bit heavy.
    1987 34-2
    Tortuga
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    Contributing Member II TimTimmeh's Avatar
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    Nice - so if I get a new 150 it will be like a 20 yearold 180 sounds good to me.

    Problem is that I use the boat mainly as a day-sailor - going nowhere in particular but without much time, so in those cases not interested in motoring around in circles. When I've got the family aboard and we're in cruising mode I give up and use the engine all the time. The asym is great from 170 to 80 deg, but any higher and I think you make more leeway then headway. As far as sail changes I think i can just put the sail that the days conditions suggest, as there are very little surprises around here wind-wise. My current headsail seems to do well in the range 10-20 kts, in fact in the low 20s I do well to put 1st reef in the main and leave the Genoa full.

    i think if i had a 135 already i wouldn't by even considering this, I should measure it, but I'm sure it is 120 or less and very heavy. The PO outfitted it for offshore work and said he wasn't interested in sailing in 10kts. Thankfully a friend convinced him to get that Asym.

    Maybe I need to try some other tricks, like sagging the fore-stay or fiddling with the lead cars?
    Last edited by TimTimmeh; 02-07-2019 at 06:25 PM.

  6. #6
    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    Here's a 120 in ten knots.

    https://youtu.be/VyDF2aUhuD0?t=412
    Last edited by Christian Williams; 06-15-2019 at 01:59 PM.
    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal 5432
    Table of Contents for Thelonious Blog here
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  7. #7
    Contributing Member II TimTimmeh's Avatar
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    Great video, Christian. It's like a live action version of Royce's Sailing illustrated! I can see you were in your happy place.

  8. #8
    Principal Partner markvone's Avatar
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    Tim,

    I use my boat like yours. I like to sail in light winds and it's not bad for day sailing here because it's usually flat (no swell) and we don't have much current. I don't like missing sailing days just because our Chesapeake summers have many 2 - 10 knot days. We do get the random front in summer and our spring and fall sailing generally has more days of over 10 knots so there is the need to reduce sail either by roller furling or changing sails (reefing is less effective due to the much smaller main vs genoa on both our boats).

    My E36RH has similar rig dimensions to your E34-2 but is a little lighter. I try to keep extra weight on board to a minimum (1/2 tank fuel and water, 25 and 35 gal) but I'm not a fanatic. I have refrigeration, 4 group 27 batteries, solar panel, some tools and extra sails onboard all the time. I have standard ablative bottom paint.

    My laminate 150 genoa (Quantum Fusion M) was built with a light air shape and no intent to partially furl. I am moving along with steerage (2 -4 kts boat speed) in about 2 knots of wind IF the wind is flowing down at the water. Often, I will have the same boat speed with the masthead wind reading up to 5 knots if there is a large difference in wind speed from water to masthead. My 150 is maxed out at 12 knots true wind speed with full main. I also have a similar Quantum jib that is about 105% LP. It takes about 8 knots to get moving with this jib, 10 knots is pretty good and it's maxed out by 18-20 kts. I usually try to start spring with the 105, change to the 150 for summer and change back to the 105 for the fall. I usually have to make a few sail changes during the season and I will also decide to sail the 150 partially furled (ugly) or the 105 underpowered a couple of times because I don't feel like doing a headsail change.

    The advantages: I have enough sail area to sail in 2 - 5 kts. wind speed. I go faster than a 120-140 LP headsail in 5 - 8 kts wind speed. (We get a lot of 2 - 8 kts here.) I rarely sail partially furled. Reaching and running, I don't switch to a spinnaker until lower wind speeds.

    The disadvantages: Our headsails are big and heavy (my 150 weighs 60 pounds) making changes a BIG job. I always try to change at the slip before I head out. Changing UP to the 150 (wind dropping) isn't too bad underway, changing down to the 105 not so much fun. You will need a pre-arranged system to drop and lash down the dropped sail on deck if you do a headsail change underway. It will need to be strong enough to keep your expensive sail on deck while you sail all day with the other sail. You can partially fold the dropped sail and stuff it through the bow hatch in a pinch, but it's wet and you will totally fill the vberth. Just folding the 150 to get it off the boat takes practice and technique. You have to buy two sails. You have to store the unused sail onboard. Did I mention changing sails is a major PITA.

    You should definitely experiment with light air rig settings. I have a hydraulic backstay adjuster. With it full off, I have 10 inches of forestay sag. I also have easily adjustable lead cars. These help de-power the genoa when the wind comes up, as does pulling the sag out of the forestay.

    You should also investigate a laminate, foam luff, partial furling genoa. Your sailmaker can build a laminate with a powerful light air shape but add more fiber where needed (or stronger fibers) to strengthen the sail to handle more wind and also to save weight. This works better than building an entire Dacron sail out of heavier fabric to handle the upper wind range. It will have a fast sailing shape for most of it's life because it doesn't stretch. It WILL cost more than Dacron but not nearly as much as two sails. Your sailmaker can also tweak the sail for more area to help get more power. My 150 below was built with a low, deck sweeping foot for more efficiency. It also has lightweight nylon on both sides to protect it from wear and UV (also qualifies for roller furler racing credit). Take your current sail to your sailmaker for an evaluation when you go and he will tell you how much better a new sail might work at low wind speeds.

    Mark
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    Last edited by markvone; 02-10-2019 at 01:04 PM.
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    Contributing Member II TimTimmeh's Avatar
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    Thanks,
    That's a lot to think about. I actually had 3 furling head sails on my last boat, an e29 so i have a bit of experience changing them, basically as you said it is harder to change down than up. I really like the look if the deck sweeper on your 36.

  10. #10
    Contributing Member II TimTimmeh's Avatar
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    Finally measured lp

    So I finally took out the tape measure to my headsail. With LP of 13.25, it turns out it's actually a 90%JIB not a genoa at all. It is a bit tricky to judge LP because the clew is 5' above deck so overlaps the mast about 2'. no wonder it works so well at 25kts. I think I may just go with the common wisdom of a 135 now, and put my existing sail away until the next gale warning.
    ~ You can't sail money ~

  11. #11
    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    Sounds right. And do consider a foam luff.
    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal 5432
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    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Lightbulb LP thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by TimTimmeh View Post
    So I finally took out the tape measure to my headsail. With LP of 13.25, it turns out it's actually a 90%JIB not a genoa at all. It is a bit tricky to judge LP because the clew is 5' above deck so overlaps the mast about 2'. no wonder it works so well at 25kts. I think I may just go with the common wisdom of a 135 now, and put my existing sail away until the next gale warning.
    I have done a little sailing in company with an E-34 and that hull form is very easily driven. Almost as much as our lighter O-34.
    After many years of wrestling with a 135 genoa, we changed to a 97% with three vertical battens, full hoist, and a (IMHO) rather low clew. Our boat does have tracks inside of the shroud bases - factory standard.

    While this leaves us a bit underpowered when the TW is under 7 or 8 kts, above that we have wonderful pointing ability and speed. We do reef when it's over about 18 kts, and with one reef and that jib we drive to weather with real authority at 24 Kts True.

    I should point out that with battens, our RF jib has about the same upper leach as (roughly) a 110, so it's not as "small" as it sounds.

    Anyhow, no wrong answers. Just alternatives to consider.
    For a great picture of us under sail, go to my Album here and look at picture 3.

    And, as Christian points out, do get the foam luff, according to the recommendations of your sailmaker.
    Last edited by Loren Beach; 05-11-2019 at 10:15 PM.
    1988 Olson 34 #8
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    Betamarine 25 (new 2018)
    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

  13. #13
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    E-34-2 hard on the wind, 15 knots wind strength, 130 and full main.



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  14. #14
    Contributing Member II TimTimmeh's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the info, always good to hear other solutions. I Like the batten sail idea, but how do you flake that, and how long are those battens? Right now I'm leaning towards the 135 just because I've got a great nearly new working jib already, so i just want something that covers the light to med range, I'll just keep another sail onboard and change as necessary.
    Last edited by TimTimmeh; 05-12-2019 at 06:54 PM.
    ~ You can't sail money ~

  15. #15
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by TimTimmeh View Post
    Thanks for all the info, always good to hear other solutions. I Like the batten sail idea, but how do you flake that, and how long are those battens? Right now I'm leaning towards the 135 just because I've got a great nearly new working jib already, so i just want something that covers the light to med range, I'll just keep another sail onboard and change as necessary.
    Since the battens are parallel to the headstay, the sail rolls up just like any other RF sail. When we take it off for the winter, we pull out the battens one by one, as we drop the sail down the foil.Then it is flaked and folded up and put into its bag. It is similar to the process of removing and folding up the main sail, actually.
    Last edited by Loren Beach; 05-12-2019 at 07:18 PM.
    1988 Olson 34 #8
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    Betamarine 25 (new 2018)
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