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Thread: Self Tacking Jibs, anyone?

  1. #1
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Self Tacking Jibs, anyone?

    One of the guys at our YC converted his smaller RF jib to a self tacking 95% jib last year. He put a wire-cable traveler on his housetop just in front of the mast. The jib is still a furler.
    He single-hands his boat, a Catalina 30, a lot more than he ever did before.

    So far he is delighted with the change. Certainly he has given up some light air performance, unless he goes to the trouble of changing headsails before heading out for the day. On the plus side, we generally get an afternoon breeze of 12 to 15 knots in the summer.
    Our sailing venue, being a river, is pretty much a "windward leeward" sorta place to sail, so we can always put up the chute for the downwind part...

    I have been thinking about this for a long time, and really like the idea of tacking by just putting the helm over.
    Anyone here done this changeover on their boat?


    I can visualize that the "trick" way to convert would be to put some sort of ($$$) curved SS traveler right behind the forehatch. This would be kind of like the sailboats that come here from Northern Europe all the time.

    Comments? Ideas?

    Thanks,
    Loren in PDX
    Olson 34 #8
    Last edited by Loren Beach; 01-01-2005 at 09:09 PM.

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    self tacking jib

    Sounds like a great "idea" I just wonder how much work it would be? If you installed the traveller you would need use adequate backing plates at the least. The cabin top is cored so you would have to address that too, then you would not want to interfere with the fwd hatch, as well as asthetics. Could also be something that you tripped on up there too. I think it would make a lot of sense, especially if you sailed short handed a lot or did a lot of tacking like it sounds you do. The tough part is how you set it up. You would want it to be done right and look professional. What about instead of a fixed traveler trying to improve on the version the guy with teh catalina has done. Something that could be easily removed and stowed when not in use?

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    Inactive Member chrism's Avatar
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    I sailed on a Freedom 30 with a self tacking jib, and it was an awesome feature, especially while tending to that GIANT main. I split my time between my Ericson 35 and a friends custom steel cutter, a Ted Brewer design "Kaiulani 38."

    It has a self tacking staysail, and even though it's a staysail, I imagine that it could be adapted for use on a fiberglass boat as a jib boom. I could take some pictures of it next time I see the boat, in the next few weeks, if you'd like to see it.

    Smooth sailing into 2005

    Chris
    [B]Chris Matthews[/B]
    "Warbonnet" Scituate, Mass.
    1971 E-35 II - #212

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    Principal Partner Mindscape's Avatar
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    Self tacking Jib

    I also sailed a Freedom 30 with the self tacking jib and it worked great. We were in the BVI's and had plenty of wind so the small size of the head sail along with the single line reefing on the big main made this a very workable solution. As I remember there was some sort of Gary Hoyt designed gizmo in the jib to help it keep it's shape. This helped when we were wing and wing going down wind. All in all the Freedom 30 set up with the self tacking jib was very easy to sail.

    As you mentioned in light air the you'd give up performane. Not sure how well the set up you described would work downwind, although this may not be an issue for you.

    The Hoyt Jib Boom is an interesting solution to the self tacking head sail. We've got an Alerion 28 at our marina and it works well for him. You can read a description at http://www.alerionexpress28.com/hoyt_boom_content.html. These is a video link from there as well.

    Looks like this solution might be a lot of work to retrofit. It does seem like it would help down wind.

    Should you decide to undertake this project - good luck - and keep us posted!
    Frank Bunker
    Mindscape
    The Journey is the Destination
    Ericson 32-3, 1985 - Hull #661
    Kenosha, WI

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    Self tacking

    For most E-boats, if you sail where the average wind is above 8-10 knots, you will give VERY little performance away beating and close reaching, somewhat more beam-broad reaching. There IS a soution, though (keep reading).

    The best way to rig is with the use of a jib boom, and yes, the Hoyt system works very well and should be pretty easy to set up (well, fairly easy).

    I often tell cruisers that the ideal sail inventory consists of a main with 2 reefs, and 125-140% Furler (final size depends on how powerful the boat is to start with), and an assymetrical cruising spinnaker in a sleeve.

    Properly built, this genoa will cover you from 0-40+ knots, and you will not need any other headsails for normal use. Maybe keeping a very small, back up storm jib is worth it-but only if you do real offshore work).

    This set up gives you sail combos which are very nearly ideal over the widest range of wind speeds and angles, yet maximizes the all important need for cabin space-"Tankering" rarely used sails is a poor use of valuable space.

    The cruising kite comes in at about 0-10 knots close reaching, maybe up to 12 beam reaching and 20+ broad reaching to running. Those are the approximate upper end wind speeds after which the performance gain of the spinnaker is minimal if at all, and the little jib will do just as well.

    This shows quite well that a working jib (on a furler) does not cost you much and if you sail in breezy areas can add a lot to your sailing comfort.

    Enjoy!
    S

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    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Setting aside, for the moment, the high co$t of the Hoyt system... I wonder if the best initial plan might be to source a new 95% full-hoist furling jib, with clew led to a traveler consisting of a wire with a block riding on it, mounted between two SS pad eyes on either side of the forward cabin top? This is what my friend did on his 30 footer.

    The sheet lead would have to be worked out -- maybe to a turning block near the bow and thence aft down the side deck to one of the primaries.

    I wonder.....


    Loren

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    ST J's

    Morning, Loren!

    I wonder, too-about the sheeting issue. I would like to see how your buddy did this. You would need to somehow stabilize the purchase of the sheet when it goes from the clew forward-and you will need somekind of purchase before running it forward and then back-I think..or are you saying direct from the clew to the wire block, and then forward? usually the boom provide a stable place to set this up...

    Not arguing-just curious as well..

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    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    For the first "experimental" season with it, he ran the sheet from the block on the bridle up (!) to a swivle block attached to the spinnaker bullseye and thence back down to the mast base and aft to a cleat.

    It works well, as long as he has no interest in setting a pole.

    Loren

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    Huh?

    Obviously not correct use of equipement-those fittings were not intended for those loads in those directions-think of the compression on the mast step when sheeted hard on the wind!!

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    Principal Partner Mindscape's Avatar
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    Self Tacking example

    I found some info and a diagram that might be useful on the Harken site: http://www.harken.com/rigtips/selftack.php

    There are some pictures and even a system that allows for furling. It does not require a block on the mast step but does require a block on the bow.

    Just food for thought while you guys hash this out.
    Frank Bunker
    Mindscape
    The Journey is the Destination
    Ericson 32-3, 1985 - Hull #661
    Kenosha, WI

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    Self-tending jib on Ericson 26

    I've been reading about Ericsons for some time and I'm impressed with the quality of these boats. I'm looking at a 1988 Ericson 26 right now that I'm interested in buying. It needs new sails and I wanted to explore the idea of putting a self-tending jib up.

    On our current boat (a Cal 22, also fractionally rigged), my wife doesn't really enjoy tacking our 130% genny around. I basically singlehand the boat most of the time, even when I have guests. I'll be sailing out of Boston, so the wind varies from light to quite decent. I'm not a racer, simply a cruiser.

    So... a couple of questions:
    * Has anyone tried a self-tending sail on the 26? Or the 25+, 28+ or 30+?
    * How well does the boat sail on main alone? Not for long distance, just for a busy harbor on a windy day.
    * Alternatively, what's the smallest overlapping sail you'd recommend? 110% 120% 130%? The boat has RF.

    Thanks for any insights -

    Bill

  12. #12
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by BDEidson View Post
    I've been reading about Ericsons for some time and I'm impressed with the quality of these boats. I'm looking at a 1988 Ericson 26 right now that I'm interested in buying. It needs new sails and I wanted to explore the idea of putting a self-tending jib up.

    On our current boat (a Cal 22, also fractionally rigged), my wife doesn't really enjoy tacking our 130% genny around. I basically singlehand the boat most of the time, even when I have guests. I'll be sailing out of Boston, so the wind varies from light to quite decent. I'm not a racer, simply a cruiser.

    So... a couple of questions:
    * Has anyone tried a self-tending sail on the 26? Or the 25+, 28+ or 30+?
    * How well does the boat sail on main alone? Not for long distance, just for a busy harbor on a windy day.
    * Alternatively, what's the smallest overlapping sail you'd recommend? 110% 120% 130%? The boat has RF.

    Thanks for any insights -

    Bill
    Bill, Hope you do not mind that I combined your question with an existing thread with similar topic.
    Since your prospective boat is a fractional rig with large main, my guess is that going with a self tacking jib would not affect speed too much at all. Most boats with large mains will sail very well when "cat boating" around. My former 26 footer was a 3/4 fractional and would reach and run fast with only the large main in anything over 10 kts or so. In 15 kts it was wonderful that way. Pointing angle was off some, of course.
    I used to single hand it a lot, and, since I could not afford furling, I used a down-haul line woven into the jib hanks and led back to the cockpit to lower it and make it stay down. I used the 110 most all the time, rarely needing to hoist the 150.

    Our present 34 footer has furling and is just as easy to single hand, imho. Self tacking would be interesting but I have yet to build the curved track and supports. "Future project."

    Going with a 95 or 100 % overlap jib may not be as much of a decision as just having a good main and jib with good shape. On a used boat (no matter what brand) do not assume that the presence of a set of sails that are somewhat white in color and attached at the corners with no large holes in them means that they will power the boat particularly well.
    But you knew that.

    Boat ought to sail on main very well. BTW, if you were to go with a 100 or 110, you might find that it tacks so easily that your spouse and/or crew will begin to enjoy the process.
    Note B: put wife on helm. Yeah, really. My gal is 5'4" and does the driving on our present boat when wind is over 12 kts... being 6'+ I get to grind in the 135 genny. This way, she never minds tacking at all!
    We sail in a river... Lotsa tacks... and after a couple hours of that my arms get weak, tho.


    Let us know how the purchase process goes. The Sailing Life is a good one, and Ericsons are well-designed and classy boats.


    Loren
    Last edited by Loren Beach; 12-31-2009 at 08:11 AM.
    1988 Olson 34 #8
    Sail # 28400
    Universal M25XP
    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

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    Self-tending jib

    Thanks, Loren -

    My wife is pretty handy with handling the tiller on tacks. I guess it's me that's lazy, too... I suppose I could always compromise and get a 120% and an autotiller for when I'm truly singlehanding.

    Bill

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    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by BDEidson View Post
    Thanks, Loren -
    My wife is pretty handy with handling the tiller on tacks. I guess it's me that's lazy, too... I suppose I could always compromise and get a 120% and an autotiller for when I'm truly singlehanding.
    Bill
    Aha! the (lazy) culprit is outed...
    Seriously, though, I do use the AP while sailing and the one thing to remember about any AP is that it only does exactly what it was last told to do... :eek:
    Even if you change your mind and have trouble reaching the disconnect...

    Like, when you press the two buttons for "auto tack" you had better be poised and ready let go one sheet and haul on the other one without any hesitation. That's no time to discover that the lazy sheet is looped around the bull ring...
    Unlike a human helmsperson, the AP will not modulate the speed of the tack, pausing for a calculated instant just past head-to-wind while you initially take in 15 feet of sheet hand over hand quickly.

    The AP is the indispensable crew, but with some strong caveats.

    New Year's greetings,

    LB
    1988 Olson 34 #8
    Sail # 28400
    Universal M25XP
    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

  15. #15
    Innocent Bystander tenders's Avatar
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    You might want to think about a jib boom system called a CamberSpar, invented by a sailmaker name Dave Beirig and installed on a handful of Hunter boats.

    http://forums.sbo.sailboatowners.com...ad.php?t=72408

    http://www.steamradio.com/pipermail/...ry/003217.html

    I don't have personal experience with this Beirig invention but I have enjoyed the benefits of his vertically-battened roller furling 150 design on my E-32 for the last 13 years.

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