Author Topic: Sail Sizing  (Read 184 times)

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sjohnson

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Re: Sail Sizing
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2017, 09:41:51 PM »
All:

Thank you so much for all you input.  There were a lot of good points and recommendations with a lot of different ideas and experiences.  We have elected to go with Doyle Sails (Peter Grimm).   He has promoted the 125% genoa and that is the way we are going.   One interesting note for other 54's, when he measured the boat, the genoa track is probably not long enough to support a 135% genoa with a higher cut clew.   

Good sailing to all.

Scott Johnson
Lame Libre H54 #22

mjarzo

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Re: Sail Sizing
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2017, 08:32:34 PM »
I have a Hylas 49 that I have been amateur racing in Northern California (San Francisco local Offshore series). It has a 130 genoa and 100 staysail (both on furlers) and a full batten main on a boom furler. I have tried many different sail combinations sailing tight upwind and on various points off the wind (beam, broad, and direct downwind goosewing with the whisker pole set, or using the asymmetrical and running downwind angles). We fairly regularly get 30+ knots outside the Golden Gate when racing (this year) so plenty of opportunities to try various sail combinations and see how they work.

Beyond 20 knots going upwind the issue is more about finding a combination with fairly even spacing between the gears while keeping good pointing ability and controlling weather helm. Around 20 knots true I usually put a single reef in the main. I can hang on like that until around 25 true with the full 130 but it's getting overpowered, rail is in the water most of the time, and helm can get loaded if I accidentally fall off a bit or a large wave knocks the boat off course.

What to do as it passes 25? I typically furl some of the 130 if I am getting close to the upwind mark, but I lose significant pointing ability as soon as it's furled (somewhere around 10+ degrees and even more if sea-state is messy).

If there's still a long way to the upwind mark and I think the wind will stay strong or build more then I have more work getting the right combination but it saves some pointing ability. I fully roll the genoa, unfurl the staysail and take the reef out of the mainsail. This takes some time but gets me through to the higher 20's and weather helm is managed by feathering the boat in the gusts. It still points reasonably well (for a H49) with this combination. Once it gets to fairly continuous 30 true I put the reef back in the main but hold the full staysail. I've raced it up to low 30's true with gusts in high 30's with this combination.

Off the wind the H49 will take a lot more sail area and the combinations are less critical because pointing ability is not an issue. Most of the time I have reef in the main on the upwind beat so I have to decide whether to shake it out or leave it there. If conditions look like they'll stay around 25 true or more I leave it reefed. Anything under 25 and best to shake it out.

It will take full genoa and full main at 25 true when broad or beam reaching but some broaching can occur when waves are bigger and boat surges on the faces (not really a surf). Once it gets below 20 true I can also deploy the staysail. Michael H49 Hylite

joel

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Re: Sail Sizing
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2017, 05:36:26 PM »
Scott,

Lots of interesting advice here.  I don't have a cutter rig, but assume you do, so you have the option of switching to the staysail if the 135/125 is too much.  For racing I carry a light 155 up to about 10 knots true.  It is probably good for an extra 1/2 a knot of boat speed over the 135.
We also carry an asym all the time.

Tim, need you on the Chesapeake!  We've either had nothing or thunderstorms.

Joel

Aria49

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Re: Sail Sizing
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2017, 04:46:05 PM »
We recently put on new Doyle Vectran sails.  I think the H49 is a little under canvased, so went with a 120 radial cut headsail with a high clew. Around 23-25K I furl it and go staysail only. I think that a radial cut may have been a mistake, cross cut may allow for flatter shape, not sure about this though. I would ask.  The Vectran material is tough as nails, and very light for its strength.  A sailing friend of mine with lots of bluewater experience told me to set your sail plan for 20 knots of wind no reefs.  Lot depends on where your sailing I guess.
I do like the radial cut main sail, great shape and furls in mast very nice.  No vertical battens for me, just something that can go wrong with no real benefit in 20 knots.

http://www.doylesails.com/design/vectran.html

Brian 
H49-30 Aria
Aria49  #30

bp919

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Re: Sail Sizing
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2017, 03:12:48 PM »
scott ... had a similar discussion with Doyle when replacing sail for H49 ... they convinced me to go from 135 to 110 headsail (i also added a code zero on a furler for really light days)... it has made a huge, positive difference - anything over 12kts no loss in speed, more comfortable ride, easier to short hand - and best of all - tacks easily despite a permanently installed staysail on furler. So i can now carry the 110 well into 25-28, then furl and use the staysail for anything over 28... and, like Joel - i'll reef the main first - in fact , we rarely furler reef our headsails - just move from genoa to staysail when overpowered...

BP
H49-50 LeCheile

Ambition

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Re: Sail Sizing
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2017, 02:28:44 PM »
Scott,
You may not find this relevant to your situation since it was on a smaller and different boat. 4 years ago I was convinced by my local Doyle loft that my 135% genoa (which they had built for me at my request) was the root cause of a number of issues I was having, sailing a shoal draft 41' boat. Upwind performance was horrid, heeling was difficult to control, sail shape of the furled genoa was lousy. This is a boat that I had sailed for 10,000 nm so I did try everything I could think of to improve the comfort and performance.
I replaced the 135% with a 110% and WOW was I impressed, the boat stood up much better in a breeze so less heeling meant the stubby keel did a better job holding upwind course, the sail covered a much better wind range before a small reef was required which again improved performance AND speed thru the water. The loss of any light wind performance due to less sail cloth was something I could not perceive.
When time comes to put the 135% genoa we have on our Hylas 46 to pasture, I will not hesitate one moment to drop the size down to a 110%

Just my experience ...
Merrill
S/V Ambition H46 #40
« Last Edit: August 24, 2017, 02:31:10 PM by Ambition »

tbglynn

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Re: Sail Sizing
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2017, 02:24:16 PM »

There is great wisdom in smaller heads'ls.  The 135 is a beast to trim, hard to tack, and no matter how good the foam luff is, has lousy shape earlier when you shorten it than a smaller sail.  It is hard to keep full downwind in light air and If you pole it out down wind it also takes a lot of pole.   A 125 is still a pretty big sail.   I would say the sail maker is right and that it is better choice overall. 

With that said, I have bought three 135s since I got the boat (formerly L'ame Libre) in 2001 and will probably buy a fourth.  The problem is that my machismo imagines that I will sale in the conditions I wish I had, rather than the conditions I usually do have.  Everywhere I go, northeastern US, Bermuda, and the Virgins it blows 35-40 knots.  The charter boats in Red Hook see me show up and they shut their operations down and declare a maintenance day.  And I still buy 135s. It did pay off one time St. Thomas to Bermuda, when the wind was NE at 7-8 knots and the ocean looking as if it had been Zambonied, we trimmed that 135 in on the shrouds and made 7-8 knots.  But that's once in 23,000 miles.

Tim Glynn
s/v Egraine 44/45/5 #84.

rsk763

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Re: Sail Sizing
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2017, 01:57:00 PM »
We just commissioned our 56 Hylas hull #24
We used Peter grim and mark Ploch at Doyle sails and are very pleased
We have a fractional rig with possibly a larger main than your 54 and went with a 110 genoa and have not regretted it in light air
Based on that I would agree with the recommendation you got on the 125

One additional advantage of  the 110 is our forward visibility is a little better .

Hope that helps

joel

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Re: Sail Sizing
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2017, 01:34:38 PM »
I've got a 135 on my 44.  I've contemplated downsizing primarily because I don't have power winches.  Short tacking gets old in 15 knots of wind.

If the wind gets over 20, we reef the main first.  I don't think a smaller jib would change that, but we might carry full sail in a little more breeze.  If you were in San Francisco, a 125 would make a lot of sense.  If you are rarely overpowered now, I don't see the need to downsize.

You'll love the HydraNet!

Joel

sjohnson

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Sail Sizing
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2017, 12:07:05 PM »
We are in the midst of ordering new sails for our Hylas 54.  Based on research and a lot of information gained here on these discussion posts, we are going with Hydranet material.  We are down to two sail makers in finalizing the order.  One issue that has come up however, is the genoa sizing.   One of the sail makers is recommending a 125% genoa vs the standard 135%.  He stated the light air performance degradation would be minimal but the improvement in the 15 kt and above airs would be notable.  I am very suspect on that idea as we already struggle in lighter airs and do not find ourselves overpowered and reefing very often in our cruising grounds (primarily SE coast, Bahamas and Caribbean).  Has anyone out there gone from a 135% to a 125% and can comment?

Scott Johnson
L'ame Libre H54 #22

 

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