Which categories of racing or cruising sailor do you fit into? You will want to match the number and type of boat sails in your inventory to your answer. Learn how to sail a boat better, faster, and with more power once you select the six sails you need for peak performance.
Match the sails you carry to the type of sailing you do. Racing sailors need sails that keep their sail shape longer and give great performance over a narrow wind range. With larger sailing crews, racing sailboat skippers can make sail changes as often as they’d like.
Small cruising boat sailors need durability and sailboat sails that can take salt, spray, wind, and UV light for hours or days at a time. Their sails must be smaller, lighter, and easier to handle because of short handed crews.
Which categories match your type of sailing?
World class sailor and master sailmaker Brian Hancock says that most sailors tend to move between three specific categories–club racers, performance cruisers, and traditional sailors.
Do you like the occasional one-day-a-week (or weekend) race around the buoys? Select a suit of sails that give great performance and hold their shape well. Sailing skippers that demand the best might use Spectra or Vectran to get the best shape. But most club racing skippers will be happy with Dacron sailcloth for good performance and more durability at a fraction of the cost.
If you enjoy a coastal or blue water cruise, you will want to focus on durability. Your sails will take more punishment offshore. Even in light winds, flutter, salt, sun, dirt, dust, and spray all combine to break down fabric and sail thread. Use sails with a “softer” hand for better durability.
Choose a soft-hand Dacron sailcloth. These sails are lighter, easier to handle by short handed sailing crews, and add less weight to provision-laden cruising sailboats.
Carry these six basic sails
* Mainsail with two rows of reef points
* 150% Genoa (all purpose)
* 130% – 135% Genoa
* Working jib
* Storm jib
* Spinnaker (symmetrical or asymmetrical)
Why carry two Genoas? As convenient as furling headsails are, they will never be able to take the place of a Genoa made for a specific wind range. Each wrap of a furling headsail causes the luff to rise higher off the deck. Heeling and weather helm increase.
A smaller 130% – 135% Genoa carries a shorter luff and higher clew to provide you with powerful drive on reaches in choppy conditions without the worry of excessive heeling.
Consider these additional sails
Racers might add a light weight 150% Genoa and light air drifter. Coastal or offshore cruisers might add another mainsail (with three rows of reef points), a light air drifter, a hank-on staysail (use this on a removable headstay rigged inboard of the headsail furling gear), and a storm trysail.
Choose the sails you need based on the type of sailing you do. This sail inventory will help you learn how to sail a boat better with a limited wardrobe and still give you blazing speed, power, and performance–without breaking your bank account!
Captain John Jamieson shows small boat cruising skippers how to reach their sailing dreams today! Get his popular free report “Save Hundreds on Marine Ropes with These Seven Tips” at http://www.skippertips.com/public/231.cfm
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