Epi-sailor

Cruising Chute thoughts for 109 or Similar J Boats

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Looking to add a smaller cruising chute for short-handed work.  We have a 109 and curious what others are using on J boats with “A sails” in cruising mode.  Our 108 Sqm A2 is  a handful when sailing  in tight quarters with frequent jibes and a breeze.  Sail maker is suggesting a A3 or A5 in possibly .75 oz material.  What’s working for you?

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Geez, when I had my J/109, all I had was a 120 sqm chute.  And we sailed out of the Annapolis Boat Show with it.  Of course I did have JT and some of his J/World guys as my crew, so that's kinda cheating...

How big is an A5 these days?

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I'd recommend the A3, it's by far my favorite sail on our 109.  We have both an A3 and A5 (ours is actually more like an A6), the A5 is a great sail and can run deeper and probably faster but the A3 is super fun, easy to handle & jibe and will allow you to reach better.  You definitely won't be able to carry the A3 as deep as the A5/6 but it always seems to hold air deeper than I expect.  Exact TWA escapes my feeble brain at the moment.

Our A3 measures in around 98 sqm and the A5 is about 105 sqm.  We went super heavy duty with SK 130 material for the A5 since we have the heavy SF bay winds to deal with and I wanted something virtually indestructible. If I had to do it again I'd probably go with a material that's a little easier to handle like sk90.  To be honest I forgot what material my A3 is made of.

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Had a bit of an epiphany while cruising this summer up in Canada.  I was short handed with a distinct lack of experienced hands on board.  The class 108sqm kite worked fine with an ATN sock.  I could basically do everything, with my crew steering.  Besides the sock, the trick was to leave the main down.  With no main blanketing, we could sail nearly DDW with breeze > 5 kts.  Since you're from the PNW, I'm sure you understand the value of this when in amongst the islands.  With the sock, I felt comfortable with sets and douses up to about 14 kts.  Above that point it would have been a little exciting on the douse for me (not being able to blanket the kite behind the main)...I didn't go there.

So for cruising, my new trick downhill is kite with a sock and no main.  Racing of course would be a different story.

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We have a 90 sqm chute on our J/110.  It is heavy, 0.75oz material, designed for higher wind ranges.  When we first got the boat, 10 years ago, we flew it as a family to 'learn' how to fly an assymetric.   The previous owner told me it was his oldest spinnaker and likely on its last legs, and it looked it.  The small chute is has a high clew and proved very manageable.  It served its purpose well as a training sail as we built our racing program.  Amazingly, it is still in service.  We use it pretty rarely, if the wind is steady over 20 knots or if we are very short handed.    With 2 or 3 of us aboard, it is far more manageable to jibe or dowse than our 110sqm or our jumbo 135 sqm spinnaker is.    We tried a sock a few years ago.  Getting the spinnaker rigged into the sock and out of it takes a little while (45 minutes?).  We found the sock a big detriment to racing, and it was too much of a pain to rig the sock and de-rig it when we wanted to cruise, so I sold it a few weeks after buying it.  However, if I was planning to cruise for an extended period of time, I agree that the sock would be a rice addition to the inventory.

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9 hours ago, cinnr said:

Had a bit of an epiphany while cruising this summer up in Canada.  I was short handed with a distinct lack of experienced hands on board.  The class 108sqm kite worked fine with an ATN sock.  I could basically do everything, with my crew steering.  Besides the sock, the trick was to leave the main down. 

So for cruising, my new trick downhill is kite with a sock and no main.  Racing of course would be a different story.

We do this all the time when we are in full cocktail cruising mode.  We live on the Columbia and this works great as the river bends/turns.  And the boat moves just fine In this set up.  We have learned a whole new set of tricks going from mostly racing to mostly cruising.  

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9 hours ago, Hugh Jorgan said:

I'd recommend the A3, it's by far my favorite sail on our 109.  We have both an A3 and A5 (ours is actually more like an A6), the A5 is a great sail and can run deeper and probably faster but the A3 is super fun, easy to handle & jibe and will allow you to reach better.  You definitely won't be able to carry the A3 as deep as the A5/6 but it always seems to hold air deeper than I expect.  Exact TWA escapes my feeble brain at the moment.

Our A3 measures in around 98 sqm and the A5 is about 105 sqm.  We went super heavy duty with SK 130 material for the A5 since we have the heavy SF bay winds to deal with and I wanted something virtually indestructible. If I had to do it again I'd probably go with a material that's a little easier to handle like sk90.  To be honest I forgot what material my A3 is made of.

Crash asked about size and to be honest I’m not exactly sure how much smaller would be useful so thanks for the details.  It seems shape will dictate size, to a degree.  Leaning towards an A3.  Would be a better reaching option and a bit smaller.  Is your clew cut a higher than your runners (A2)?   On tighter angles and in large swells we tend to shrimp the foot.   It’s another condition we would idealy solve with this sail.  

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7 hours ago, Epi-sailor said:

Crash asked about size and to be honest I’m not exactly sure how much smaller would be useful so thanks for the details.  It seems shape will dictate size, to a degree.  Leaning towards an A3.  Would be a better reaching option and a bit smaller.  Is your clew cut a higher than your runners (A2)?   On tighter angles and in large swells we tend to shrimp the foot.   It’s another condition we would idealy solve with this sail.  

Yes, clew is higher and all around a much easier sail to handle than all the others.  As your friend I say get the A3, as your internet sailmaker I say get both, as your financial advisor I say what were you thinking buying a boat in the first place! ;) 

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On 10/26/2018 at 3:11 PM, Hugh Jorgan said:

Yes, clew is higher and all around a much easier sail to handle than all the others.  As your friend I say get the A3, as your internet sailmaker I say get both, as your financial advisor I say what were you thinking buying a boat in the first place! ;) 

To be clear and correct the record you were also part of our Internet Yatch Brokerage Team at time of boat purchase.   

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57 minutes ago, Epi-sailor said:

To be clear and correct the record you were also part of our Internet Yatch Brokerage Team at time of boat purchase.   

You should have known better than to take advice from some random guy on the internet and paid more attention to my internet financial advisor services. :D

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On 10/26/2018 at 7:19 AM, Crash said:

Geez, when I had my J/109, all I had was a 120 sqm chute.  And we sailed out of the Annapolis Boat Show with it.  Of course I did have JT and some of his J/World guys as my crew, so that's kinda cheating...

How big is an A5 these days?

Long time ago, my house was the crash pad for JT's J/World guys when they came to Tampa Bay area for J-22 and later J-80 midwinters.   Your mention brought that memory back to the forefront.

- Stumbling

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As a former Navy Offshore sailor, it makes me wish I could go back and have JT be my coach..not sure the current Navy guys, not having anyone to compare him to, realize just what a great coach they have...

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