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J/111 downwind sails


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This J/111 I'll be picking up in April will be my first asym boat. I have crewed on them, but never had to think about the different sails beyond the basics. As I research now, I see that the numbering varies; Quantum and North seem very similar but Doyle is different and Ullman different than Doyle. The boat I'll have comes with three Quantum A1.5s, A Doyle A2, two Quantum A2.5s and a spinnaker staysail with a furler (unknown origin). 

Setting aside the staysail for a moment, it seems these are all runners, with the A1.5 being good up to 8 knots and the A2.5 being good up to 25 knots. Looking at Quantum's website, it seems the A2.5 and A3 are the reaching sails (that I don't have). 

Is the A2.5 the most versatile sail, and can it be used for reaching? I suspect the higher angles above light wind might be too much stress on the sail? 

When is the spinnaker staysail used? My understanding was that at winds above 25 knots the headsail can stay up, so perhaps the SS is used is less wind?

Thanks...

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First of all: congrats:

Looking at the sail inventory, I guess the boat has been primarily sailing inshore W/L? The prior owner (or their sailmaker) should be able to help out with the range (TWA/TWS) and also the sweetspot for each sail. If I had to guess:

  • Quantum A1.5 - light air <8 knots VMG where you typically sail TWA 135-140
  • Doyle A2 - general purpose runner, TWS 6-20 knots, sweetspot TWA 145-165 (as low as you can go with pressure).
  • Quantum A2.5 - general-purpose runner? Full size = 130 m2? I can see those either trying to address a wider range of angles, sailing hotter than optimal VMG OR addressing areas where you want to put the bow up when planing >18 knots. Here you need to test the limits when reaching for yourself since this is very dependant on shape & condition.
  • Spinnaker staysail with a furler (unknown origin) we get effects at VMG sailing >6 knots. >18 knots we let the jib stay up instead. TWA 140-160-ish, but remarkably hard to get effect w reaching. We've been experimenting a lot w tacking point.

Below is a recent sail chart (types. A1.5 might cover most of the A3-area in light air. Same with the A2.5 in medium. Area will be a problem when reaching in more wind since the J/111 is a tippy boat. We've never torn a sail when reaching, so boat/crew gives up before the cloth :lol:

Our inventory is offshore focused where we choose to sail just the sweetspot angles, so less focus on "allround" shapes. A3 is full size and A5 is 100 m2. A0 is 75% code in laminate, 80 m2.

J111_Blur_Sailchart_2015_04-1.jpg

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Thanks lots guys! @Blur that table is pretty cool, reminds me of ASCII art :-) Great info, but what do the dark outlines represent? 

Looking at the sail inventory my thought was W/L as well, but looking at the other equipment, it all screams offshore. There may be or have been other sails not on the list. I'll study all this. I have been studying your videos to get boat handling tips as well ;-) 

I have read the boat will begin planning at about 17 to 18 knots, but at what wind angles? I'm glad to see you say I can use an A2 for that, I was thinking I would need an A4.

I did email the guy who maintained the boat for the owner a while ago, no response. I'll see if I can get the broker to ping him for me. Im hoping he has a list of go fast settings.

Thanks again!

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4 hours ago, WHK said:

Congrats! Where is En passant going?  The new boat have a name yet? Email or PM me and I can update your Crew Manager site with a new name.

I'm sure Blur will chime in on the sails since he has a J/111 and formerly J/109.  http://www.blur.se/

What races are you planning on doing with your new ride?

Thanks Bill! En passant is now Cable Car, and she is on Buzzards Bay. I'll email you the new owners name and contact info. 

As you know there are not many 111s near us, but the occasional OD might come into play maybe CPOD and such (if we can get enough there). Mostly though, I'm looking at offshore, so Ida Lewis of course, Vineyard and the like. Wednesday nights at EGYC and the normal weekend stuff. This would be a great boat to race to Cutty Hunk!

If I'm lucky I'll pull enough skill together to do Halifax in July. Once we get some skill and confidence we'll also look at Annapolis to Newport and maybe Newport to Bermuda, although it's a small boat for that. Open to suggestions ;-)

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12 minutes ago, George Dewey said:

Thanks lots guys! @Blur that table is pretty cool, reminds me of ASCII art :-) Great info, but what do the dark outlines represent?.

Looking at the sail inventory my thought was W/L as well, but looking at the other equipment, it all screams offshore. There may be or have been other sails not on the list. I'll study all this. I have been studying your videos to get boat handling tips as well ;-) 

I have read the boat will begin planning at about 17 to 18 knots, but at what wind angles? I'm glad to see you say I can use an A2 for that, I was thinking I would need an A4.

I did email the guy who maintained the boat for the owner a while ago, no response. I'll see if I can get the broker to ping him for me. Im hoping he has a list of go fast settings.

 Thanks again!

Outline = target TWA for best downwind VMG, i e not lower than that until trimmer is happy and willing to try.

Planing starts at 17-18 knots. A2 is perfect on flat water as long as it stays together (typically 24-28 knots). Then there are two schools:

  • most UK/French boats go to A4 and stay low (in a blow you're pinned at TWA 150) or 
  • we looked at the Melges that go to a full size A3 (or A2.5) when planing. This should generate as much power without being pinned down. This gives me more wiggle room and the ability to play the waves. So we use A2 to 20 knots,. A3 from 20-28 and after that it's the A5. Done quite a few tests to support this, but I haven't seen any full on test on A3 vs A4 in planing conditions.

If one of the A2.5's is in a heavier cloth, I would use that one in a blow. 

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My take is the dark grey areas are where VMG starts to fall off quickly, they are at angles that are near dead downwind which isn't happy for a asym boat.

A2.5 should be an A2 built with reinforced corners and maybe a slightly heavier cloth, i.e an offshore spec A2.

Looking at your inventory and Blur's chart, I would say an A3/A3.5 is the number one sail in the inventory that you are lacking. Confirm with a sailmaker, but that would be my first purchase without looking at the upwind inventory.

Blur, what is your opinion on the A5 vs. say a jib-top? The range between the A5 and switching down to the J3 seems pretty narrow, I've heard a number of programs forgo the A5 altogether because of this, and the sail handling challenges of getting the kite down in big breeze and associated wave state, usually at night of course! I would think that for a U.S program (more reaching courses, especially N2B), the A3/jib top combination may make more sense?

 

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11 minutes ago, samc99us said:

Blur, what is your opinion on the A5 vs. say a jib-top? The range between the A5 and switching down to the J3 seems pretty narrow, I've heard a number of programs forgo the A5 altogether because of this, and the sail handling challenges of getting the kite down in big breeze and associated wave state, usually at night of course! I would think that for a U.S program (more reaching courses, especially N2B), the A3/jib top combination may make more sense?

 

Thanks for your response and that question. There is a jib top with this boat. Last I used a JT, it was an overlapping sail with a high clew, and of course the filler leech with a more open profile. I'm curious how a JT is cut for a boat with non-overlapping headsails. North had a J/111 webinar where they presented a sail selection chart and a big chunk of it was JT. Another review of that is on my todo list.

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If you are considering an offshore race this summer let me vouch for/suggest the Annapolis to Newport over the Halifax race.  Warmer but probably also better suited to the strengths of the 111.  Also likely to be more 111s to sail against in that race as well.

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2 hours ago, samc99us said:

Blur, what is your opinion on the A5 vs. say a jib-top? The range between the A5 and switching down to the J3 seems pretty narrow, I've heard a number of programs forgo the A5 altogether because of this, and the sail handling challenges of getting the kite down in big breeze and associated wave state, usually at night of course! I would think that for a U.S program (more reaching courses, especially N2B), the A3/jib top combination may make more sense?

RECOMMENDATION: start sailing with what you got and then decide :D
 
We started out with just an A2 and a A5, where the A5 were both a reaching sail as well as a spare sail for the A2 when it blows out.

We actually collected data and the A5 was pretty close to the A2 on VMG in winds > 20 knots. We were surprised too, but this lead to our A3 theory.

The A5 is a kick-ass sail both at TWA 120 in 15 knots (2-3 knots faster than a boat with jib top) or reaching in higher wind-speeds. The J/111 don't have the stability to power on a beam reach, so you have to be conservative, but downwind it can pay dividends to get a proper kite up. 

Sail selection is both about covering large areas in the sail chart AND getting real performance impact. 

Handling isn't a big issue, When shorthanded we just do a letterbox. 

Looking at the jib top, the NS sail chart had it in TWS 15-20 knots & TWA 60-90.  We think we cover most of this area with J2 + outboard sheet + change to a reaching horn (see sheet below). We've been discussing a jib top multiple times, but there's always been another area with higher priority.

bhr17-search-3.jpg

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Longy, no....that one is a leech reef to raise the clew for reaching.

My 2cents for this:

Offshore A3, around 95% midgirth and 1.5 oz for maximum versatility

Freeluff jt on the snout with furler, gs/j5 inside.

These to combos cover about 80% of the possibilities

Also (and this may viewed as heresy) I would add a pole as well, cop the rating hit for the added versatilty.

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2 hours ago, longy said:

Are quadrilateral jibs (as seen in the pic, two sheets/two clews in use at same time) legal again??

Can just be sheeted in one sheet at a time, so lower sheet should be slack.

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George, one thing not mentioned is that unless you live in a windy area, a lot of J/111s racing handicap have gone to bigger A2's.  The OD A2 is 130 sqm.  Ours is 145 and Blur has one that is over 150.  All of the J/111's in our area have a 145sqm kite or bigger.  I feel like the standard A2 is more like an A4.  Perfectly suitable for racing in SF Bay.  I don't have a lot of data, but we do love our A3 as well.  

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3 hours ago, Roleur said:

George, one thing not mentioned is that unless you live in a windy area, a lot of J/111s racing handicap have gone to bigger A2's.  The OD A2 is 130 sqm.  Ours is 145 and Blur has one that is over 150.  All of the J/111's in our area have a 145sqm kite or bigger.  I feel like the standard A2 is more like an A4.  Perfectly suitable for racing in SF Bay.  I don't have a lot of data, but we do love our A3 as well.  

Almost all the sails that will come with this boat are Quantum. I have used mostly Quantum and so I called the guy I work with and he sent me a list of what the PO bought. It looks like they are all OD sails so I assume at class max size but I emailed him and asked him if I understand his list correctly. Currently I'm in RI (thinking of moving) and we get air from very low to pretty high, unlike other places where its predominantly low or high all season. But, I'm all for a bigger asym, I'm excited about this boat because I want to go fast! :-)

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Looking at @Blur's sail selection chart and playing with an AWA/AWS calculator, I see how they get from an A2 to an A3 at TWA 150 as the wind increases. Also, just to be clear, is A0 a Code Zero? It seems they are using a CZ lower than normal and I notice that there is no A1 on the chart at all. No A4 either, which I am also guessing is because the boat goes so fast that the apparent wind angles favor the A3 / reacher in higher wind. Is that correct?

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5 hours ago, George Dewey said:

. No A4 either, which I am also guessing is because the boat goes so fast that the apparent wind angles favor the A3 / reacher in higher wind. Is that correct?

Blur mentioned this up thread. Your theory is correct, ie no need to go low and slow with the A4 just have a flat full-size A3 in heavier cloth and sail higher angles. I can confirm this approach is more fun too :-)

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11 hours ago, Roleur said:

George, one thing not mentioned is that unless you live in a windy area, a lot of J/111s racing handicap have gone to bigger A2's.  The OD A2 is 130 sqm.  Ours is 145 and Blur has one that is over 150.  All of the J/111's in our area have a 145sqm kite or bigger.  I feel like the standard A2 is more like an A4.  Perfectly suitable for racing in SF Bay.  I don't have a lot of data, but we do love our A3 as well.  

Want more horsepower? Just rename you A2 as an A4. And your A3 could be an A5? Always room for a bigger kite :lol:

whopwhop-1.jpg

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I don't mean to get too off topic but how would the J/112e sail plan compare to this?

With the same size inventory would you keep with the Code 0/A0, A2, A3, A5, JT/J3 setup or would you carry both an A2 and A4 to split up the wider wind range due to being a heavier boat needing some more wind to start planing? Not 100% sure if the 112e will plane.

W/L and cruising in the PNW I see the advantage of a heavier running kite to avoid a ton of gybes even though it may sacrifice some VMG at times.

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On 12/7/2020 at 12:20 PM, vtsail said:

If you are considering an offshore race this summer let me vouch for/suggest the Annapolis to Newport over the Halifax race.  Warmer but probably also better suited to the strengths of the 111.  Also likely to be more 111s to sail against in that race as well.

Thanks for the suggestion. Originally, since this race is in June and I will be getting my boat for the first time in mid April, I was thinking it is a little soon. But, I decided to pull the NOR anyhow. Sadly they still have the same NoR and other stuff from 2019 posted, which surprised me. I'll review the old docs but I was hoping to see what their contingency plans are for various covid restrictions RI may have ongoing. Right now, RI is in a world of hurt on that front.

Have you done this race?

 

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14 hours ago, George Dewey said:

Thanks for the suggestion. Originally, since this race is in June and I will be getting my boat for the first time in mid April, I was thinking it is a little soon. But, I decided to pull the NOR anyhow. Sadly they still have the same NoR and other stuff from 2019 posted, which surprised me. I'll review the old docs but I was hoping to see what their contingency plans are for various covid restrictions RI may have ongoing. Right now, RI is in a world of hurt on that front.

Have you done this race?

 

3 times.  In my opinion it is the most interesting of the three bigger east coast ocean races.  It's a lot more tactical than the others with the inshore leg and the leg from Block Island to Newport.  However you can still do well if you nail the ocean part and screw up one of the other legs.  In 2017 we were deep exiting the bay but crushed the ocean leg and wound up winning our day overall (two different start days, on this occasion every boat that started on Saturday beat every boat that started Friday purely due to the weather).

 

My suggestion is due in large part to your sail inventory.  The Halifax race demands that you have a versatile reaching inventory which it seems you might be lacking.  I think you would be able to race the boat with your currently inventory easier in the A2N as it tends to be much more of an upwind downwind type race course.

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