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Need Advice on the correct light air sail


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I am planning to purchase a light air sail this winter for my Ericson 34-2. The more I research in the different designs and types, more I am confused on what exactly what I want and seems that each one is limited.

The goal is to have a performance type light air sail in up to 10 to 12 kts that can provide some reaching angles and some down wind and be able to sail the summer months where the wind on the Chesapeake Bay are very light. Also be able to use the sail on occasional race or two. 

I looked at the following:

Asymmetric Spinnaker
I had a A2 on my previous sailboat and hardly use it. It seemed very limited on the angle of wind. Could not sail her above a beam reach and sailed mostly at a broad, 150 degrees. 
My local sailmaker is suggesting a all purpose A2 and also be able to use it while racing. I guess you would call this a G3.

Cruising Code 0
This was my first initial seletion, Cruising Code 0.
The local sailmaker was aginst this and stated that you will not be able to use it down wind. From what I read, a cruising code 0, if design right with a slightly higher clew, can reach (not as high as a code 0) and still go down wind. You could go outside of the perimeters of the sail design, it would sail better than a genoa just not as good as a A2 going down wind. 

Code 0
Additional gear will add costs

Drifter
Design to be free flying or to be fitted on my furling extrusion or hanked on a secondary forestay.
I would not be able use the sail for any racing but what I have read, it is the most efficient general light air sail. 

Oz / weight? 3/4 oz or 1 1/2 oz?


Again, I am going off of information on the internet and books, so who knows what is right.

Any thoughts and experience with the above?

Patrick

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I think code zeros really help out fractional rigged boats especially ones without overlapping jibs.  Your boat is already masthead rigged and if you have a large genoa already replacing it witha a cruising code zero would be the same as making another light air genoa. A cruising zero would be built with a less than 75% midgirth  which is a requirement in racing to make the sail rate as a spinakker and usually all that extra girth just ends up flapping or hooked if you pull the leech line on.  A g3 would be a cruising all purpose sail allowing you to sail higher than with the a-2 and if your are looking to sail deeper angles you can let the tack out and the sail should rotate around to windward a bit like a a2 would

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Code zero - goes upwind pretty good, reaches very good, but not as efficient as a spinnaker downwind. But better than a poled out 135 genoa just due to bigger area. Maybe 80% as good as an A2 downwind??

(Nothing says you have to use a furler on the zero)

A2 - yes, tops out at a beam reach. Much better downwind.

Drifter - I'd use 1.5 oz. 

You can't have it all with one sail. 

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I would say it depends. If you do not have a bowsprit then I would agree that a code 0 does not provide much benefit over a masthead genoa. Try to get your sheet lead outboard and forward for reaching.

Another option would be to look into what some sailmakers refer to as A2.5/all purpose A3 which basically is a hybrid between an A2 and A3 spinnaker. Basically, you are are giving away some downwind performance for better reaching performance.

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PCOE, is this for cruising or racing?  Any AP sail will be full of compromises.  To correct Resolute, it has to be >75% to be a Code 0 otherwise you run into rating issues.

If it is for cruising follow Zonkers advise, for racing get a sprit and then make a decision on the sail.

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I have a North G2 that I can carry to about 70 deg apparent in the winds that you are looking at with lots of tension on the tack.  That being said, it is not as efficient as my A3 for when wind is forward of the beam. No one sail will do what you want. A light air genoa with a spinnaker pole to pole it out downwind, might be the most simple solution.

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14 hours ago, pcoe said:

I am planning to purchase a light air sail this winter for my Ericson 34-2. The more I research in the different designs and types, more I am confused on what exactly what I want and seems that each one is limited.

The goal is to have a performance type light air sail in up to 10 to 12 kts that can provide some reaching angles and some down wind and be able to sail the summer months where the wind on the Chesapeake Bay are very light. Also be able to use the sail on occasional race or two. 

I looked at the following:

Asymmetric Spinnaker
I had a A2 on my previous sailboat and hardly use it. It seemed very limited on the angle of wind. Could not sail her above a beam reach and sailed mostly at a broad, 150 degrees. 
My local sailmaker is suggesting a all purpose A2 and also be able to use it while racing. I guess you would call this a G3.

Cruising Code 0
This was my first initial seletion, Cruising Code 0.
The local sailmaker was aginst this and stated that you will not be able to use it down wind. From what I read, a cruising code 0, if design right with a slightly higher clew, can reach (not as high as a code 0) and still go down wind. You could go outside of the perimeters of the sail design, it would sail better than a genoa just not as good as a A2 going down wind. 

Code 0
Additional gear will add costs

Drifter
Design to be free flying or to be fitted on my furling extrusion or hanked on a secondary forestay.
I would not be able use the sail for any racing but what I have read, it is the most efficient general light air sail. 

Oz / weight? 3/4 oz or 1 1/2 oz?


Again, I am going off of information on the internet and books, so who knows what is right.

Any thoughts and experience with the above?

Patrick

Ask a sailmaker about this type sail 

it’s versatile and easy to handle 

https://www.sail-world.com/news/220824/Not-a-Genoa-Not-a-Spinnaker-Its-a-Tweener

 

 

6B1CC62C-19C2-4A2C-9A75-BC73F022383C.png

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You're describing what would normally be a reaching spinnaker or a reaching / AP spinnaker on a boat with a pole.  Sailing those angles at VMG has more to do with the kite's cut than with the  size, although if you're planning on trying to sail downwind in the drifters that are so common here (2-5kt) then your high end and low end range are sort of at war with each other on cloth selection. There's nothing like a .5 spinnaker for dealing with a drifter, but reaching hard with anything less than a .7 makes me wonder how close I am to blowing up the sail.  Ask me why I worry about that.    

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In 93 we had a Shore Long Island spin that was .75 and a workhorse. But in 3 kt true we managed to carry it at less rhan 70 apparent. We did 4 knotts in 3 knots at aboit 55 off ddw.

Agaim people have forgotten how to use spinnakers. Except 505 sailors. We still use them. Haha.

Bit totally what Lex says. You are looking for a bad compromise.

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I am trying to figure out how to get the most of the sailboat from racing to sailing on the weekend and I lack light air sails. I singlehand about 3/4 of the time

I have a fairly standard inventory - full batten main with two reefs, 2 yr old roller furling, 2 yr old 135% genoa, 150% genoa, jib 100%, older symmetric spinnaker but has damage and is not useable at this time and 2 older mylar headsails in fair shape.  At this time, I don't want to purchase multiple light air sails so yea, wishful thinking that I could get a all purpose light air sail to meet my needs.

So I am trying to figure out what I can add to my inventory to help me during light air. Also a chance to learn more about light air sails, what works well or what does not.

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20 minutes ago, pcoe said:

I am trying to figure out how to get the most of the sailboat from racing to sailing on the weekend and I lack light air sails. I singlehand about 3/4 of the time

I have a fairly standard inventory - full batten main with two reefs, 2 yr old roller furling, 2 yr old 135% genoa, 150% genoa, jib 100%, older symmetric spinnaker but has damage and is not useable at this time and 2 older mylar headsails in fair shape.  At this time, I don't want to purchase multiple light air sails so yea, wishful thinking that I could get a all purpose light air sail to meet my needs.

So I am trying to figure out what I can add to my inventory to help me during light air. Also a chance to learn more about light air sails, what works well or what does not.

You will need to be specific about what wind angles you want to cover. If it is W-L courses you race then the angles are pretty standard but if you want to cover everything it gets a bit messy. Look up sail charts for similar boats to see the range of wind speeds and angles for what sails to get you started.

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Two thoughts for you.

First, our A3 can be carried to 55 degrees in light conditions (under 6 knots) and still be decent if were going deeper in higher wind.  We set it with a pole but it could also be tacked to the bow.

Second, we use a jibtop when doing a delivery.  It's great in this wind range and easier to control than the A3 given the luff is supported.

Good luck

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Your asking to cover a large wind range.  We have a drifter that is great (it goes up the foil), but we’re only use it up to about 3 knots wind speed upwind. Above that we use a standard jib or kite.  The drifters role is to get us out of wind holes so it matters less what direction we are going as long as we’re moving. 

At 12 knots true and singlehanded I’m running a #3 and contemplating a reef.  I know my boats sa/d is higher than yours, but 12 knots isn’t light wind on any boat. 

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3 hours ago, Rod Spearin said:

Two thoughts for you.

First, our A3 can be carried to 55 degrees in light conditions (under 6 knots) and still be decent if were going deeper in higher wind.  We set it with a pole but it could also be tacked to the bow.

Second, we use a jibtop when doing a delivery.  It's great in this wind range and easier to control than the A3 given the luff is supported.

Good luck

Yes indeed , the jib top is a fantastic sail

for a cruiser it is a must have sail 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/7/2021 at 12:10 PM, Howler said:

Sailed on LIS 35 years ago. I don't miss LIS summertime winds. We used to refer to the wind forecast as the "dead sea scrolls"

haha well the most carefully documented incidence of this was actually over the Grand Banks.

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On 12/6/2021 at 2:51 AM, pcoe said:

Any thoughts and experience with the above?

Are you thinking racing or cruising? SH/DH or full crew? On my 36 feet cruiser we bring a gennaker for down wind and reaching. If we wanted to go to windward in 2-3 kn wind, we would have a code 0. But the bag is big, and cruising in light wind we motor to windward. Racing is another situation. Room for lots of sails. Spinnaker for deplacement boats, assym for planing / faster boats.

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