Jib Top for Cruising in the PNW?

climenuts

Anarchist
662
251
PNW
TL;DR: I'm wondering what the feasibility/use case is for a Jib Top on my C&C 29mk2 for Cruising in the PNW. What are your thoughts on the performance of a Jib-top over the barberhauled Genoa? Is it worth the extra effort of potential sail changes single-handed?

I'm primarily cruising from Vancouver to the Gulf Islands and back and I find myself close/beam reaching most of the time while crossing the Strait of Georgia. Apparent wind angles typically range from beam on to ~10 degrees off close hauled on these crossings depending on where I'm headed and wind strength.

I'm finding I've got a pretty big gap between my brand new 135% Genoa barberhauled outside the lifelines and my Asymmetric Spinnaker which came with the boat which has a wire luff and seems to have a cut suitable for closer wind angles. In ~3-8kts I can carry the A-sail at about 85 degrees true but above that I have to bear away or go back to white sails.

I've been thinking it might be worth getting my old 135% Genoa re-cut as a jib top to fill in this gap. A lot of the time I won't beat out of English Bay or Trincomali channel due to time constraints with tides but I prefer to sail across the strait. This means I'm not really concerned about the lack of close hauled performance and I'm not super worried about changing the headsail once in the gulf islands where I'm likely to be beating to the next anchorage. I'm typically taking my headsails down while at anchor rather than leaving them furled with my UV cover hoisted.

 

Editor

Administrator
Staff member
6,661
1,066
carlsbad
jib tops are forgotten sails, but they are really nice for the most part and they allow for great visibility to leeward.

 

climenuts

Anarchist
662
251
PNW
jib tops are forgotten sails, but they are really nice for the most part and they allow for great visibility to leeward.
The visibility to leeward wasn't something I really considered... I suppose that help me avoid having to lean over the leeward rail and look around every few minutes.

 

jackolantern

Super Anarchist
1,571
442
Have your sailmaker sew an upper clew onto your standard cruising Genoa so you can swap back and forth, if it matters enough to you. There will be some flapping but you're cruising. 

 

Mr. Squirrel

Super Anarchist
For your use case a Jib Top would be the perfect sail.  Set up a tweaker and use the spinnaker sheet and you will be all set. A JT on a furler would be a GREAT way to beam reach through life.

MS

 
Last edited by a moderator:

BFD

Member
116
1
And the JT does not hang in the water ruining the foot of the sail.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Schnick

Super Anarchist
2,612
58
Vancouver, BC
I end up sheeted in too far for a JT coming home from Silva Bay about 60% of the time.

Also, cutting the bottom off your sail just makes the sail smaller, a real JT has the same area as your Genoa and would typically have a fuller shape than an all-purpose Genoa.  What you are talking about is more of a Yankee jib.

 

Starboard!!

Member
328
105
I end up sheeted in too far for a JT coming home from Silva Bay about 60% of the time.

Also, cutting the bottom off your sail just makes the sail smaller, a real JT has the same area as your Genoa and would typically have a fuller shape than an all-purpose Genoa.  What you are talking about is more of a Yankee jib.
It's tricky b/c under PHRF, they just care about the LP%, whereas with ORC, you need to keep the sail area the same to avoid penalizing the rating.

 

Zonker

Super Anarchist
8,915
4,829
Canada
I'd say no. Giving up sail area in BC seems wrong. You're close enough to close hauled that easing the sheet isn't that big deal.

To me jib tops are good for ocean races where you don't want a genoa scooping up the waves and you're on a reaching course.

 

Crash

Super Anarchist
4,938
919
SoCal
Couple of thoughts.  As already mentioned, the Jib Top has more draft then a genoa, and that draft is farther forward.  Its also designed with more twist to the leech, to match the twist of the main when reaching.  Finally, they are designed as medium and higher wind sails.

That's what makes them valuable sails offshore, where your course is more constant, and the windspeed and direction is also more constant.  In your case, in the PNW, where summers are light air, and windspeed and direction are less constant, I'm not sure a jib top is a good use of your money.  You could have a high clewed genoa say around a 145, which would give you the better visibility of a Jib Top, along with a high clew to allow better sheeting angles/control of twist when reaching, while still retaining the draft depth and position of a genoa, so that you can still go upwind with it when you need to without have to change sails...

 
Last edited by a moderator:

El Borracho

Sam’s friend
6,260
2,333
Pacific Rim
My sailmaker made a high clew 135 genoa for my cruising. It is very handy. Easing the sheet onto a reach or run does not require moving the block to maintain shape. It is cut flat to be weatherly when hauled in tight. Block is on the rail far aft - aft of the main winches. Very handy in the shifty and light Philippine conditions. Furls to a reasonable hanky for squalls. Without race crew on the rail the 135 is plenty for me.

 
Old School double-head rigs back when lots of boats D3855042-39CA-4232-B45D-951502C6A6D9.jpeg  raced with them.

BE26C39C-0EAE-4CDF-8E0B-40C4FECC7128.jpeg

 
Overlap is a silly concept.

Ever sailed a Windsurfer? Nearly all the load is on the forward hand, quite close to the mast. This is because that is where the lift is generated. Almost all the lift, the driving force, of any sail is within a foot or two of the leading edge.

Overlap is like wetted surface: it is drag. The force difference between the windward and leeward side of the overlapped area, which means the lift vector in that area of the sail, is athwartship: makes you heel, but does not make you go forward.

My boat is a good light air boat. An Olson 40. I never race it, it is purely for cruising. My headsail is a lapper: the clew is high, about boom height, and the clew and leech barely MISS the mast -- there is zero overlap. In this picture, its blowing 6 knots, and we are going 6.5 knots close hauled. 

Note that because the clew is (barely) forward of the mast, I use the windward sheet as a barber hauler, so the "effective" track location is on the cabin top, but no holes in the deck, easy to adjust the lead in and out using the windward sheet.

Also, tacking is easy: I ease the old sheet about 3 feet, and grind the the new about 3 feet. Sail is always in control, never thrashing itself on anything, no sheets tearing out of the cockpit, no snapping sheets, no jarring on the sheet, much safer.

Another cool thing: the lapper is fully battened. This means it is easy to deal with on hoist and drop. Also, one batten is diagonal from the clew to the headstay, so I can head DDW with the jib wing-on-wing without needing a whisker pole.

Since the sail is carbon, the headstay dyneema, and the soft hanks are dyneema, it is light and low friction, so easy to hoist and drop. This means no roller furler is required. I have a sail cover for the lapper, so I leave the sail on the headstay when moored, so it is easier in every way than furling, and it will last longer, and the boat lies quietly at anchor without tacking. Tacking at anchor is caused by windage forward, by roller furled headsails.

IMG_6377.jpeg

 

Copperbottom

New member
1
0
UK
Small overlap means when you reaching you can get the mainsail well out without it  backing and keep the boat balanced. Also visibility looking forward is a great safety benefit when short crewed and short on lookouts. Came across the  North Atlantic with high cut jib, staysail and a 3 reef main.  We handled everything from 5 to 40 knots. 

 

P_Wop

Super Anarchist
6,297
3,203
Bay Area, CA
The other advantage of a good smallish jibtop is it can be an excellent heavy air downwind sail when you have to get out of Dodge in a hurry. A couple of reefs in the main, jibtop on the pole and you're good to go.

drum_southern_ocean.jpg


 

Hitchhiker

Super Anarchist
4,266
989
Saquo-Pilia Hensha
Jib Tops are very under rated.  2017 SoCal 300, I made my then boss, get his sailmaker to root around in the sail storage locker for an hour to dig out the JT. It was a necessary and useful tool.

IMG_0416.jpg

 
Top