Sail SELECTION and INVENTORY FOR a race
FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO HAWAII
(maximizing performance, safety and enjoyment to Hawaii)
|What's Your Program?|
Three levels of
Family Boat review and refurbish existing sails, add spinnaker if you dont have one.
Budget Race - add one or two new sails blast reacher, spinnakers
Open-wallet Race - full inventory of composite sails (consult your sailmaker)
|Basic considerations (remember, its a downwind race)|
Family Boat - MUST have at least one spinnaker
- cruising, asymmetric, or full-size
BRING POLE - even if family boat with cruising asymmetric only
It is a LONG RACE if you have no way to set the spinnaker tack to weather -
A whisker pole is not strong enough; you need a strong pole sized for your boat.
Budget Race At least three good spinnakers: light, all-purpose, and heavy/shy
ULDB = .6 oz, 3/4 oz all purpose, 1.5 oz shy
Displacement = .6/.75 oz, 1.5 oz all-purpose, 1.5 oz shy
Full-Off Race - 6 spinnakers including polyester and 1/2 oz
Four sections of the race: Beat, Heavy Air Reach, Light Run, and Trades:
Short Beat - only from Start to Seal Rocks area, but important for psyche
Family - use your present upwind sail(s)
Budget - Make sure your present upwind sails are in good condition
Check weather the morning of race to pick upwind sail (bring one only)
Full Race - May start with #3 and change up to #1 outside the Gate.
Heavy Air Reach - first couple of days
Family - DO NOT rely on partially furled headsail for this leg. It may destroy the sail.
If you have no blast reacher: cut down old 150% to 130% - full forward, high-clew
High clew on reaching headsails is necessary to keep the foot clear of waves.
Budget Race - Jib Topsail (155% high-cut, full-forward)
130 % Blast Reacher - high cut, full forward
Full Race - 4 headsails and 3 staysails - use as in Bay of Farallones
Light Run - from the "ridge" to the Trades
Family - hoist whatever you have as soon as you can carry it.
Budget - Set reacher/shy kite if you have one, then switch to full-size all-purpose
Full-Race - Asymmetric/Reacher. Polyester for close reaching when seas are flat.
Switch to 1/2 or 3/4 as wind pulls aft.
Trades - all the way to the finish
Family - carry spinnaker into evening until you are uncomfortable.
Wing out your trusty high-clewed blast reacher from the Reach.
Set pole to weather independently of jib sheet: lift, foreguy, and afterguy.
Budget - Full-size spinnaker in day and evening, change early to heavy air kite.
Choke down your heavy air kite to stabilize it with out-grabber, net, sock
Full-race - go for it! Carry your lighter sails as long as you dare.
Beware - Polyester kites may explode with sudden filling in big waves.
Do NOT run out of big kites.
Typical Day in the Trades:
Morning – light air, ½ ounce kite
Afternoon – building, ¾ ounce kite
Evening – check spinnaker set before dark, consider choking down
Night – heavy air kite until you have more excitement than you really want in squalls;
then wing out jib – high-clewed blast reacher on strong pole with 3 control lines.
Squall sail trim: out-grabber, spinnaker net, spinnaker sock, chicken stays
Finish - If you're racing the Pacific Cup, whatever you have up, make sure you can douse
quickly - the reefs come up fast after the finish line.
Add sails as you can, but in this order.
Spinnakers are top priority. Remember, it is a downwind race with 75
% of the course running. It will be Very slow without one.
1- Two spinnakers minimum - light all-purpose, heavy all-purpose.
2- Blast reacher - good for Heavy Reach and Too-Heavy-For-Kite conditions.
3- Two more spinnakers - .6 ounce and heavy shy kite.
4- Jib top (155%) for lighter moments of Heavy Reach.
Check with your sailmaker for recommended
storm sails. They may be smaller than those required by the ORC Special Regulations
Governing Offshore Racing (www.orc.org), which must be followed at a minimum
for this race. Sailing Instructions will specify changes
- a separate trysail is often required equipment.
If you do not have a separate trysail
track, make sure you can attach the sail to the mast and sheet it without
Maximum size = 17.5% of main luff X main foot.
No headboard or battens.
|CHECK Existing Sails|
Spread out on floor, check over
with your sailmaker:
Worn stitching, batten pockets, chafe spots (pulpit, spreaders, shrouds)
Cloth worn out at leech from flogging - hollow, re-cut.
Hardware: worn/corroded cringles, notched jib hanks, mainsail slug/slide
Mark corners of sails with sail type and corner (head, tack, clew), mark bags to identify
BEWARE of CHAFE: Check boat for sharp spots
that contact sails:
Pulpits, spreaders, shrouds (jibs and mains) add protective patches
Sheets, guys, and halyards: move twice a day to different place. Check every watch.
Boom topping lifts on main leech - replace with centerline vang.
|Sail Handling Helps:|
- ATN - great for short-handed sets, jibes, dowses
Must have separate sleeve for control lines; stripe and bell are nice.
Spinnaker Net - Keeps spin from being eaten by forestay, eliminates wraps.
Insure fasteners do not bite or chafe spinnaker.
Sail Repair Kit - Basics: needles, palm, thread, adhesive-backed cloth, and hardware.