New sails

Laundryman

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I've never bought new sails before and I need some advice. The quotes I have received for a replacement genoa vary in spec. Some are quoting for 120%, some 140% and my boat manual suggests it should be 155%. From a cruising point of view, how much difference are the sizes going to make to the boat performance please? The boat is a beneteau oceanis 321. Thank you
 

Juniperskip

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I have an Elan 434 which came with a 135% - great for the Med perhaps but as we were heading off long distance I bought a tri-radial 100% from North and ended up using it for the entire 7,500 miles! Easier to balance the boat and able to carry a full main longer without a significant build of weather helm.

Does obviously matter re how your rig is setup ie large main/small genoa or moderate main/big genoa but my experience with our boat was that reducing the genoa size was a positive. Poorer performance off the wind in light winds but we experienced either moderate winds or nothing for the whole trip!!
 

snooks

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From a cruising point of view, how much difference are the sizes going to make to the boat performance please?

Does the performance matter if you're cruising?;)

Do you normally motor to windward or sail? Would you rather drift than motor?

What speed would you like to cruise at and what wind speed do you like to sail?

Do you sail with big strong crew or just two of you?

How big are your primary winches?

If you are cruising, performance would come in second to ease of handling. no good screaming along if it's a pain to tame.

Basically the smaller the sail is the easier it will be to handle/tack better for a small family as crew, you'll be able to keep that sail full for longer, so you won't have to reef as often.

The bigger the sail, the better performance, but it will be harder (more work) to tack, have more pressure in it and be harder to winch in tight unless you have oversized winches (which most AWB don't).

If you only ever go out in light breezes on a sunny day the 155% will be fine.

If you go out in all weathers, you might want to consider a somewhere around a 130% as it will be usable in more wind ranges.

If you go for 110 - 120% you might want to consider an off wind sail cruising chute/asymmetric/spinnaker, but again this all depends on the sailing you do.
 

alahol2

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What the others said + a high cut genoa can make life very much easier for forward viz, especially for Solent sailing. I got one for the last boat and I'd get one for this boat if only my existing deck sweeper would wear out.
 

Quandary

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I have two roller headsails, a 140% No1 genoa, great in light winds, and a 105% blade jib with vertical battens to hold its shape, which is good going to windward short handed in a blow. I rarely sail with a part rolled headsai,l I would put a reef in the main first. You can carry more sail if you have crew to put on the rail, if you never have that you need to shorten sail a lot sooner, so it depends on the type of sailing you plan to do.
If I had to forgo one of them it would be the big one, but if I never raced I would have been content with one headsail about 115 to 125%.
 

stav

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Snooks seemed to pose all the right questions. I would go for the 140% sail as it is nice to start sailing as soon as possible but also carry a second sail around the 100% mark but this could be secondhand? Also do the kids actually participate?
 

jimi

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I've got an Oceanis 331. I got a triradial in cruising laminate cut just slightly smaller than the full size genoa, also got a couple of padded luffs in it. It keeps its shape well and in stonger winds it means I can keep it unreefed longer. that works well for me. Absolute down wind its ok when poled out but in lighter slightly off wind sailing it good to have a cruising chute.
 

Marmalade

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If you're happy with your current genoa why not let them have it as a template to measure - and ask for one the same size?
 

flaming

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If it's a masthead boat (and I think the Oceanis boats generally are) then I think you do need some overlap as your main is not huge. So a 120% should be fine.

But in general the 150% overlapping genoas on cruising boats confuse me. When you are using one sail from 0 to 30kts+ it has to be built to cope with the top end. So it's way too heavy to work properly in conditions where a 150% genoa would be an advantage. And as soon as the breeze pipes up the sail is too big and has to be rolled away - losing all pretence at a decent shape. So there's not really any wind strength where the sail is ideal.

So my advice would be to get a 120% genoa, accept that you'll probably motor to windward in less than 7-8 knots and buy a cruising chute / spinnaker for reaching and downwind sailing in light winds.
This means that once you have a decent sailing breeze - a force 4 or so, you have the right sail for the job.

And if you have a fractional rig, why go bigger than a 100% jib? Most of your power comes from the main.
 
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But in general the 150% overlapping genoas on cruising boats confuse me. When you are using one sail from 0 to 30kts+ it has to be built to cope with the top end.

Oceanis are aimed primarily at the med charter market where you are either sailing in light winds or motor sailing if caught out. As Flaming hints, a 150% roller reefing genny is not aimed at being able to thrash to windward against 30kn.

As for the sail quotes, my guess is that the smaller sail areas, when you didnt ask for them, areas are more about producing an initially attractive price than anything else .

Personally I would go for something round the 110 - 120% mark making the boat easier to manage, particularly if you have a cruising chute for lighter winds/.
 

alahol2

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I have also noticed that seateach sell genoas off the shelf. Anyone have any comment on those?

I bought one many years ago. I would describe it as a reasonably good, basic sail. It wasn't anything that engendered pride of ownership or marvel at it's elegant set. I probably wouldn't buy again unless I was VERY short of cash or desperately needed a sail in a hurry.
 

dunedin

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I would very strongly recommend that you get a "foam luff" (or rope luff which is similar) on any new genoa. This hugely improves the sail shape when part furled.

Size wise going from 155% to 140% is probably fine for cruising. And with foam luff can make smaller when needed.

Incidentally good tacking technique can avoid any winching needed to windward - I regularly do short tacking this way on a 36 footer with 140% genoa.
 
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