I cruise in Florida and the Bahamas. I am quite worried about mildew problems. Losing a sail to mildew (I would replace it if the stains wouldn’t come out) after a year would be totally unacceptable to me, no matter what the performance compromise I needed to make. Should I stick to Dacron and stay away from all laminated products? Norman Freedman Sabre 452
Sail Advice with Dan Neri
Hi Dan: One of our friends has a ketch-rigged Deerfoot 72, and he is the process of getting new sails for her in New Zealand from the North loft. She has somewhat less than half the stability of Beowulf, and her rig is less aggressive in terms of potential for roach (she has standing backstays on both spars). I would like to get your comments on the pro's and cons of the different fabrics which have been offered. Regards–Steve
Hello Dan, great service and answers, thanks.
We have a FP Belize 43 catamaran, and the fully battened main is attached to a track that is fitted into a track on the mast. We have recently been transatlantic and on arrival in the Caribbean found the cars badly worn, two of the end caps the battens fit into (mast end) broken in half, and the bearings of the cars mostly missing. On inspection the track running up the mast was worn heavily where the cars park when the main is fully raised.
We have had new cars sent out but do not want this to happen again. Does the track need replacement? How is this done (excuse our ignorance)? How do we prevent this problem? The boat is 3 years old. Best regards, John Jones
I have a Hughes Northstar 80/20 ketch with a roller furled mainsail. This is obviously an aftermarket modification, and it is extremely difficult to unfurl and furl. The outhaul and furling lines by necessity are each routed around several blocks (around the boom, down the mast, across the deck, through a block, then to the cockpit) which greatly increases the mechanical
effort required to move the sail. At times we have had to use our large winch and are putting a lot of (hopefully) unnecessary strain on the lines, deck organizers and blocks. Our best efforts have resulted in still about a foot of slack in the outhaul line at the clew. This is my first experience with such a mainsail arrangement and I have no idea what is considered "normal" operation or configuration. In addition, the car to which the outhaul line is attached moved freely on the boom track until I hit on the idea to lock it in place using a second, locking slide. By keeping the car stationary, sail management improved a bit but it still seems to be much harder than it should be and requires two people pretty much dedicated to the mainsail during furling and unfurling. My original plan of sailing the boat shorthanded or singlehanded is now in question until I can resolve this problem.
I’m about to order a gennaker for my Sabre 402 and have been trying to decide between your snuffer and ATN’s. For dousing, ATN recommends blowing the tack before pulling the snuffer down. If I am reading your response to Doug Peters’s question about this, you seem to be recommending easing the sheet. Having had some difficulty doing this with the non-ATN, non-North snuffer on my last boat, ATN’s idea seems sensible to me. Is there a reason I couldn’t take this approach with your snuffer?
My 30′ Woods catamaran is rigged with a fully-battened roachy mainsail and a roller-furling genoa with a padded luff. The sails are probably seven to ten years old. I can’t get either sail flat, or to set well close-hauled. This is affecting my ability to point, and because much of my sailing is there-and-back weekending, I can’t avoid upwind sailing. Is re-cutting worth considering? The basic cloth seems to be fine, with little evidence of chafe. Thanks for your help, Tim Barnes
Have you had experience with the Tacker, that plastic device that slides over the roller furled headsail to attach the clew of a spinnaker so you don’t use a pole? It seems to me the load on it would be excessive and possibly bend the foil on the furler.
Dear Dan, I am looking at sails for extended cruising. I wonder if you have any experience/views on Hydra-net from Dimension polyant. Your book has been very helpful already and will be coming sailing to help with repairs! Yours sincerely, Bruce C
Hi I am having trouble getting an answer on how to reef my main sail. I have a Beneteau 350 Oceanis. It is “new to me” but the person I purchased it from could not reef the main. It is a North sail. I will try to describe what I have. First of all the Sail is set up for Dutchman flaking. (I don’t think this has any bearing on the problem) This is applicable to both the first and second reef points. The main sail has only 2 cringles.
I have a line that starts at the cockpit and goes to a pulley at the base of the mast. From this point it goes up to a pulley into the mast end of the Boom. It exits the boom at the clew and goes through the cringle in the sail and then the bitter end is made fast at and anchor point at the bottom of the boom.
As it is currently rigged I can reef the back of the sail. I cannot reef the luff or front. There must be some way of leading the line through he cringle at the luff of the sail. I can’t go from the base of the mast to the cringle because when I return to the boom it would be on the wrong side of the pulley. I am sure it would snag.
I do have 2 open stainless loops attached to each side of the mast but they do not seem to be at the right location to aid in the change of direction. I hope my description is adequate. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Dan: I am considering purchasing an ex-bareboat Jeanneau 51. One of my requirements is that the vessel be suited for passagmaking including windward ability. My strongest reservation about this particular model is the standard in-mast furling rig.
If you were designing a sail inventory to take this vessel back and forth from Newport to St. Lucia each year, what would your choices be? Fullbatten main (Spectra or Dacron?) how many battens & reefs?, Code 0 ? Staysail on removable stay?, #2 on separate furler? Thanks, Richard
I own a Morris 486 which is equipped with a fully battened mainsail and a 100% roller furling Genoa Each is about 500 ft in area. I am interested in getting more performance in light winds, and was considering either a larger Genoa (135%) or a G-0 gennaker. Any input regarding the pros and cons of each? Conard
Could you please explain the differences between a gennaker, screecher, code one and asymmetrical spinnaker? Is it possible to have a gennaker cut for reaching and another gennaker for running? What would be your recommended sail selection for a performance 55′ catamaran? Thank you, Chris
I am in the last stages of purchasing a new Catalina 400mkII. The only remaining issue is furling main or standard. The boat will either be in Charleston SC or Oriental NC. 99% of my sailing will be coastal cruising, shorthanded or fairly inexperienced crew. I’ve chartered for 25 years but this is my 1st owned boat and I’ve never used a furling main. Your advice please
I’m in the process of purchasing a 33′ Cheoy Lee cutter-rigged clipper ketch. I’m an intermediate recreational sailer searching for information regarding the types of sails recommended for cutter-rigged ketches—-for instance, why might one fly a single 145% Genoa rather than the Yankee/Staysail combination?—-trimming techniques, more advanced configurations, such as a "mizzen spinnaker", performance configuration recommendations. My impression from internet and library searches is this type of information concentrates on racing sloops. We sailors with little or no desire to race seem to be left out in the cold, despite the fact that we still desire to get from point-to-point as efficiently as possible.
No doubt you’re as busy as the rest of us, but any information or pointers you might be able to shoot my way would be greatly appreciated. Best regards, Brian L
I am trying to find out how to estimate the center of effort (CE) of a high roach main. With a triangular sail the roach is usually neglected when measuring the CE, but I am not sure this is the way to go with a high roach main, where the luff may take up 30% of sail area. Thank you very much for your help, Michiel