Storm Jib Size

Steve I’m getting a new Beneteau Oceanis 473 early next year. I’m having a Dyneema inner forestay fitted with a tensioner for a storm jib. My questions are: 1) How big should it be? The Main is 43 sq m, The Genoa is 60 sq m, (J=5.51m, I= 16.40m, P=14.45m, e=5.21m). Is there a basic rule to follow? 2) I’ve had a suggestion that I should get a reefable working jib that I could use in intermediate (5-6?) conditions providing a better shape than a rolled Genoa, which would reef down to a storm jib size for heavier conditions. Is this a viable/sensible suggestion? Thanks Nigel

Hi Nigel: There are no pat answers to storm jibs. It depends on conditions and where you sail. We have always carried two storm headsails. What is typically called a storm jib and then what we refer to as a hurricane jib for really severe conditions (this is usually about 60% of the size,and the same construction as the storm jib). I would suggest asking several local sail makers who have offshore experience (not coastal sailors) and who know what it is like when things get difficult. Regarding roller reefing your headsails, the loads are so tremendous in storm conditions and the risks to the boat so great if your RF gear goes astray, that it is better to have a dedicated storm jib or jibs as you are mentioning. However, we have always recommended our clients carry a smaller working jib to be set on the headstay before what could be a difficult passage. Good Luck–Steve

Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)

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