URGENT! W28 sail plan questions

  • March 30, 2012 3:29 PM
    Message # 872843
    I have one week in which to take advantage of "North Sails" winter rates so I have pulled the trigger and am in negotiations with the sailmaker. I need to make a decision as to what sails to have made for my W28 but I can't make this decision alone since I don't know how to sail, and all my info comes from the internet. I am in serious need of your help!

    The sailmaker suggested  a 130% genoa. I've read an awful lot of "cruisers forum" posts where people say they've switched from a Genoa to a smaller (110%?), high clew yankee and are now much happier. We emailed the sailmaker my desire to have a yankee and he responded  with the following (copy/pasted below) and is calling it a 130% yankee genoa. Now I'm really confused. What is a yankee genoa, I thought they were two different types of sails?

    My thinking is to use a 110% high clew yankee on the furler, and a deck sweeper kind of staysail. I have an asymmetrical spinnaker for downwind. Your thoughts?  I may be single-handing quite a bit and I want things aseasy and uncomplicated as possible. 

    I will be sailing to the Caribbean (perhaps farther) in the fall.  

    Thanks in advance for your help. Eric Olander

    Measured Eric's boat yesterday. I'm sorry if I seem vague about the order details. Several questions will have to be answered during the design process. They include the size of the yankee genoa, which will be controlled by the length of the genoa track?  I am also unsure of the sheeting arrangement for the inner forestaysail. I am assuming it will sheet to the short pieces of track that are mounted on the cabin house? The staysail also needs a means for attaching the sail at the tack. Currently there is nothing there? 

    To calculate the deposit, we need to make several assumptions. We will assume that the LP of the yankee is 130%, the size of the inner forestaysail, and that tanbark sails will be 20% more then the NorDac sails. The attached proposal reflects these assumptions. Once the sails are designed, we will be able to confirm the final pricing.

    Remember that the prices quoted in the proposal are for NorDac Dacron. Eric is getting tanbark sails which are 20% more expensive. To calculate the deposit, add 20% to the Dacron price, $5767.25 + 20% equals $7209. The deposit is 50% so the net due is $3604.53

  • March 31, 2012 5:20 AM
    Reply # 873178 on 872843
    Deleted user


    I gotta chime in on this one. You're gonna get a lot of opinions on this so here's mine. My basic philosophy is if I can't manage it alone then it doesn't belong on the boat and that goes for the sail plan as well. The main is the main and factory specs are good. It's only a matter of batten choice, full or partial. As for the Yankee and Staysail, there again, the original factory sizes work very well. I sail my W32 solo most of the time and find that a 100% Yankee on a roller furling system and the boomed, self tending staysail with two reef points will carry you very well at respectable speeds under a variety of conditions. Don't be rushed into a $ 7000.00 mistake. A new main is OK.but you might consider used headsails cut for the boat by a sailmaker until you gain some experience under varying conditions. It's an option costing hundreds, not thousands. Maybe the Yoders will chime in with their experience on the W28.


    Last modified: March 31, 2012 5:22 AM | Deleted user
  • March 31, 2012 7:01 AM
    Reply # 873248 on 872843
    Deleted user
    Unfortunately, the Yoders have precious little to contribute.  Our sailing experience, except for our long run down the outside of Baja, is nearly non-existent.  We use the sails that came with the boat.  We have a partially battened main. No genoa.  Our jib does not overlap the mast and is probably 100%, or was, before we re-cut for the roller furler.  A bit less now.  Is it a yankee?  I don't know as I've never really figured out what that is.  We also cut down the staysail (loose-footed) for roller furling.   Wish I could be more help Eric. But, other than all that stuff I sent you in December, I don't have enough experience to help you on this.

  • March 31, 2012 4:05 PM
    Reply # 873476 on 872843
    Deleted user
    I agree with Werner.  TAMZIN (a W32) came with a 130 genoa on a furler and a stay sail but no running rigging for it.  I sailed it with just the genny for 4 or 5 years here on the south Texas coast were we consistanly have 15kts plus and 20 plus is not unusual.  The boat never really felt 'right'.  Last year I had the genny re-cut to factory specs for a yankee and rigged the stay sail.  What a difference.  Unfortunaly I don't have any imperical data but I sware she's at least a knot faster and there is substantally more control over the sail configurations.  My opinion (for what its worth) is that the 130 over-powered her pushing the bow 'down', ie costing speed and furling it in didn't really do anything but destroy the sail shape.
  • March 31, 2012 5:22 PM
    Reply # 873505 on 872843
    Deleted user

    Thanks Larry. It's not often anyone agrees with me! You put it much more succintly than I did. I have found through experience that too large a headsail for the conditions is more detrimental to performance (and crew comfort) than not enough sail. Also I believe it's called roller furling for a reason. A large headsail rolled in (reefed) does not perform very well. We found this out recently on my son's newly aquired Columbia 50 sloop in 12- 15 knots of wind and his brand new 150 is back in the sail locker replaced by a 110. 

    I have also found that the W32 likes to sail as upright as can be managed and too much headsail certainly puts her rail down. Rubrail in the water is fun on a nice 2-3 foot sunny day but otherwise not for me.


  • March 31, 2012 6:27 PM
    Reply # 873517 on 872843
    Thanks fellas. You've given me the confirmation I was looking for so I will go with a 110 yankee. I love this forum. 

  • April 01, 2012 6:21 AM
    Reply # 873753 on 872843
    Deleted user
    For what it's worth (and to answer one of your questions) a Yankee is properly referred to as a Yankee jib.  What makes it a Yankee jib is the fact that the clue is positioned far up the sail's leach.  If you look at a picture of a Yankee clipper you'll see the jibs are all very high cust.  We lost our two headsails a few years ago in a terrific wind (80 mph) that blew through the marina and ripped the headsails out from under the lines wrapping them onto the furler --- they were literally shredded.  We replaced the original, standard, Yankee which had two or three feet of wire rope (you might call it a pigtail, although it has a name I can't remember; perhaps they're called leaders) between the head of the sail and the top of the mast, with one having a different aspect ratio.  The head of the Yankee now goes all the way to the mast head and the foot is cut a bit shorter to give roughly the same sail area.  Boat sails much better this was although in truth I really cannot tell if its a result of a crisp shapely new sail, or the longer luff.  The sails were made by Kern Ferguson and he will be getting the order for the new main when the time comes; the original 36 year old main is getting a little worse for wear.
  • April 01, 2012 8:01 PM
    Reply # 874164 on 872843


    My 2 cents on this question;  I've owned 2 different Westsail 28's.   My first 28 had a 110% Jib with 1 reef point in it, a standard Staysail, a cruising spinnaker and a Main.  Just as 32 owners have experienced, my 28 balanced well and was never overpowered with this basic sail plan.  There were a few light air times when a little more headsail area might have been nice, but the basic sails keep me moving just fine and frankly changing out a large headsail on the bowsprit when conditions have deteriorated is no fun...putting the reef in my 110% Jib was a challenge in itself!

    My current 28 has a 130% roller reefing Genoa and a 120% hank on Staysail Genoa and a standard Mainsail.  I also carry a spare standard size Staysail and a Spinnaker.  My experience is that roller reefing headsails can be OK, if they are designed and cut for roller reefing as opposed to roller furling.  The 130% Genoa does overpower the boat and drives the bow down in heavy winds (20+ knots) so we are often rolling it in to about a 100% to 110% size. As many sailors on this forum will tell you balance is key in getting maximum performance out of your boat. The reason I have a 120% Staysail Genoa is to compensate for the lessened performance of the headsail when it is reefed. 

    If any 28 owners are interested I have a excellent 100% original hank on Jib and a excellent original Hank on Staysail for sale.


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software