Which is the preferred headsail, a 130% or a 150%?

David Hibbard writes, ” Our Genoa at 130% is smaller than the 150% recommended in the Builders Guide. I have another 130% on order. I was interested in talking with people who fly a 150% and see what their opinions are before the cloth is cut.” David sails (#195, Endorphin) which is a Mark II PH-CC.

a. I use a 150% genoa, with roller furling; It seems to work great especially in light air. When the wind picks up, we just furl the genoa to match the conditions; with wind really blowing we furl completely and fly the hank-on staysail. John B., #116, Bright Eyes

b. I have both and always use the 130%, except in very light conditions. I don’t see anything ahead of the boat with the 150% and have to rely on a crew. No fun. The 150% almost touches the deck and mine has no mica windows in it. I would strongly recommend to install some windows if you take the 150% route. Plus, to tack, the 130% turns more easily around the staysail than the 150%. Finally, for the girlfriend, winching the 130% is easier when I’m at the wheel and taking care of the mainsail, which is the case 90% of the time. In less than 10 kts winds, I would use the 150%. Over 10 kts, I get plenty of speed with the 130%. I have a PH-CC, hull 124. All the Best, Bernard V., #124, Di Rosa

c. The 150% will give you more speed in light wind than the 130%. It depends on the area you sail. If you frequently have to deal with light wind where you normally sail, the 150% is the way to go. You would think that you can reef or roll in a 150% and have the equivalent of a 130% but rolling a sail changes its shape and the loss of drive is dramatic. The same thing with those mainsails that were made to roll-in the mast thru a very narrow slot. They had to change the shape of the sail so that it would not get stuck in the slot when you rolled it in (the sail became essentially flat) and that change of shape changes the dynamics of the sail and makes it inefficient. I once changed the rigging on a boat from a perfectly working and efficient standard mainsail, that you had to hoist up, to a rolled-in-the-mast mainsail. The salesman warned me that the system would not be as efficient by 10%, so we increased the sail area by 10%. The result was a loss of efficiency of 50 % or more. Bad choice… All this to say that the shape of the forward part of the sail is where the horsepower is and if you change it, it will dramatically affect your relative speed. I always had 150% roller furling genoas on my own boats, but if you cruise a 130% will be fine. When you cruise you are not worried so much about speed. Have a wonderful day. Marius Corbin

d. Here’s my .02 on this …. I had Doyle Sails make me a 150% Jib / Genoa a few years ago. I flew this for one season and found that it was just too much sail up front. I prefer to use the staysail as well so I very seldom flew the 150% fully deployed. Packed it up after one season and am very happy with the Yankee and / or ……. Staysail only ! Of note: Since I got rid of the Club Boom and made a single sheet to the Cockpit for the Staysail, I use the Staysail all the time. [See Hanked-on-Staysail w/o boom & w/o track] Good luck …………….. Frank Bryant ( #186, Visitant)

e. After sailing around the world, I suggest that one should get the largest headsail possible. This is based on the fact that the Corbin is a heavy boat and needs large sail area to move in medium to light air. Also Tan Bark sails outlast white sails 3 to 1. Henry M. (#018, 2 Extreme).

f. We have the earlier version of the Corbin and fly a 135% genoa. Because our boat develops weather helm as wind speed increases we furl the genoa first. This moves the sail area centre of effort forward, much more than reefing the main sail, and helps to minimize weather helm. I don’t know what your helm balance is like but if you go to a 150% genoa you will be moving the centre of effort further aft and may induce some weather helm. Regards, David S., #050, Opportunity.