Working Jib for sailing in the trades?

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March 25, 2015 at 06:35 #25760
Van
Van
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We are looking again at our sail plan which currently consists of a 135% genoa, main, mizzen, mizzen staysail, and a drifter that we hank on to a removable forestay if the wind is really light. This plan works well in the Pacific Northwest, where we usually have light to moderate winds. Occasionally we have to partially furl the genoa, and very occasionally we also reef the main.

We are now looking at what we should change if we take a “left turn” when we leave the Straits of Juan de Fuca (ie head to the tropics). Eventually, we’ll sail Rainshadow to Hawaii (which is where we live now), and to points beyond.

We have been advised by a very good sailmaker here in Port Townsend, that the current thinking for “tradewind sailing” is to use a working jib on a furler, with a hank on drifter on the removable forestay. The idea is to spend most of your time with the jib, as the trades are generally strong enough that if you had the genoa up, you’d reef it. If it gets too light, you hank on the drifter (easily done in light air). If it gets too heavy, you reef the jib. If it gets way too heavy, you furl the jib and hank on a storm sail (scary).

So, can anyone share their experience sailing in the trades with a working jib, meaning a jib of around 100-110%? Is this a good size sail for the Nic 38? One concern is whether the sail is large enough to give the boat enough power.

Thanks!
Van

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