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sail tracks, new sails

A couple of messages this morning remind me to pass on my very pleasant
experience with North Sails Portland (503 282-4282).

Kerry came down and very carefully measured the boat for the replacement
main and jib.  This alone really helped my peace of mind.

There was no great surprise on the main, though I did decide to go with one
full batten at the top, partial battens at the bottom.

The jib was another story.  I was replacing the 115 jib, which is really
thin and baggy.  Recall that the 115 jib goes only about 3/4 of the way to
the masthead.  I was all set to buy a close replacement for this sail.
However, Kerry from North talked to me about new shapes.

To summarize, the design philosophy 20 years ago was that for a smaller
sail you want to lower the center of effort and get the load off the rig.
Modern design philosophy is to use a narrower, taller sail.  I ended up
ordering a masthead height sail, but with a 100% LP.  This sail will look
more like a glider wing.  I should point out also that it violates the old
class rules, which specifically restrict headsails to working jib, 115 jib,
and 150 jib; since there's no real one-design body I don't see that as a

We talked a good bit about jib lead placement.  He also concluded, as did
Mick Roberts, that the genoa track (abeam the cockpit) is too far aft for a
small jib.  We kicked around several possibilities.  Kerry's favorite was
to mount tracks on the edge of the cabin roof and run the sheets inside the
inner shrouds; he believes this will give the best possible performance.
Almost as good, but easier to deal with, would be tracks paralleling the
cabin, mounted roughly as far out as the chainplates.  I won't put in the
tracks (a standard West Marine catalog item, btw) until the jib arrives.
In the meantime, I noticed that my jib blocks are removable from the cars,
so for the 115 jib I'll clip the jib block to the toerail.

To repeat an earlier message, quotes from 3 reputable makers were quite
close to each other.  I highly recommend getting your boat measured for its
new suit.

Hal Mueller  
Corvallis, Oregon (dance)
Home:  (541) 752-4776
Work:  (541) 754-4490

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