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mast step plates and keel boards

<x-flowed>We've had a lot of people new to the list in the last few months, so 
at the risk of boring the oldtimers I'll repeat a couple of points I 
made last spring about sails.

I decided last spring that it was time to replace the working jib on 
my boat.  I called several big name makers for bids, asking for their 
"chevrolet"/economy/cruiser line.  All of the vendors were within 
about $50 of each other.  One of them has an office about 120 miles 
from the lake where I was sailing.  Their salesman/sailmaker came to 
my boat, measured the rigging, and spent a good bit of his Sunday 
morning teaching me about sail designs.  This company (North Sails) 
got my business, and I was quite pleased with the results.

I want to make several general points:

1.  We aren't sailmakers.  We don't know how to measure rigging 
properly.  The people who do this for a living are happy to come to 
us to do the job.

2.  The "big name" vendors are not as expensive as i figured they would be.

3.  Our boats are old.  There have been lots of advances in sail 
design in the 25 years since our boats were designed.  A competent 
sailmaker can help us benefit from those advances.

And now specifics.  The working jib that North made me looks nothing 
like the original.  It is full hoist, all the way to the masthead, 
but is quite narrow.  Instead of a short stubby sail, I now have a 
long thin sail, sort of like the wing of a sailplane.  In wind 
conditions where I want a working jib, I've noticed that with the new 
sail the boat heals less, feels less labored, is more comfortable, 
and goes faster--really dances across the water instead of wallowing 
through the waves.  Now for those of us who are PHRF racers, there 
might be a penalty since the sail suit no longer complies with the 
"class rules" (on the other hand, there is no real class association 
in any formal sense).  I've never been measured nor raced PHRF, so I 
don't know the answer to this.

[extracted from a message last year after Kerry Poe, the North Sails 
rep, visited:
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.

BTW, this is the biggest diff between SJ23's and SJ 7.7's that I know 
of--SJ23's are masthead rigs, and 7.7's are fractional rigs (7/8?).

I have had good luck with Minney's Used Sails in San Diego.  I'll 
repost their address in the next message.

Hal Mueller  
Corvallis, Oregon
Home:  (541) 752-4776
San Juan 23 Internet Fleet:
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