March 2003 -
Here's the old headsail, just pulled out at the dock. I've always called it a 90, but really it's more like
a 75 or 80. It was cut down
to fit the old self-tending track, which I've removed. I put down
new track to give it a decent sheeting angle to deck, but really it was a lost cause because the leech was shot. In anything over 15 knots it started to flutter and shake the whole boat, and if I'd tighten the leech line enough to make it stop, the leech would end up cupped over a full 2 inches! That sorta messes up the sail shape.
It's hard to tell from this picture, since it was taken on a calm day at the dock.
To the left,
you can see
the old sail.
Some folks have asked me why I like a smaller headsail up front... On the SF Bay in the summer it often blows like stink. I don't like being overpowered, and I don't race, so a 90 is a nice manageable sail.
Quantum made me a pretty sweet deal on a new 90, since I ordered it in January.
This one's cut to sheet back to the main track. I don't point as high, but I can see under the sail easily and it won't catch water.
It's cut nicely to be run inboard of the shrouds
and not touch the spreaders.
Update June 2003: In practice, after using it, I run the sheets outboard all the time. The breeze keeps the clew off the shrouds
even when close hauled.
I like the way the leech line runs up and then down the
luff, so it can be adjusted safely. I don't race, and don't have a foolish
young crew kid with no fear of death to send forward to adjust the leech line...
So I can crawl forward and sit on the bow and adjust it.
What a treat.
It's cut high, so it'll be easy to see under --
which also comes in handy
on the SF Bay in the summer...
I really don't know the much about sail design, but drew up the drawing to
the left to see if a Blade was even practical. Maybe, but it would have been
a lot harder to see under, and I have a feeling my originally desired shape
would have required track right where I don't have any, or
to have the clew practically on the deck.
The truth is, I hadn't really realized that the old sail wasn't really a 90... every time I pulled it out I was just too embarrassed to look at it...
The proof's in the pudding, so I'll just go give this one a workout and take some pics...
I'd considered taking the old sail and having it cut down
to a 60 or something, to use as a storm sail.
But when I went to fold it up on the marina lawn, I discovered that the dog owners weren't cleaning up after themselves, and so I smeared dog shit all over the sail. It went into the dumpster.
Update June 2003 -- It works just fine. It's especially nice
to be able to see to leeward on the busy SF Bay. Stella Blue is also a very
stiff boat, so having the CE just a little higher than a blade doesn't do
I still point high enough.