What's new

Two dumb questions...

Pingpro

New Member
Hi guys, as we've been sailing more often in the Gulf of Mexico, the wind has been picking up a lot since the summer. We are still somewhat inexperienced (in other words, we still have to think about and make a plan when we change points of sail, it isn't intuitive and as you know, the boat is super responsive). We've been seeing 20 knots lately and I have not taken her out because I don't feel comfortable with that much wind at the moment.

So question 1; I have several foresails and have been using what I think is the full size jib. Apparently I have a storm jib as well (previous owner told me I had one). Is there an easy way to tell the size of a foresail buy the labeling? It seems that the area would be listed somewhere on the sail.

Question 2; I haven't done much downwind sailing in strong winds. I need to know how to rig a preventer. Can anyone explain how they do it?

As always, many thanks to everyone.

Christian
 

ProATC

Active Member
There should only be 2 jib sizes for the J/24; not sure if the sailmaker would label the sails (150%, 100%, etc.), but usually they label the bag so you don't have to take the sail out to read the size, it's on the bag. If you don't have anything noted on the bag, once you do find out, you should label the bag, versus the sail. The super easy way to guess would be the size and weight of the bag, the heavier one being the genoa. Another easy way to find out is to attach the tack (at the bow) and see how far back the clew goes. The 100%; or, jib; or, #1 (the percentage refers to the relation of the mast) should go to the mast, or about the leading (bow) edge of the front track by the shrouds. The 150%; or, genoa; or, #2 (goes 50% beyond/aft of the mast) and should go to the leading (bow) edge of the aft track near the deck winch (if your boat has those). A storm jib, in my mind, is smaller than the 100% jib, maybe a 60% or less, which really is not needed on a J/24; and, would be a one-off specialized sail that would be custom made:D.

As far as a preventer, I would do a web search for 'sailboat preventer', which should produce some good diagrams to copy if you are really set on having one. I personally think they are dangerous, and just one more thing for the crew to worry about when you do want to jibe. You'll reconsider the first time you do jibe and the preventer is still attached. Sailing lower than a broad reach, dead downwind, or close to it, is not good on a J/24 anyways, bad VMG, accidental jibe to name a few:eek:.

The best advice for increasing your tolerance for blustery conditions is to just go out with the Mainsail only. It makes it more manageable for everyone, you will still get the feeling of how the boat reacts in a stiff breeze (waves over the bow, rounding up, traveler settings, etc), and if you still feel overpowered, you can put in a reef. Practicing putting in a reef is also good experience down the road and should build your confidence as well. These are mainsail-centric boats, and learning to control the main in a breeze is valuable knowledge. The jib drives the boat, and can often times overpower the main, in a stiff breeze. Until you get yourself and crew up to speed with all of that, nothing wrong with testing the waters with just the main ;).

Keep the questions coming, when it comes to gaining experience, there is no such thing as a dumb question. Have you thought about inviting someone aboard to help you and your crew become more intuitive? If I was in Naples, I would volunteer as long as there was at least a 12year Scotch involved:cool:. The more you get out on the water and learn, the better sailor you will become. Happy sailing!:)
 

VinceH

Member
I agree with ProATC, but I'll just add a little bit more...
The full sized jib is the genoa, and when it's fully trimmed-in, going upwind, it comes back almost to the cockpit; maybe about a foot forward of the cockpit. The smaller sail is known as the 'blade', or sometimes as just the jib. It comes back to just aft of the mast. Size is maybe 110% of the fore-triangle, the area between the mast and the headstay. It sheets to the forward jib track, adjacent to the side-stays (shrouds). The big one sheets to the track in the cockpit.

Generally, the genoa is used in winds up to about 17-18 knots for racing purposes, but if you're not up to that it would make sense to switch to the jib in winds over about 15 kts. That's definite, frequent, whitecaps range. A bit more than the occasional whitecap. OR... whenever you want, in order to feel comfortable.

I agree with ProATC; I wouldn't want to use a preventer, but be careful anyway downwind in a big breeze. I would admit to having performed an accidental gybe in about 25 kts of breeze and I'm very thankful that I didn't take anybody's head off. If you use a preventer the boat could be pinned on its side, and things will be really exciting. I suggest that you have a masthead fly to help you gauge the wind direction while sailing downwind, and when it's breezy don't try to sail more than maybe 165 degrees off the wind. When it's time to gybe, do it purposefully. Get ready, trim the main a bit, and make your turn, while throwing the main over by grasping all parts of the sheet between the boom and the turning block on the traveler, and immediately easing it back to its initial trim. With some experience you'll be confident.

j/24's with blades in 20+ kts:
Foto_G2.JPG

J/24 with Genoa sailing in about 13 kts. of breeze (occasional whitecaps):
J24Genoa.jpg
 

Pingpro

New Member
There should only be 2 jib sizes for the J/24; not sure if the sailmaker would label the sails (150%, 100%, etc.), but usually they label the bag so you don't have to take the sail out to read the size, it's on the bag. If you don't have anything noted on the bag, once you do find out, you should label the bag, versus the sail. The super easy way to guess would be the size and weight of the bag, the heavier one being the genoa. Another easy way to find out is to attach the tack (at the bow) and see how far back the clew goes. The 100%; or, jib; or, #1 (the percentage refers to the relation of the mast) should go to the mast, or about the leading (bow) edge of the front track by the shrouds. The 150%; or, genoa; or, #2 (goes 50% beyond/aft of the mast) and should go to the leading (bow) edge of the aft track near the deck winch (if your boat has those). A storm jib, in my mind, is smaller than the 100% jib, maybe a 60% or less, which really is not needed on a J/24; and, would be a one-off specialized sail that would be custom made:D.

As far as a preventer, I would do a web search for 'sailboat preventer', which should produce some good diagrams to copy if you are really set on having one. I personally think they are dangerous, and just one more thing for the crew to worry about when you do want to jibe. You'll reconsider the first time you do jibe and the preventer is still attached. Sailing lower than a broad reach, dead downwind, or close to it, is not good on a J/24 anyways, bad VMG, accidental jibe to name a few:eek:.

The best advice for increasing your tolerance for blustery conditions is to just go out with the Mainsail only. It makes it more manageable for everyone, you will still get the feeling of how the boat reacts in a stiff breeze (waves over the bow, rounding up, traveler settings, etc), and if you still feel overpowered, you can put in a reef. Practicing putting in a reef is also good experience down the road and should build your confidence as well. These are mainsail-centric boats, and learning to control the main in a breeze is valuable knowledge. The jib drives the boat, and can often times overpower the main, in a stiff breeze. Until you get yourself and crew up to speed with all of that, nothing wrong with testing the waters with just the main ;).

Keep the questions coming, when it comes to gaining experience, there is no such thing as a dumb question. Have you thought about inviting someone aboard to help you and your crew become more intuitive? If I was in Naples, I would volunteer as long as there was at least a 12year Scotch involved:cool:. The more you get out on the water and learn, the better sailor you will become. Happy sailing!:)
Thanks ProATC... Get down to Naples and the Scotch is yours (might have to share...). No labels on the sail bags except for one but based on your and Vince's comments, I'm running a 100% jib. I have a genoa in a long thin bag marked Genoa that I haven't used yet. The other jib is lighter and may be the 60% or storm jib, I'll have to pull it out on the boat. The mainsail only idea is a good one and something I hadn't considered and we do need to practice reefing, I haven't noticed reefing points on the main, but they must be there. I really appreciate the responsiveness of you guys and your love for sailing and growing the sport.
 

Pingpro

New Member
I agree with ProATC, but I'll just add a little bit more...
The full sized jib is the genoa, and when it's fully trimmed-in, going upwind, it comes back almost to the cockpit; maybe about a foot forward of the cockpit. The smaller sail is known as the 'blade', or sometimes as just the jib. It comes back to just aft of the mast. Size is maybe 110% of the fore-triangle, the area between the mast and the headstay. It sheets to the forward jib track, adjacent to the side-stays (shrouds). The big one sheets to the track in the cockpit.

Generally, the genoa is used in winds up to about 17-18 knots for racing purposes, but if you're not up to that it would make sense to switch to the jib in winds over about 15 kts. That's definite, frequent, whitecaps range. A bit more than the occasional whitecap. OR... whenever you want, in order to feel comfortable.

I agree with ProATC; I wouldn't want to use a preventer, but be careful anyway downwind in a big breeze. I would admit to having performed an accidental gybe in about 25 kts of breeze and I'm very thankful that I didn't take anybody's head off. If you use a preventer the boat could be pinned on its side, and things will be really exciting. I suggest that you have a masthead fly to help you gauge the wind direction while sailing downwind, and when it's breezy don't try to sail more than maybe 165 degrees off the wind. When it's time to gybe, do it purposefully. Get ready, trim the main a bit, and make your turn, while throwing the main over by grasping all parts of the sheet between the boom and the turning block on the traveler, and immediately easing it back to its initial trim. With some experience you'll be confident.

j/24's with blades in 20+ kts:
View attachment 48895

J/24 with Genoa sailing in about 13 kts. of breeze (occasional whitecaps):
View attachment 48896
As always Vince, I really appreciate your help. I'll bag the preventer idea for now and tell everyone to keep their head's down. I also have a patient of my wife (she's a PT) who apparently used to kill it in New England in the J/24 class association races, he's probably 70 now. I may see if he want's to skipper a few trips out there so I can understand exactly what the boat is capable of, he's offered but I need to take him up on it. I get a little nervous when we heel past 35 or so degrees even though I know there is no real danger. Just gotta get over it and having someone else, with a ton of experience at the helm may do the trick. The pics are perfect. They helped me realize I have the 100% jib out (or blade as I'll call it now to sound cool). The windex at the masthead helps with wind direction as you noted. Many thanks again Vince.
-Christian
 

VinceH

Member
If you can get someone with some significant experience to sail with you a bit that would be great. Boats are different, but all sailing is...sailing, and great.

You may not find any reef points on your main. I think the major sailmakers providing sails for J/24s haven't included reef points in the last 30 years. None of the boats in the two photos I posted have reef points on the mains, you'll see.

Although the boat was originally designed as a mini version of offshore boats of the day (1977), they quickly became used almost exclusively as day racers, with the occasional overnight. So they were never sailed far offshore, meaning that if it gets too windy you just go in.

Following the info I previously posted from the sailmakers, you can set the boat up so it's controllable in 30+ kts of breeze. The boat should be sailed so that it isn't heeling much more in 30 kts than it does in 15 kts of breeze.
 
Top