Self tacking jib on the sloop rig.

Boat handling, ideas, questions...

Re: Self tacking jib on the sloop rig.

Postby Rick Simonds » Sat Jan 01, 2011 1:08 pm

The huge advantage of the self-tending jib is, of course,... well,... self tending. “To tack, you turn the wheel” is the catch phrase in all of the promotional material and something of the ethos of Freedom boats. You give up some pointing ability and perhaps a tiny amount of speed but short tacking up a channel is fun and easy. (The way-over-used joke is for someone to spin a winch when we tack, just to make the clicking sound: At least it SOUNDS like we’re doing something!)

Everyone, secretly or not, is concerned with performance though. I have the original, permanent Camberspar jib and I also got a second, light air genoa for my cat/sloop Hoyt 32. My genoa is bagged, it’s not on a roller, it goes up hanked-on over the lowered Camberspar jib. In general, the boat seems indifferent to which sail I use. I’ve found the genoa in place of the Camberspar jib to be clearly worthwhile in only 2 circumstances, both in light air, both only when going to windward:

1) Getting a better few degrees of pointing: While the speed difference is negligible, the pointing gains aren’t quite “infinitesimal” but they are small, call it, say, “more than 1 and less than 4.” Still, the mathematics of just a little bit better pointing can pay big in getting to a windward mark. Even then I normally don’t bother putting it up, unless I have a long way to go.

2) It has better “punch” than the Camberspar. If the wind is light and the waves are sloppy and confused, the larger genoa seems to have “punching power”, the boat speed stays higher when you are constantly get stopped by banging into waves. This is a big deal to me. North Florida weather in the summertime, day after day after freakin’ day: a perfect sea breeze starts at noon, the 4:30 PM thunderstorm kills it and the sea is a mess afterwards. I use the genoa more often in this circumstance, often just to give up and go home, but it’s either that or the motor. The sailing still isn’t much fun.

In medium and heavier air both those differences minimize then disappear entirely and I always fly the smaller Camberspar instead of the genoa, especially to windward, with no real loss of performance.

Reaching, the gains of the genoa are infinitesimal. Freedom boats really shine off the wind and you’ll gain on everybody no matter what you have up. Also, once I’m at 60* apparent wind or greater I can put up the Gunmount spinnaker and the boat doesn’t just shine, if flat-out HONKS. Goodbye, everybody.

I don’t have numbers on this but I’d guess, in the real world, the Camberspar running wing and wing is actually far better than the genoa. The Camberspar keeps the sail vanged, winged out and it doesn’t collapse, the sail is contributing all the time. The tiny “actually-projected” additional sail area of the genoa would add very little to any real world speed while running and unless I set up a whisker pole (I don’t have one), the genoa is going to be collapsed much of the time anyway. The Camberspar is nearly perfect wing and wing and it’s also stable, no-brainer simple, well behaved, all automatic, all from the cockpit. And if I want to go faster, setting the Gunmount is not much more trouble than setting a whisker pole would be and that real world gain is dramatic.

My experience: Changing the Camberspar to a genoa doesn’t add much and I’m back to grinding winches.
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Re: Self tacking jib on the sloop rig.

Postby GeoffSchultz » Sat Jan 01, 2011 1:24 pm

I couldn't agree more with Rick's post.

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Re: Self tacking jib on the sloop rig.

Postby sailmon » Sat Jan 01, 2011 10:40 pm

I was thinking that a code zero on flexible furler would be good in light air. In heavy air, the main drives the boat well down wind and up to close reach. Wondering if I can rely on these two sails for east coast and Caribbean - permitting me to leave camberspar jib at home... clearing foredeck for anchoring, etc.
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Re: Self tacking jib on the sloop rig.

Postby GeoffSchultz » Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:01 am

sailmon wrote:I was thinking that a code zero on flexible furler would be good in light air. In heavy air, the main drives the boat well down wind and up to close reach. Wondering if I can rely on these two sails for east coast and Caribbean - permitting me to leave camberspar jib at home... clearing foredeck for anchoring, etc.

You've mentioned "clearing the foredeck for anchoring, etc" 3 times in your posts on the subject. I must admit that I don't understand what you're talking about. We anchor extensively and really don't find that the camber spar/jib gets in the way. We simply push it to the port side where it remains out of the way. If there are heavy winds and we're tacking to the starboard side while pulling the anchor, it can get blown back over, but it's generally not that much of an issue.

Personally I find that the benefits far outweigh the cons, especially when running down wind wing-on-wing. I can't tell you how many times I've passed other boats, (especially larger boats,) who can't keep their foresail deployed and suddenly I'll see someone running forward, grabbing a pole and trying to figure out how to do what comes naturally with a camber spar. Granted, I'm a cruiser who's more interested in storage space than having a large sail inventory and squeeking every last tenth of a kt out of the boat, so my interests may be different than yours.

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Re: Self tacking jib on the sloop rig.

Postby bighopper252 » Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:44 am

Very interesting remarks. I looked at the Code Zero:
http://www.ukhalsey.com/sails/CodeZero/
Des lors, un Freedom qui est vendu avec un Camberspar (Oops - I was skyping with my family in europe...ha ha ha ) :shock: OK, therefore, a Freedom sold with a Camberspar setup never has jib sheet tracks?
Thereofre, an eventual Code Zero us set on the aluminum toe-rail?
- I have not seen any F35 with the "torpedo tube" for a spinnaker or for the Code Zero. How is it then set?
Happy sailing year to all!
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Re: Self tacking jib on the sloop rig.

Postby Rick Simonds » Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:44 pm

I can pretty confidently say that Freedoms don't have jib sheet tracks, period, and if they do, they've been added. If my genoa showed more promised I'd add them too, and without spreaders to worry about I'd put them toward the outboard edge of the cabin top, not on the side decks.

Code Zeros look terrific and I'd love to have one, especially one on a furler. If it really points to 40* apparent that would be good enough. "Zero" very accurately descibes my experience with them but I don't think it would be a good at all as a replacement for the Camberspar or any other jib; it's still a spinnaker and don't y'all ever tack? I bet it's in-your-face user-hostile in any kind of bouncy sea and, even with the furler, it would be too much of a handful. I sail on a friend's 35' hotrod catamaran fairly often and he has a "Screecher." It's not on a furler but it is a similar sail, basically a flat asymetric spinnaker designed to point very high, just what a multihul needs with its smaller apparent wind angles. It's a great sail, oodles of fun, but I can definitely say that it can only be tacked with a great deal of effort and the occasional bit of drama. It's about as easy to take it down then put it up again on the other tack. On Charlie's cat, without a furler, getting it down is "all hands on deck", everyone scooping up as much as they can as fast as they can.

On our boats I suppose you could come up with some sort of sprit to fly a Code Zero but many Freedoms have the reinforced bow pulpit necessary for the Gunmount spinnaker, even if they don't have the the rest of the gear or the sail itself. It could easily be flown from there. I've even tried my genoa from there but even with its luff rope the genoa is not designed as a free-luff sail so it flies much better on any sort of headstay, even a floppy, wobbly, loose one.
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Re: Self tacking jib on the sloop rig.

Postby Teke's Pride » Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:53 pm

So based on the UK Halsey definition of a Code 0, if I use one on my F21 instead of the the class staysail, I can race as a cat and not have to take the handicap penalty of a sloop? :?:

Maybe I'll run this by the race committee at my club...
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Re: Self tacking jib on the sloop rig.

Postby unfetteredalexandria » Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:07 pm

I think the way I sail my boat with the gunmount chute is not that different from how a code zero works, in that, so long as the breeze isn't too heavy, I can carry the chute to a pretty good degree upwind, probably at least as high as 60 deg. I can offset the centering of the pole in the gunmount to get more "luff" or "leach" tension, as conditions dictate.

I think if I were to add a non-overlapping, self-tending staysail, then if the wind were light, I would slowly point up with all 3 sails flying, to get the boat moving, then snuff the chute when I get high enough that I couldn't carry it anymore. Has anybody ever heard of a Freedom 25 being equipped with either a camber spar or a Hoyt jib boom? I seem to recall from the old yahoo forum that someone had done this, but have not been able to find that post.
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Re: Self tacking jib on the sloop rig.

Postby daletournier » Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:05 pm

As has already been stated the main advantage to me is the ease of running wing to wing. i just couldn't go back to a conventional rig, in fact as arrogant as this sounds I often think that people on boats with conventional rigs don't know what there missing. Im at anchor now and live on anchor 80% of the year, I've never found I don't have enough room on the foredeck and keep in mind my boats only a 32 footer. I've recently spent 1 month cruising with a 3 year old Bavaria 37 and the only time his boat is faster is when were tight on the wind. Two days spend ghosting down the Hinchbrook channel north QLD watching my mate try to keep is genoa full while I kept making cups of tea, that's cruising. I like all boats yet only this morning I was sitting looking at all the boats in the anchorage and thinking how much I like the Freedom freestanding self tacking jib rig setup and why all boats dont have it? Ricks view is so on the money. Anyway just my thoughts which im sure they differ from others.
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