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Enterprise sail advice please

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Solitaireblue View Drop Down
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    Posted: 15 Apr 13 at 6:02pm

This is my first posting so ‘hello’ to everybody. I wonder if anybody might give me some advice please.

I am returning to sailing after a good number of years and have bought an Enterprise. I used to own one many years ago and remember having a set of ‘cruising’ sails which I used when sailing single handed in stronger winds. I just cannot remember what the sizing was or if the jib was smaller too.

The new boat came with two sets of full size sails and I am having one of the mains cut down at present slightly for when I use it on my own, but it has occurred to me that maybe I should have the jib cut down slightly too to match. If I don’t and use the jib from the full size set with the ‘cut down’ main version would that unbalance the boat? Any suggestions would be very welcome.



Edited by Solitaireblue - 15 Apr 13 at 7:11pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote SUGmeister Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 13 at 9:32am
It's been a long long time since I saw a set of Ent Cruising sails, maybe the 1960s.

To be honest to get a set of reduced size sails that gave you approx balance I would be inclined to buy a set of 2nd hand Firefly sails (with rope/wire strops to cater for the halyard length differences). 6 inches of sticky backed plastic and you could change the F to an E and have a unique set of white ent sails.

Good sailing


Edited by SUGmeister - 16 Apr 13 at 9:33am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote MerlinMags Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 13 at 10:10am
The Firefly seems a common choice for people after sails slightly smaller than full size. It will definitely turn heads to see an Enterprise without the blue colour though!
 
Here's a few classes with their sail area in square metres:
  • Mirror - 6.4
  • Gull - 6.5
  • Heron - 7.61
  • 405 - 7.98
  • Graduate - 8.36
  • National 12 - 8.4
  • RS Feva - 8.6
  • Laser 2 - 8.64
  • Miracle - 8.9
  • Firefly - 9
  • Topaz Vibe - 9.11
  • Laser 13 - 9.32
  • Lark - 9.75
  • Enterprise - 10.5
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 13 at 10:11am
To my mind the exact balance between main and jib is a lot less critical than some of the old school thinkers would have you believe. These days with masts raked a lot more than they used to be, the side load is shared between rudder and board, so if you chop a bit off the main all you really do is move the balance back forward a bit. I wouldn't worry unless you run into issues.

Having said that there is an awful lot to be said for having smaller sails off another class, but the big problem you may run into is the jib sheeting angle being wrong, especially as there isn't a lot of fore an aft adjustment on Enterprises. If you end up having to have a jib recut anyway you may as well et an Enterprise one changed.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote transient Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 13 at 11:15am
We have an old Ent with a set of reduced sails, jib and main. We used it for cruising with a couple of kids. Great times.

In the end we didn't bother with the small jib. Too much mucking around and it didn't make much difference to handling. If we were overpowered on the water with the small main we dropped the main and sailed on jib only. The ent will go to windward quite well on jib only, you just need to give yourself more water when tacking.........Practice on jib only in safe conditions to get the hang of upwind sailing, you'll be surprised how well it goes.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Solitaireblue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 13 at 11:46am

Thanks for all the advice so far, appreciated.

The company reducing the main sail did mention sizing the sail the same as a Firefly. I left it in their hands to get the size right and waiting to hear back.

It’s good to hear your experiences sailing with the full size jib with ‘cruising’ main. Using jib only in certain circumstances never crossed my mind. I will take your advice and try this out when conditions allow.

It has also been suggested that I use a Roller furling jib but guess maybe more trouble setting up than it’s worth?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Late starter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 13 at 11:49am
I wonder if reefing or using smaller sails on dinghies isn't as common as it used to be?    I can recall several of the Ents at my club back in the 70s going out with reefed or cruising sails for really windy races.

Re the point about sailing with jib alone - yes I used to do that sometimes when my kids were very young. Gave a very relaxed sail even in complete windy nutter conditions !
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Medway Maniac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 13 at 12:08pm
I was musing about sailing under jib alone while watching our asymmetrics in huge trouble trying to get home in Sunday's wind. 

Sailing on the jib was all part of learning to sail way back when, but would have been quite impossible with the boats I was watching, esp. with a short footed, self-tacking jib. And high-aspect, minimum area centreboards are great all the while you can keep moving fast and in balance, but otherwise...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PeterV Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 13 at 12:50pm
When I wanted to cruise in my Lark I had a set of reefing cringles put in about 2' above the boom on an old sail, making sure that the leech cringle was a bit higher to raise the boom.  I found I could quite happily put in the reef afloat (simple lashing at tack and clew) and then carry on with the full size jib.  When it got really windy I just lowered the jib.  Even though singlehanded I could still be out when all other dinghies had gone in.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote alstorer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 13 at 3:39pm
Originally posted by Late starter

I wonder if reefing or using smaller sails on dinghies isn't as common as it used to be?    I can recall several of the Ents at my club back in the 70s going out with reefed or cruising sails for really windy races.
Modern sails, masts and controls make it easier to depower a racing a sail- possibly almost to the equivalent of reefing an old racing sail.
 
However, reefing is still a technique taught on RYA courses- a well equipped sailing teaching centre certainly needs boats that are reefable, ideally in a more complex manner than a Topper, and most of the "plastic tub" boats tend to come with reefable mainsails (often using zip-reefing rather than old style "round the boom" roller or tie-down slab)
-_
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