Please select your home edition
Edition
RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Global Solo Challenge: Sail changes on an offshore racing boat and the crossover of sails

by Global Solo Challenge 18 Sep 15:21 BST
Sail changes on an offshore racing boat and the crossover of sails © Global Solo Challenge

Sail crossover is a term used to refer to a boat's combination of sails for all conditions. Each sail has a range of use, beyond which a smaller sail will replace it.

The points where the first sail needs to be replaced for the second indicate sail changes. The crossover diagram shows us the overlap points between the sails and the appropriate moments for sail changes. At the crossover point of the sails we will have situations where two alternative sail combinations are valid. Changes must be made if we expect conditions to vary in favor of one combination or the other.

The wider the point of overlap between the sails, the more our sails suit is wide and flexible. If, on the other hand, the overlaps are very limited, it means that when the angle or intensity of the wind varies we are called to frequent sail changes. In fact, as soon as we leave the ideal range of use of a sail, with a limited overlap compared to the next sail, we have to make a sail change.

Using an out-of-range sail is not something to aim for, but there are variable weather situations where reducing the number of sails changes becomes an advantage. In fact, when we have clear all the possible combinations of sails for our boat, we must also have clear the times required for the manoeuvres. Some sail changes may require you to without a headsail until the new sail is hoisted. If our changes become very frequent, we unnecessarily waste time and energy.

The range of use of the sails

By range of use of the sails we mean the minimum and maximum wind and angle for which a sail is efficient. When we are out of these parameters we are called to sail changes. It may not be a question of sail changes but of canvas reductions. The mainsail reefs are the most obvious example, but there are other sails that can be reefed or reduced in area. On the Mini 650, for example, the solent usually has two reefs. Even the large spinnaker can often be reduced to a medium spinnaker thanks to a zip. On the Class40 the staysail may have a reef point.

On cruising boats it is also possible to furl the genoa and use it partially furled. In case performance is not our priority it is a very convenient thing. The sail usually has small circles that indicate three levels of reduction, as for reefs. Some cruise boats, especially in the Mediterranean, do not even have the possibility to hoist a staysail. Worse still, many cruising boats have no realistic way of hoisting a storm jib.

This is really unacceptable, but the problem is that the boats leave yard without the possibility of rigging an internal forestay. Nowadays it is possible to make a textile forestay (Dyneema) that can be put to rest when we do not need to use the staysail. The sail can be left hooked or removed from the deck depending on the navigation. The storm jib can be hoisted immediately above the lowered staysail. This solution is found on racing boats and cruising boats prepared for the high seas.

Continue reading the full article here...

Related Articles

Global Solo Challenge: Battery & power management
Almost every sailing or motor yacht has on board a more or less complex electrical system Almost every sailing or motor boat has on board a more or less complex electrical system and a variable number of batteries. This depends on the size of the boat, the instruments installed and the equipment on board. Posted on 29 Sep
Global Solo Challenge: Facing Cape Horn in a storm
A story of rounding the famous landmark After the second storm, the wind dropped rapidly, and within half a day it went aft and we could even hoist the big gennaker. Hugo and I celebrate, laugh, joke. Posted on 27 Sep
Global Solo Challenge: Pasquale, gentleman sailor
Pasquale De Gregorio embodies a dream, that of racing the most extreme solo race Pasquale De Gregorio is one of the closest sailors to all lovers of the sea and sailing. Pasquale is an example, he had to conquer the sea, he was not born near it, it was love at first sight, which lasted a lifetime. Posted on 25 Sep
Jean-Luc Van Den Heede interview
An in-depth analysis of solo sailing and of the problems to be faced such as food and sleep A long interview with Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, the last seadog, the man of records and the "long route" who talks to us about the mother of all non-stop solo circumnavigations. Posted on 13 Sep
32nd entry for the Global Solo Challenge
The momentum of the event continues to grow The momentum of the Global Solo Challenge (GSC) continues to grow. Organisers are delighted to announce that the 32nd entry is also the 3rd Australian skipper, with a 50+ foot performance boat, who at this stage wishes to remain anonymous. Posted on 6 Sep
Global Solo Challenge: Radar on sailboats
Making the most of it and using it safely The word radar is an acronym coined by the US Navy at the beginning of World War II with the meaning of "Radio Detection And Ranging". Its application for military purposes has spread over time, also finding diffusion in the civil field in aviation. Posted on 28 Aug
How to optimise route based on weather predictions
Optimising the route: understanding the problem to be solved. One recurring question among the novice offshore sailor is how to optimise your route when sailing. The practice is known among sailors with the French name of Routage or the English name of Weather routing. Posted on 23 Aug
Solving problems with inboard diesel engines
Some of the more common issues seen with sailboat engines To fully understand the operation of the inboard engine of a sailboat, you need to study at least the basic principles. Refer to the many resources available online, a short google search will bring up many results. Posted on 21 Aug
How to make the most of wind maps and grib files
Understanding the limitations, from the Global Solo Challenge Wind maps derived from grib files are nothing more than one of the possible representations of the development of the meteorological situation. Posted on 18 Aug
Global Solo Challenge welcomes 28th entry
William Croxford from Kettering enters the race William Croxford from Kettering, England, has dreamed of sailing around the world since childhood, watching and reading about Ellen MacArthur and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston made him always dream of completing a circumnavigation. Posted on 9 Aug