Started Sailing

Head of Sail Shape

by Harvey Chichester
(Hudson WI)

I see many modern boats have the head of the sail extending back up to several feet before the leach heads down to the boom. If I get a new Main Sail built for my Ranger 23, what are the pros and cons of extending the sail head before sloping it down to the boom?

Comments for Head of Sail Shape

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Sep 30, 2009
Building out the head of the sail.
by: Han

Hi Harvey,
You are very right by sounding out pro's and con's, because what you think of will be a rather expensive operation (for an elderly boat), and the result could be disappointing.
First, a built-out sail has to be custom-built and that's more expensive than a regular one, all the more because you'll need a full-battened sail.
Second, the extra area lies far above and a bit behind the centre of effort, which will result in more heel and the helm will be harder to handle, because the boat will have a tendency to luff.
If I were you, I'd take a regular main and invest in a second genoa with a longer foot, thus creating a forceful chimney, and thus more lift, just where it belongs: at the centre of effort.
If you need this elaborated, please let me know. You can also find more Ranger 23 sailors at www.sailnet.com/, who could also advise you.
Anyway, I wish you a lot of sailing-pleasure.
Regards,
Han.

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