Special Refitting. Time for change. Ten questions in ten episodes. #10/ The topsails.


10. Easy sailing without turning on the engine. What sail shall I buy for myself?

Today the trend is to have larger mainsails and smaller genoas. This results in easier handling of the boat upwind but penalizes it in low wind and at carrying gaits. That is why we now find Code 0 or gennakers aboard all cruising boats today, which, again in easy-sailing, have come to replace the more challenging and difficult spinnaker, saving the crew time and diesel fuel. Furling or socked gennakers and Code 0 have changed the way of cruising: being used without a spinnaker, they are as easy and fun as a genoa and make life easier in maneuvering, saving owners time and diesel fuel. The Code 0 is a sail designed to cover even the narrowest swaths, up to 40/45 degrees of apparent wind, a cross between a genoa (compared to which it has about twice the sail area) and a gennaker. It is indeed used at very narrow apparent wind angles with little wind, but also at wider angles with very strong wind when the asymmetric spi is not usable because it is too large. The materials used range from nylon to laminates, and the sail comes with a spectra or anti-twist forestay and furlers that facilitate its use, and made with a sufficiently straight luff that allows it to be furled without difficulty. It is a very easy-to-handle sail, lightweight and space-saving when stowed in the bag. Originally, the Code 0 was intended as a large, lightweight genoa to be used for wide windward markers with little wind: however, today its form and function are defined together with the sailmaker who designs them according to the needs of the owners.
onesailsThe gennaker is the other sail that is gaining popularity on cruising boats and is often tacked on a bowsprit or directly on the boat’s dolphin rail
. It is an asymmetrical spinnaker with an all-round cut that allows it to tighten up to 50° when the wind is weak and drop down to 160° and beyond in high winds. By covering a wide wind range, frantic sail adjustments are avoided, making life on board easier. To help with maneuvering, many use a sock, or, for those who prefer an immediate-to-use sail, a furler is the best solution.



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