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Old 12-11-2015, 02:32 PM   #1
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Head Sail

I have read the endless discussion for stay sails but has anyone every used a HEAD sail. My boat and rig was designed for it, but the sail is missing. Before I run and have one made I am wonder what kind of lift can be expected (obviously this depends on wind and sea state.).
a) can I expect a lift in speed, what is realistic 1kt, 1/2kt ?
b) any experience with decreased roll?
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Old 12-11-2015, 04:43 PM   #2
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How effective the sail is will depend on; 1) the sailmaker, 2) rigging tension, and 3) sheeting angles. Adding sail area will certainly help across or downwind, but don't expect that boat to sail upwind at all. With only 82 sq ft (34 main & 48 jib) the 4000 pound Timbercoast will sail (no engine) at 2.5 knots in 10 knots of wind, 3 knots in 12 knots of wind, and 4 knots in 15 knots of wind. She will also sail upwind at 60 degrees to true wind angle. I attribute this as much to deeper than average draft (and a big rudder) as to anything else.

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Old 12-11-2015, 04:57 PM   #3
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That's a cool boat!
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Old 12-11-2015, 05:53 PM   #4
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OK, as a recovering sailor...... a head sail is forward of the mast. Usually a jib. Be it a staysail, 100 (working jib)/110/135/150 (genoa)and so on. (100 percent is the distance from the tack, that's where the bottom forward corner attaches to the boat.... anything over 100% is the percentage of the foot, that's the bottom side of the triangle, extends past the mast) Then there's bloopers, spinnakers and other variations of downwind sails. (As in sailing on a broad reach or running, which is....but I digress.....)

Why yes I do have some experience, with a slew of sailboats over the last 50 years, but more to the point, recently a 37 foot motor sailor where we collected just these kind of data.

So here's the answer to your question. If you get a LARGE jib up there..... say 300+ square feet and it's blowing on the beam or abaft.... at, oh, 15 or so knots..... you will add 1-2 knots. In reality what you will do is pull back the throttle, because you don't want to waste any added energy pushing hull speed. So.... WAG 7 knots at 1450 rpm would become 7 knots at 1050.......Burn would be less. If your a twin, you may want to consider shutting one down. (Caution, depending on your tranny this may require a shaft brake)

So a sail may help for economy..... it's not going to turn it into a Cigarette.

There are plenty of used sail lofts. Even if you can't find the exact size, get something bigger for not too much, and have them cut it down.

Sailors change sails like power boaters change props..(chasing the same dream.... more for less)... and the cost is about the same. Always used sails around.

I hoped I answered your question. If you want to yack, pm me your number.

(And no, you will never see any benefit forward of a beam reach...(Wind coming in 90º to the centerline of the boat)
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Old 12-11-2015, 07:22 PM   #5
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My headsail is significantly larger than the "mainsail." Nevertheless, I use the mainsail more frequently than the headsail because it's easier to handle and is usefull in more wind directions.



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Old 12-11-2015, 07:52 PM   #6
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A cut down used sail might sorta work, but it will never be very good. The rig on a powerboat (short, with horizontal headstay) is a very different shape than today's typical high-aspect sailing yacht with vertical headstay. The sails are a very different shape, and cutting one in half will not work that great. It's fine to cut the foot off a sail, more or less square, but cutting the whole middle out of it is not recommended. But talk with a sailmaker about it.....
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Old 12-11-2015, 07:57 PM   #7
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A horizontal headstay? You have a diagram to go with that?

A larger headsail cut down (properly) will do fine on a trawler on a beam reach. Barn door lift only. No laminal flow. No way to make this a finesse thing.

I understand what you're saying, sort of, but it's waaaay simpler.
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Old 12-11-2015, 08:42 PM   #8
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While underway and under hull-speed, the sails can add half a knot in ten-knot winds from abeam.

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Old 12-11-2015, 09:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tad Roberts View Post
How effective the sail is will depend on; 1) the sailmaker, 2) rigging tension, and 3) sheeting angles. Adding sail area will certainly help across or downwind, but don't expect that boat to sail upwind at all. With only 82 sq ft (34 main & 48 jib) the 4000 pound Timbercoast will sail (no engine) at 2.5 knots in 10 knots of wind, 3 knots in 12 knots of wind, and 4 knots in 15 knots of wind. She will also sail upwind at 60 degrees to true wind angle. I attribute this as much to deeper than average draft (and a big rudder) as to anything else.

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Tad, that is a really cool boat.
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Old 12-12-2015, 07:07 AM   #10
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Sails are usually made (hoisted) from aft to fwd , and struck (lowered) from fwd to aft

This is so a vessel with a normal sail rudder (big) and keel can sail under full control with the raised sails.

A jib alone would help some downwind , but do little as a steadying device until a high wind speed.

At 17K a sq ft of sail area can create a pound of push downwind .

250 sq ft , 250 lbs of push @ 17K, about equal to a 12-13 hp push from an engine.

About the same as an extra GPH of fuel burn , perhaps + 1K.

If you were willing to throttle back to maintain the same speed , it might be more worthwhile , but Heating oil is about $1.20 today so under $2.00 diesel is on the way.

Look up the variety of propulsion kites that can be flown from the bow ,these can be far more effective .
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Old 12-12-2015, 08:53 AM   #11
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Don't remember what the results from this were, doesn't look like it's use has become widespread.....
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Old 12-12-2015, 12:33 PM   #12
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I have a 200 sq ft mainsail, and a 100 sq ft jib. Although I usually run both, I occasionally run with the jib alone, and the effect on both speed and roll reduction seems to be relative to the sail area. (mainsail has roughly double the effect of headsail)

I'm not sure what size headsail your forestay could carry. Maybe 150 ft2 ? as it seems limited by the flybridge canvas. I doubt if you'd be overwhelmed by the extra speed, however, I think you would be pleasantly surprised with the roll reduction.

A soft bilge hull shape such as the Bristol 42 will benefit greatly from a steady sail; much more so than a hard chined hull.
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Old 12-12-2015, 06:58 PM   #13
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I run up my main sail if I am really after roll reduction but put up both if wanting to gain speed or reduce fuel consumption. Very rarely put up the mizzen except maybe at anchor for a bit of direction.
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Old 12-12-2015, 07:18 PM   #14
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Sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy James View Post
I have read the endless discussion for stay sails but has anyone every used a HEAD sail. My boat and rig was designed for it, but the sail is missing. Before I run and have one made I am wonder what kind of lift can be expected (obviously this depends on wind and sea state.).
a) can I expect a lift in speed, what is realistic 1kt, 1/2kt ?
b) any experience with decreased roll?
GB 32'. Pic from PassageMaker.
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Old 12-12-2015, 07:25 PM   #15
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Sail

GB 32'. Pic from PassageMaker Magazine
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Old 12-12-2015, 07:53 PM   #16
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I run up my main sail if I am really after roll reduction but put up both if wanting to gain speed or reduce fuel consumption. Very rarely put up the mizzen except maybe at anchor for a bit of direction.

Sure like the looks of your boat!
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Old 12-13-2015, 07:49 PM   #17
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I was unable to google this article or boat. What issue was this in. Thanks JJ

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GB 32'. Pic from PassageMaker Magazine
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Old 12-13-2015, 07:56 PM   #18
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Lots of really cool boats! Thanks all. I would post a pic of the rig but I can never remember how to post a pic on this site.
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Old 12-13-2015, 08:26 PM   #19
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Lots of really cool boats! Thanks all. I would post a pic of the rig but I can never remember how to post a pic on this site.
Set up your account | Help, Tips, etc

Post number 6 of the above linked thread explains the painless process quite susinctly sir.
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Old 12-14-2015, 04:09 AM   #20
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PassageMaker magazine

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I was unable to google this article or boat. What issue was this in. Thanks JJ
Hi Jimmy James,

I took pictures of this PassageMaker article and made it in PDF. If you give me your email address, I will send you through email.

omirabelch@yahoo.fr
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