Thursday, April 2, 2015

Genoa inhauler

We have just brought Nimrod south from Townsville to the Whitsundays, where she will live for the next seven months.

Plenty jobs; boats don't like to be unused. We last saw her at the end of October.

One mission which might interest other Seawind owners is the fitting of a new genoa.

We have already a small self-tacking jib, and a larger light genoa. The former is a bit small, and the latter a bit big. In addition the sheets for the genoa run outside the cabin, which limits how high you can point into the wind. With the self-tacking jib, the autopilot set at 30° works. With the genoa the figure is more like 40°.

We have developed a technique called 'inhauling' for improving the pointing with the genoa. I originally tried to do it with ropes and pulleys from the boom, but it was all a bit flimsy. Recently we have worked out that we can use the sheets from the self-tacking jib, when centred on its track, to 'inhaul' the genoa sheets to produce a finer tacking angle. It works pretty well, although the large light genoa hits the spreaders when you do it without also reefing a bit.

So we ordered a 'Number 2' genoa from Neil Tasker at Barracouta Sails, and it arrived just before we flew to Townsville.

Step 1. Centre the jib sheet car on its track using the movable stops.

Step 2. Attach the self-tacking jib sheet to the genoa clew, as well as the genoa sheets.

Tension the self-tacking sheets to pull the clew inboard. Once you have it right, you can leave this alone when you tack.

This is the angle without 'inhauling'.

This is the angle with inhauling.

Two reef points along the foot.

Large light genoa.        38.2 m².       10-15,000 denier.    (High load areas 15,000, spaces 10,000) 
Recommended wind strength limit 20 knots.                  Boat points 40°
Number 2 genoa.          31 m².          20,000 denier.        Boat points 35° with inhauler.
Self-tacking jib.            22 m².          25,000 denier.        Boat points 30°

The plan is to leave this Number 2 genoa on most of the time and use it as follows in different wind strengths.

< 20 knots: full genoa.
20 - 25 knots: one reef.
25 - 30 knots: second reef. 
> 30 knots: storm jib wrapping round the fully furled genoa.

As the genoa is gradually furled, and the clew moves forward, control comes increasingly from the self-tacking jib sheets rather than the genoa sheets. 

Comments welcome.


  1. Hi Dave
    Graeme Jackson here (Wight Dog)
    Just looking at this setup again after you commented on Seawind Club.
    I am looking at your reefing points on the no.2 . To reef I take it you furl to the reefing point then what do you attach the reefing strap to?

  2. Hi Graeme, I used to be uncertain about the reefing points on the genoa, but now I am not so sure. :)

    I had them put on after receiving advice that sailing with a partly rolled up genoa was very dependent on the roller reefing gear not breaking, and unleashing a dangerously large sail in a strong wind. So the plan was to reef it and then attach a block and tackle to the reef tack point and tie it down to the bottom part of the Profurl, generally to the shackle that attaches to the tack of the genoa.

    I've used it that way, but a disadvantage is that one must go up on the foredeck in inclement conditions to either set it up, or dismantle it.

    The last few times I have reefed the genoa I haven't bothered with the tie-down, but merely been a bit more conservative. Once it has two reefs in it (ie to the level of the second reef point) the sail is not very big. And one can always reef it further.