New Storm Jib

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New Storm Jib

Postby jaltice » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:31 pm

Placed an order back in February (I think). Several inquiries later, the sailmaker (Kelly Hanson) told me that they'd moved manufacturing from somewhere in the Carribbean to The Philippines, at which point I figured they were just a conveniently named shell game. A few months later I got a letter stating that my sail had been completed and that they'd provide me some sort of $80 racing watch for my patience. The sail arrive two full months after that (without the watch). I had intended to give it a try this past weekend, but the winds were so light, I didn't get a chance. Anyway, here's a look at the finished product. Time will tell whether it holds together, but judging from the fabric weight, hanks and stitching, it shouuld be able to withstand Force 7 winds, in which case it'll be the only thing remaining of the boat.
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Re: New Storm Jib

Postby PGSJUAN » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:25 pm

Jim
If you need that sail you should have been in some time ago.
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Re: New Storm Jib

Postby Diarmuid » Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:15 pm

Interesting sail! What's the fabric weight? Have you had a chance to test it in severe conditions? I can attest to the value of a small, flat headsail on the SJ21 in moderately strong winds -- 25-35 kts. Our CDI furler allows reefing of the working jib, and it is effective to maybe 40% at balancing the sailplan and keeping the boat driving in square chop. Balances well with a reefed main, especially on a beam to broad reach, & it helps keep the pointy end forward.

That said, Gene does have a point re: coastal sailing. Do you get many sudden squalls and T-storms in Western WA? If faced with persistent high winds from large weather systems, shelter is a better place for the SJ21 than bashing along under a handkerchief. & some poor SOB is gonna have to go forward, unhank the working jib, and hank on the storm sail. Eek. The SJ21 sails so well under reefed main only (in all but the nastiest chop), a storm jib might be superfluous. Tho I'd love to hear how it handles for you, and how useful it proves.:) Experimentation is good on these boats. Do you already have a jiffy reefing system you can operate from the cockpit?

We have been caught out in 60 mph winds on a SJ21, and I can report it is wet, noisy, and not something I look forward to ... but the boat handled perfectly well under reefed main only, and it will cheerfully forereach in strong gale conditions until you run out of lake/bay/ocean. Tacks pretty crisply, if you fall off first and get some way on, then really snap it thru the wind. Be ready to pay out main on the opposite tack, until the heading firms up! I was slow with the ease, wait, sheet routine & the boat got laid right over. :o It also helps to put the vang on as hard as possible, to keep the leech from flogging as the boom bounces up&down; then leave the mainsail luff just a little soft to depower it. Works really well when there's just too much bloody air to cope with.

Hey, at least you got your sail. Kelly-Hanson is making lots of people VERY VERY ANGRY right at this moment. As in, "sue yer butt into oblivion" angry. They proclaimed a lot of boasts, sold a lot of promises, collected a lot of money, yet sails are not appearing, almost a year later. Customers are most unhappy. It's a risk one takes when dealing with Art Kelly, whose ambitions have long exceeded his capacity to deliver. Everyone: be warned.
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Re: New Storm Jib

Postby Ben G » Sat Nov 05, 2011 6:35 am

Those are some fine tips on handling high wind. I like to know more about reefing the SJ21 main, or specifically, where the reef points are -- as I may have them put on my main. It needs to have the top batten pocket repaired after 30+ winds beat the batten out of the wrong end of the pocket, so may as well have reef point installed while it's in for the repair. Wish I had been able to reef on that outing. The wind came up for the last 2 hours of a run home and we had both sails up until just prior to arriving back at the marina -- we ducked behind an island for shelter to get the sails down.

A reduced furling headsail on a Helms 27 and a storm jib on a Catalina 22 make both of those boats handle much better in heavy air, than without a headsail. Would cutting down an old working jib to a storm jib be suitable the for SJ21? I could get this done on the same trip the sailmaker for the main repair.
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Re: New Storm Jib

Postby Diarmuid » Sat Nov 05, 2011 10:23 am

Ben: we have a single reef, just below the lower batten. IIRC, that's about 32" above the bolt rope & reduces mainsail area by 28%. Your headboard ends up even with the hounds. I'm still playing with twist under reef, to get the balance right between drive and depowering. If you really want to get somewhere, more twist + a scrap of jib like Jim's storm sail will help with forward motion. Most of our high-wind events in Wyoming are short-lived, and our lakes are small; so we generally flatten the heck out of the main, put the jib away, and 'march in place' until the beating stops. Here we are under reefed main, bringing Diarmuid back to the beach under reefed main only. It was blowing 42 mph out on the lake. You can see the wave tops being shredded in the distance.;)

Image
June 2011 blow Tony by Wyoming offgrid, on Flickr

BTW, all reefing controls can now be reached from the hatchboards, and sail can be shortened in ~15 seconds.
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Re: New Storm Jib

Postby Dark'n'stormy » Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:30 pm

What are the dimensions of the storm sail?

I have an old us25 main in decent shape that I've been trying to figure out what to do with.....
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Re: New Storm Jib

Postby jaltice » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:10 am

Sorry for the delay.

Luff: 11' 9"
Leech: 8' 11"
Foot: 6' 4"
Ballard, WA
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Storm Jib - cut down from an old jib

Postby jeffd » Sat May 03, 2014 11:16 am

I just got back from a great week sailing on Lake Mead, in Nevada and Arizona. We had some really "great" wind: 15-25 mph, with gusts to 35, 40 and even 50 mph predicted. Two weeks before I left, I decided to do the "no-no" and cut down my 30 year old Clark working jib - turn it into a storm jib. Conventional wisdom says don't cut down old sails. Good reason - the dacron is probably old and worn out, and won't hold shape, and probably will get ripped to shreds. (OK, most of these reasons are given by sailmakers, who make a living off selling new sails!). In the last year, THREE times I had wished I had a storm jib - once at Lake Havasu AZ, once at Harrison Lake BC, and once at Lake Mohave NV - all three times the wind was blowing 15-25 with gusts in the 30's. A double reefed main and standard jib was too much sail area. OK, the armchair sailor would say "what were you doing out in conditions like that?". Well, all three times, it was stay put and wait (at anchor in a bad blow, not the most comfortable!), motor through the bad blow and take on a lot of spray, or sail. I elected to sail, all three times, and wished I had a storm jib.

So I decided to experiment with my old Clark jib - it wasn't useful for anything anyway! I did a bit of research and found from other sources that the dimensions of Jim's storm jib above is about right. I tool the plans for my Sailrite Jib and plotted the storm jib dimensions on top - and noticed the sheet leads were just about right. Good. So I laid out the old Clark jib on the garage floor, measured out the "new" storm jib, traced it out (allowing seam allowance on the leech), and cut it out. Since I had recently sewed a genoa and jib from Sailrite kits, this project was pretty easy (If you are interested in the details, let me know and I will post it on a separate topic). So in about two afternoons, I now had a storm jib, which cost me almost nothing. To be fair, this was kind of an "experiment", and I will probably order a Sailrite kit.

Below is a photo that my friend Doug took from his Seward 25, taken on 4/25/14, sailing on Lake Mead, toward Temple Bar AZ. Wind data from my InSpeed anemometer: Average wind 19.3 Knots, with a maximum gust of 33.6 knots. I noticed a constant 20-22 knots, increasing to 25 knots as I approached Temple Bar. The boat was moving along, about 4.5 - 5.5 knots, through a lot of chop. It was a very wet ride!

Image

Notice I did have my lifejacket on, but I neglected to don my windbreaker! So when I got to Temple Bar, I was quite wet from the spray. But this is the desert, and even with all that wind, it was in the mid 70's and very dry so it didn't take very long to dry out.

Storm jib sail shape is not great, but this was more about balancing the rig. I've found that my boat - even with the new main, doesn't sail that well with a double reefed main. I think the balance is off. The ~35 sq ft of storm jib seems to help. One good reason my boat is off balance is: 1) I have a 85 lb motor hanging off the back end, with 3gal + 2.5gal of gas in the aft compartment, and 2) probably about 100 lbs of cruising gear (drinking water, cooking gear, food) aboard. So I am sure the balance of the boat is way off.

Still, I used the storm jib several times and it performed great. It did not rip to shreds, even in 35 knot gusts. Tacking with the tiny storm jib was very easy - not much sheet trim at all and very quick. My last day at Lake Mead involved a broad reach run from Rufus Cove back to the Hemenway boat ramp at the Las Vegas Boat harbor. It was about 11 NM, and the wind was predicted to be 15-25 mph with gusts to 35, and building. According to my anemometer, winds averaged 14.4 kts with a maximum of 24.8 its (relative wind). On a broad reach, with a double reefed main and storm jib, I was surfing along at 5.6-6.4 knots, according to the GPS, hitting a maximum of 8.0 its (!) on a 20.5 kt gust. I recall noticing I hit 8.0 knots several times. Needless to say, it was very exciting.

So I am sold on the storm jib. In the Seattle area, I don't anticipate ever using it, but in the Colorado River valley (Lake Mead, Lake Mohave, and Lake Havasu, and possibly Lake Powell), where the wind is frontal, the storm jib is a very useful sail.
Last edited by jeffd on Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Storm Jib

Postby kuriti » Mon May 05, 2014 6:01 am

great tip. I agree that you might as well turn your old jib into a storm jib. If it rips, so what? I will keep my old Clark sails through the remainder of the season, but will replace this fall and will likely do the same with my old jib. We were out this weekend and had a double reef with full jib and still put the rail in during gusts. i could easily imagine a scenario where the storm jib would be useful. Keeping the balance and allowing for a better angle on the wind while not having to bear up every time you get a gust that overpowers you. This weekend we went from moments of becalmed to 30mph gusts within a few minutes. fun, but also somewhat aggravating. I have enough time on my boat now that i have full confidence in her in high winds. Very predictable in how she turns up after a certain amount of heal. The only way i could see to get into trouble would be to get broad side to a ridiculously high and sustained gust that knocks you down, and that is why you keep the mainsheet in your hand in that weather anyway.
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