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By Chris Snow

Heavy air is one of those things that makes a lump grow on your throat and a little sweat start building up on your palms. It need not be and in fact the J/24 is a great boat to sail in a breeze. It is one of those unique boats that can be sailed in quite a lot of wind and is very rewarding to sail in strong breeze. At the end of the day you will be tired, a little beat up but you will be grinning from ear to ear.

The following tips apply when sailing at the very top end of the genoa and towards the top end of the jib:  17-19 knots with genoa, and 22-27 knots with the jib.



Set shrouds to 31 on lowers and 30 on uppers. Leave overnight and recheck and then re-tighten if needed. Number are for a LOOS Model A tension gauge.


Get jib halyard as tight as you can get it. Sail dead downwind, release back stay and get two people pulling on jib halyard. It will be quite tight.


Move jib lead back 2-3 holes. No more than that, if you more more than that when you ease the sheet in a puff the lower part of the genoa/jib  will be too flat and not have enough power


Sail with vang quite tight upwind. Make sure to ease before weather mark or boom could break. Vang will be way too tight for downwind sailing.


Sail boat as flat as you can upwind. Feather into puffs. At times you will be sailing on just the back of the genoa/jib and back of main.


If whole main is flogging, ease genoa or jib 1-2″..


If the boat has too much helm the main is too tight or the genoa is not tight enough.


Play the traveler until you have the car just below centerline. Then play the mainsheet.


Downwind it is fast to carve down the front of waves and at times sail quite by the lee. To minimize the tendency of the boat to roll to windward and “death roll”, have the tactician (person trimming the spinnaker guy, mast man and bowman to leeward. This will allow you to carve quite deep without feeling like the boat is going to roll over on top of you.


Practice, practice, practice….oh yes and then practice.