North Sails NEWS

March 6, 2021

SPECIALTY REACHING SAIL GUIDE

Options For All Angles

J121 reaching into sun

Wind Seeker

This is a very light sail for drifting conditions. Used when a full size, heavier weight sail will not pressurize or remain stable. Wind Seekers are commonly made in forgiving cloth to handle slatting conditions and designed to sheet at or near the shroud base, to make tacking and sheeting in zephyrs easier.

Jib Top

A Jib Top is a high-clewed overlapping headsail for beam reaching in medium to strong winds. Conventional headsails are designed with a lower clew, which is optimized for close-hauled sailing. As you ease the sheet of a conventional headsail and bear off, you lose control over the leech. This sail is shaped to tolerate the extra twist that results from easing the sheet while not being able to hold the lead down and out, due to deck limitations. The Jib Top design is designed to sail wider apparent wind angles while still allowing the trimmer control over the twist and leech profile of the sail. The sail is usually sheeted using the spinnaker sheet, which is “tweaked” to the deck using an adjustable purchase system. The Jib Top is a faster sail on a reach than a conventional low-clewed Jib or Genoa.

Blast Reacher

A Blast Reacher is a non-overlapping sail, similar in concept to the Jib Top. Used in heavier wind than the Jib Top, or in place of a Jib Top on boats that do not carry overlapping headsails.

Genoa Staysail

The Genoa Staysail is a small jib (often furling), which is set inside the fore-triangle and used for reaching in more than eight knots of wind. The primary purpose of the Genoa Staysail is to add power and speed to the boat when reaching by helping to counteract weather helm. It provides more balance on the helm when it’s set inside a Genoa, Jib, Code Zero, Jib Top or even the A5. The helmsman uses less rudder angle, resulting in a higher average boat speed than with a staysail. The Genoa Staysail is most commonly used with a Jib Top or Jib sheeted on an outboard lead from 40 degrees apparent wind angle. Once the jib car goes outboard, or is re-led to the rail, the Genoa Staysail can generally slot into the gap that results with good effect. The Genoa Staysail can also be used in combination with a Code Zero or fractional A5 when faster boat speeds will move the apparent wind angle forward and load the helm. The Genoa Staysail is a very versatile reaching sail and is definitely worth taking into consideration for any offshore sailing. Some boats will use a dual purpose Storm Jib / Genoa Staysail.

Spinnaker Staysail

A Spinnaker Staysail is a small high-clewed furling sail used downwind with a spinnaker. It is generally used between 10 and 25 knots, hoisted on the jib halyard and tacked just aft of the headstay on the bow. It can also be tacked slightly to weather. These sails are commonly used on boats with either bowsprit configurations or conventional spinnaker poles. The Spinnaker Staysail can also be used as a Wind Seeker when the tack is brought forward to the bow.

Mizzen Staysail

Typically a close reaching Jib hoisted on the mizzen mast and tacked near the mainmast. This sail may also be a downwind sail from the G Series Gennakers or S Series Spinnakers products.