Sail Choice

For general discussion about the Cape Cutter 19

Sail Choice

Postby SimonW » Fri May 17, 2013 4:26 pm

Having sailed on a cape cutter and read a couple of things I would be interested to hear what sail combinations people use.

As I understand it, the Genoa only really works without the staysail except perhaps on a broad reach otherwise they interfere, backwind, snag etc and D Dix stated clearly that they shouldnt be used together upwind.

The yankee was introduced because it can be used on all points of the wind with the staysail and tacks more easily. The staysail is 4.58 m and the Yankee is 6.7m whilst the genoa is 10.2 m, so the yankee and the staysail are slightly larger than the genoa on its own.

So, (stay with me here) apart from dead down wind when a poled out genoa could be a little more effective, why would you use it?

I would be interested to hear from anyone who has all three sails on which they use or don't use as it would seem to me that the staysail and yankee are the best all round combination and perhaps if more downwind sail area needed then add a gennaker rather than the genoa?

Any thoughts welcome.
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Postby Ru88ell » Fri May 17, 2013 5:18 pm


I've got all three, but I don't think I've used the genoa since my first outing in March 2011.

You'll recognise some of the places.

My boat came with all three, but if I was buying new I would go for yankee.

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Postby Dennis » Fri May 17, 2013 6:58 pm

I agree with Russell.

My boat came with all three. The Genoa is almost unused.:(

I dont think it got used at all last year, in any of my 34 days sailing.

If you have the choice,go for mainsail + staysail + yankee.


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Postby erbster » Fri May 17, 2013 7:35 pm

Agree with foregoing.

I think the genoa is good in very light airs, but the Yankee/staysail is much more flexible (especially if both furling, as mine are).

Light airs: Yankee/main/staysail; wind fills, furl Yankee. Wind fills further, first reef in main; even more wind, go to second reef. All from cockpit.

I have all three sails and have only used genoa once (though have only had boat for one year)
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Postby Black Sheep » Sat May 18, 2013 4:16 pm

Fully agree.
Also my genoa is unused. Ease of handling is crucial for tacks on our lake.
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Postby SimonW » Mon May 20, 2013 9:24 am

Thanks all.

I think a gennaker might also be interesting for lighter conditions off the wind, but apart from Mike, not sure if anyone else has had one made.
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Re: Sail Choice

Postby zimp » Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:34 pm

Today we did a succesful run with a gennaker.
We used a gennaker from a Laser Vago, luff 570cm, leach 450cm and foot 300cm.
Great fun!
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Re: Sail Choice

Postby Chris Wicks » Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:48 am

I have posted elesewhere about our cut down genoa. We agree with the short comings of the full size genoa. Our yankee has given good service but still leaves me wanting more sometimes. So we took our yankee and genoa to Batt sails at Bosham laid one on top of the other and agreed to cut the genoa down in size to be about half way between the two. I'm not sure how much we cut off the luff, but we are very pleased with the result. It does not make tacking in light winds any easier, but it gives a much more flexible balance. Because the genoa/yankee cleats (spinlock) are in a fixed position, I have tied some single block pullies to the hand rail to give a better sheet angle as would an adjustable track fitted to the deck. Sorry this is a bit vague, but the point is a slightly reduced geona is working out very well for us this season.

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