Published on 01 february 2016 at 0h00

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The furling genoa caused a real revolution in our boating lives. The dangerous crawl along the foredeck in a rising gale was quickly forgotten. One foresail which could be adapted to suit all conditions, adjustable without the need to leave the cockpit, it quickly brought the “leisure” back into “leisure sailing”. The flipside however, was that this sail had to be able to do everything: from a lightweight genoa to a stormjib, via a heavyweight genoa and a solent. We have maybe forgotten a little too quickly that, even though the furling gear can only accommodate a single sail, there’s nothing to stop us adapting it as necessary: a small overlap with heavyweight cloth for long passages, or a medium-weight maxi-genoa for coastal cruising. Ultimately, we are faced with a big compromise, in terms of shape, sailcloth, triangulation and mediocre performance when the sail is partially rolled up. This situation degenerates rapidly with age and the condition of the aforementioned sail. On our multihulls, these concerns have, in a way, been overcome by the advent of the smaller, self-tacking, solent. A sail which is cut very flat, and made with a somewhat heavier cloth. But recent naval architects’ designs have seen a tendency toward following the evolution of offshore racing , setting the rigs further aft, which has the following results:
-The center of gravity and center of effort are brought further aft, creating the double advantage of reducing pitching and the risk of ...

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