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A Review on Headsails by LAGOON INSIDE


14 June 2013 Posted by Alex from Lagoon under Technical world

The range of foresails on a modern boat has really developed over the past 20 years. The concept of “foresail” may be a bit complex for sailors to understand nowadays. My purpose here is just to give you a few “tips” in order to help you to make the right choice.

The main criteria for defining a foresail are:

- the angle of use with regard to the wind,

- its operating range depending on the strength of the wind.

As a reminder, here is a chart with some useful information (click to enlarge) :

Here is an explanation of each type of sail (each of which can have different names depending on the context, “cruising” or “racing” and on the sail maker). Let’s start from the most open angle to come back to the tightest.

Description Plage d’utilisation
1. Symmetrical spinnaker - Full and symmetrical.

- Held by a spinnaker guy with a block on the windward bow, and a sheet on the leeward bow.
- In all weather conditions and sailing angles around 180° to 130° .- Used with a ‘‘sock ‘‘, a kind of long sail bag which allows to fold and unfold the spinnaker easily after having hoisted it.
2. Asymmetrical spinnaker - Quite rectilinear luff with quite a deep leech and quite a high clew.- Has distinct clew and tack that are not interchangeable.- The tack is usually fitted on a bowsprit. - A full cut, or not, and light or heavy material allow the use of this sail whatever the weather and at sailing angles around 170° to 70°.
3.Gennaker - A hybrid sail between the Genoa and the asymmetrical spinnaker, deeper than a traditional Genoa but less than a spinnaker.- Fitted on the bowsprit with a furler, with a free luff but which obliges you to sail with 100% of the sail or 0%. - Used from light to medium airs, at angles varying between 130° and 60° to the wind.
4.Code 0 - Hybrid between a gennaker and a Genoa. The sail is used with a furler, like the gennaker. - Light airs sail with an angle between 55° and 120° or medium wind around 110°.

On the Lagoons 39 and 52, there is now a Code 0. After having discussed with VPLP designers, we decided to integrate this sail to optimize the performance of the catamarans in light airs, especially close to the wind. To sum up, the foresails general evolution is favourable to the performance of the boat, and the advent of furlers brings the comfort of use… and Lagoon has understood it!

Please note:

The above operating range of the sails can vary depending on the way they are manufactured (cuts and materials), and above all depending on the strength of the wind.


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