Catalina Direct Discussion Topics / Catalina 22 Discussion Area / Sails / What is best "general purpose" head sail size?
Author What is best "general purpose" head sail size?
John Wheeler
Sydney, New South Wales

Boat Name: Serene 2

Model/Year: Boomaroo 22 (C22 Mk I) 1976

Hull No.

Hailing Port: Sydney
12/02/2007 2:52 AM Pacific Time

I am planning to buy a new main and head sail for my C22, and am trying to decide what size the headsail should be.

I've been given a quote by North Sails for a 150% genoa, but I'm concerned that this will be overpowered a lot of the time. I sail in Sydney harbour (often alone) with average winds around 15 knots, and I find my current 150% genoa a bit hard to handle at times (hard work on the sheets and too much heeling for comfort).

I have a furler designed for hanked on sails, but it isn't very reliable and the sail doesn't furl very neatly which I think will affect performance, so I prefer to sail without a reefed head sail.

I have a 110% jib and another genoa (almost 150% overlap, but doesn't go all the way up the forestay) and I've found these sails disappointing - the jib is often too slow, and the genoa doesn't point well at all.

Should I go for the middle ground and get a 130-135 genoa? I heard people talk about blade jibs, but I'm not sure what they are. Are they non-overlapping jibs that hoist to the top of the forestay?

Thanks for your advice!

John Wheeler
Sydney, Australia.
Al Gearing
Burleson, Texas

Boat Name: Torch of Freedom

Model/Year: C-22/'76

Hull No. 6448

Hailing Port: Arlington YC
12/03/2007 5:27 AM Pacific Time

You're right, John, a blade jib goes all the way up the hoist and therefore can be narrow, it points well. Mast head jibs tend to point better than those that don't go all the way up. However, a fractional rig will point well because the head is close to the mast, as opposed to just being short on the hoist and leaving a larger slot. It seems like you are not racing in class, so a blade jib of 100 to 120% might do you well. The mast head feature will give you point but it will also give you heel so I would not get too large a sail. Trying to sheet it on an inboard track might be difficult or require it to be alot further forward then the Genny sheet points. In high winds with a Genny you can use the outboard track and move the point well aft to dump the top of the sail to relieve the heel. You might try that before investing in a blade. Some sailmakers have masts to mount a sail on and variable sheet pointing setups that you might be able to check it on before buying. Good luck.
Al Ge
Catalina Direct Discussion Topics / Catalina 22 Discussion Area / Sails / What is best "general purpose" head sail size?