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Sail & Rigging - Genoa 150% or 130% ?
12 December 2014 - 10:15
Join Date: 02 February 2007
Posts: 202

Genoa 150% or 130% ?
Hello dear S&S Swan fans!
On our 41/022 tall rig, we have been using a 150% genoa on a furler for many years. We appreciate it for its light weather performance, but when the wind gets above 20 Kts, find it hardly usable, at least upwind. (When furled more than 4 or 5 turns.) So, we now wonder if we would not go for a 130%, to use it on a wider wind range (and also because of our age in the 70's). Sailing in the MED we are worried about the performance in the light of a 130% sail.
We would be really interested by some opinion, and advice, from some of you who eventually have been using a 130%, especially on 41's and 411's.
Many thanks.
Already wishing you fair winds in 2015.

12 December 2014 - 10:25
Join Date: 29 January 2007
Posts: 1018

Mon Cher Philippe,

I have been sailing with a 150% genoa for many years, when I decided to go for a 135% some time ago. Of course in a really light breeze it is not the perfect sail to have aloft, but as soon as the winds is blowing a bit more, nothing to complain about it!

I have to admit that I do not like to sail with a furled genoa, so I use to cruise with more than one genoa onboard (Giulia is very patient and helps me in changing the sails...) and as soon as the weather forecast says there is a bad weather coming, I go for a 110%...!

Anyway, 135/140 pc is the perfect Mediterranean sail in my opinion

Fair winds!

matteo (38/067 Only You)

14 December 2014 - 01:45
Join Date: 24 April 2009
Posts: 36

We have a 41, also a tall rig. Our genny is a 145 that we decided worked best for us for the phrf credit for Beer Can racing. If we didn't race so much in evening (often light conditions), I would definitely go about 130 or even a 125 for day sailing and cruising.

14 December 2014 - 19:01
Join Date: 02 February 2007
Posts: 126

Philippe, we owned a short rig 41 for 14 years and like Matteo we fitted a 135% genoa on the furler. We had a shorter rig than you have, but for fast cruising the sail size was perfect. I did a few races, and for that, we removed the Harken split drum and taped the top swivel to the bottom of the foil, and installed a full hoist 150% genoa but in many conditions when racing I thought that my 135% might be faster. Gavin

28 December 2014 - 10:10
Join Date: 02 February 2007
Posts: 202

Many thanks to those who replied.
Would it be also possible for a few 411 owners to give their advice? I would be really interested.
Happy New Year and fair winds to all the family.
Philippe 41/022

03 January 2015 - 18:58
Join Date: 27 January 2011
Posts: 140

The German technical sailing magazine Palstek has a long article in its 3-14 edition about the topic of modern sails on older yachts. The first illustrative photo they show is of a Swan 43. The conclusion of the author is that the combination of a Genua 3, along with a Code Zero for light winds (1-12kn), is the ideal upwind combination for cruising purposes, also for older yachts.

We are sailing with kids and try to avoid winds above 20kn for now, especially when going upwind. But once in a while we find ourselves in stronger wind, which is then inefficient with the Genoa 1. We have further options in the garage: a cutter stay along with a number 4 jib, and a Genoa 3 that was used for racing (not using the furler). As the kids grow and we get more courageous, we will also optimize our wardrobe for stronger winds.

Our Genoa 1 is fairly new - we bought it shortly after we bought the boat. With a bit more experience now, I would also go for a smaller Genoa.

Christian 411/028

04 January 2015 - 10:18
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1547

Dear Matteo and Christian
Referring to yacht tests - the Palstek magazine has tested Swan 431, and this article could be translated to English if you think this is of interest.
Kind regards

04 January 2015 - 11:15
Join Date: 27 January 2011
Posts: 140

Hi Lars - happy to help. I just ordered the test.

Looks like I had an editing accident with my message above.


11 January 2015 - 12:09
Join Date: 01 February 2007
Posts: 234

My experience is limited to cruising in my 411. The 135% gives sufficient drive in lighter winds, and has sufficient weight / strength to allow upto apparent wind 20knts without roller reefing. Above 20 knots upwind I reef the main before the genoa. I will often sail with just the genoa on short single handed trips. Running downwind I often drop the main and sail with genoa only.

John B
411 010

11 January 2015 - 12:35
Join Date: 02 February 2007
Posts: 202

Thanks a lot John.
This does really confort our choice.
All the best for 2015.
Philippe 41/022

11 July 2015 - 15:47
Join Date: 02 February 2007
Posts: 202

A little feed back on our decision: we finally bought a 56 square meter geneoa, slightly larger than a nb 3 per the original sailplan, fabric is Hydranet 350gr, starcut.
This was definetely a good decision at least for cruising. We find it excellent especially when sailing upwind were we are able to tension it within a few centimeters of the spreaders which gives excellent performance.
The only difference one could probably notice is when running with wind speeds under 10 kts.
We were not ridiculous in Marciana performance wise.
So I must say I beleive that the original 150% is just too big for cruising!
Kind regards and happy sailing to all!
Philippe V. 41/022 Soeur Anne.

11 July 2015 - 16:10
Join Date: 01 February 2007
Posts: 234

Have owned a 411 for 16 years and sailed the last 15 with a 135% furling genoa. Tri radial cut with foam luff. PERFECT Solution.

A few years ago added staysail on furler. Works very well in combination or with mainsail reefed.

I am either single handed or two up.

13 July 2015 - 05:56
Join Date: 06 September 2013
Posts: 53

We have a 411. Our sailmaker and I agreed to a 115% genoa for a working sail. We have a light weight "drifter" that's about a 135% genoa. It's a great upwind combination for the Puget Sound region of the US.

Don 411/11

31 July 2015 - 22:51
Join Date: 01 February 2007
Posts: 234

After 16 seasons 135% definitely

John B
411 010

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