Top Menu

We have officially had enough of being passed, and then teased, by monohullers. In fact, we are ready to live up to our Pretty Damn Quick moniker! Yesterday Rebecca and I decided to let the Big Dog, our Genoa*, come out to play. This sail, a 150% Genoa, is HUGE when compared to our small, self-tacking jib. It will give us a lot more drive but will also require Rebecca and I to be more on our game as it will actually take a bit of work to tack the boat.

We have never put this sail up before and we enjoyed the process so much, we decided to do it twice yesterday. Seriously, I had remembered that David, our boat’s previous owner, had told me something about needing lots of line on the furling drum. Unfortunately I guessed the wrong way and took it off the drum before raising the sail. This resulted in us not being able to roll it up once it was raised. So, down it came and the process was repeated with the drum set up properly. It’s good to practice. 🙂

Fixing the little sail-guide-thingy on the furling drum.

A perfect morning to change sails… very light winds!

The sheets are temporarily tied off to that cleat as we had yet to rig the blocks for them.

Definition of a Genoa for the nautically curious (Source wiki):

“The term genoa is often used somewhat interchangeably with jib, but technically there is a clear delineation. A jib is no larger than the foretriangle, which is the triangular area formed by the mast, deck or bowsprit, and forestay. A genoa is larger, with the leech going past the mast and overlapping the mainsail. To maximize sail area the foot of the sail is generally parallel and very close to the deck when close hauled. Genoas are categorized by the percentage of overlap. This is calculated by looking at the distance along a perpendicular line from the luff of the genoa to the clew, called the LP (for “luff perpendicular”). A 150% genoa would have an LP 50% larger than the foretriangle length.”

A jib, left, compared to a roughly 110% genoa, right. The foretriangle is outlined in red.

The sail we really want to break out this season, when the conditions allow it, is our spinnaker. Our friends on Pirate Jenny said that they want to try their spinnaker too. We might just help crew on each other’s boats, just to have a few extra hands when we give them a whirl.

Our spinnaker.


  1. I figured out why you are slow and get passed…..You are still tied to the dock…..You need to untie the lines in order to move……beautiful sail……Looks great….

  2. Congratulations. This should boost your speed and pointing ability substantially. You will also appreciate the spinnaker once you get it up.
    Actually, I managed to avoid catastrophe yesterday when I went thru the tramp while hoisting our gennaker coming back from the Blue Angels show in Annapolis. Nothing hurt (but my pride as this occurred in front of several guests). New boat project, however.
    Happy sailing!

  3. Ok, you know I really never have a bad thing to say about PDQ’s as a former owner myself, but I am here to tell you speed is not their strong point. Especially when loaded down with the trappings of a couple living aboard/ cruising. I always thought PDQ was Performance, Dependability, Quality. The D & Q are true in my experience.
    We knew we were not the fastest while sailing our PDQ for 6 years, but when we sold her and sailed the St. Francis for the first time –whoa! So THAT’s the catamaran acceleration everyone’s talking about!

  4. That sail will get you moving faster for sure!!!! Now if Mother nature would send some wind our way!!!

  5. We sail almost exclusively with our yankee, but we have a 150% genny too. Your post reminded me that when I replaced the furling line a few years back, I probably did not make the new one long enough to accommodate the genny.

    Now I gotta remember this when I change sails next time. Or I gotta remember to leave a note on the genny bag.

    What was I trying to remember again?


  6. Love our big genoa and our gennaker. I can’t wait to see pictures of you flying the light air sail!

  7. Mike,

    What kind of speed are you getting with genny out?


    • Hi Jim

      I can’t really say. The only time we used the genny was on the delivery trip. We clocked 13.3 knots as our top speed and were routinely doing over 10 knots BUT we were running from a storm and had too much sail up (at the 13.3 knot time anyway). We reefed after that.

      I’ll hopefully be able to give a better idea in a few weeks.

      • My experience is that ~ 60-65% true wind speed on a beam reach is about right, from light airs to 15 knots ( about 9 knots boat speed max), then about 55-60% to 25 knots true (13 knots max), at which point you better be reefing.

        I usually ditch the chute in favor of the genoa when I get to ~ 10 knots sustained boat speed, of maybe a tick more. In part this is because I am generally single handed or one crewman at most. Also, why stretch a sail with excess load? I’m not trying to prove anything. 10 knots is pretty fun, anyway. 100% apparent should be achievable on a broad reach (apparent wind on the beam).

        To be honest, I generally follow the factory advice and reef when boat speed stays at 9 knots; if I was in that much of a hurry, I would still have my Stiletto (I miss it), and I don’t want to break anything.

        Of course, all of this depends on the load, the bottom, and the sails. I suppose my boat is about average.

        For all the comments about how slow the PDQ is, though, for a given degree of safety for her size, she is not that slow. Put another way, the Stiletto 27 is ~ 100% true wind speed on a reach and 120% true wind with the chute up… but once the wind gets up to 15-20 knots, the Stiletto is not much faster if sailed in the comfort zone; both are ~ comfortable at 9 knots. The Stiletto either reefed earlier, or gave a thrill.

        • Sometimes we get about 2/3 wind speed (less that 15 knots) but mostly it is about half. I hope to improve that. I was ready to start throwing our friends’ luggage off the boat to go faster:)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.