Sail Inventory & Sail Configurations

S/V Discovery carries the 5 sails listed below. 

  • Full Batten main with 2 reef points (Neil Pryde #15797)

  • 135% Genoa (Neil Pryde #15797)

  • 125% Jib (Spare - Neil Pryde )

  • Asymmetrical Spinnaker (iSails White w/Discovery logo)

  • Asymmetrical Spinnaker (Spare - Multi-color)

Why no storm sails?

S/V Discovery has a rather short 12 foot boom. With the second reef in the main sail the area of the main is smaller than a storm trysail for a 42' boat. Additionally there is no storm jib sail. I am not a big fan of the ATN Gale sails and the like. IMHO they are more of a gimmick than a useful safety kit because they put the center of effort too far forward in a storm, and they also cause chaffing on the furled headsail. 

Sail management plan & storm tactics?

The most important thing in sail management is to avoid over-powering the boat. Yes, a close-hauled sailboat heeling at 30 degrees beating into the wind looks cool...but after awhile the pounding and the angle of heel really sucks; not to mention the excessive load and strain put on the running and standing rigging. Also, if there is any weather helm the Hydrovane wind steering kit will not work correctly. Remember, on a cruising sailboat it's all about comfort and safety. So, with that in mind here is a guide to Discovery's sail management plan.

  • 0-7 knots - Iron Genny (it really takes about 7 knots of wind to get her moving under sail)

  • 7-15 knots - full main, asymmetrical spinnaker

  • 10 - 20 knots - full main, 135% spinnaker

  • 20 - 25 knots - 1st reef in main sail, genoa furled to about 100% 

  • 25 - 30 knots - 1st reef in main sail, genoa furled to about 50%

  • 30 - 35 knots - 2nd reef in main sail, genoa furled to 10-25%

  • > 35% Storm tactics  - 2nd reef in mail sail, completely furl the headsail, alter course to run with the storm. If the boat starts to surf I will deploy the Shark drogue to slow forward momentum. If this is unsustainable then I will deploy a 16 foot parachute anchor off the bow to ride out the storm. (This tactic proved itself crossing Pacific in 2019 with sustained winds of 45 knots and gusts to 52 knots.)