Yankee performance

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Yankee performance

Postby Matthew L » Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:23 pm

I finally managed to get my Cape Cutter Skylark launched a couple of weeks ago (bought last November) and have had a couple of day sails on her. Ive found her performance surprisingly good especially on a reach however tacking with both genoa and staysail is a bit of a problem. I was wondering on the pro's and cons of replacing the genoa with a yankee which would i think make tacking easier but a loss in performance on a reach? Also where best to purchase a yankee and cost, genoa is on a furler. Many thanks and hoping for the season to really get going soon.
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Re: Yankee performance

Postby erbster » Sun Jun 07, 2020 9:06 am

Hello, Matthew. Welcome!

Tacking with the Genoa just takes a little practice. I use a single sheet hanked to the clew, to make as small a “knot” as possible, as opposed to two sheets (I suppose most people do this, but I thought I’d mention it).

If I have a crew, do this: As you go about, let the staysail back, and as soon as it does, release the Genoa sheet and pull in the new side as fast as possible. The Genoa clew will slide nicely across the staysail. You can the release the staysail and pull it tight on the new tack. Takes a few seconds with a little practice.

If I am solo then I would only be using the Genoa in light airs. I would do the same as above, but if it’s getting windy, I would furl the Genoa, tack and then unfurl the big sail.

I own both Genoa and Yankee. You need the extra foresail in up to about 15kt of wind, otherwise staysail only is all that’s needed, otherwise you’ll put the boat on its ear. I prefer to carry the Genoa rather than Yankee because I wish I had more sail in light winds more often than I wish for a smaller foresail in stringer winds.

Interestingly, the designer (Dudley Dix) told me that though it’s called a cutter, it is not necessarily sailed with three sails, so should be sailed on main and Genoa only if the conditions dictate. I haven’t tended to do this because my staysail is hanked rather than furling.

Not sure where you would get a new sail - I’ve never bought a new one. I think mine were made by Hyde. Any sailmaker could make one, given some dimensions (I can measure mine if you wish).


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Re: Yankee performance

Postby Dennis » Mon Jun 08, 2020 7:55 pm

Hello Matthew

I have had both a yankee and a genoa since I bought the boat new in 2008.

I rarely use the genoa. When I think about it, the last time I used it was at the first CC19 rally at Mylor in 2014. It was during the "race" and coincidentally Charles was my crew on that occasion.

I use single reefed mainsail, staysail and yankee about 90% of the time. In light airs I could possibly gain half a knot by replacing the yankee with the genoa. But frankly it is not worth the effort.

If it gets a bit blowy for my usual rig, I simply furl the yankee and use mainsail and staysail only. If the wind drops, I shake out the reefs in the mainsail.

I use the same method as Charles when tacking. First let the yankee/genoa sheet go, tighten the staysail sheet and keep it backed. As the boat goes round, the genoa/yankee will slide over the taught staysail. Then set the yankee sheet and release the backed staysail and adjust the sheet for the new tack. I sail solo most of the time and it is not a problem.

On the rare occasion that I am sailing without the staysail, I partly furl the yankee/genoa when going about, to enable it to clear the forestay.

Hope this helps. :)
Cheers

Dennis

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Re: Yankee performance

Postby erbster » Mon Jun 08, 2020 8:04 pm

It’s also worth noting, Dennis has the quickest CC! A very good point about reefing mainsl early- the weather helm from overpowered main slows boat down. I can attest to this from observing CCs sailing side by side


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Re: Yankee performance

Postby Matthew L » Thu Jun 11, 2020 12:40 pm

Many thanks for you're advice, will give it a try next time I'm sailing.
Thanks
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Re: Yankee performance

Postby Chris Wicks » Fri Jun 12, 2020 7:38 am

After a few years using a yankee I decided to have about 30cm cut off the luff of the genoa because I thought it would be a useful modification. After 3 seasons use I have been very pleased with the result. It can handle more wind obviously before stepping down to jib only. With the full genoa, at the moment of being overpowered, the jib alone would be underpowered. I often sail with a full crew and if I sailed single handed I may well prefer the yankee. The clew is now a little further forward so I tie a single block to the handrail to achieve the correct angle for the sheet. In effect, my lashed on turning block becomes a traveller. It is not as messy as it sounds and is a very workable solution for me.

Cheers

Chris
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Re: Yankee performance

Postby Matthew L » Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:43 pm

Thanks for all your advice, I tried backing the jib and it worked fantastically. Also I found that the boat sailed really well in higher wind speeds up to f5 with one reef in the main and both genoa and jib set, so i will stick with the genoa for now.
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Re: Yankee performance

Postby erbster » Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:27 am

Nice to hear you’re enjoying sailing your boat. I’m hoping to hit the water soon.


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Re: Yankee performance

Postby Malcolm Sadler » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:16 pm

Hello Matthew
M
If you do decide to get a Yankee so you can ring the changes, I can recommend Jeckell in Norfolk. They made a very good sail for me. I forget the cost, but I don’t remember flinching too much! They had all the measurements in their computer and the colour matches the main and stays’l supplied with the boat by Honnor Marine (Hyde Sails)

I endorse the need to avoid weather helm. In fact I find with an unreefed main plus staysail and Yankee I am wasting a lot of energy - and speed - at f3/4. In stronger gusts it can even be hard to tack (though that’s probably my bad seamanship!). That’s when I wish I had my Genoa rigged

It’s great to hear how you are enjoying the CC. I don’t think I’ll be in the water till late July at the earliest.

All the best

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Re: Yankee performance

Postby erbster » Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:02 am

Re-reading your post, Matthew, you won’t need another furler, just the sail. My foresails have luff wired with a loop at each end, so easily changed, between furler at end of the sprit and a swivel at the top.


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