I have an EC-12 that i am using as a “guinea pig” to test some ideas. I have just finished cutting a large masthead genoa for it-sort of a Code 0 type sail. Has anyone else tried this on any type of boat? My EC-12 isnt really an EC-12 anymore, as i have added much more ballast and some underbody fins so it sails upwind under its normal rig quite well now. I also have an asymmetrical spinnaker that i can set off of a bowsprit. So with the modifications, it is able to carry this extra sail area without completely losing control. Also, will having 2 sail winches for the genoa/spinnaker be efficient, or will the sheets fall off the drums?

Check out the diagrams under “technique”, to get an idea of what can be involved.

Regards, Jan.

Boaters are nice people.

Genoas have been around for sometime, I have been sailing them for over 25 years. The winch is usually the heart of the system, although cutting the genoa is not an easy task either.

I have been developing a genoa winch for over 9 months now and have 4 prototypes that I am testing with at the moment. It is slow going because most of my work time goes towards revenue generating/boat building… and it is hard at the end of the day to take free time (hehehe what’s that) and keep working on it… but anyway… there is still progress being made. The trick is to balance weight/power to make the winch useable for classes that allow it as well as develop for future classes that don’t exist yet but could be based around it.

If you would like to see a couple of boats with Genoas in and out of the water take a look at the website under the J boat RANGER with it’s massive genoa testing on dry land (which is so much easier) for torquw and reliability, and an ancient pic of a Half-Meter (look under boats/Half-Meter) to see it on the water.

Hopefully we will have the thing in production soon, it has consumed many many hours and dollars but it will bring a whole new facet to model sailing.[:-angel]

that genoa on the Ranger looks roughly to be about the same size as the sail i have put on my EC-12. Im using Hitec sailwinches as of now, but I am not sure if they are going to be up to handling the sail. If you have any experience with Hitec sailwinches and know their capablities with big sails, could you enlighten me on this subject? Thanks-

Ranger is carrying 6000 sq inches of sail… that is half the sail area of a SUNFISH… EC-12 carries 1200… roughly 1/5 the amount.

Look at the picture of the Half-Meter that is much more close to the size of the sail you are dealing with, and my hunch would be that the HiTech winch will not be nearly strong enough if the winds get upwards of 8 mph. We have light winds here as a rule… and the HiTech can probably handle it OK, but keep an eye on the weather forecast… you don’t want to get caught out there with it blowing much more.
You can “cheat” the winds… and hold your boat into the eye of the wind to allow a weaker winch time to sheet home the jib without any load. Using that method you can get by with a weaker winch… but it would hurt you a lot when racing. That is the difference between going fast, and not getting into the rowboat[:D]

You are using 2 winches? I am using my one winch and we are hoping for it to come in around $75.00, and should complete the tack in 3.5 seconds on a 70" boat, and 4.5 to 5 secs on a J boat(depending on sail size and conditions.


WOW what a huge flipping sail!!!

Ok and now for the question

What is the big advantage to having this genoa sail?


You get better Lift / Heel than on adding the the sailarea to the mainsail or lenghtening the rig.

  • HJ

“Expertice is gained trough mistakes. However repeating
same mistake is not learning but stupidity.”

Im using two winches because A) they arent as powerful as i wish they were and B) it will allow me to let both of them out and sail deep using the genoa like an asymmetrical, or actually fly the asymmetrical spinnaker that i have. If you are using one winch than it must be a “continous” line system? This sail is only for extremely light wind, as the winches will be overpowered if put under too much stress and the boat will heel too far over. Im moderate winds i put the regular jib on and reef the main. Anything above that i usually drop the jib completely.

Those J’s are some of the nicest boats I have seen. I also like the genoa very realistic.
Andrew Miller

What is the advantage of the Genoa?

The next time you ride on a commercial airliner… or have the time to look up on the net, look at the leading edge of the wing and you will see something we called “slats” for a long time and are now simply referred to as Leadng Edge Devices. They route the air over the wing smoothly at higher Angles of Attack allowing the plane to fly safely at lower speeds. They are usually incorporated with the trailing edge flap systems so that they deploy at the same time.

Converting that over to sailboats means that you route the air back over the mainsail and allow the boat to point higher. Also, as with the slats you form a constrictive area which accelerates the airflow… so a 6 knot breeze becomes 8-10 when squeezed through the “slot” between the main and jib. The jib doesn’t benefit so much from this… but the old sailing axiom says “The main drives the boat”.

All other models do not have the overlap between the jib and main because the “self-tacking” jib must be clear of the mast. The drawback is that a genoa means additional weight of winch, battery and it takes a few seconds for the sail to reposition which are seconds when for all practical purposes your engine is in neutral… and even worse… you are dragging the huge sail flapping through the relative wind.

A self tacking jib has the advantage of nearly instantly going from one tack to the other, but is out powered the rest of the time. So, one can see that one short courses, with shifty winds, the genoa will be more problem than solution. One long legs however things become more even. Downwind, the jib club will extend the jib into the airflow and give a nearly 100% cross section of the sail to the wind, where as the genoa will fly out more like a spinnaker, or a Gennaker as the case may be… but on a broad reach, the power of the Genoa can be ENORMOUS.

You simply don’t sail well before the wind with a genoa, but sail across it… and you start to see enough increase in performance that it becomes faster to gybe the boat downwind rather than sail a straight course from mark to mark.

Again, this is affected by wind strength and course length. A Genoa is primarily for light air where it does it’s best work.

The size of the J class boats makes the weight penalty of extra winch and battery less painful, and is class legal so that is why we moved in that direction. The AC class also allows it, and is good sized boat as well so there might be something we can do in that direction as well, but hands down everyone agrees that once you see it, and see it work, that it is the way that sailboats “Should” look and sail.[:-angel]