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Current Replies for To pennant or not to pennant?
  To pennant or not to pennant? (BatGuano)
Posted: 7:59:09 pm on 4/12/2015 Modified: Never
I posted a question earlier about the best headsail size for cruising (thanks again for the wonderful responses), and I am now in the process of getting quotes. However I was unclear in one of my request about having the clew at least 24" inches above deck, and the vendor gave me a quote on a headsail that had the tack 24" inches above deck and a pennant between the tack and the deck.

This got me thinking that this layout would have some advantages under sail in that I would have better view forward and the genoa would clear the life lines. However I am not sure how the handling would be with the driving force being further up the forward stay. Has anyone had any experience in this sort of rig? Would the lifting force being higher have a negative effect on the handling of the boat?

Also, if I did engage in a friendly race, would putting the pennant at the masthead temporarily provide better handling and power? Any advice is, as always, appreciated.

Alan Richards
Runaway, Mk III hull 804
Holyrood, NL

  Re: To pennant or not to pennant? (Tonyj)
Posted: 11:29:11 am on 4/14/2015 Modified: Never
Hi Alan:

Since your Center of Effort will move up and slightly to the rear, you should experience a little more heeling moment, a greater tendency to round up in gusts, and a very slight increase in weather helm.

Inasmuch as windward ability comes mostly from the luff edge of the sail, wouldn't you be better off to keep a long luff edge to the sail, and instead of a deck sweeper, have a sail with a higher cut clew?  

If, when using the "pennant sail", you elect to not use the pennant, but attach the tack directly to the deck, you won't need re-attach the pennant to the head of the sail, the halyard will do just fine.  Will you be faster with a lower jib?  I don't think so, wind is usually stronger higher up, so a higher sail should catch more wind and therefore be faster.

Good Luck,
Tony Jeske
MkV #581
San Diego  
  Re: To pennant or not to pennant? (BatGuano)
Posted: 12:52:00 pm on 4/14/2015 Modified: Never
Thanks Tony,

I was thinking there would be more heeling, but I wasn't sure, so I will just stick with my original plan and get a headsail with a high cut clew. Also, I think i must have turned my brain off before I finished my question about the position of the pennant, of course I wouldn't need to put it at the head. I must have been thinking of a furling rig.

Next time I'll slap myself before I proofread.


Alan Richards
Runaway, Mk III hull 804
Holyrood, NL