I like to sail fast mostly in the heavy winds that Lake Ontario throws up early and late in the season. Summer sailing is a bit of a bore. If its blowing 30+ and the big waves are coming across the lake from the south west (a nice roll that builds up across a 100 miles of open lake) I’m a happy sailor. In those conditions only the “big boys” come out to play and I’m happy to be counted among their number.
In such conditions, I need a well-designed mainsail and headsail. A custom designed cruising sail for my venerable Tanzer 26. Note that I’m not into racing so a well thought out and executed cruising sail fits the bill nicely with the resulting economies.
My current sails lovingly designed by Precision Sails make me happy, happy, happy. They have held their shape nicely despite my occasionally mistreatment. I’m particularly pleased with up wind performance. I like to break up into the bigger waves thrown up by the big lake. A big lunge and crash impresses my crew.
The sails also help me control the beast. I feel in control a jib driving up front rather than being over powered with my big Genoa. When it blows I have the controls to flatten all surfaces nicely. Really like the loose fitted main that I can pull tight.
Musing a bit about my years of real fun sailing I think that the perfect sail is one that just works for the individual, his or her sailing proclivities ad boat….. it could be an extremely simple boat used on weekends at the cottage/cabin that the sailor needs or wants very little input up to a racer that would like to be involved in the design itself.
William Falconer said, The effect of sailing is produced by a judicious arrangement of the sails to the direction of the wind. I would add that proper sails are required to make all that a pleasant, rewarding and FAST experience no matter how she blows.
Check out the video below to see an example of a Tanzer 26 Sail Mainsail: