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Asymmetric & Genoa


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I'm planning to do some casual PHRF racing, and have been thinking about an asymmetric, and a genoa in the 140 to 150 range.

 

On the asymmetric, I wondered about separation, since I don't want to add a sprit (retro-fit kit or lash-down). On the genoa, I think my 155 has a tendency to backwind the main, and it can overpower the boat when the wind gets decent. I thought something a little smaller might have a wider window of use.

 

I submitted a question to J-Boats, and got this nice response from Alan Johnstone. I would be interested in comments from the group.

 

Bob,

 

Thank you for your note.

 

The J/22 was not designed to carry a bow sprit or asymmetrical spinnaker but that doesn't mean it won't benefit from it in certain conditions. It's not worth trying an A-sail without at least 3-4 feet of separation between the headstay and the end of the sprit. If you try an oversized spinnaker pole attached to the mast with an A-sail that can be squared aft you will find it's actually MORE difficult to deal with than the standard conventional spinnaker system as you still need to jibe the sprit... You can probably try a fixed sprit with A-sail by borrowing an oversize spinnaker pole and lashing the pole to the deck and then borrowing a suitably sized A-sail from another similar size boat... it might be a good way to try the system without too much modification to the boat or commitment in new sail purchases.

 

As for a 155% LP genoa vs. 140%, in my experience the 155% is overkill for a J/22 in terms of power unless you have at least four or five people on the rail... The only time it makes much difference is in 0-8 knots. Once there is more than 8 knots, the advantage of the additional sail area starts to vanish unless you load up the rail with crew weight which makes for a crowded boat and the additional weight will hurt performance downwind. In general the genoa is not usually worth the extra rating penalty on the 22.

 

A 140% LP genoa might be tough to sheet properly due to the location of the spreaders and genoa track? I have not tried this combination on the boat so don't have much additional insight to offer. You might get some strong opinion about this from other J/22 owners that may have tried it? Then there is the question of whether this smaller size genoa buys you any rating credit vs. the 155%? For light air, in general, more sail area is better...so if you don't get a rating credit I wouldn't do it. I'd go for the 155 or the standard class jib (with rating credit).

 

Best Regards,

 

Alan Johnstone

J/Boats, Inc.

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  • 1 year later...

Hey Robert, It's a great idea. I have already converted my j22 masthead kites,

I have a 3a asymetric a code 0, and a symetrical runner. All were designed for the boat. Half the races here in ventura county involve long reaches, and last year we tied for top spinnaker boat. the boat is dominant in under 5kts. of wind or over 15kts. Still competitive in between but sometimes we get waterlined. The boat is an absolute blast to sail, and we have spent a considerable amount of time in the 13 to 17 kts. boatspeed range. If you want some pics. Email me at phrfdragon@hotmail.com

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Interesting. I have never used anything other than the class sails. But I find that the boat has plenty of oomph upwind with the standard configuration. Were I you, I would use the standard class sails for your upwind work: they're easy, they're only too little sail in less than five knots or so, there is lots of tuning information available from the various sailmakers, visibility is awesome, etc.

 

The masthead asym, however, is intriguing. Waterline (actually US Watercraft) built some J/22s in an asymmetric configuration a couple of years ago for some European lake sailors. It might be interesting to reach out to Will or Randy to see how that experiment worked out. They may even have some tooling or suggestions regarding a retrosprit (a phrase I just coined) for the front end.

 

Definitely report back, please.

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Retrosprit. I love it. Consider it stolen!

 

We did do a couple of 'Swiss Lake 22s'. They had J/80 style sprits and not quite masthead a-sails. Al J was concerned about having too much unsupported top mast, my guess is that he's probably right!

 

The boats have roller furling 140% genoas, I'll need to dig around and find the drawings of how the tracks were laid out. if I can find them, I'll post some pix.

 

w

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Against advice, I had an triradial asymmetric made last year. No sprit, and it uses the standard spinnaker halyard. The masthead halyard never occurred to me.

 

We've used it a few times, so far in one race that had a long downwind leg. It was dyn-o-mite.

 

For a crew of two old farts in PHRF, one with a little spinnaker experience and one with none, it's good. Gibing can be tricky with the small separation between tack and forestay, and you sometimes need a whisker pole.

 

I agree that the class jib is best unless the wind gets really light; then I use a drifter.

 

I also find that I can carry the a-sail well above a beam reach. Maybe I won't need the drifter?

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Against advice, I had an triradial asymmetric made last year. No sprit, and it uses the standard spinnaker halyard. The masthead halyard never occurred to me.

 

We've used it a few times, so far in one race that had a long downwind leg. It was dyn-o-mite.

 

For a crew of two old farts in PHRF, one with a little spinnaker experience and one with none, it's good. Gibing can be tricky with the small separation between tack and forestay, and you sometimes need a whisker pole.

 

I agree that the class jib is best unless the wind gets really light; then I use a drifter.

 

I also find that I can carry the a-sail well above a beam reach. Maybe I won't need the drifter?

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no need to worry about he unsupported part of the mast with masthead kites, as I can verify numerous roundups and round downs in excess of 10 kts. with no problems. In one putting the mast in the water and having one of the crew stand on the keel to bring the boat up. The lesson here is don't steer to deep in giant waves.

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  • 8 years later...

We have up fitted Hill # 61 with an Asymmetrical on a sprit for PHRF Pursuit Races. The rig comes completely of for 1 D racing. It has been very effective and a lot of fun on the breezy Great South Bay.  I would love to see J boats and the class embrace this and for J Boats to offer a retractable pole upgrade kit. I really think this would give the J22 class a huge boost. Speeds consistently in the double digits on a re ach.  

IMG_20210906_095119.jpg

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