• Captain Steve

The Code 0 Dilemma

New boats come with a genoa and a mainsail. You really need to add a downwind sail for cruising. The choice is generally an asymmetrical spinnaker. On a boat our size it is quite a chore to drag it to the foredeck and to repack it. Every time the wind dies, gets too strong, goes forward or at night with uncertainty the sail comes down. The Code 0 is like a big light weight genoa. It is on a furler. If conditions change simply roll it up and leave it there until conditions change. The big disadvantage is that it is not nearly as efficient downwind. We decided we’d use it enough more than the asymmetrical to offset that disadvantage.

Who should make it, with what material, on what furler are all questions that need to answered before ordering the sail. I looked at high end, middle of the road and bargain sail makers. We ended going with a high end sailmaker, North, because of their responsiveness and a competitive price. It was pretty tough to get sail makers to submit a quote. The low end sailmaker had recommended nylon as the material as it is cheaper than a composite. The rest recommended a composite material. We went with a NorLam that is clear laminate with so many narrow black lines running through it that from any distance it looks grey. If feels a bit like a bit of overhead projector film we used to use in presentations.

Furlers were another difficult choice. There are high end furlers at about twice the cost of everyone else. After comparing, it was apparent to me, they would all work so I eliminated some very fine furlers due to price. I looked at Facnor, Profurl and Selden. North said all three were fine. My go to rigger didn’t like the Selden and said the Profurl was the best compromise as the Facnor was too expensive. North liked Facnor the best of the three and a review online seemed to support that choice. I got a price better than the Profurl and not a lot more than the Selden. The Facnor has a high end feature that keeps the sail from accidentally unfurling.

Sheets and furling lines were the last big decision. The Saona 47 Facebook group recommended simple ½” double braid, but I ended up with a dyneema cored 7/16”. A better line. Probably spent too much. The furling lines I had made in two lengths. These are special as they are a big continuous loop that goes around the furler. I had a short one made so that the sail will be furled while sitting on the foredeck. It is easy, no friction and you can see the sail being furled. It does require you to leave the cockpit. I also got a long one which will be lead through blocks back to the cockpit. We will see which is best.

Overall, the selection process was a big one. Time will tell if I made the right decision.


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