by Win Fowler

Win Fowler has built sails for America’s Cup boats, coastal cruisers and one-design racers

High-Modulus Upgrade

by Win Fowler, Posted May 22, 2011
Ben Cantor of New Bedford, Massachusetts, asks:   "I’ve been cruising on a 1973 Pearson 36 for the past 10 years, and this year I plan to splurge and buy all new sails and running rigging. I expect I will order high-quality Dacron sails. I’ve read a lot about high-modulus line and would like to try it out, but I wonder if it is worthwhile using it on a cruising boat. I like

Outboard Sheeting Angles

by Win Fowler, Posted April 14, 2011
James Caven of San Diego, California, asks:   "I’ve been reading some older “how-to” sailing books and one describes a technique for taking a jib or genoa sheet out to the end of the main boom when reaching. Is this worth the trouble? Is it a commonly used method today? I assume it is to open up the sheeting angle. Is there an easier way to achieve the same

Bowsprit Dreams

by Win Fowler, Posted March 8, 2011
Frank Fosse of Charleston, South Carolina, asks:   "I sail a 1983 Beneteau First 42, which I enjoy very much. I would like to fly an asymmetric spinnaker and/or a Code-O sail from a bowsprit, like on many of the more modern boats I see these days. I see there are some removable bowsprits on the market, but they look a bit light to me. Are they really strong enough for what I

Mainsail Reefing Protocol

by Win Fowler, Posted January 25, 2011
Elroy Schwartz of New Orleans, Louisiana, asks:   "When I was learning to sail I was taught when reefing a mainsail (with slab reefing, that is) to first tighten up the reef line securing the clew and then take full tension on the halyard to tighten the luff and tack. When I reef this way on my current boat, which I bought used a couple of years ago, the foot of the sail gets

Asymmetrical Drag

by Win Fowler, Posted December 14, 2010
Hal Garner of Fort Myers, Florida, asks:   "My mast doesn’t have sheaves for a spinnaker halyard, so I fly my asymmetric spinnaker on my second genoa halyard. I also bend the sail’s tack onto a line that runs down through a block directly behind the forestay to a winch in the cockpit. When tacking the boat, I handle the spinnaker the same way I would a genoa. However I’ve

Noisemakers

by Win Fowler, Posted December 13, 2010
Rick McCowan of Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, asks:   "My boat has rod rigging. Whenever the wind blows between about 9 and 13 knots, the rigging hums quite loudly and it’s a bit annoying. Why is this happening, and what’s the best way to stop it?" Win Fowler replies: Although I need to know more about your rig to say for sure, I do have some

Halyard Hook

by Win Fowler, Posted October 21, 2010
Leon Lieberman of Ambler, Pennsylvania, asks:   "The center headsail halyard on my C&C 33 needed replacing, and a crewmember accidentally pulled it out without attaching a messenger line to run the new halyard. I’ve been up the mast twice, but can’t get the new halyard to feed in over the sheave and down the mast. Any thoughts on how I can get the halyard up and over the

New Moves

by Win Fowler, Posted September 21, 2010
Joanne Rideout of Astoria, Oregon, asks:   "I’m a new crewmember racing on an Olson 30 and one of the jobs I’ve been assigned is going on the foredeck to skirt the genoa when we tack. I’ve nearly fallen overboard a couple of times trying to get the sail inside the lifeline after it gets caught outside. What’s the best way to skirt a genoa when it gets stuck? Also, how do I

Spinnaker Savvy

by Win Fowler, Posted August 21, 2010
David von Fruke of Ssen, Minnesota, asks:   "Last year I purchased a 202 ft2 asymmetrical spinnaker for my Hunter 170 along with a sock for dousing the sail. My goal is to set the spinnaker singlehanded, and while I can manage it, I do have trouble raising and lowering the sail. I have been thinking about putting the spinnaker on a roller furler. What do you

Tight Strings

by Win Fowler, Posted July 20, 2010
Philip Donegan of Kemah, Texas asks:   "My 35ft boat has a 379 ft2 mainsail. I’m using 10mm braid for my reefing lines, but I am thinking about replacing them with smaller Dyneema lines on the theory that the smaller diameter line will reduce the friction on the blocks. Am I correct, and if so, what is the minimum line strength I can use?" Win Fowler
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