Hi all,

I thought people might be interested in Merry’s newest sail.

It is an extra large 2.2oz nylon genoa, radial cut with a 6mm spectra luff line. I think this is very similar to the “Reacher” listed in the Cape George sail plan. See the “drifter” in blue on the sail plan.

Photos below in still air, force 1-2, where it fills okay. Looking forward to seeing if it will drive the boat in flat water with a little more breeze.

This sail flies from the spinnaker halyard even with a roller furling jib.
It is set flying from the bowsprit, with the tack running through a block secured by a soft shackle around the bowprit. Two padeyes keep the block from sliding forward or aft. The bitter end of the tack line runs to the sampson posts.

I am hoping that some testing will bear out that this sail can keep us moving in light air, and when it’s overpowered, the yankee can take over quickly by dousing this sail and unrolling the furling yankee. Since the drifter is set flying it’s pretty easy to handle, and the soft light nylon is more pleasant to drag around than the heavy genoa. Note that you need a big telescoping pole to pole out a sail this large.

Is anyone else using a similar sail plan at the moment? I’ve seen old posts with similar ideas - how is everyone’s experience with this?

I am also considering some day a light air nylon mainsail to help balance this monster for light upwind sailing or for light air downwind wing-on-wing as an alternative to a spinnaker, which feels like too much trouble shorthanded.


Wow! A beautiful boat! Great looking sail! The deep roach should really help her sail downwind in light airs.
Please keep us posted on how she sails.

I just wonder if the cost of a new mainsail for wing on wing downwind would show much improvement over her cruising mainsail. Using a preventer, or tying a line to the bulwarks would prevent an accidental gibe if a sudden wind shift occurs.

Also a whisker pole for the Genoa to keep it out and filled in extremely light wind.

I love the look of your hard dodger. Did a shop build it?

A great setup! Happy sailing this season!

Michael Langley
Northern Light #110

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Thank you! Yes, Merry is gorgeous and we are very lucky. I do. I do not know who built the dodger, but I believe it was built by the Canadian BCC builder, Bryan Gittins, or some fiberglass shop in BC. It is foam cored glass with a painted finish, and flanged to fit the hatch, coamings, and coachroof perfectly.

The idea with light nylon mainsail would be to help on a reach in light air or running downwind without twin headsails, but it’s probably just a kooky idea. The dacron mainsail I don’t feel like adds much to the speed downwind in light air. We use a preventer at almost all times offshore, though. Even on a reach, in order to hopefully prevent mistakes from damaging the rig

I have now flown the drifter a few times on various points of sail. Some thoughts maybe -

The foot is a little too long for the BCC’s shrouds and a Forespar line-control pole - IE you can’t sheet it flat while poles out when on a run. I think the only time you’d want to do this is when there’s not enough wind to fill the sail and you want to minimize slatting, though?

Have carried it up to maybe force 4 on a close reach. At 2.2oz the seams all were standing out with the area between the seams blown full. The boat was flying at 6-7 knots in those conditions with a 1-2 ft sea, but the sail was clearly overburdened. Dropping the sail like this is taxing. It’s very powerful. I think the smartest thing to do is round up and shake the sail, sheet it in tight against the shrouds and let the halyard go. Dropping the sail in the water is preferable to letting it blow in front of the boat or go up to the sky, but A boat hook is really handy for fishing it out of the water or hooking the tack to bring it from the bowsprit to the deck if you want to keep it from hitting the water… an experienced racing crew might be smarter about this. I need to try retrieving downwind in the shadow of the main instead of in the wind, that may be safer, but the sail is so large it all feels like it could go bad quickly. A facnor furler on the tip of the bowsprit may be the smartest option for keeping the sail in control. I’m considering a new kranze iron casting that puts a bail at the very so there is room for a furler drum for this.

The transition from flying this sail in force 1-3 and then yankee/staysail in force 3+ is about right, not really a gap in boat speed.

Hi @chickenonthesea - we have a 490 sq ft 3.25 oz code zero on a profurl continuous line furler on #bcc-calypso. We use this sail all the time in light conditions up to ~ 12-14kn apparent. Take down is reliable with the continuous line furler. It loves 120 deg apparent, but will fly 60-150 apparent. At 60, we generally get better performance from the jib+staysail. Beyond 150, we pole it. We’ve even flown it by the lee on the pole. Hugely versatile sail for light conditions. We’ve even flown it as “twins” with the jib as well. No regrets.


Great to learn of your Zoom Code 0 success Jeremy! Looking to emulate the same for my FC34. Can you share how you attach and “load up” its pro furl unit to the cranse iron given your RF on Calypso’s Jibstay? Lastly how does your Code 0 cut/shape differ from Lyle’s drawings for the Drifter that he lists for most of the small cutters? All insights appreciated

Hi Alasdair - We worked with the sailmaker - zoomsails.com - to arrive at the design we have on Calypso. We sent them various rig dimensions they asked for and they came up with this (below). We fly the tack end off of a short webbing strop that attaches to a shackle forward of the jib roller reefing drum on the cranse iron. There are holes for 3 pins on the top of Calypso’s cranse iroon fitting. The webbing gets the CZ continuous like furler above the jib furler. The webbing rubs on the jib furler a bit, but that has not been cause for much concern. I plan on looking for a torsional strop to replace the webbing strop to keep the CZ drum base/bottom (which should be fixed) from trying to spin.

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Hi Jeremy,
Thanks for this very useful insight.
My good friend Jeremy Bagshaw has just completed the Golden Globe Race circumnavigating with ZOOM sails and has spoken highly of their quality and the service.
Following this read and not having a set of “measured” plans for the sails I will follow the same route and furnish ZOOM with the various dimensions they require and trust the process. They obviously have extensive experience in this. I have couple of further questions for clarity

  1. Placing the CZ drum and torsional strop forward of the RF drum does seem to offer a challenge of chafe unless quite a bit forward.
    I am still completing my Cranse iron and might be able to lengthen it to extend the torsional strop and drum further out than this other SA boat’s
    Not sure if this is too “far” from the countering forces of the bobstay?

  2. Billie on BCC28 Pixie advocates and installed his Furling Drifter (CZ) just inside the RF drum for his circumnavigation.
    Any reason benefit you preferred forward of RF drum?

Conscious you’re busy on MISCHIEF so appreciate your input.

Hi Alasdair - The CZ luff does tend to pull to leward and forward (given it’s normally sailed off the wind). So whether affixed forward or aft of the jib drum, I don’t think it will be too consequential. Even my “interference fit” becomes less of an “interference fit” one the sail is flying and pulling as the luff pulls away from the much-more-taut jib furler foil.


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