Lift a Skirt Offshore

Keep blue water out of low-cut headsails with this sewn-on tab. From our May 2008 issue

Lifting Skirts 368
A sewn-on tab raises the foot of your low-cut sail to ensure less wear.Andrew Burton

Lots of boats head offshore with low-cut inshore cruising genoas. Headsails designed for offshore cruising are cut high on the foot so they won't scoop up tons of water in a seaway when they're eased for reaching.

Capturing vast quantities of ocean in the foot of the sail puts enormous strain not only on the rig but also on the tack of the sail and the stemhead fitting. A simple way to make your inshore sails work when you're offshore is to raise the foot, or skirt, of the jib by sewing onto the foot a 6-inch piece of sail-tie webbing, locating it halfway to three-quarters of the way between the tack and the mast. Stitch one end of the sail tie to each side of the sail so the loop hangs perpendicular to the foot. It's easy then to clip on a topping lift or halyard to raise the skirt above the bow wave. There's little strain on the foot, so it won't damage the sail, and the soft tab doesn't get in the way when the sail is furled.