Originally posted by Steve Buzbee:
I'm with Russ. I'm a newcomer to the J/30 world and love the boat. I'll use it for family day sailing, Wednesday night club racing, and will (at first) bring up the rear in any OD events I can muster up a crew for. Most of my racing will be PHRF and it seems to me that the boat is hard to sail to its rating. Sure when Bengt gets into a groove with Fuzzy Wuzzy he'll win, but more often than not, the J/30s don't do so well in PHRF. If a better main could help nudge us up against the fleet - I say let's do it. Better PHRF results may attract more J/30s to the fleet, and maybe that would mean a OD class which seems to be what everyone wants...
I really think the dacron mainrestriction is fine. I race in a very competitive PHRF fleet of J-29's, S-2 9.1's, Olson 911 and 30, Santana 30/30 as well as a few other J-30's. Most of the other boats have high tech sails all around, and I see no noticeable performance difference between us on that basis. Age of sails and boat weight vis a vis conditions are the key points (along w/ boat handling and tactics of course).
High tech jibs are much more useful because headsails have fewer possible adjustments to shape than mains-a jib that holds a proper foil through a broad range of wind conditions is very important. The main has multiple adjustments to tweak the shape in conjunction with pressure, so having low stretch material is far less critical.
I would encourage you to update headsails before worrying about a high tech main. And I know that I will do whatever I have to to keep in one design configuration-nothing is better than sailing at J-30 OD events!