A good set of storm sails can be a get out of jail free card if you find yourself caught in heavy weather. A necessity for offshore passages whether cruising or racing and a prudent safety item for most cruisers.
A typical set consists of two heavy duty sails built from a durable woven fabric such as Dacron: a storm jib and a main trysail. These are often brightly coloured to aid visibility which could be crucial in a search and rescue (SAR) situation. Storm jibs are heavy canvas sails designed to be used in heavy weather conditions. Storm jibs can provide drive and allow you to maintain steerage in high winds without overpowering the boat.
World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations (OSR) governs the rules for boats taking part in recognised offshore races, including the storm sails they must carry. While there is no such rule for cruising boats, the information provided in the OSR is based on best practice and is updated at least every 2 years to reflect the latest knowledge in offshore safety including learnings from incidents at sea.
Read the full article including a guide to storm sail sizing. And shop for storm sails on the upffront web shop.
Photo: Joel Berg (Allyacht Spars) and Ben Kelly (North Sails) trial fitting the storm jib on Trimaran Venom