One of the things that was always on my upgrade list was a second headsail. The 150% genoa VS came with is great, but once past 14-16 kts w/gusty conditions, it can add apprehension onboard. I love that everyone's enjoying the sails up, but furling more than 20-30% makes it impossible to get a good sail shape or to maintain any sense of pointing. An end game of doing more 'sailing weather' trips (i.e.: spring & fall), and a 150% that really shouldn't be left on the furler all winter, led to the decision of getting a smaller headsail that we'd target the Nov. to April with.
After several conversations w/North Sails Vancouver, we opted to take advantage of a winter discount they were doing on new sails. As we hammered out our needs with the help of Drew Mitchell (North Sails, very helpful), we had him come down and do a measurement of our rig and he went back and submitted those to their sailmakers. I have to say, there was a lot more involved in this than I anticipated, but it was all good and the ensuing discussions refined the sailplan considerably. In the end, we signed off on a 120% radial cut dacron that should be good to the mid to upper teens before reefing, and still maintain a reasonable shape down to around a jib. If we need to de-power more than that, we'll be passing a double reefed main, and I don't see us being out in that!
While we received the sail back in January, but busy-ness, schedules, and weather has kept us from actually trying the new sail out. Finally yesterday, after a near windlass morning of racing (crewing) down at Pt. Roberts, the wind picked up enough for me to go try it out. Although only 6-7 kts of wind (really should have the bigger sail up), it shaped and performed nicely. I'm looking forward to getting to fly her in her sweet spot, but that comes when it comes.