This kit is a complete set of parts to set up a 26 Classic (D or S) to properly fly a much larger jib and eliminate the need for an awkward 150% Genoa. Compared to a Genoa, your boat will point MUCH higher upwind, have a larger wind range without needing to reef, and heel over less.
The Big Jib kit is a huge improvement on any 26C, but has the added advantage of NO MORE EXCESS WEATHER HELM on the 26D. See Technical Information for a complete list of kit contents and Extended Information for a more detailed description of the design, development and installation of the kit.
If you are thinking about a new headsail or new standing rigging, it might be a great time for an upgrade!
- The Big Jib Re-Rig kit includes the following parts:
New Longer HD Forestay compatible with hank-on or RF
New Longer Upper Shrouds
New Longer Lower Shrouds
New Longer Spreaders (40")
Rigid Spreader Base Kit
New Gooseneck Mast and Boom Assy.
New Boom End Cap
3' T-Tracks for Cabin Top
Low Lead Cars for T-Track
New Cam Cleats w/Spacers
All Necessary Installation Hardware
Adjustable Backstay Tensioner (Optional)
New Longer FF-2 RF Luff Extrusion (Option)
We have jibs available in either standard Dacron or premium LiteSkin laminate with luff tape for furling or hanks for boats without furling. The dimensions of the mainsail are not changed so you can use you existing main if it's in good shape. Feel free to email or call for more information about sails.
In the Fall of 2019 we got a VERY fixer upper 1989 26D, a boat that both Cheryl and I like a lot, and is, when set up properly, the fastest sailing of all the Trailerable Mac's. Since nearly everything on the boat needed to be replaced anyway (I could put my arm through holes in the Genoa), we basically had a clean sheet of paper to make improvements to the boat. To optimize sailing performance, we knew the best thing we could do was to increase the size of the jib enough that we would never need to use a Genoa. Upwind performance with a Genoa is compromised by the wide, hull mounted placement of the chainplates on all Mac's, we were hoping the change would also move the center of effort of the sail plan far enough forward to eliminate the excessive weather helm that all 26D's have. The small foretriangle of the 26C limits the size of the stock jib to 98 sq/ft while the Genoa is about 150, we set out to see how much we could increase the size of the jib.
We ended up raising the forestay from 22' to 26' and adding about 12" to the foot of the jib, this resulted in a jib with 125 sq/ft. This added area combined with being a more efficient higher aspect ratio sail gives power like a Genoa, but with MUCH better pointing ability! The spreaders were made longer, and the loose bases replaced with the stronger rigid bases from the 26X to stiffen and strengthen the mast with the new, wider spacing between support points. New Gooseneck hardware is provided to allow easy use with modern sails.
Deck hardware had to be upgraded as well. Most Classics have no adjustable jib tracks at all, and those that do are too short for the larger sail, new longer tracks with ball bearing low lead cars are included in the kit. To prevent over-rides on the winches, spacers to raise them are included, as are new cam cleats with angled spacers to match the raised winches.
The re-rig transforms the sailing of the boat, great performance in light wind, able to sail in a lot stronger wind without reefing, and NO EXCESS WEATHER HELM. Upwind, the boat sails about 5 degrees closer to the wind (inside of 30 degrees apparent) and is beautifully balanced with light weather helm at the limit like it should have. Tacking is much quicker and easier than with a Genoa, nothing to drag around the mast and winch in on the other side. Downwind, you have way more sail area than the old jib and a setup that lends itself well to the small bowsprit we originally developed for the 26M, this and the taller hoist allow for a larger than stock spinnaker if you desire.
While nothing is super technical, there is some installation work. You will need to drill several holes in the mast for the new rigging attachment points and it takes some time to properly install the new jib tracks (drilling holes in the deck and deck liner) and to remove and re-install the winches and cam cleats, most of which is easier with a helper.